Can anyone help? I am a Project Manager, tomorrow I face an internal interview for a Management position with my 2nd tier boss.

He knows me and knows my work. He knows that within my current position I have no direct reports therefore no real management experience.

The role is not managing PM’s but a Service Delivery team who manage process improvement, writing for existing & new products we deliver to customers

How do I convince him I can manage, I can lead and that thanks to Manager Tools I am ready to take the lead?

Do I emphasise my knowledge of what the team do, or rather how I will manage the team?

I know I can do lead and understand what the team will do, but confused as to pushing my Managerial knowledge, as I have no direct experience

What shall I do?

jhack's picture

Can you find in your past any accomplishments that involved getting people to do something? Did you lead a process improvement team? Did you organize a fundraising drive for a charity?

You should also talk about people and relationships more than the work of the individual contributors. You wouldn't be considered unless you had a handle on the work. The question is whether you know how to handle people.

You might need to be "theoretical" and talk about what you plan to do: meet with each team member one on one, regularly. (and you will do that, right?). Provide performance feedback. Delegate. Coach. To the degree you can find things in your past where you've done those things, talk about those accomplishments.

Good luck.


mbbeattie's picture

Hey John

Thnaks for the advise. After the podcasts, the thought of managing the team excites me, to put all I have learnt into practice, the coaching model, one to ones on a weekly basis, feedback model...

I will draw from previous experience in previous position where I did business improvement projects.

Thanks for getting me thinking. I dont want to go in with too many theoretical answers....

Mark's picture
Admin Role Badge

Look for accomplishments that show that you had to motivate and inspire others, as well as help them and you be accountable to deadlines and financial and quality standards. They don't have to be from this type of work. On questions that aren't purely about leadership, use more recent examples to show technical knowledge, problem solving, communication skills.

We believe in you!


US41's picture


* Relax. If you come off as desperate and alarmed, you will overplay your hand and give too many compliments and plead your case with too much emotion. OK, maybe you won't get the job. You will get another opportunity.

* Show energy. Managers invariably love to hire high energy people. Don't lean back in your chair or speak in a monotone voice as if it is all no big deal. This does not contradict my advice above. It's just like getting someone to go out with you: Keep your cool, show enthusiasm. It's OK to be excited about the job, it isn't OK to look desperate.

* It is a full-on interview. I interview lots of people internally for jobs on my team. The biggest mistake those folks make is that they assume an internal interview is not a real interview. They show up in jeans and a sweater. They confidently smirk at me during the interview as if we aren't really interviewing. They don't bring a resume to the interview to hand me, and they don't even remember what the job was about.

I would say that interviewing internally in my company requires more of you, not less, than interviewing externally, since invariably the posting was put out there and friends were notified or asked to apply. Treat it like a real interview (hopefully you are west of me and will get this in time) and drive home why your accomplishments and high energy make you the right selection above and beyond anyone they might have in mind already.

mbbeattie's picture

Thanks for your advice guys... it was Friday and dress down day but I still wore suit, tie etc etc...
It seemed to go ok, prepared my strengths and weakness questions. By the way the forgetfulness one, and asking what the question was again really worked, relaxed me a little.. got through the leadership question

All seemed to go OK, so now its a case of sit and wait. I will post and let you know how I got on in a week or so, until then, have a wonderful Christmas..

mbbeattie's picture

Well, just to let you know, I didnt get the position. I apparently didnt have the "Management experience"

jhack's picture

You were professional and ethical - just not a good fit. Nothing wrong there, and they'll remember you.

Good luck,