5 Reasons You Should Apply for the Promotion You Have No Chance Of Getting

How many times have you seen a posting for a position in your company where the selection was so obvious you wonder, “why bother interviewing at all”? Do you roll your eyes at the wasted time of pageantry and move on with the rest of your day? Meh. Maybe you’re right to do so. In fact, you’re probably right to do so. Before you hit the delete button and move on with your day though, read through it one more time. Is this a position that you would be a contender for in a year? 2 years? If so there are a few reasons that you should consider taking a deep breath, checking your ego, and throwing your name in the hat. I’m not saying you’re getting the job. If you can name the top 3 contenders, you’re probably correct about the outcome. What you may not be considering however, is that internal interviews are networking tools that if leveraged effectively can be a huge boost to your career. I mean think about it. At the very least…

1. You’ll Get Face Time With Decision Makers In Your Company. If you are selected for interview, even just a preliminary interview, there is no doubt that you will be sitting across a table from someone with decision making status in your company. If you work in a very large company where not everyone knows each other, then an interview is a perfect setting for you to finally get introduced in a (hopefully) distraction free setting where the hiring manager can put a face to a name. Managers are busy people with responsibilities on all sides. Meeting and greeting every employee in the building isn’t likely on their to-do list. That’s a shame too, because they want to know who in their candidate pool is the best fit, and it’s difficult to know that if you’ve never met your candidates. So show up and be met. It’s probably not enough to get you the job, but be impressive and maybe you’ll get a head nod or polite conversation in the break room that you wouldn’t have normally received. Hey, It’s a start and while you’re there…

2. You Will Get To Share Your Work History. I don’t want to break your heart, but it is highly unlikely that anyone in your company, beyond your initial interviewer, has a clue as to your achievements prior to you showing up on the first day. Have you owned your own company? Traveled the world? Have certifications that would transfer to the position? Managed large groups of people? Competed on a TV game show? <- I swear that came out in an interview once I was conducting. I gave her the job. — Anyway, an interview is a perfect opportunity to share these things in an environment that doesn’t make you look like a bragging jack-ass. Again, it may not get you the promotion, but if the hiring manager will just store away those interesting tid-bits in the back of their mind, it could work in your favor for next time. So yeah, show up and talk about your work history and don’t forget…

3. You Get To Share Your Career Goals. Unless you’re wearing them on your T-shirt (and don’t) nobody knows what your career goals are unless you tell them. An interview is the perfect place to share how you would add value to the company through the open position and how the position ultimately lines up with your own career path expectations. To speak with an employee that even has specific goals beyond “I want to move up with the company” is refreshing enough, but to hear your plan of action to add measurable results while working toward your personal achievement goals, will floor the person on the other side of the table. Again, you still might not be at the cool kids table yet, but there’s something you should consider…

4. Filling The Position Internally Will Create a Vacancy. You might not be a viable contender yet for the position being offered, but you may very well be a contender for the position that will open as a result. Wouldn’t it be awesome if when that position inevitably opens, you are tapped for it without interview? You might think that’s unlikely, but I would wager 1 out of 3 of every internal position I’ve helped to place, the selected person’s old position was back-filled with another applicant from the original candidate pool. It’s just easier on everyone. Management doesn’t have to spend time in more endless interviews, you’ve already told us your qualifications & career goals, we can wrap the whole thing up with a neat little bow & there’s nothing upper-management likes better than increasing efficiency. Also, no matter what happens next…

5. You Are Sure to Receive Feedback. Now that you’ve stated your intentions with the company and made your leadership team aware of your background and skill set, the hiring manager should tell you as part of your interview and/or interview follow up, what skills you are missing to get the position. Whether or not you agree with their assessment, make sure that by the next time you go to interview, you’ve “filled the gap” in your internal resume. It’s jaw-droppingly impressive when a candidate says, “The last time we spoke you said I needed greater knowledge in XYZ area. Here are the things I’ve done to increase that knowledge.” It’s also extremely difficult for the hiring manager to argue withthemselves. At the very least, you can put the manager “on-point” to provide you with actionable steps to furthering your career path, providing bench strength for the company while putting you “on the bench” for the next promotion. Wait, did you just make your manager look like a hero, while increasing face time, and setting yourself up for success? Yep, I see what you did there. Well played.