“I know you, you know me, we’re a happy family…”

As a student, we are usually inclined to really love our University. We like studying there, socialising there – so it’s only natural that we might want to work there.

So, when a job comes up in your department or the union, somewhere perhaps that you’ve already worked or that you know lots of people, you jump at the chance to apply. You know the person who is going to be reading and selecting the applications and you are friends with most of the people that will be your colleagues. You are so sure you will get the job that you start saying ‘when I work here…’ and imagining how you are going to personalise your desk space.

It is easy to be drawn into feeling familiar and confident – both of which can go in your favour – but you can’t underestimate your competition or expect that the job is yours before you get it.

When applying for internal positions don’t;

  • Assume the interviewers will acknowledge your experience with them if you don’t tell them explicitly
  • Overuse references to your experience with them and under use any of the other great stuff you might have done that is relevant
  • Be too informal

But make sure you do;

  • Make use of your internal knowledge when answering questions
  • Dress to impress, greet the interviewers as you would someone you wouldn’t know
  • Prepare questions that demonstrate you have really thought about the role/department further than your current knowledge

Internal interviews can sometimes be awkward, and it is easy to fall into the trap of assuming the interviewers will take into consideration your prior performance – but in many sectors, in order to be fair, they can’t. For further advice on how to prepare for an interview book an appointment with the Career Development Service.

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Marie Muir

About Marie Muir

Project Manager - Communications and Events. Experienced in Student Recruitment, Recruitment, Employability and Widening Participation.

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