Congratulations! You got a job after putting in so much effort (writing a good CV and cover letter, passing the job interview, etc.).
Now, you have worked in this company for several years. So far, you have done a great job meeting and surpassing targets, you have enjoyed your time in the company, the company has smiled at your achievements so far, but it is time for you to move forward.
Sometimes moving to the next level can seem like a natural progression, but that is not always the case with getting a promotion at work.
Many companies conduct promotional interviews for both internal and external job candidates before deciding on the job candidates to hire. Promotional interviews are just like the regular job interview, but many job candidates think it is just a formality because they think;
“The manager or the CEO knows me, they have appreciated my work many times, and since they are all aware of the great results that I have achieved over the years, they will just give me the new job because I just deserve it.
It is just natural and logical”
While you may think like this, promoting an existing employee is not always an easy thing for companies to do. Employers consider a lot of things before promoting an employee, things like:
Promoting an employee is not as simple and easy as people perceive it to be. That is why some companies take it seriously.
In this article, we are going to look at some interview questions and sample answers that will help you convince the HR manager to give you the promotion that you deserve.
Also read this related post; Top 100 Job Interview Questions and Answers
When the recruiter asks this question, the recruiter wants to have an idea of how you spent your time in your previous role. The recruiter also indirectly wants to see a glimpse of what you have achieved in your current role.
So, when you are answering this question, talk about the things that you are happy about as well as your career achievement in your current position.
“I can describe the time that I have spent in my current position as a time of growth and learning. When I started my current position, I struggled a bit to get used to some of the company’s software. I consciously learned all that I could from others which have helped me achieve great results.
My quest to clearly understand anything that confuses me has made me develop an interest in teaching others. At the moment, I am one of the strong members of the company’s learning and development committee.
Since I joined the committee, the company has recorded great results because employees have a clearer understanding of what is expected of them”.
Recruiters ask this question because they want to understand why you should be promoted to a higher position. They also want to know if the new position that you are looking to get aligns with your strength, skills, and what you have achieved so far.
When you are answering this question, you should focus on the impact that you have made on the company in your current position.
“One of the things I like about my current position is the opportunity that I have to think critically and propose solutions to move the company forward in terms of; revenue, impact, PR, etc.
I also like the fact that I can influence the achievements that other staff members make from the solutions that I propose as the business strategist."
The recruiter is asking you this question because the recruiter wants to validate if moving you to a higher position is necessary at the moment. The recruiter also wants to understand if you have outgrown the capacity that you are functioning in at the moment.
When you are answering this question, focus on how you can do more with the skills, knowledge, etc. that you have in a higher position. Let the recruiter see that your current position is limiting your capacity to achieve more results.
“No doubt, I love the impact that I am making in the company as a content developer, but I think that I am ready to face more challenges and impact the company more at this point in my career.
Over the years, I have developed good content for the company and I have also seen myself grow beyond creating content. Most times, while I create content I also develop strategies for the business that has yielded great results over the years.
I believe that doing both simultaneously is limiting what I can achieve for the company.”
This is one of the most common questions that recruiters ask during the promotional interview. The recruiter is asking this question because the recruiter wants to know why you want to get promoted to a new role.
The truth is that many employees want to get promoted for the wrong reasons like:
So, a recruiter would like to know why you want to get promoted to be sure you don’t want to be promoted for the wrong reasons.
When you are answering this question, be careful to give reasons that show that you are ready to take on more responsibilities.
“I have worked as the only customer service executive over the years, and I have achieved great results. Now, that the company has hired new customer service executives which I have also trained.
I believe that I have learned everything that I need to learn in my current role, and now I am ready to use my skills and knowledge in a leadership role”
Here the recruiter is asking this question because the recruiter wants to find out what you know about the role that you are looking to get. Recruiters believe that you should have an idea of the role you want to be promoted to.
The recruiter wants to know the knowledge you have about the new role, and examine if you have an understanding of what you are getting into.
The key to answering this question is to talk about what the employer will likely expect from someone in this position.
“When I am promoted to become the company’s customer service team lead, I know that my duties and responsibilities in the company will change from what they used to be to something different.
As the team lead for the customer service department, I would be expected to approach things as a leader. My responsibilities will include:
1. Communicating the goals and company objectives with my team members. Acting as a channel of communication between my team and the management.
2. Monitoring progress of activities and projects.
3. Managing resources.
4. Solving problems in the team.
I know that these would be my core duties as the team lead.”
When the recruiter asks this question, they want to know the unique value that you are bringing to the table. They simply want to know what makes you the best person for the role as opposed to other candidates looking to get the same role.
When you are answering this question, talk about what helps you to stand out from other candidates that are looking to get promoted into the same role.
Be careful not to talk down other candidates to make yourself look good to the recruiter. Focus on talking about why you think you are the best person for the role and what makes other candidates not good for the role.
“Having worked in this company for 5 years, I think that I have gained a lot of experience on how the company runs and I also understand what is required of every employee in my team (should I get promoted) to achieve great results.
