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How do I ace that re-interview for my own job without freaking out?

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Facing a re-interview for your job? These tips will help you prepare to ace it


Today’s post comes out of a question asked by a client whose organization is being restructured and the new department boss is putting certain employees through the process of re-interviewing for their old jobs.

Needless to say, those employees who are being re-interviewed are going through the paces while those who are not are feeling uncomfortable and fears of Pink Slips are making rounds.

If you are in a similar situation right now, my immediate suggestion to you is to keep things in perspective and be prepared.

Now is not the time to allow your beliefs about yourself or your situation to hinder you as I explain in Want to be Successful? You need to change your Beliefs.

It is not an immediate firing situation. There may be behind the scene changes that you are not aware of and roles and job descriptions are changing as well. There might be new opportunities within your department or a lateral move.

It might also be the right time to finally update your CV and start looking for another job if the present one has stopped challenging you. Whichever way it goes, don’t freak out and instead prepare for the re-interview with these action steps:


3 Tips that boost confidence for the re-interview


Tip 1 – Try to see the big picture.

The organization as you know it has changed and when the big wheel changes, the placement of cogs and other parts of the machinery are also changed.

Instead of feeling angry or humiliated, use this interview as an opportunity to show-case yourself and the value that you have been bringing to the organization. Find out more about the process and areas that will be covered and come prepared.

This is not a first interview for a new job but one where an assessment is being made whether you still match the job description.

The re-interview might just result in your being given a more challenging role or transfer to a position that might really use your experience and knowledge and if all goes well, perhaps an increase in pay.


Tip 2 – Maintain a positive attitude and start working on how you can bring out your experience and knowledge.

If staying positive is proving to be a challenge, then first build your positive reflex.

Think of it as an annual appraisal if it helps you to calm your nerves. Don’t gripe to anyone about the upcoming interview at the water-cooler or canteen.

From my own experience, I can tell you that times of reorganization and restructuring tend to make people insecure and you never know who will go behind your back and squeal on you to win a brownie point to keep their own job.


Tip 3 – At the re-interview, demonstrate your enthusiasm and passion for your job.

The interviewer would be looking at your competencies and skills but also at your soft skill-sets. Your ability to work in a team and pull to get a job is as important as the knowledge that you are bringing to the table. If there is an outside chance that the organization has also advertised the position, then the onus is on you to prove why they should keep you and not bring in the new guy.

It’s the perfect opportunity to demonstrate your Executive Presence.

Karmic Ally Coaching Executive Presence Checklist


Prepare for your re-interview

In addition to your attitude, I recommend a 4th tip – take the re-interview seriously.

Make sure that you are able to present a strong business case as to why you are a good match for the job.

One way of preparing is to get a copy of the new job description and check if you are still meeting the core competencies required.

Note these down and start compiling a list of examples that you can use if situational or contextual questions are asked. Make a note of situations and tasks where your input was critical to successful task achievement.

Are there any new competencies and requirements? Think about it and strategize how you can show that these new requirements will not affect your ability to perform. Take initiative -enroll for a relevant course and mention it when you are being interviewed.

Note down any competencies or skills that are not included in the job description but which you possess and know that they are important for doing the job. This will come in handy if you are asked why you are the best candidate for the job. Give yourself the advantage you deserve!

Another good source for preparing for the re-interview is to go through your previous performance appraisals and make notes of your achievements.

If your boss is going to be involved in the process and if you enjoy a good rapport, consider asking him/her more about the process and find out what they are actually looking for. This information will help you prepare better to showcase yourself as the right choice.

An important part of your preparation is to collect supporting evidence to back up your assertions and claims. You do it in your CV; you need to do it here as well.

Think in terms of money that you might have saved the company, new clients you brought in, processes or tasks that you rationalized, recommendations and appreciation received from clients or colleagues, awards or commendations given to you by the company – examples along these lines.

This resource will help in getting your CV polished for the re-interview. Download it by clicking on the below image.


19 Simple Tips to improve your Curriculum Vitae

Keep calm and do full research about choices

In addition to the above 4 tips, there is a fifth one – the back- up tip. Different organizations handle their restructuring in different ways. Now what happens if you are really fighting to avoid the Pink Slip?

The first thing you need to check on is the HR Policy of your organization as well as your employment contract. Different countries have different employment laws and if there is a redundancy looming ahead, make sure you know your rights and compensation due.

It helps to know where you stand and what you can negotiate. Many companies do try to help employees find new jobs. Don’t burn your bridges, if a Pink Slip is coming, negotiate a win-win situation and move on.

