Author of "Your Journey from Fired to Hired"

7 Ways an Interview Coach helps you WIN!

Do you sometimes feel like snagging an interview opportunity these days is akin to winning the lottery?  While your odds are slightly better than winning the Power Ball, the statistics can still be staggering.

According to recruiting intelligence community, “Although it varies with the company and the job, on average 250 resumes are received for each corporate job opening. Finding a position opening late can’t help your chances because the first resume is received within 200 seconds after a position is posted. If you post your resume online on a major job site like Monster so that a recruiter can find it, you are facing stiff competition because 427,000 other resumes are posted on Monster alone each and every week.”

While my goal isn’t to depress you, the numbers certainly provide an unwanted dose of reality.  And that is that other people (lots of other people!) are likely vying for the same job that you are.  Perhaps some are even be more qualified than you.

Like it or not, the employers are the winners in the current job market.  But there are some things you can do to help move the advantage to your side.  For starters, you could consider hiring an interview coach.

Keep in mind, an interview coach won’t guarantee you the job; however, experts in this field can typically help you achieve the following:

  1. Leg Up on the Competition.  While you may be completely in tune with your strengths and weaknesses, an interview coach is in tune with the entire market….including your competition.  Because they are integrated in the employment world on a daily basis, they can typically offer great perspective about your abilities and how you stack up against the competition.  If you find that others in your industry possess a skill set that you lack, then you can work to augment your abilities by taking some classes or perhaps talking with a mentor to at least gain some insight.  Bottom line:  It’s tough to be proud of what you offer potential employers when you don’t know the height of the proverbial bar.
  1. Relevant Examples. While it’s common knowledge that any good interview preparation should include developing examples, you would be amazed at how many candidates show up to an interview and have given far more attention to their attire than their content.  A good interview coach will ensure that you avoid this common mistake.  Instead, they will work with you to identify the best examples for those situational questions that potential managers love to ask. And while you can likely develop these examples on your own, a seasoned expert can help you develop examples that help hiring managers be confident that you are their preferred candidate as opposed to those that may raise their suspicions.
  1. Explain Shortcomings.  A good interview coach will help you think through things and develop excellent talking points to use during your interview.  And while you might think they will help you develop great examples (which they will), they will also help with much more difficult topics.  For example, they can help you develop how to explain gaps in your employment or perhaps why your lack of experience should be considered a non-issue.
  1. Perfect your Pitch!  You know there’s a reason that professional athletes practice…because as the old saying goes “practice makes perfect.”  And in today’s competitive business environment, if you are lucky enough to actually snag an interview opportunity there’s no room for anything less than perfection!  Sure you can practice on your own or with a friend but practicing with a professional interview coach offers two distinct differences.  First, your practice will be much more “real world.”  There’s simply no comparison to putting yourself in the real situation and challenging yourself to express your thoughts to someone new.  And secondly, the chance for feedback and recommendations for improvement are much greater with a professional than they are a friend who is simply serving as a sounding board.
  1. Build Mental Toughness.  Whether they coach professional athletes or business leaders, the best coaches in the world excel at building mental toughness and confidence.  Think of it like this, an interview is your opportunity to sell a potential employer on why they need you on their team.  Admittedly, it can be a nerve-racking experience, but the stakes are too high to let your nerves get the best of you!  A good interview coach will help you see and believe in the value you can provide to employers.  And much like the little engine that knew he could, approaching an interview with a deeply rooted confidence will make a difference.
  1. Snag second Interviews. Sure there aren’t many guarantees in life and I can’t guarantee you that by hiring an interview coach you will be offered more second interviews.  However, I can tell you after over two decades of conducting interviews those candidates who provided great examples, exhibited good confidence,  had answers prepared for the tough questions and knew what they brought to the table over their competition routinely scored a second round interview with me.  And in case you missed the subtleness of the point, those criteria are all of the things that I just identified an interview coach could do for you.  But the choice is admittedly yours to make!
  1. Negotiate job offers. So let’s assume for a minute that the interview goes fantastic and they offer you the job. How many job offers will you receive and negotiate in your life?  Keep in mind that some of your early jobs were probably a simple offer and acceptance of an hourly wage during your high school or college years.   My point is this…realistically you may actually “negotiate” a handful of compensation packages.  Conversely hiring offers are a daily occurrence for an interview coach.  And while you may be hesitant to spend the money to put a coach on your team, chances are a better compensation package alone could help you offset the initial fee.

If you are interested in learning more about how an interview coach may help you land that dream job, it’s important to do your research.  For starters, check out a few of the links below or do a simple internet search for your local area:

Interview Coaching Association

Professional Association of Resume Writers & Career Coaches

International Association of Coaches

Have you ever hired an interview coach?  If so, I’d love to hear about your experience!

Article written by:

Kathi Miller-Miller is a sought after career specialist and author of “Your Journey from Fired to Hired.” Kathi draws on her 25+ years of success (and failures!) to offer her readers advice on topics ranging from dealing with a boss that drives you crazy to managing millennials...all in a light-hearted and easy to read style.

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