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What internal talent teams are truly checking during their interview

man and woman sitting at a desk smiling

Have you ever wondered what internal talent teams are thinking during your interviews? Do you wish you could gain insights into their perspective and position yourself in the best possible light?

While we may not possess a crystal ball, we have something even better—an exclusive collection of insights from four exceptionally talented guests. These experts graciously shared their valuable time with us, providing a unique opportunity to gain deep insights into their thought processes regarding internal talent teams.

A big thank you to Natia Garuchava, from Spectrm, Tanja Schmidt, from Align Technology, Gizem Karaca, from Yasoon, and Jeremy Schmidt, from Codility – this article could not have been put together without you.

Throughout this article, we aim to equip you with invaluable insights that will help demystify the internal talent interview process and allow you to tackle the three P’s – Preparation, Passion and Personality.

Furthermore, we will share several top tips that can elevate your interview performance and set you apart from the competition.

Let's dive in and uncover the secrets behind successful internal talent interviews.



The first crucial aspect we'll explore is preparation. During our discussions, Natia emphasised the importance of candidates who go beyond the information provided in the company's job description. These standout individuals bring forward additional research they've conducted, unearthing insights that may not be readily apparent. While most companies, like Spectrm, offer some information or links beforehand, they do so to gauge who goes beyond the basics and truly dives deeper into understanding the company.


Preparing for an interview should never feel like a mundane task, especially when you have a genuine interest in the company. As Gizem highlighted during our conversation, just as applicants don't want to be treated as mere numbers in the hiring process, companies also don't want to feel like just another name on your list of applications.


By going the extra mile in your research, you demonstrate your enthusiasm and dedication to understanding the company's values, culture, and goals. This proactive approach not only helps you stand out from other candidates but also shows the company that you are genuinely interested in joining their team. So, embrace the opportunity to prepare, seize the chance to delve into the details, and showcase your commitment to making a meaningful connection with the company during the interview process.


Researching and preparing yourself for an interview has been covered a lot throughout our articles (Career Advice ( but to recap some important ways here:

-          Explore the company’s website.

-          Review social media accounts.

-          Rean annual reports and press releases.

-          Research the industry.

-          Explore any competitors.

-          Look at employee reviews.

-          Connect with current and former employees and build a wider knowledge.

-          Practice your STAR answers to questions.



Another aspect to consider during internal interviews is how you convey your passion to the interviewers and the lasting impression you leave on them. Natia and Gizem emphasised the importance of applicants demonstrating their overall drive and genuine enthusiasm for their chosen career path. They seek individuals who truly stand out as being deeply invested in their respective fields.


Are you the type of person who goes the extra mile to acquire new skills or perhaps nurtures a side project with dedication?


Internal talent teams need to answer ‘is there high probability that the person can do the role’ as Jeremy explained and as a result they look for alternative indicators of compatibility with the company. Your ability to effectively articulate your passion not only helps them remember you during their debriefing sessions but also leaves a lasting impression.


Tanja offered valuable advice on expressing your passion authentically by having a career roadmap (Career Advice ( During your interview, you can explain how the opportunity aligns with your long-term plan. If you are passionate about your craft and career, you should have a strong viewpoint on its potential long-term trajectory. This not only helps explain why the move to the company is a good fit for you but also allows the company to determine if they share your vision, saving time for both parties if there is a misalignment.


By showcasing your passion and articulating your career aspirations, you present yourself as a motivated and forward-thinking candidate. This not only helps you stand out from the competition but also allows the internal talent team to gauge how well you align with the company's objectives. So, be sure to express your genuine enthusiasm, share your long-term vision, and make a lasting impression that resonates with the interviewers.



Completing our trio, the final aspect to consider is personality. It is important to debunk the misconception that hiring teams are solely looking for a perfect "fit" within the company culture. As Jeremy aptly explained, companies are more focused on finding individuals who can contribute and add value to the existing culture.


While each interview process is unique, there are specific areas related to your personality that internal teams consider in their decision-making. Jeremy and Tanja shared some insightful points to keep in mind:


-          Communication style: How you structure your answers, the information you choose to include or exclude, the complexity of your responses, and your ability to maintain a smooth flow of conversation.

-          Collaboration skills: Your ability to work effectively with others and contribute positively to team dynamics.

-          Belief system: This refers not to religious beliefs, but rather the working methodologies and approaches you follow, and whether they align with the team's values and practices.

-          Alignment of values: Your values in relation to the company's values and mission, demonstrating shared principles and a sense of alignment.

-          Career path reasons: The reasons behind your chosen career path, which can be linked back to your career plan and long-term goals. This showcases your thought process and dedication to your chosen field.

-          Attitude towards past employers and colleagues: How you speak about your past employers and colleagues, demonstrating professionalism, respect, and the ability to maintain positive relationships.

-          Empathy: Your capacity for empathy as an individual, displaying understanding, compassion, and the ability to connect with others.


Remember, this is not an exhaustive list, but it provides valuable insights into the aspects of your personality that internal teams may evaluate during interviews. By being mindful of these points, you can present yourself in a way that showcases your positive traits, aligns with the company culture, and makes a lasting impression.


Top tips to really stand out


Be authentic and present. Are you memorising standardised answers or are you being present and truly looking to present your skills in the best way based on the challenges the team are facing? – Gizem


Ensure you have the minimum requirements from the company spec – inject it into the conversation to help the team pass the resume into the hiring managers hands. Consider that most companies will have a template job description that breaks at a certain point and then adjusted for the specific requirement. Check the spec to see where that break is and where the hiring manager begins to write he requirements, you can then track their thought process and ensure you match the needs – Jeremy


Where possible gain a referral into the business. This doesn’t mean reaching out to the hiring team and asking for one when there is no prior relationship (same goes for members of any team) but if you have a contact who works in the company that you know well, leverage that relationship - Tanja


Simply bring good energy from the get-go and throughout the first meeting and beyond – Natia


Equipping yourself with a deep understanding of the three P's—preparation, passion, and personality—explored in this article will significantly enhance your chances of interview success. By utilising the valuable insights and top tips shared, you can adapt your approach and stand out from the competition in all aspects of your job search.


Good luck in your interviews and may you excel in your pursuit of the perfect opportunity! Once again, thank you to our incredible guests for sharing their knowledge and share within your own network to help us bring simplicity to the chaos of recruitment.


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