Interview Success: Just Get Me in the Door

A large part of my coaching practice involves interview preparation with my clients. There are usually two groups of candidates with which I coach. The first group are often nervous or fearful of interviews, and this anxiousness can come across as low self-esteem or self-confidence. We work to increase the confidence through preparation. The job seeker must be able to confidently and believably prove their value and capabilities to the interviewing company.

The second group are those that have extensive work experience. They have interviewed and have been interviewed many times. They are usually being sought by other companies as senior professionals and executives, and have an impressive reputation because they are good at what they do. They truly understand preparation is key and use our coaching time together to make sure they have accurately prepared and are at the top of their game for the particular position they are interviewing for.

A third group, which I don’t work with on interview preparation as much, are those that just need to get their foot in the door. They assure me that they can always “nail the interview” once they get in the door. We work on resume and LinkedIn profile development, or other types of coaching but they are very confident in their interviewing abilities. I sometimes ask a few questions to make sure they are indeed ready for their interview. A few things come to mind for this third group to consider:

ARE YOU RIGHT FOR THE JOB? Of course you want to impress the interviewers. And if you don’t toot your own horn who will? But it is important to take a realistic approach to your bravado. Make sure you have what it takes to successfully manage the job and that your skills and experience fit what they are looking for. Hiring and even interviewing is timely and expensive for companies and you, make sure you sell them what you have, not just what they are looking for.

IS THE JOB RIGHT FOR YOU? It is exciting when a company calls you in and shows interest in you for a position. Be careful not to sell yourself just to land the job. Do your due diligence prior to the interview and ask questions to make sure you know what the position will ask of you. Determine if it really offers what you’re looking for now, and if it fits with your short- and long-term goals.

HAVE YOU PREPARED FOR THE INTERVIEW? Don’t overestimate your personality. While first impressions and “fit” play a key role in getting hired, preparation can make or break the job offer. Even having the right qualifications isn’t sometimes enough to land your next job. Take the time to understand the company, industry and position you are interviewing for. Learn what is going on in their world and how you can help and add value. And ask yourself again, if it aligns with your career goals.

In the past week I’ve heard back from 3 different clients who are in the interview process. We discussed the overall interview and reviewed the questions that were asked. All three clients said they were asked what they knew about the interviewing company and how they could add value to the company. Other questions were also asked that pulled in both the industry / company understanding, and the skill set and experience of the client. Remember to do your homework on the company, because they will be expecting you to.

Be confident and prepared for the best results!