View from the board: inside job

The latest example of this is Tim Tookey, new group FD of Lloyds TSB, but
there will be many more over the next few months I am sure. Many of the
recruitment processes in which I am involved have at least one internal
candidate, and the most I have interviewed as part of a process is five.

Anyone reading this is going to find themselves in this situation at some
stage in the future, so I thought I would try to dispel a myth.

As a recruiter, I have no vested interest in who gets the job and that covers
both the internal and external candidates. Once we are retained by a client to
recruit a role, we are paid for the process, and not the outcome.

As a result, all we want to make sure is that the best person gets the role.

However, there are some points you should bear in mind when it comes to
preparing for an interview
like this. You must remember that the person interviewing you really does not
have a vested interest one way or another.

Second, the person you are meeting doesn’t know your history at work and
therefore won’t know about the brilliant project you ran for the FD last year or
anything else that you have done. You must therefore treat the meeting as an
external interview.

Third, remember your strengths and your weaknesses when it comes to this

Your biggest competition is going to be someone who is already doing the job
for which you are applying, perhaps for a competitor.

The choice the employer has to make is simple. Is the learning curve you will
go through shorter than the learning curve your competitor has to go through to
learn about the business?

Finally, don’t ever treat it as a given that the job is yours. When you meet
your boss, don’t remember the warm appraisals you have had – you don’t know who
else they are meeting!

If you don’t get it, make sure you get good feedback and a development plan
so next time they give you the job straight away.

And don’t even bother coming to someone like me to run a benchmarking exerc…
hold on a minute. Since when did I become a turkey? I shouldn’t be voting for

Mark Freebairn is a partner at Odgers Ray &

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