Do interviews make you break out into a sweat? Here are seven times an interview coach can help.
You walk into an interview, and then, right on cue, you start sweating.
You're not alone. 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? Interviewing coaching can help.
Here are seven instances where interview coaching can really pay off:
1. 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.
2. 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 video chat your career coach. They'll work with you to polish and perfect your elevator pitch. You can then use this pitch for years to come — at networking events, during phone screens, or even in your LinkedIn profile.
3. 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. Feel free to let your coach know these are the types of questions you want to focus on during your mock interview. They can focus in and help you practice your answers.
4. You've heard the company is notorious for stress interviews
…yikes. But don't panic.
The purpose of a stress interview is to test a candidate's ability to work under pressure. You might get hit with intimidating (even aggressive) questions, unexpected responses, and even impossible-to-solve brain teasers.
If rumor has it the company you're interviewing with leans into stress interviews (check Glassdoor for some insights), you'll want to practice. You can let your interview coach know this is where you want to focus — then they can hit you with some tough questions so you'll feel better prepared and more confident.
5. 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.
6. 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 without talking about your cats (or dogs).
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.
7. You stumble through salary negotiations
…or you don't negotiate at all.
Congratulations! You've received a job offer, but you're not quite thrilled with the salary. Or maybe you're fine with it, but in the back of your head you know you should ask for more. After all, companies almost always expect salary negotiations these days.
If you want to practice your negotiating skills — or even want to figure out where to start and what key phrases you should be using — ask your interview coach. After getting some tips and tricks, practice. Your coach is there to empower you.
Once you get professional guidance, the next time you walk into an interview, you won't have to go so heavy on the deodorant. Instead, you'll be able to walk into the room with more confidence — no matter how tough the questions.
Go into your next interview prepared and confident. TopInterview's expert coaches are here to help! Learn more about our services and get connected with a coach today.