You're finally up for the big promotion -- it's your chance to wow your bosses with your planning and expertise. You might think you're an easy-in for the job, but you still must sell yourself and make interviewers see you as more than just the staffer in the break room each morning with a latte, but as a capable and effective professional worthy of grooming.
Dress to Impress
The way you present yourself in your interview is just as important as the way you answer questions. Splurge on a professional new business suit or select something businesslike to wear that no one in the office has seen before. If you're usually casual, give yourself a professional edge so you come across as more powerful and commanding than the employee they’re used to seeing. Wear your hair in a conservative style and give a little extra attention to makeup, nails and accessories. Look self-assured and confident to establish yourself as promotion material.
Don't Be Humble
Make a detailed list of the significant achievements you've made in your current role. Even if you're interviewing with your immediate supervisor, there may be contributions she’s unaware of or skills you've never had the chance to show off before. Bring along past performance reviews, letters of recommendation or commendations, and copies of certificates or awards you've received. Be prepared to answer questions about your qualifications by explaining how what you have learned in your current position prepares you for taking on the new responsibilities of the promotion. You want the decision-maker to see you as someone who has great potential and is capable of taking on increasing levels of responsibility.
Learn About the Role
A significant part of your interview will focus on questions related to how you see yourself performing in the higher position. Learn everything you can about the job, including the specific responsibilities, the people with whom you would work and the immediate projects and tasks you’d be taking on. If you have inside connections to the department, find out what the manager is looking for in the person who fills the role. During your interview, you’ll be asked to describe what makes you a good candidate for the position, and you should be prepared to describe what you bring to the table. Focus on traits like leadership ability, responsibility, organization and attention to detail.
You’ll be asked about your past employment history, but that doesn’t mean you can just dust off the resume you used when you got your current position. Make a comprehensive overhaul and rewrite your resume, focusing on the key responsibilities and contributions related to your current position. Remove items that are no longer relevant or reflective of the professional image you're trying to portray. This is especially important if you’re in one of your first jobs out of college. It's time to take the coffee shop job off your resume and replace it with newly-learned skills, professional development or continuing education classes that are relevant to the job promotion you're seeking.
Lisa McQuerrey has been a business writer since 1987. In 1994, she launched a full-service marketing and communications firm. McQuerrey's work has garnered awards from the U.S. Small Business Administration, the International Association of Business Communicators and the Associated Press. She is also the author of several nonfiction trade publications, and, in 2012, had her first young-adult novel published by Glass Page Books.