Let's say my position in my company is Position X. I have been declaring my intention to be promoted to Sr. Position X and actively working towards it for about a year now. The feedback I have gotten thus far leads me to expect it to happen at my next annual review in March.

It turns out that my company recently started hiring for Sr. Position X about a week ago.

My question is, would it be appropriate to go ahead and apply for this internal position ahead of my annual review if I can demonstrate that I already meet the posted requirements, or would this been seen as a circumvention of the usual process? How would you approach this with your manager?

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    What is the "usual process"? I see no problem in you applying
    – DarkCygnus
    Commented Nov 14, 2017 at 17:34
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    Talk to your manager about the interest and present your case as to why you are the most fit. Just like any other job interview, you'll need to convince management that you deserve this. If you have your manager buy in, he maybe able to expedite your application faster.
    – Isaiah3015
    Commented Nov 14, 2017 at 17:34
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    "Now" and "March" are four months apart. Your company may (or may not) have something in mind later, but not yet. Ask your manager about this. Commented Nov 14, 2017 at 17:43
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    Each company has a different "usual process". We can't really tell you what would be most appropriate for your situation, but your manager would know (if you've already brought up getting promoted, why do you think bringing it up again would be a problem?). Commented Nov 14, 2017 at 17:49
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    @Isaiah3015 that should be an answer, not a comment...
    – Pedro A
    Commented Nov 14, 2017 at 21:34

5 Answers 5


How would you approach this with your manager?

Talk with your manager directly about the best way to apply for the opening immediately.

There is no reason you should have to wait, but you may as well double check with your manager to make sure there isn't something else you need to know as part of the internal application process.

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    It's also a positive to be certain they know you want the position. A friend of mine once missed out on a position because he submitted an application and didn't tell the proper folks who would have flagged his application to get him the job, and in this case, he unfortunately got lost in the shuffle and didn't get the position.
    – the_SJC
    Commented Nov 15, 2017 at 18:15
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    I'd like to point out there could be several reasons for the job opening. Maybe OP's interest was not known, they were not deemed a good fit, or the company wants to evaluate other candidates anyway. It could even be they have a vacancy for a senior position in addition to OP moving up. Be that as it may, talking to the manager is the right move. Commented Nov 16, 2017 at 16:28
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    @SørenD.Ptæus Additionally, some regions and organisations have mandatory public applications.
    – Gusdor
    Commented Nov 16, 2017 at 21:56

There's no need to wait for the annual review to discuss this with your manager - try sending them an e-mail or have a face-to-face chat and say that you feel that you could perform well in this role and would like to apply. Then you aren't circumventing anything and throwing your hat in the ring at the same time.


Is the person responsible for hiring aware of your desire to be promoted to this position?

There are significant costs associated with the hiring process, and a company would not normally do it if there was someone internal who was suitable.

Based on this, I would assume that either the person responsible for hiring was not aware of your desire to take on this role, or they decided you were not suitable.

I would approach the hiring manager directly and ask if you could apply. Applying through the normal channels, as though you're not a current employee, may not be appropriate.

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    Above all, communicate. Don't be afraid to do so. Whatever you find out will be to your ultimate benefit. Even if the response seems negative, e.g. "We don't think you're qualified," you can either use that as an avenue to ask for ways in which you can improve your qualifications or formulate an exit plan (find a job somewhere else first).
    – Stonetip
    Commented Nov 15, 2017 at 17:19
  • Another option is that they just need more employees and didn't consider promoting already working employees at all. Also it's sometimes more appealing from HR point to hire people that have higher salary, especially if HR are outsourced. Commented Nov 16, 2017 at 4:00

This is a little too long for a comment, so here's my "answer" in support of the existing answers.

Most companies, if it's not mandated by a government that they do, post available jobs outside the company. Often enough, this is just to "prove" that they aren't practicing nepotism. If/when they place the internal applicant into the position, they (eventually) take the job posting down, tell any outside applicants that the position has been filled, and (often enough) post a new job to fill the newly vacated position.

Internal applicants are usually provided preference to the unknown outside applicant. I've been bumped from a scheduled interview because the company had an internal applicant the "needed" to interview first. I never got the interview rescheduled, since "that position has already been filled."

So, what I'm trying to say (and so is everyone else) is: go for it!

  • Great advice. Also, there may always be more than 1 position available - so talk with your manager immediately Commented Nov 17, 2017 at 9:07

I would not necessarily assume that hiring for a senior position is the same thing as promoting you to such. It depends substantially on your company, of course, but my company hired a senior developer on my team shortly before promoting me to senior developer; here, senior is mostly a way to pay us more money, and doesn't have a substantial change in responsibilities beyond expecting a bit more on the mentorship front. They may simply need another body, and want a more senior body. It's not like you're suddenly going to be a different person after all when you're promoted; the need for someone able to take on more responsibilities than a junior [x] may exist regardless of your promotion.

A consideration though even if this is the case, is how you will fit in with the new person in terms of seniority. Hiring a senior person while you're not a senior, particularly if they then have some degree of responsibility over you, may be uncomfortable, particularly if you indeed do get promoted a few months later; it may be actually the ideal time from your manager's point of view to process the promotion so as to ensure that isn't an issue.

The way to find out, of course, is to talk to your manager.

Hi [name], I know we've been working for the past year to get me to the point that I would be able to be promoted to Senior [x]. I noticed yesterday that we posted for a Senior [x] position. Is this the right time to discuss my promotion as well? If we're bringing a new person onto the team, it would be good to have a solid idea of how we're going to fit together in terms of responsibilities and team structure ahead of time.

That reminds them of the work you've put in to get to a good position for the promotion, without being too whiny. It also gets to the root of the matter: that you want to find out where you are in terms of getting that promotion, and that way if the answer is that you're not ready yet, you can then push for some details as to what you would need to do in order to get there.

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