Published on November 4th, 2013 | by Amy Edwards
Last Monday I blogged about how to tackle an internal interview and while I was writing that I started thinking about the whole concept of an internal interview overall. Like I said in last week’s blog, internal interviews are tricky for a number of reasons… and while everything can turn out great if you actually end up getting the new role or promotion, it can be more than a little awkward if you don’t make the grade.
Think about it; with a normal external interview, you can just walk away, move on and never look back if you don’t get the role. But it’s not that easy with an internal interview. You see, you still have to go into work and work with the same people – some of whom might know you tried and failed to get a new job within the company – and some of whom might be the ones who actually knocked you back in the first place.
So, how do you even begin to get yourself back together and get over (let’s face it!) the humiliation and rejection?
Well first up, you need to calm down and not act impulsively by throwing your toys out of the pram when you get the bad news. Why? Because you still have to work with these people – and no matter how long you stay, you’re still going to need a reference at some point. Think about it… there’s no way you can make the situation better now, but you could make it a heck of a lot worse…
Next, you need to be honest with yourself and other people. It’s obvious that you wanted the promotion or job (after all, you wouldn’t have applied for it and gone for the interview if you didn’t, right?!) so there’s no reason why you shouldn’t say you were disappointed not to get it if someone asks. Remember, honesty goes a long way…
Saying that, when commenting on the rejection, it’s important to be professional. Yes, you may be bitter and really frustrated – but remember, you still have a job that you’re being paid to do so you need to be professional. Besides, you don’t know what’s coming up in the future. Do you really want to harm your chances of getting that next promotion by acting like a spoiled brat now? Thought not!
Next, it’s time to man up and ask for some feedback. Really? Yes, really! OK, so it might be embarrassing and more than a little painful but it’s definitely worth it. The thing is there might have been a really simple reason why you didn’t get the promotion so it’s definitely worth finding out. What’s more, having a feedback session might help to highlight some mistakes you had no idea you were making and might help you to change your approach next time round.
When gathering feedback, try not to focus on the ‘why’ but on the ‘what’ – by that, I mean don’t ask why you didn’t get the job but ask what you could do to get the promotion/job in the future. Remember, it’s about moving on and looking to the future, not looking back and dwelling on the past. That said, getting this feedback and having a one-to-one with the interviewer can help you to move on and can act as a bit of a therapy session – so take advantage!
At the end of the day, whether it’s in our professional life or personal life, getting a ‘no’ is painful and it downright stinks – but it doesn’t have to be the be all and end all. If you can learn from the incident, use it to your advantage and move on, there’s a chance the pain and disappointment you’re feeling now could all be worth it in the end.