Should you pay to have job interview coaching?

You’ve got an impocompetency interviewrtant job interview coming up and you can’t afford to mess up. Would you consider paying a professional coach to help you with your interview ‘technique’ and therefore improve your chances of being offered a job?

It’s quite surprising how many people turn up for job interviews without even the most basic preparation, expecting to somehow ‘wing it’ on the day. Of course, this strategy very rarely works and I can certainly point to any number of examples of quite senior interviewees (who frankly should have known better!) who self-destructed within minutes of the start of their interview because of a total lack of preparation.

The fact is that most people could greatly improve their chances of success if they recognised that an interview is essentially a performance and as such needs significant preparation and practice. In order to prepare you should first do your research so that you can confidently answer that typical opening question ‘What do you know about us?’. A quick look at the employer’s web site is really not good enough and I’d suggest some much more in-depth homework which might include a review of recent news items about the employer (try the ‘news’ option on Google), the bios of the senior management team and at least some insights into the company’s services/products, key markets and competitors. That much you can do on your own and, I would suggest, this should be the absolute minimum preparation you should undertake prior to an important management level interview.  Following on from that you might be asked the ‘Tell me about yourself?’ question and it should certainly be part of your preparation to have a very well thought out and succinct ‘executive summary’ of your career to date, key skills and experience and some examples of recent achievements that you judge to be relevant to the job that you are applying for. Then come the questions that even experienced interviewees find challenging – the competency (or behavioural) questions that most good interviewers ask these days; if you haven’t attended a formal interview for some time then you may not have encountered this type of interview before. It’s at this point that might decide that you need some professional help.

A professional coach can advise you on the likely questions that will be asked and help you to answer them in the most effective way. You can practice specific techniques that will enable you answer competency questions clearly and succinctly and demonstrate that you are the right candidate for the job. With practice and constructive feedback you will significantly improve your ‘performance’ and as a result you will be able to walk into an interview knowing that you have done everything possible to ensure your success.

Yes, you could undertake this interview practice yourself but having a professional coach will help you to stand out from the competition and significantly improve your chances of success on the day.

About Jeremy I'Anson

Jeremy I'Anson is the author of You're Hired! Total Job Search 2013 published by Trotman Education. Jeremy provides one-to-one career coaching to job hunters at every level from graduate to CEO. Jeremy writes career related articles for the national press including Computer Weekly and The Guardian. He is the official Career Coach at the Daily Telegraph. View all posts by Jeremy I'Anson

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