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Interview Preparation

Preparing for Common Promotion Interview Questions

Posted by Glassdoor Team

Career Advice Experts

Last Updated June 29, 2021

Guide Overview

Tips to help you prepare for promotion interview questionsCommon promotion interview questionsSample answers to promotion interview questions

Guide Overview

Getting ready for promotion interview questions

Oftentimes, when you are considered for a promotion, you still need to go through the application process. This means that you'll need to meet for an interview and discuss why you're the best candidate for the position. During this interview, your employer may ask you a series of interview questions specifically tailored to an internal employee. Here we discuss how to effectively answer promotion interview questions and provide you with examples you can use to prepare with.

Tips to help you prepare for promotion interview questions

By following these tips, you can more effectively answer promotion interview questions and prove you’re the best choice:

  • Reflect on the work you do. Prior to your interview, think about everything you have accomplished in your current role. Think of how you’ve grown since starting with the company and come up with some key points that prove you’re ready for the next step.
  • Practice your answers. Ask a friend or family member to do a mock interview with you. Have them ask common internal interview questions and assess your responses. By actually practicing your responses, you can hear how they come off out loud. Ask them for feedback so you can make any necessary adjustments.
  • Remain professional. Even if you are quite comfortable with your interviewer and know them well, you should still treat this like a legitimate interview. Maintain a professional attitude while answering their questions. This can show the interviewer that you are taking this opportunity for a promotion seriously.
  • Be ready for the unexpected. Being confident during an interview is important, but don’t be so confident that you get blindsided by a challenging question. There may be more to this position than you realize, which is why you still need to be thoughtful about your responses and listen to what the interview says carefully.
  • Ask your own questions. Once the interviewer is finished asking you questions, make sure to ask some of your own. You could inquire about the transition process if you were to get the role or any responsibilities you’d like them to discuss further. Along with helping you learn more about the role, it shows your true interest in the job.

Common promotion interview questions

These are promotion interview questions you may encounter during an internal interview:

  • Why should we pick you for this role?
  • How have you grown since first working here?
  • What changes would you make if you were to get this promotion?
  • What would you do during your first month in this role?
  • What do you enjoy most about your current position?
  • What would you do if you didn’t get the promotion?
  • Why are you ready for more responsibilities?
  • Can you handle a busier workday?
  • What makes you an effective leader?

Sample answers to promotion interview questions

Use these sample answers as inspiration when planning your own responses:

What was your biggest achievement working here?

Employers ask this question to learn more about your accomplishments in your current role. Showing that you are goal-oriented and ambitious can indicate that you are ready for the next step in your career. Think about one of your greatest successes at work and how it benefited the company. Share how you look forward to reaching even more of your goals.

Answer: My biggest achievement while working here actually happened last month. We had an upset client who wanted to back out of our deal. I knew how important this client was to my manager, so I asked if I could meet with the client to smooth things over. During the meeting, I was able to resolve all the client’s concerns and actually got them to sign on for another six months. This experience helped me realize I am ready for a client-facing position, which is why I applied for the promotion.

How would your coworkers describe you?

When giving someone a promotion, many employers want to make sure this decision will go over well with other employees. Asking this question helps the employer determine if you have a realistic idea of how others view you. Share some positive qualities you have that you think your coworkers appreciate. Find a way to show that these qualities would help you succeed in a higher-level role.

Answer: Since I am always trying to help others, I think my coworkers see me as a valuable part of the team. They would say that I use my problem-solving skills to help the department find innovative solutions to challenging problems. They would also describe me as calm. I have the self-management skills to control my emotions during the most stressful situations. Rather than complaining about a crisis that arises, I diligently work to find a solution.

I also think they would describe me as determined. I am always looking to make new goals and stay on top of my tasks. That’s why I think I’d be such a good fit for this role. I would be highly motivated to grow our numbers and win more clients.

What training would you need to succeed in this role?

Although you are familiar with the role you’re applying to, it’s likely that you will need some training to do your job right. An employer asks this question to see how easy it will be to onboard you. In your answer, be honest about the training you need, but also convey that you are a self-starter. Show that you have the ability to learn and develop many skills on your own. This way, they can feel relieved that they won’t have to use as many resources to get you caught up to speed.

Answer: The main thing I would need hands-on training for is how to use our accounting software. I have a little experience with it, so I don’t think it would take me much time to get fully acclimated. I would also like to shadow our current financial manager for a few days to get a better idea of the work she does. Otherwise, I think I can use the training manuals to learn the rest on my own.

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