Interview Coaching - How an Interview Coach Can Help You | Bold Career Project

Working with an expert Interview Coach helps you unlock one of those key career moments where you need to show up with confidence and effectively connect the dots between your experience and the hiring company's requirements.

The best way for managers, executives and other professionals to level-up your interviewing game and go from an area of anxiety and weakness to one of confidence and strength is by working with an interview coach. 

Get interview advice, training and feedback as well as a strategy for your situation and the specific opportunity you are chasing.  Don't let rusty Interview skills or poor strategy stand in the way of landing the job you're meant to have.

1. What is Interview Coaching?

An interview coach is a professional who helps you prepare for your upcoming job interview. Interview coaching services and mock interviews are designed to help you increase your confidence, clarity, skills and effectiveness.

Interview coaching can involve a wide range of services. Depending on the coach’s personal approach and your individual needs, the coach can work with you

  • on developing effective communication strategies
  • teach you how to answer common interview questions
  • give feedback on body language, tone and energy
  • help you develop and practice responses to difficult questions
  • provide tips on how to handle different styles of interviews
  • work with you through mock interview sessions
  • help you navigate a multi-interview process
  • and develop a specific strategy for the live opportunities you are, or will face.

If you choose to hire a professional interview coach, they will typically develop a personalized plan specifically tailored to your needs and goal(s). You can engage an interview coach as a stand-alone service or as part of a service package that could include a full career move program or be focused on your job application materials. 

Interview coaching can be a great way to boost your confidence and increase your chances of success in the interview process. With the help of a professional coach, you can gain the skills and knowledge necessary to make a great impression and land the job you want.

2. Who Can Benefit from Working with an Interview Coach

Here at The Bold Career Project, our focus is working with managers, professionals and executives. There's a lot riding on your interview performance, which makes investing in interview coaching a smart move. The ROI of working with an interview coach is huge. 

  • There's the ROI of successfully winning a job offer on a role that potentially brings higher income and a higher level of responsibility (and carry-on effects through the rest of your career)
  • There's the increased confidence + more interview wins that enables you to have the courage to decline proceeding in an interview process when your gut tells you it isn't a great fit
  • When you compete for an internal promotion opportunity, there's both the tangible and intangible benefits of securing that next level job
  • Securing the right job for you, either as a step-forward and more aligned with your needs and vision, or as a way of exiting a bad situation, also brings positive impacts on your overall well-being. We call this the professional well-being effect. 
  • and more. 

Anyone who cares about the quality of their career journey and current and future success can benefit from this type of service. 

3. When Should I Hire an Interview Coaching Service

Your interview performance shows up on your radar in two situations. 

The first, and most common is when you've been invited to an interview! This is the just-in-time approach. 

The second, and we would argue optimum scenario is when you've realized or decided that a career move is in your future and a key ingredient to achieving your professional goals. 

Either scenario can work. The downside of only addressing your interviewing skills and strategy at the last minute is the time available to show up as your best professional self for the interview. 

Here are some common situations where interview and career coaching make even more sense: 

  • You have been out of the job search game for awhile
  • You have no idea or a very fuzzy idea what behavioural interviewing is
  • You have an upcoming internal promotion opportunity
  • You are trying to make a career change
  • You have a lot riding on your interviewing performance
  • Your experience is complex
  • You are not clear how to connect the dots between what you offer and the requirements of the job

4. Tips On Choosing & Working with the Right Interview Coach

Finding the right coach is essential. We advocate for real-world experience, with the interview coach or career coach having had experience in a hiring or recruiting role at a level relevant to yours, and also having extensive experience supporting clients making career transitions. 

When considering their experience, look for testimonials from clients, how long they have been in practice, and whether they understand the type of job you are seeking. Not all coaches offer the same range of services. Therefore, it is important to understand what the coach can offer and how this suits your particular needs.

It is also important to consider the coach's communication style and approach. Do they provide feedback and guidance in a way that is helpful and supportive? Do they have a good understanding of the job market and the skills and qualities employers are looking for? Are they able to provide you with the tools and resources you need to succeed in the interview process?

When deciding which coach to hire, you should know what skills they bring to the table. The ability to effectively give feedback is key; look for coaches who focus on constructive criticism and ask open-ended questions. Additionally, find out what type of advice they specialize in giving; examples include public speaking practice, mock interviews, resume development and more.


The Cost of Hiring an Interview Coach

The cost of an interview coach ranges depending on their experience, type of services they provide and the level of the client. In general, most coaches will charge an hourly rate for their expertise or have packages. The nature of the work requires the interview coach to prepare specifically for their meetings with you, which can add to the cost. Expect to pay more for a career coach and interview coach at the executive level or senior management level. 

It's important to remember that the cost of an interview coach is an investment in your future. 


Tips for Working with an Interview Coach

Once you have hired an interview coach, it is important to establish an open and collaborative relationship. Discuss your goals with your coach and make sure that you understand their process and methods. Ask them to explain or demonstrate any aspect that may not be clear. Additionally, treat your sessions with respect and come prepared with questions and issues to discuss. This will ensure that the most can be taken away from the experience.

It is also important to be honest and open with your coach. If you are struggling with a particular concept or technique, let them know. They can provide you with additional resources or advice to help you better understand the material. Additionally, be sure to provide feedback to your coach. This will help them to better understand your needs and tailor their approach to best suit your individual goals.