If there is a happy situation where you are going to be getting a new job or retaining the old job with more responsibilities, do ask about the salary and benefits. Do a bit of research outside of your firm and in the industry to find out what pay and perks are given in your industry.

Last but not least, use this exercise as a chance to update your CV – the one thing that is always on the back-burner when your job is secure.

Look around to see what else is available within your organization or in the job market because when you are proactive and in control, you not only ace the re-interview but also avoid freaking out.

Now it’s your turn.

If you have ever been through an organizational restructuring and had to re-interview for your own job, how did you handle it? What tips can you share with other readers?


Written By: Vatsala Shukla


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11 Responses to “How do I ace that re-interview for my own job without freaking out?”

  1. Debra Jason says:

    Being my own boss, I’m not in this situation, but think your tips are all good ones.
    If you’re confident about your skills, talents & abilities, stay positive. For instance, your comment “There might be new opportunities within your department or a lateral move.” is a good one to keep in mind. Perhaps a new door will open.

    • Karmic Ally says:

      Thanks for highlighting the possibility factor in the re-interview, Debra. When faced with the prospects of a re-interview, the employee is more often than not kept in the dark about the actual purpose of the exercise. The onus is on the Human Resources department to explain clearly the purpose of the re-interview in the reorganization scenario rather than leave it to the rumor mill which spins faster at these times.

  2. Ian says:

    I am in a similar situation where I am having to re interview for my own job. I have heard on the grape vine however that the organisation has already decided what is happening to individuals before interviewing actually takes place! Is this a legal practice if true? I fear even if I perform well in the interview it will make no difference if the decision is already made. Thanks in advance.

    • Karmic Ally says:

      Hi Ian. Thank you for raising the question. If I were you, I would not pay heed to the rumors because that kind of fear mongering is quite common in times of layoffs and restructuring. Focus on what you do know about the process being implemented by your employer and what pro-active steps you can take.

      From what I know about companies, they might have shortlisted certain candidates as potential “must keeps” but this is not a legal practice to decide an employee’s fate before the re-interview. A lot depends upon whether your skills are those of a specialist or a generalist and how critical your job is to the big picture. Even then, your company has to comply with the law in terms of redundancy compensation and even look at supporting you in finding another job.

      Your best course of action is to prepare with full focus on your re-interview and also check with HR about the process if they have not sent out any notification about the process. For all you know, you might just get a promotion so think positive.

      On the other hand, this is a good time to also update your resume and start looking around to see what is available for your qualifications and skills. It will help boost your confidence and help you in giving examples of where you have added value and can make a difference.

      All the best, Ian.

  3. Ian says:

    Thanks for your prompt reply, much appreciated.

    I think I’m just worried because I’ve been in this job for a long time and don’t really know anything else. What I’m saying is I have skills but no real “official” qualifications.

    Like you say tho, it may end up in a small promotion so I’ll just do the best I can and try to ignore the noise of the rumour mill churning : /

    Many thanks


    • Karmic Ally says:

      That is the right spirit, Ian. Just follow the tips that I have given in the post. Qualifications do help with job hunts but at the end of the day, it is the skills that we acquire over the course of our work life that really count. One additional suggestion that I can give is to create your professional profile on LinkedIn and join Groups with your work related themes. And of course, network!

      All the best for the re-interview! I hope you’ll come back and share your success story to inspire other readers.

  4. Nigel Jones says:

    Interesting article.

  5. Ray says:

    Very interesting.

    I have an interview for re-applying for my job and just wanted to ask what kind of questions could they ask?

    • Karmic Ally says:

      Thanks Ray. The answer to your question is there in the blog post where I share some preparatory tips as well as tips that I shared with Ian in the comments. Without knowing your industry or the context in which you are re-applying for your job, it isn’t possible to give specific advice. However, they might ask questions about the current job that you are doing and assess your technical competencies (I know, that is horrid).

      If it is possible for you to get a copy of the updated Job Specification from HR, you could get an idea of where you could highlight your strengths for the job. Also, if you have been taking professional development or skill update courses and classes, whether free or paid, that might come up.

      Could you share more details? Thanks.

  6. Reina says:

    What is a good Objective for the resume, for the re-interview for my job.

    • Karmic Ally says:

      It would be one that is aligned with the requirements of the new job description, Reina. You haven’t given much detail about the work that you do or the seniority of the job but one that shows you are the right person to be kept in that role or even a better one. Please also have a look at my post that looks at Objective and Summary Statements

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