I am currently an individual contributor in finance and my current director has encouraged me to apply to a manager level opening in another team within finance.  Coincidentaly, I worked for the hiring director as a junior analyst when I first started with the company.  I have met with him to discuss the role and he is in agreement with my current director in regards to me being a strong candidate for the role and has advised me to apply.  However, he has cautioned me that I am not going to be listed as a "preferred candidate" for the role and therefore this will be an open competition.

Just to provide everyone with some background, I started in the company five years ago as a junior analyst and have been promoted twice to date.  I am currently regarded as a high performing senior analyst with very strong technical skills and an impeccable work ethic.  In addition, my direct manager has been coaching me over the past 6-12 months to bolster my management/leadership capabilities and has afforded me many opportunities to work more closely with the analysts and junior analysts on the team.  

The team with the opening is currently composed of one senior analyst, two analysts, and one junior analysts.

I am trying to come up with a plan on how to prepare for the upcoming interview and would value any and all advice that you have for me.  I have never before interviewed for a manager level position.

Thank you!

jib88's picture

Your approach to get a management role is already about the best you can hope for. Your next steps should be preparing as hard as you can for the interview. Definitely you should use the interview series. In addition, you should be able to glean some insight into what the hot items are based on your inside track (ask your boss to start with). You should also be sure you understand the interview process used at your company and the type of questions asked (most companies use behavioral questions, but not all do). You already have the points below nailed, but for others reading this I want to highlight them. I've seen a lot of people trying to get into their first management role over the years, and the easiest & most successful path involves the following: - Moving up at your current employer: It's very difficult to get a new employer to take a chance on you, while it is much easier to make the jump at the same company. Additionally, if it were me doing the hiring I would prefer promoting internally because it is better for morale by showing a commitment to developing staff. - Having an existing relationship with the hiring manager is key: This not only makes the interview process more comfortable, but it also means you might have already had opportunities to highlight your qualifications through real work. This is also one reason why it is much easier to make this jump at your current employer - It's much more likely you will have existing relationships in place and relevant work experience you can point to in your interview. The advice above becomes less relevant once you are in a management role and looking to move up or switch companies. In my experience the promotion into your first line management position is the hardest one to get.

jib88's picture

Apologies for the big block of text... for some reason all of my line breaks were lost when I saved the comment.

SuzanneB's picture

Sounds like you are on the right path.

Listen to the 150% podcast. It's from a managers perspective but can be useful as a direct to understand what you should be striving for.

In prepping for the interview I suggest a few things:
1. do a little reconnaissance. You have an advantage being internal in that you can learn about the hiring manager and the department.
2. have great accomplishments and be prepared to talk about them

Best of luck to you!

Eager_To_Improve's picture



I have been promoted to a manager position this week.  I was actually given an offer without interviewing for the role.

Thank you everyone for your advice.