Preparing for Your Interview with an Interview Coach

To ensure that you make the most of your coaching sessions, it is important to do thorough research in advance. Researching the vacancy, collecting information about the company, as well as any other resources that might be beneficial to the process will enable you to obtain the most from your investment in a coach. Understanding your strengths and weaknesses going into the session will also be significant.

It is also important to prepare questions for your coach. This will help you to get the most out of the session and ensure that you are able to gain the insight and advice that you need. Additionally, it is important to be open and honest with your coach. This will help them to provide you with the best advice and guidance for your particular situation.


Common Questions Answered by an Interview Coach

Common questions asked of an interview coach include how best to answer tough interview questions such as those about weaknesses or jobs that didn't work out, as well as advice on how to present yourself confidently during the interview. An experienced coach will provide guidance on developing positive responses that correspond with your individual goals, as well as strategies for handling any potential curveballs that arise during the meeting.

In addition to helping you prepare for the interview, an interview coach can also provide advice on how to follow up after the meeting. This includes tips on how to write a thank you note, as well as how to stay in touch with the interviewer. An experienced coach can also provide guidance on how to negotiate a job offer, if one is made.

An interview coach can also help you to identify and address any potential areas of improvement. This includes advice on how to improve your communication skills, as well as how to better prepare for future interviews.

Tips for Making the Most of Your Investment in an Interview Coach

The most important tip for making the most out of your investment is being open and willing to learn from their advice. Be willing to take criticism positively and follow the guidance provided to increase your chances of succeeding in your next job interview. Practice frequently throughout the process, ask questions, and try not to be too hard on yourself.

The second most important tip is to do the homework prescribed. With behavioural interview questions, for example, the answer format requires that you effectively tell true stories from your experience that best illustrate the competency required. For most clients, creating that inventory of stories requires some digging and thinking. 

5. How Can an Interview Coach Help Me?

Are you feeling overwhelmed and worried about your upcoming job interview? Are you afraid that you might somehow misstep and set yourself back from getting your dream job? An interview coach can be a great asset to help steady your nerves and prepare you for the big day. Keep reading to find out just how an interview coach can help.

Develop and communicate your value proposition

The most successful candidates during the interview process know exactly how to communicate their value proposition - what makes them stand out from the rest. An experienced coach can help refine your communication style so that it’s tailored for any situation. They’ll ensure that your attractive qualities are properly articulated, so that the interviewer understands how and where you could make an impact in their organization.

Develop your interview strategy with an interview coach

It's important to have a strategy when preparing for an interview. An experienced coach can help you create a winning strategy by working with you to identify your strengths and gaps relative to the target role, and how to pick your strategic lane. 

Overcome Your fear of interviews

Many job candidates feel uneasy or scared when facing an upcoming interview. A coach will be able to help you overcome the fear of the unknown and practice the best responses for difficult situations. By talking through key areas with an experienced professional, you'll be better prepared for tricky questions that may come up during the actual interview.

Interview coaching will build your confidence

Interview coaching will help you become more confident in yourself and your decisions. Over the course of multiple practice interviews, you'll gain a better understanding of how to present yourself and articulate your thoughts during an interview - practice makes perfect! Your coach will also provide guidance on topics such as handling difficult questions and maintaining composure during an interview. They can also help you identify potential questions that you may be asked during the interview and provide advice on how to answer them. With the help of your coach, you can be sure that you are well-prepared and confident when it comes time for the interview.

Practice your presentation with an interview coach

During practice interviews, an experienced coach will assess how well you are doing across various categories such as eye contact, voice clarity, confidence level, adequate pauses, etc. Your coaching sessions should also cover common interviewing techniques such as responding using favorable language, asking efficient questions and being aware of visible cues.

Develop your poise under pressure with mock interviews

Much like any activity which requires a special skill set, an interview requires practice and repetition in order to develop sound interviewing skills. Going through mock interviews Practicing with a coach can help immensely with this task. You’ll be able to receive feedback as to what areas need improvement, build strategies for success, as well as develop poise under stress in order to ace your upcoming interviews.

Master the CAR/STAR formulas for behavioural interview questions and prepare your key stories

Behavioural interview questions are focused on a key competency required for the role. The expected response to this kind of question is to relate a true, past-based story that illustrates your level of competency. 

When developing your interviewing skills with an interview coach, you'll have a chance to go over potential questions and think through possible responses. This is a great opportunity to craft impactful stories that will demonstrate how capable you are to handle the given tasks. Having a series of thought-out answers with applicable anecdotes will make you that much more prepared during the real interview.

Work with an interview coach to get an edge

Interview coaching can help give you the edge amongst other applicants vying for the same job. An experienced coach will provide personalized feedback on your answers to ensure that you’re able to give credible and memorable responses. Showing your endearing qualities and communicating your unique value proposition is key to dominating the interview - a coach will be able to direct you in the right direction.

Have an expert in your corner as you navigate live job opportunities

From navigating the hiring process, to briefing and preparing for an upcoming interview, to unpacking your performance post-interview, to determining your follow-up strategy and supporting job offers and decision making, your career coach and interview coach is an invaluable partner when you are a candidate in live job opportunities. 

At the end of the day, an experienced team of professionals like the those here at The Bold Career Project can offer invaluable assistance when preparing for a job interview. Through a few meetings with an interview coach, you'll be able to walk away feeling confident in your ability to ace any upcoming interview.