"Re-interview" for Your Own Job

Getting Rehired After a Company Restructure

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Remember that your experience will stand you in good stead.

Your company is restructuring – and many roles and jobs are changing too. The new structure may make sense for the "new strategy" and the "new organization," but where will it leave YOU?

Restructuring can affect everyone – some people may change departments, others may change responsibilities, and yet others may be asked to relocate. So does this mean good news or bad news for you? Will you end up with a job you don't like, or lose your job altogether? Or is this the opportunity you've been waiting for?

Understandably, you may not like having to re-interview for what feels like your own job – the new job that will replace it in the new structure. In fact, it's quite common to feel angry and insulted.

But don't take this personally. If your boss values you and the quality of your work, this can be a great chance to gain a challenging and interesting role in the restructured organization – and the newly defined position may be better than your old one! Remember, you have the experience and qualifications to do this job, and you have time to prepare for the interview. So grasp the opportunity, and make the most of the situation!


Even if your company doesn't restructure, re-interviewing skills can help if you want to apply for any internal position – whether it's a promotion or a lateral move. An as internal candidate, you may be held to a higher standard than outside applicants, because you're expected to know more about the organization. Be prepared to talk specifically about how you'll address the challenges of the new job.

Tips for Re-interviewing

The number-one rule is to take this seriously. You are not guaranteed to keep your job, so this isn't simply a "rubber-stamping" exercise. This process is just as serious as applying for a different job with a different company.

However, your preparation is different from interviewing for an outside job. And the interviewing approach can be different. You probably won't be given that "getting to know you" easy warm-up at the start of the conversation. These interviews are usually hard-hitting from the start. You're expected to know the job, and you have to prove that you're up to the challenge.

Here are some guidelines to follow for your re-interview.

Analyze the Job for Required Competencies

List the most important skills needed for the job. You probably have the ability to do the work, otherwise you might have been laid off in the initial rounds of restructuring. What personal areas of competence are rewarded, expected, and talked about within the company?

Here's a list of competencies to consider:

  • Achievement orientation
  • Analytical ability
  • Communication skills
  • Creativity
  • Decision making skills
  • Diversity orientation
  • Flexibility
  • Initiative
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Job motivation
  • Judgment
  • Leadership
  • Management skills
  • Organizational skills
  • Persuasiveness
  • Planning skills
  • Presentation skills
  • Problem solving skills
  • Team building/ Teamwork
  • Time management

Start from first principles by looking at the job as you think it is, but then check job specifications and published information as well: While these may or may not accurately reflect the reality of the job, these are likely to be the documents that the people interviewing you are working from.

To help identify your competencies, consult these sources:

  • Performance evaluations.
  • Documentation of goals/objectives set and met.
  • Personal letters of commendation.

Prepare Examples

The interviewer will look for proof that you can do the job well.

Have examples of your work fresh in your mind (depending on the position, you may want to bring examples, such as advertisements or brochures you designed). Be ready to discuss five to seven examples of your skills and competencies. It's best to have a good balance of examples showing technical skills (perhaps demonstrating how you did something) as well as personal competency (perhaps showing how you dealt with a difficult situation or person). Use these examples when you're asked questions. Remember to concentrate on those areas that you've identified as critical to job success.

Prepare Supporting Evidence

Be ready to back up your claims. You can tell people that you're great at organizing, but your statement carries more weight if you support it with solid data. How did you or your team contribute to the timeliness of the project? How much money and time did the company save because you prepared the project properly?

Consider the following:

  • Sales/revenue you generated.
  • Money you saved.
  • Positive feedback your clients gave you.
  • Creative solutions you implemented.
  • Problems you solved.
  • Contributions you made to specific improvements.
  • Initiatives you took.
  • Commitment, dedication, and loyalty you demonstrated.

Address Your Boss's Needs

Typically, your boss will have a direct say in whether you're rehired.

In the interview, provide evidence and describe why your performance has benefited the organization, and how it will continue to do so – this is your first line of attack.

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However, then move on to how your skills, experience, and actions can have a positive effect on your boss and his or her goals. How have you and will you make your boss's job easier? How will you help your boss perform more effectively? Providing that you're not cynical in the way you do this, these points can give you an edge over other equally qualified candidates.

Prove Your Enthusiasm

Your attitude can be as important as your knowledge and skills. There may be many capable people out there who are interviewing for the same position. The reason for hiring often comes down to attitude and enthusiasm. Interviewers want to know if you have passion for your work. Will you bring a positive energy to the team, or will you bring it down?

Don't complain about your interview beforehand. to anyone! Negative comments have a way of coming back to haunt you. Think of the re-interview as a chance to prove yourself and talk about all the great things you've done for the organization.

Prepare for Salary Negotiations

Your "new" position may come with a salary review as well. To get the most out of this discussion, research what the job is worth. Use your current earnings as a reference, and try to figure out average compensation for others in the company with similar responsibilities. Also, look for external salary data to determine industry averages for your position.

Remember to include benefits in your salary negotiation. Are you willing to give up more money for more vacation time? Would you like a flexible work schedule or some other change to your work conditions? Issues like these can be used as negotiating points.

Learn more about salary negotiation.

Know Your Rights

Many countries have laws about employee rights during layoff and restructuring situations. Make sure that you know about these, so that you know where you stand.

Key Points

The thought of being asked to re-interview for your job can be shocking. Unfortunately, it can happen more often than you think.

Rather than waste precious time and emotional energy being angry and insulted, concentrate on preparing for the process. If you treat this interview with the same importance and significance as a regular job interview, you'll increase your chances of being successful. Know what your skills are, know what you've already contributed to the company, and know how much you're worth. Your preparation will pay off!