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How To Prepare For Your Promotion Interview

So, you gave the promotion some thought and decided to try for it. Your management team calls for an interview to assess your fit. Here's how you can prepare.

1. Think About Who To Ask To Vouch For You

If you are an early to middle management candidate, it might not be appropriate to ask your fellow peers to vouch for you as they could be looking at the same position.

In this case, asking for a testimonial from team members that you are supervising would pose less conflict of interest. Furthermore, their testimonials would serve as solid feedback on your leadership skills.

Meanwhile, do not forget to build a strong relationship with your direct supervisor as he/she will likely be responsible for making your case to his/her supervisor.

Tip: Understand your supervisor's pain points and stretch beyond your job scope to help him/her resolve them. This positions you as a team member that can deliver beyond their job scope and builds a strong case for a promotion.

2. Compile What You Have Done

Update your resume with key milestones such as the projects you organized, the various stakeholders you led and the final outcome using the STAR framework.

You can also compile these achievements into a slide deck to show your progression from one skill set to a range of cross-functional skills.

Tip: When presenting, frame your achievements as a constant journey you are working on and aspire to develop further. This displays your potential and initiative to grow.

3. Practice your pitch and be ready to ask questions!

An underrated way to prepare for an interview is to simply dress the part by following your company's management dressing guidelines. Dressing the part actually boosts your confidence and reduces anxiety.

Tip: A good gauge would be to adapt your direct supervisor's attire to your personal style.

Next, practice your pitch. After presenting your accomplishments, use a decision-making signal, such as, “I appreciate the company's learning opportunities and I would like to understand what progression plans you might have for me.” or "Given the accomplishments so far, do you think I'm ready to take on the role of [XYZ}?"

Ideally, you would have already understood the requirements for the role you are looking to score before the interview. However, if the requirements were unclear or you are aiming to pave out a new role for yourself, you may take this opportunity to clarify the expectations required for this role. You may wish to ask questions such as:

  • What are the added responsibilities that I need to expect with this new role?

  • Can I understand the added benefits and salary adjustments that come with this role?

  • How have I fared thus far and what changes do you suggest I make to be better at my next role?

With these tips in hand, go out and ace your promotion interview. Good luck!


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