Interviewing internal candidates: Ask, don’t assume

manager interviewing employeePromoting from within can save re­cruit­ing costs and staff time if you choose the right employees. But internal hires often go wrong for one simple reason: HR and hiring managers assume they know the candidate.

The best approach: Dig deep during interviews to identify employees who can be successful in the position you’re looking to fill—not just the job their doing now. Research candidates before interviewing. Read performance evaluations. Talk to managers to learn an employee’s weaknesses and work habits.

Smart questions

During interviews, consider these questions for internal candidates:

  1. Describe a project scheduled for the new position and ask, “What company resources and staff are required to complete the project?”
  2. “Tell me about a task that achieved company goals. What obstacles did you face within or outside of your department and how did you overcome them?”
  3. “What do you know about the new position, its responsibilities and reporting lines?”
  4. “What are your plans for the position during the first three months?”
  5. “What would you need to help you learn and adjust to the new job?”
  6. “How would your current manager describe your greatest strengths and weaknesses?”
  7. “Cite a disagreement with your current manager. How did you handle the situation?”
  8. “If I ask your co-workers why I should hire you, what would they say?”
  9. “How would you feel about remaining in your present position if you don’t get the promotion?”

Online resource: 6 steps to legal promotions. Most failure-to-promote lawsuits are sparked by inconsistencies in your job-filling process. Learn the six legal steps to choosing an employee for promotion here.

The 7 weirdest interview questions

1.  “If you were to get rid of one state in the U.S., which would it be and why?” —asked at Forrester Research,  research candidate

2.  “How many cows are in Canada?” —asked at Google, data quality candidate

3.  “What song best describes your work ethic?” —asked at Dell, consumer sales candidate

4.  “Estimate how many windows are in New York.” —asked at Bain & Co., consultant candidate

5.  “Have you ever stolen a pen from work?” —asked at Jiffy Software, software architect candidate

6.  “Pick two celebrities to be your parents.” —asked at Urban Outfitters

7.  “What kitchen utensil would you be?” —asked at

Source: Glassdoor’s Oddball Interview Questions