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How to Tell My Boss About an Internal Interview

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If a position opens up in your company that can provide a major boost to your career, you owe it to yourself to pursue it. If you decide to apply for an internal job, getting the support of your boss is helpful. Consulting your boss first also helps you avoid a potentially awkward situation if she learns of your interest through other channels.

Check Your Credentials

Before you do anything, make sure you’re qualified for the position. Talk to your human resources department about the requirements of the position and read through the job description to make sure you understand exactly what kind of work it entails and credentials it requires. If for any reason the position isn’t what you thought it to be, it will save you an uncomfortable conversation with your boss.

Talk Privately

Schedule a time to speak privately with your boss. Explain to her that while you enjoy your position and appreciate the opportunities the role has provided, you’re interested in moving up in the company. Tell her about your interest in the open position and ask her opinion about your suitability for the job. This approach treats your boss like a trusted confidant rather than someone you no longer wish to work with.

Handle an Angry Boss

Some bosses resent staffers who want to move out of their departments. Your manager might feel you’re being disloyal or abandoning the team. If you have a history of conflict with your boss, having a conversation about an internal interview may be difficult. If this is the case, ask your human resources office to handle your interest in the position confidentially. You don’t want an angry boss giving you a bad recommendation before you get to interview.

Giving Notice

If you’re offered the internal position and decide to accept it, give your boss formal notice just as you would any other employer. Schedule a meeting and deliver a letter of resignation. Make plans to complete unfinished work, transfer clients to your replacement and facilitate a smooth transition from your position. Try to maintain a professional and cordial relationship with your boss and your department colleagues. You’ll still be working for the same company, and leaving on good terms will help ensure a healthy and cooperative professional future.


Lisa McQuerrey has been a business writer since 1987. In 1994, she launched a full-service marketing and communications firm. McQuerrey's work has garnered awards from the U.S. Small Business Administration, the International Association of Business Communicators and the Associated Press. She is also the author of several nonfiction trade publications, and, in 2012, had her first young-adult novel published by Glass Page Books.

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