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Internal Interview for Manager Job

by Raja
(Dubai, UAE)

Dear Mr. Mike,

I have visited your site and found it to be very informative. It gives me a lot of positive feelings and more confidence in facing an interview. You are the best and down to earth.

Now, I need your help and valuable advice.

I work for a famous group of companies based in Dubai, UAE. Company has interests in Automotive, Insurance, Electronics, Retail, Engineering, Real Estate etc., and has over 40 different companies for each franchise / distribution brands (mostly multinational brands). I have worked with this group for the past 10+ years and have always been in the Electronics Division. I have gained experience in Sales and Maketing in B2B, B2C, B2E, B2G etc.

I am now trying to change jobs within the same group and had my first interview a few days ago with the boss I would be reporting to. She is impressed and said that she will arrange for second interview with top management (panel interview) within a week.

Here are my concerns and challenges:

The company which interviewed me is not the Electronics Group, but a car rental company (world renowned franchise), for the position of strategic business development manager. Job description is very elaborate and the gist is: To develop all car lease and rental opportunities, bring new corporate clients, focus on events and chauffeur services, building cross business support, plan, implement new strategies for car rental business.

I am confident that I am capable of handing this job, as I have experience in some of the same channels...but in Electronics. I have no hands-on experience in the car rental business.

Now, my question is, how should I prepare for my second interview, which is likely to come up in a week. How can I convince the top management that I can do this job even though I don't have experience in car rental business? What should I tell them? What should I learn more?

I need this job because it is a much better position and at a mid management level. I humbly request you to guide me and give me some suggestions to crack this job. Looking forward to your kind help.

Yours sincerely,

Mike Petras Comments:

Thanks for your question and kind words about my site, Raja!

Congratulations on your successful first interview. They must have been impressed with you to invite you back for a second interview. So, this is a very positive sign that you are one of the leading candidates for this position.

The most important thing for you to focus on in your second interview is your sales experience, work ethic, people skills, and leadership abilities. All of these strengths are transferable, regardless of what product or service you have worked with in the past.

You can always learn about a product or service fairly quickly, but your skills and character traits have been developed over a lifetime. Your character traits, company loyalty, and skills are the real reasons they are attracted to you. They already know you don't have any car rental/lease experience.

Do you know anyone who works in the car/lease group?

I would ask around to see if someone you know might know someone over in the car/lease group who you can talk with. If not, go out on LinkedIn and see if you can find someone who works there. Send them a message that you work in the Electronics Division of the same company, but may have an opportunity to work in the car/lease group. Ask them if you can call them to ask a few questions.

This way you can find out what it's like to work there, what are some of their problems, and what is the career potential. This person may also know your future boss. So, they can tell you what they're like to work for and give you other valuable insights about their management style and expectations.

I would tell them in your panel interview that although you don't have any experience in the car rental/leasing business, it's an area of high interest to you and something you can learn quickly; then, give them 4-5 of your greatest strengths that will positively impact this business unit.

Make sure you can back up your strengths with 1-2 of your greatest accomplishments. A good situation or story can have a profound impact in your job interview. Keep your answers brief--30-60 seconds--and avoid rambling or talking too much. Also, make sure you ask your interviewers some questions to help you better understand the job...and whether or not you'll like it.

Above all, be yourself. If this is meant to be, you'll have a good feeling about it and click with the interviewing team. Good luck with your upcoming interview. Let me know how it goes.

Mike Petras

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