The toughest candidate you'll ever face? It may just be the guy or gal sitting in the cubicle next to you — or the one who already works for your potential employer. Internal candidates, whether from your current company or your dream business, can be really intimidating. After all, they already know the ins and outs of the company, and could have built a relationship with the person you hope to one day call your boss.
Of course, "external candidates bring a fresh perspective, which the company might want," points out Sharlyn Lauby, president of consulting firm ITM Group Inc., founder of HR Bartender and author of Essential Meeting Blueprints for Managers. But there's no guarantee that that alone will help you outshine competition from inside the organization — and faced with that dire idea, you may feel as if you're set up to fail.
But the truth is, that's far from a sure thing — here's how you can stand out against an internal candidate.