I believe that my years of experience in this role and company will help me achieve great results right from my first month on the job. This will also save the company the money and time that they would have invested in onboarding and training.
I also believe that I have the skills, qualifications, and experience needed to meet and even surpass my target in the new position.”
When a recruiter asks this question especially for a promotional interview, it is because they want to discover a true sense of your strength and weaknesses. Many recruiters may prefer to ask this question instead of asking questions like “tell me about yourself as XYZ” “what are your strengths and weaknesses as regards the role” because they want to get more honest answers.
Asking this question also helps the recruiter to know how self-aware you are.
When you are answering this question, always remember to;
You can also look at the job description to get a clue of how you can tailor your traits to the role that you are looking to take.
“I think that my colleagues will describe me as a natural leader and problem solver. When the company is working on a project, I usually take the lead (I am usually the person to take the first step) and I always encourage and remind others to do their part so that we can achieve the result.
That is why in my current position, my line manager puts me in charge of handling projects for the department.
The truth is that in life not everyone would be happy for your success, especially when your success has an impact on their success. Whether you accept it or not, when you get promoted to a higher role your former colleagues will feel some type of way especially if they have stayed longer than you or if you will have to lead them.
Sometimes recruiters ask this question to find out if you have a plan to manage other people’s emotions without letting their feelings affect your work.
This question also allows the recruiter to find out some details about your personality. The recruiter would want to find out your level of maturity.
When answering this question, it is good for you to acknowledge how others may be feeling and propose how you intend to work with your team members without sentiments.
“I understand that some of my colleagues have been in the company before me, and seeing me become their team lead my raise some kind of emotions in their heart. While I acknowledge their feelings as regards adapting to change, I also believe that this is a work environment and emotions have no place in a fast-paced work environment.
That said, I will also do my best to treat everyone on the team with respect paying attention to their skills. I am sure that when my team members and I focus on meeting and surpassing our goals in no time the emotions will be a thing of the past.”
Most times when the recruiter asks this question, they want to find out how confident you feel to take on new roles. The level of confidence that you display during your interview will give the recruiter an idea of whether or not you are ready to take on a new role.
The key to answering this question is to show your level of confidence that you have what it takes to function in the new role. Another thing is for you to show humility that you are willing and ready to learn more, acquire new skills to efficiently function in the new role.
“I have worked as a marketing executive in this company for 6 years now, and I am familiar with all the tools, software’s, etc. to an expert level. I have also achieved great results, so I know that I have the necessary skills to succeed in the new role.
Notwithstanding, I also know that this is my first time in a management position and I will have to learn how to lead people effectively, how to manage conflict, and how to deal with subordinates that were once colleagues.”
Many times, when recruiters ask this question, they want to know how well you will handle disappointment, your level of maturity, and why you want to get promoted.
It might be tempting for you to get emotional when answering this question, but you have to remain calm to give the best answer.
The key to answering this question is to remain calm and take each point one at a time to avoid making mistakes.
“Honestly, I will feel a little bit disappointed because I have put in my best in my job over the years and I feel like I am ready for this role.
Notwithstanding, if I don’t get this role; I understand that HR has made the best decision because only one person can get the role. I also believe that the HR managers are well qualified to know who deserves the position best; whether me or other candidates.”
Recruiters ask this question during a promotional interview to find out what your priorities are. What a job candidate decides to do first after getting a promotion reflects the candidate’s value and what they consider as important.
Many times, recruiters ask this question to also have an idea of your leadership pattern.
When you are answering this question remember to give an answer that shows that your priorities are right. Also give answers that show that you have great leadership qualities.
“If I get promoted to the new role, the first thing that I would do is to get to know my team members better. I would love to understand their work patterns. I believe that it is very important for me to have a good working relationship with my team members because together we are going to achieve great results.
For the team to achieve its goal, we have to work together. That is why I need to start on the right foot.”
Some recruiters ask this question during a promotional interview to find out why you want to get promoted. Some recruiters also use this question to find out a candidate’s priority and generally how the job candidates see job promotions.
Answering promotional interview questions about your expectations may be challenging, but you should take some time to frame the right questions.
“Well, I believe that promotions come as a result of hard work and a great attitude. I also believe that an employee must prove themselves to the management before considering a career advancement of any kind.
I am interested in moving upward within the company, but I also know that I will have to earn it.”
When recruiters ask this question during a promotional interview, they simply want to know if you have a good knowledge of the role you are about to take. They also want to know how ready you are to take on new responsibilities.
When you are answering this question, you should remember to talk about everything you know about the role that you are looking to fill.
“Yes, I can say that I have a good knowledge of how my typical day would look like if I get promoted. I have worked as a customer service executive for 5 years now, and I have worked closely with the former customer service team lead.
I know that as a team lead, I would be responsible for:
1. coming up with strategies to improve the services that the team provides.
2. Organize training for team members.
3. Evaluate team members activities.
4. Review each team members tasks and responses on a daily level.
I also know that as a team lead, I would have to constantly inspire my team members to achieve greatness.”
