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How Interview Prep can Unlock the Potential of Internal Talent

The talent and skills shortage is drastically changing the landscape of work. With a dearth of viable external candidates, these conditions are encouraging a movement to look inwards. Internal mobility is being regarded as one of the crucial keys for generating success, driving the business forward, and future-proofing your operations. But there’s a catch – very few organizations understand how to do this process well.

According to research from Josh Bersin, only 11% of companies promote a culture of internal mobility. And Gartner says over 50% of employees aren’t even aware of job openings! It’s a huge missed opportunity, but something organizations are having to quickly address. The benefits of internal mobility are enormous, but without a targeted structure in place it’s difficult to reap the rewards.

You can create job portals, promote roles, and encourage managers to spread the word, but if your internal candidates aren’t prepared for the hiring process, they may fall short at the first hurdle. Particularly if they’re up against more recruiting-seasoned external candidates. So, how can you help them?

Internal mobility

Providing interview prep

The research around internal hiring is overwhelmingly positive:

  • Companies that excel at internal mobility are able to retain their employees for twice (2x) as long. (LinkedIn)
  • It’s cost effective, taking only 6% of a company’s recruitment budget on average. (HiBob)
  • It’s faster! 63% of TA professionals believe internal recruiting accelerates the hiring process. (Lever)

There are reports of increased productivity and engagement, internal candidates are already an established culture fit and retain company knowledge – we could go on and on! But all of this amounts to little if your employees can’t successfully navigate the internal hiring process.

Perhaps they’re out of practice and haven’t sat an interview or assessment for a few years. Maybe they don’t understand what good looks like for the role, or get anxious and in their head. There’s a myriad of reasons why they might not perform their best and lose out on positions that they could excel at. But the answer is simple: provide interview prep!

Pre-interview training evens the playing field – it gives internal candidates an opportunity to brush up on their skills, focus on what the critical factors for success are, and prepare themselves for the hiring process.

In much the same way that recruiters set external candidates up with insights and information, tailored interviewee training for internal prospects does the same. It removes any fear that may be associated with the interview and gives this talent every opportunity to positively perform.

What does an interview prep program look like?

SocialTalent have partnered with renowned career coach Aimee Bateman to create an exclusive Interview Prep Program. This comprehensive course provides all the insights, tools, and tricks candidates need to improve their interview approach – and there’s also a bespoke mission dedicated to internal prospects!

Aimee has helped over 4,000 people prepare for interviews during her 20 year career, and this content is designed to distil her knowledge into bite-size courses that help internal candidates:

  • Map their skills to the role.
  • Understand what interviewers are looking for.
  • Manage internal conversations and familiarity.
  • Answer behavioral and situational questions.
  • Work out if the position is right for them.
  • Overcome self-doubt and imposter syndrome.
  • Get feedback and manage the outcome of an interview.

Giving practical, actionable advice, Aimee coaches interviewees through each stage of the process. For example, one lesson is devoted to dealing with an interview situation where a candidate may personally know the panelists. It can be a tricky situation to navigate and very specific for an internal applicant – how formal or informal should you be? Do you just assume they know what you can bring to the table? 

Internal mobility

For Aimee, it’s about making sure you tread that line. You want to ensure that you come across professional and prepared, but warm and approachable as well. And not feel intimidated by putting your best foot forward and demonstrating the litany of skill and acumen you could bring to a role!

Learn more: See how SocialTalent’s Interview Prep Program can also positively impact candidate experience.

The benefits of internal interview prep

By building interview prep into the internal hiring structure, you are demonstrating to your employees that you value their development and want to see them succeed within the metaphorical walls of your company. In fact, according to a LinkedIn study, 94% of people would stay in an organization longer if they invested in their career ambitions.

Pre-interview training can also:

  • Reduce time-to-hire: By preparing internal candidates through training you can speed-up the process of finding the best talent.
  • Boost engagement and morale: Employees are crying out for opportunities to grow their careers and feel like their employers have their backs on this front.
  • Create a culture of L&D: Learning is a cornerstone of successful organizations. Providing interviewee training only adds to this environment.
  • Give a better understanding of talent: Encouraging employees to undertake training and apply for internal roles can give you a better understanding of the transferable skills and capabilities within your organization.
  • Creates a fair and consistent approach: Training ensures that all internal candidates are assessed based on the same criteria, and are evaluated based on merit.

Final word

As companies continue to face fierce competition for top talent, fostering internal mobility and providing interview prep is no longer just an option; it’s a necessity for sustainable growth and prosperity. By nurturing their own talent, companies can build a stronger, more engaged, and agile workforce prepared to meet the challenges of the future.

Interested to learn more about SocialTalent’s upcoming Interview Prep Program? Get in-contact with our team today!

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