Top 3 tips for getting promoted

Friday, March 14, 2014

In an era of cut backs and pay freezes, the only way for many of us to increase our take home pay is through a job promotion. I have outlined below three things you should bear in mind when preparing for your interview, to give you the best possible chance of success.

The most common mistake made by those going for a promotion is that they interview for the job they’re currently in instead of the one they’re applying for. Let me explain. I did an interview coaching last week with a very talented teacher who was applying for a principal role. When asked his strengths, he talked about his creativity in the class room, his ability to maximise the potential of each individual student and in general terms convinced me that he was excellent teacher. He was, however, completely missing the point. The principal role required a very different set of qualities including leadership, change management and budgetary skills. 

Don’t forget to think with the mind of the employer – understand the skill set required for the new role and clearly demonstrate that you have what it takes. 

Actions speak louder than words 
In this case, I’m afraid not. Within the work environment, a proven track record is your spring board to success, but to get ahead you need to make sure that your achievements are recognised. This is particularly true in an interview context where it’s easy to think that your boss knows exactly what you’ve done/ are capable of doing, making you relax and take the interview process less seriously. 

Management may not always know what you’ve contributed to the team as their focus can be on a different part of the business. Also, as decisions need to be made transparently, the obligation is on you to show that you meet each individual competency required and have strong examples to back them up. 

If you don’t get promoted, you owe it to yourself to find out where you fell short. Ask for feedback and put in place a course of action to make sure you are more strongly positioned the next time. When looking for feedback, being open and non-defensive will make people more inclined to help you. Explain that you felt disappointed that you did not get the position but would really value a few minutes of their time to understand where your experience fell short with a view to addressing any potential weakness. 

About the Author 
Laura McGrath is the owner of Interview Techniques, a leading provider of interview coaching services. She has spent the last 15 years in staffing and recruitment and is a regular contributor with and the Sunday Business Post. 

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