How an Interview Coach Can Help Your Job Search

Updated: Jan 27, 2020

Interviewing for a job can be nerve-wracking, especially if you don't switch jobs often or haven't otherwise had a lot of practice. What can you do to slant the odds in your favor and make sure the interview process isn't completely overwhelming?

No matter how much experience you have, job interviews can be quite stressful. Not only are you meeting someone new, but you also have to “tell me about yourself,” reach deep into your head for those “recall a time when…” questions, and humble-brag just the appropriate amount to make a lasting impression. Oh, and your dream job and livelihood are on the line. No big deal, right?

Actually, it is a pretty big deal, and you need to prepare — and no, that doesn't mean forcing your significant other to play interviewer. Instead, it's time to turn to interview coaching.

Interview coaching will help alleviate some of those sweat-inducing jitters. You'll take part in a mock interview and receive real-time feedback. Have something in particular you need to work on? Your body language? Small talk? Overall confidence? If the thought of facing a hiring manager and answering all those questions is keeping you up at night, Interview coaching can help.

One way to get assistance is to work with a coach. During interview coaching, job seekers learn various strategies and receive feedback on how they're handling practice interviews. The process can help job seekers develop a variety of skills and techniques that are useful for interviews. It's also a way to prepare for—and feel more confident about—upcoming interviews.

Why Interview Coaching?

Interview coaching increases your chances of getting a job. Coaching gives you experience answering many different types of interview questions and pretending to interact with potential employers. Your coach can provide you with valuable feedback that will help you improve your responses during interviews.

The more you practice with a coach, the more confident you will be. A coach can give you the tools to feel confident and self-assured going into any interview.

You may find an interview coach particularly useful if:

· You never get past the phone screen: Phone screens are the ultimate first impressions, but they're also quite intimidating. If a recruiter or hiring manager calls you out of the blue, you might feel flustered. Even if it's a scheduled affair, screenings are nerve-wracking. After all, you're trying to woo a stranger through the phone.

But here's the thing: If you can't seem to make it passed the phone screen — stage zero of the job interview process — then you're not even getting a real chance. That's where an interview coach can help. Your coach will help you gain the confidence and interview skills you need to move forward.

· You haven't mastered your elevator pitch: Whether you're a seasoned professional with decades of experience or you're just entering the workforce, crafting your elevator pitch is a daunting task. How do you summarize all of your experiences, hopes, and dreams into a 30-second spiel? Time to chat your career coach. They'll work with you to polish and perfect your “Tell me about yourself” answer. You can then use info for years to come — at networking events, during phone screens, or even in your LinkedIn profile.

· Your mind goes blank when you hear, “Tell me about a time…” :Ah, the good ol' behavioral interview, one of the most common interview styles. During a behavioral interview, you'll have to think on your feet. You'll need to pull a whole bunch of specific experiences out of your back pocket. Not only that, but you'll also need to connect those experiences back to the question while showcasing your most positive attributes and skills. The key is to feel comfortable and confident, which is exactly what'll happen when spend some time combing through your experiences and practice answering these questions. A coach can focus in and help you practice your answers.

· You always come out second best : What that means is you have no problem making it to the final round of interviews, but then you never get an offer. You're left just wondering what happened and where you messed up. It's sometimes uncomfortable to ask a hiring manager for feedback, too, so you just move on instead. Instead of not knowing what you're doing wrong, connect with an interview coach. The point of a mock interview, after all, is for your coach to tell you what you did well and how you can improve. They will offer you personalized feedback so you can finally get hired.

· You have a hard time making small talk: Making small talk with family and friends is one thing — but with a stranger? And someone who has such power over your next career move? That's intimidating. Suddenly, you forget how to carry on a normal conversation. If this happens, you're probably in the midst of an unstructured interview, one that meanders from question to question more organically. Sometimes, it'll start to feel more like a conversation. Still, you have to remember to keep the conversation focused on you, the job, and the company. Unstructured interviews can become quite a balancing act, actually. If you need some practice, your coach has you covered. Opt for an unstructured mock interview with your coach and sit through a more casual, conversational interview. You'll be able to practice your small talk while still hitting all your main selling points.

You get extremely nervous before interviews: Practicing with a coach can help you feel more comfortable and prepared.You get interviews but no offers: An interview coach may be able to reveal what's going wrong. Perhaps you're failing to trumpet your accomplishments or to show off the correct skills.It's been years since your last interview: A coach can help you rehearse and rediscover those skills you haven't used for some time. And also get you updating on the current trend of situational interviewing.

You have an "issue": Did you get fired from your last job? Are you switching fields or industries? An interview coach can teach you how to address these topics during interviews.You've got an interview lined up for your dream job: Want to feel extra-confident during your interview for your dream position? You may need targeted practice with a coach to gain an edge.

If any of these is true for you, you should consider working with an interview coach.

There are many types of interview coaching. Whether you meet in person, online, or over the phone, coaches typically conduct one or more practice interviews and then provide you with feedback. They may also provide a list of typical interview questions and help you prepare answers.

Coaches also assist you with other elements of the interview, including how to ask the right questions of the employer - some coaches can even guide you through particular interview situations such as panel interviews or ones that involve a presentation.

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