When recruiters ask this question, they want to evaluate your ability to adapt to change and how well you can take on new tasks. Moving to a higher role may expose you to tasks that you may not have done before.
Recruiters understand this, that is why they want to access how well you can take up new responsibilities during your promotional interview.
“I was once given a task that I have not done before in my current role. When I saw the brief, I knew that it was something I was not used to. To excellently deliver on the task and meet the deadline, I did the following:
1. I carefully went through the brief to have a better understanding of what is expected of me.
2. I noted down all the things that I had no idea of.
3. I researched to know what I need to tackle them.
4. I asked for help from experts in the field.
5. I created an outline and divided the task into sections.
6. I created a timeline for each section.
Finally, I gave myself a deadline on when I am expected to complete the task.”
When the recruiter asks this question, they want to know if you have the ability needed for the role that you are looking to get. When you are answering this question, talk about the qualities and abilities that would make you succeed in that role.
“Asides from being academically qualified for this role and having the right certifications, I know that there are qualities that one needs to succeed in this role. Some of the qualities that I think can help me succeed in this role include;
1. Problem-solving skills (as a customer service team lead, I should be prepared to solve customers problems on the spot.
2. Communication (I should be able to effectively communicate with my team members, customers, and staff members in other departments.
3. Strategic thinking (as a team lead, I should be able to think strategically to position the business to achieve success.
4. Innovation (I should also be creative and innovative towards achieving success.
Above all, leadership skills are one of the core skills that someone in this role should have. If you are to lead a team of people, then you must be a great leader.”
When an interviewer asks you this question during a promotional job interview, they are asking you because they want to know how well you deal with challenges. If you are looking to get promoted to a management role, then you would likely be asked this question.
When you are answering this question, talk about the challenges that you faced in your current role and how you were able to manage the situation.
“Asides from the fact that I enjoy my current role, I experienced some challenges on the job. One of the major challenges that I experienced was communication and the relationship between people in my team and the management.
The department that I functioned in was created a few years ago, and we have not had a leader since then. When we are experiencing some challenges, it is difficult for us to get it to the knowledge of the management.
I know that poor communication and a rough relationship can bring poor performance. If I am given the position, I will ensure effective communication and also create a smooth relationship between the department and the management.”
When the interviewer asks you this question, they want to find out how well you know the role that you are looking to get. Knowing the challenges that you would likely face if you get the promotion shows that you have a good understanding of the role.
When you are answering this question, remember to talk about what you think might challenge you in the new role, and how you intend to manage the situation.
“since the role that I am looking to get is a leadership role, one of the challenges that I think I would face if I get promoted is dealing with team members’ differences. The truth is that there are different people in a team.
While some may be easy to deal with, others may not be. I also believe that it is the responsibility of the leader to ensure that team member works together to achieve great results. One of the things I would like to do if I get promoted is to understand every team member’s unique ability.
I believe that I would be starting on the right foot with them.”
Recruiters ask this question because they want to know how you intend to keep a positive attitude while performing your duties. This question is important especially if you want to get promoted to a leadership position.
A recruiter would love to hire someone motivated because a motivated leader will inspire their team members to achieve greatness.
When you are answering this question, talk about what you do to ensure that you are driven to achieve your goals on the job.
“What motivates me to do more in my work is looking at solutions that I have provided and the problems that I have been able to solve. The joy I feel when I see the strategies that I developed to yield the desired results.
Also knowing that I am making someone else’s life better somewhere with the solutions that I create motivates me too.”
Recruiters want to hire job candidates that will add value and make a difference in their role and the company at large. Recruiters admire job candidates that have a unique value that they are bringing to the table.
When a recruiter asks you this question during a promotional interview, then the recruiter wants to find out what exactly sets you apart from other job candidates looking to get the same role.
When you are answering the question, talk about the things that you would like to do differently if you get promoted.
“If I get promoted, one of the changes that I would make is to ensure that my team members get access to training as much as possible. Although the company is doing its best as regards training, I would increase the intensity.
The truth is that marketing is changing, especially in the tech world that we leave in now. I believe that if my team members and I have the right skills, we will be able to achieve even more.”
When recruiters ask this question, they want to know if your salary expectations match the company’s revenue plan for the role. Since this is a promotional interview question, the recruiter will also like to know how much you know about the role that you are looking to get.
You have to be careful when answering this question because it has to do with money. Do well to do your research to answer this question effectively.
“I know that my salary will change if I get the promotion because with new sets of responsibilities comes a new compensation package. I will expect to be paid N500, 000 (ensure that this is what other managers earn in the company).
Even if I look forward to being paid N500, 000 I am open to negotiation.”
Applying for an internal position or attending an internal job interview appears to be easier but that is not always the case. The company may indeed have some sentiments towards you, but it may be good or bad (you can’t be sure) depending on your relationship with them.
You must prepare for your promotional interview because you want to show that you deserve the promotion that you are looking to get. It is good you know that you might be competing with your friends and colleagues.
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