When you apply with a company you need to learn about the company’s culture. Some companies LOVE to promote within, others do not. Even some companies that promote from within do have minimum timelines in each position before you get promoted. This is very important to know before you get into the interview process.
Here is a scenario. You apply for an entry level job in sales. You tell them that you know they promote from within and you really want to get into HR. Sounds good, right? Not necessarily. For a lot of companies they really want to promote from within but also within departments/divisions.
It is sort of like someone saying “I want to go out with you because you have some cute friends I would like to meet.” See what I mean, no bueno. So how do you handle it? Ask something like “what is the traditional career path for someone who starts in this position?”
I am all for people going after goals but you also need to be patient. Many employers are nervous about hiring people that are “over qualified” (by the way there is no way to be over qualified. You are either qualified or not qualified) Why? Because a lot of times they want to move up faster than the company normally allows and they become an issue.
The greatest pleasure in life is doing what people say you cannot do.