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So your company has an opening that would mean a promotion for you. Great.

But make sure you prepare properly to avoid disappointment. To get the job you want, you must interview well.

Here are best practices to ensure your odds for success:

1. Emulate Avis – ditch the entitlement attitude

Starting in 1962, the corporate branding slogan for the second-largest car rental company, Avis, for 50 years was “We Try Harder.”

You must demonstrate you have the same thought process.

Don’t assume that you will have an edge over external candidates from other employers for this job.

Arrogance is a turnoff.

If you approach the interview with a sense of entitlement, you will kill your chances for the opening.

You might even hurt your career at the company.

So prepare and demonstrate an air of confidence, but not cockiness, by demonstrating you’re fully qualified.

Be armed with facts to support your case.

That also means having a great elevator pitch. (There’ll be more on marketing yourself later in this article.)

2. Confide in your boss

Unless you have a dysfunctional relationship with your supervisor, explain your desire to apply for the promotion.

Don’t have an extemporaneous chat in the hallway. Ask for a meeting to discuss why you’d like to interview for the job and why it’d be a good fit for the company and you. (Ideally, you’ve already been doing a good job of managing your boss.)

Approach the meeting with an attitude of gratitude and service. Express your appreciation for your supervisor.

Again, if you don’t have a good relationship with your boss, consider talking with your supervisor’s boss. Before you do, know the dos and don’ts of advancing your career via your boss’s boss.

If you approach the interview with a sense of entitlement, you will kill your chances for the opening. You might even hurt your career at the company.

3. Do a SWOT analysis and design an action plan

Act as “if.” Act as if you’re applying for a position as an external candidate at another company. Know your potential, as well as your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.

Design and implement an action plan. Update your resume and make sure it helps you to stand out. Put together all the relevant facts that will support your talents and successes.

Prep for questions you’re likely to get. Leave no stone unturned. Understand you’ll face tough questions regarding your talent and value.

The interviewer will want insights into your philosophy for the job and how you’d solve problems. In other words, what’s in your background and experience that have prepared you for the position?

Thoroughly research your prospective new boss. Know what appeals to that person, and determine why the position is open. For example, did someone quit for a better job or was the person fired?

Your action plan should include a list of questions for you to ask the interviewer to demonstrate your aptitude for the job.

Because you’re a known entity, your reputation has preceded you. Surely, you have a record of success. But what about your failures?

When uncomfortable subjects are brought up in the interview, don’t get defensive. Be assertive in owning your mistakes. In fact, you’ll be better off to mention any failures if the interviewer doesn’t. Just as importantly, point out the lessons you learned and why you’re prepared for new challenges.

From the Coach’s Corner, here are related sources of information:

An Important Quality to Enable You to Climb the Ladder of Success – What salient attribute do chief executive officers have in common? They’re optimistic about life – more so than the average person. That’s the conclusion from an authoritative study, “Managerial Attitudes and Corporate Actions,” in the Journal of Financial Economics.

Human Resources: 4 Reasons Why New Managers Fail – Best practices guarantee success for new managers. Not to over-simplify, but there are often four reasons why new managers are unsuccessful – ineffective communication, failure to develop trusting relationships, weak results, and a failure to delegate.

Strategies to Succeed as a New Manager – a Checklist – Congratulations, new manager. Welcome to a job you’ll find most challenging – if you do it right. You’ll be carefully watched by your staff. You’ll be judged on values demonstrated by your actions. What values will you show your employees?

“I feel that the greatest reward for doing is the opportunity to do more.”

-Jonas Salk


Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.