Think you can just show up to your interview without preparation? Think again.
Congrats! You wrote an amazing resume, applied to jobs in your field that excite you, and got called for an interview — you accomplished this job-search feat! However, just because you landed the interview doesn't mean you should rest on your laurels yet. Instead, you need to start prepping for this next important step toward landing your dream job. But where do you start? How do you know you're doing job interview preparation right? If you're asking yourself these questions, then it's time to get help from a professional.
We sat down with TopInterview coach Heather Coll to discuss why professional interview coaching is worth it and learn how she helps clients tackle some of the most common issues that hold them back from getting the job.
Coll's 15 years of experience as a career counselor and recruiter, master's degree in counseling, and first-hand experience interviewing for jobs after becoming an on-the-move military spouse made her a natural fit for TopInterview's team of coaches. Read on to learn how a coach like Heather Coll can help you properly prepare for and ace your next job interview.
First, tell us: Why is interview preparation so important?
Preparation is essential for a successful interview. When you research the company's history, mission, position, and team, it gives you a head start at becoming an expert on the job for which you're applying — and an expert is exactly what prospective employers want and need right now.
Preparation is essential for a successful interview.
Why is it better to prepare for an interview with a professional coach versus with a friend?
Unless your friend works in HR or a related field, that person won't be able to give you the honest, direct feedback and the assistance you need for interview success. I can't speak for other services, of course, but at TopInterview, we have coaches with first-hand knowledge and experience in both hiring and career coaching. Our team knows what sets top job candidates apart from the others and can provide the feedback and guidance needed to help our clients nail the interview.
Get prepped to ace your next interview with our interview-coaching services.
What are the most common reasons clients seek out your interview-coaching services?
Here are just some of the most common reasons why clients approach us for interview-coaching:
It's been awhile since their last job interview. Many clients seek our assistance to get up to speed with today's ever-evolving interview process. I conduct mock job interviews with my clients to give them a realistic interview experience so they can practice their skills and feel ready to shine when it truly matters.
They're in transition. Many clients who seek our help are facing some sort of transition in their careers. This could be anything from changing industries to being forced to change jobs due to layoffs, restructuring, or relocation. I help candidates articulate to hiring managers how their past experiences have prepared them for this new role and coach them on how to explain why they left their last job without raising any red flags.
They land interviews, but not job offers. I often work with clients who readily receive requests for interviews, but don't receive job offers. During these coaching sessions, I work to identify why the candidate isn't making it to the final interview round and what he or she can do to change that going forward.
They want a leg up on the competition. We also have many clients who are competing for top-level, high-stakes positions, and these high achievers know that it requires going the extra mile to reach their ultimate dream job. I help these clients work out the kinks in their interview performance to ensure they come across as polished and confident.
No matter where a client starts, I meet them at that exact place and make sure to take them through the interviewing essentials so that when they are done, they have the know-how, practice, and tools necessary to perform in their future interviews with confidence.
What should job seekers expect from an interview-coaching session?
Job seekers should expect their session to resemble a true interview experience with a hiring manager or interviewer. Most services, like TopInterview, use video technology to conduct mock interviews online. In addition to getting to practice your interview skills with a professional in a realistic, no-stakes environment, you will receive honest, personalized feedback with detailed recommendations so that you come away knowing exactly how you performed and what you can do to improve your interview skills.
Do you have a recent success story you'd like to share?
A recent client reached out after our coaching session to give me an update. Not only was he able to land his desired job as an Environmental Health and Safety Manager, but he used our salary-discussion strategies to negotiate and increase his annual pay by $12,000!
What was your biggest interview mistake? How do you incorporate that lesson into your coaching?
Once, I was offered a job after two remote phone interviews with a new startup tech company. They were somewhat vague in their job description despite my detailed questions. My gut told me this and I should have asked to please come in personally to get a better sense of the company, role, and team before accepting, but I went against my better judgment. On the job, I quickly learned just how disorganized and chaotic things truly were there. Over time, it became clear to me that I prefer to work for companies who value organization and process, and this job was not the best fit. Now, I coach clients carefully on how to assess the company and their company culture to ensure they don't make this same mistake.
If someone was on the fence about working with an interview coach, what would you tell them?
I would explain that using an interview coaching service like TopInterview is one of the best investments you can make towards your career future. Interview coaching can not only help you to shine as a candidate, but it can help make sure the job you land is the right fit.
Are you ready to invest in your career success? Learn more about TopInterview's coaching services.
Please note that interview coaches are assigned to clients based on their availability, so we cannot guarantee that you will be paired with Heather.