Once you have chosen your career target, created your career marketing documents, and learned how to conduct an effective job search, your next concern is interviewing. If you don’t feel confident in your ability to present yourself well in a professional interview, you can hire an interview coach. Here are some hints for getting the most out of interview coaching.
Make your coaching project a priority: Your coaching program may take several weeks to several months. Make sure this is a good time to pursue coaching and that you can set aside several hours a week to commit to the program. Complete your homework and submit it on time. You will get out of interview coaching exactly what you put into it.
The process has been established, and you will be asked to follow it. It may not be immediately clear how interview coaching works or how it will help you. Have some patience, and be open to a new way of thinking about interviewing. The process has been working for years, so give it a chance to work for you.
Your coach does not give advice or make decisions for you: Coaching is a non-directive process by its very nature. Coaches ask questions and direct conversations, listening and reflecting. They may teach you a process, but they do not tell you what you should do.
Be forthcoming: One of the first things your coach will ask you is to describe your interview experiences. This is one time during coaching you’re encouraged to talk about the past. Your coach is trying to determine what has gone wrong so you can work on a better outcome. You don’t have to know why the interview didn’t work out; you just need to be able to describe what happened.
Share your feelings: If interviewing makes you want to run 100 miles in the opposite direction, say so. Most people get nervous in an interview, but not nervous enough to freeze up or say things that don’t help their cause. If that is happening to you, your coach needs to know.
Participate: Questions and answers you will use in the interview need to come from your experience. There are a few things your coach will know to work on because almost everyone needs help with them. Other things will be unique to you. It helps if you recall your interview experiences ahead of time so that you can relate them to your coach.
Prepare for your mock interview: The last step in the interview coaching program is a mock interview. Sure, it’s pretend, and we both know it’s pretend. Still, you will be able to evaluate your performance better if you give it all you’ve got.
Not many people enjoy interviewing, and coaching may not get you to the place where you love it, either. On the other hand, if you commit to the process and prepare accordingly, you can improve your performance substantially, and that takes you one step closer to landing the job you want.
If you are landing interviews but not jobs, contact me right away to talk about ways my Interview Preparation Program can help you control your interview performance.
Image courtesy marcolm via freedigitalphotos.net.