Should You Hire an Interview Coach?

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Table Of Contents

As a job candidate, it’s vital that you show employers the absolute best version of yourself, and hiring an interview coach may be the best way to do that. It doesn’t matter if you’re a new grad out to snag your first job or an experienced professional looking to take the next big step in your career, conducting a successful interview requires a well-rounded approach that addresses both verbal and non-verbal factors.

After hours of research, our team highly recommends working with an interview coach at TopInterview.

But, we can all agree that interviewing for a job can be nerve-wracking, especially if you’re new at it or haven’t done it in a while. If the thought of sitting through a probing interview brings on some major stress, professional interview help may be just what you need. Working with an interview coach can provide you with proven interview strategies, as well as feedback, on how you’re doing. And it will help you develop (and hone) skills and techniques for presenting your best self to potential employers. This article will help you determine if hiring an interview coach is right for you.

 When You Might Need An Interview Coach

Here are a few scenarios where an interview coach can be a big plus. If any of them apply to you, you might want to consider working with one.

You get nervous before interviews

No need to break out in hives. A coach can help you feel prepared and, as a result, more comfortable in your interviews.

You never get past the phone screen

Phone screens are stage zero - the ultimate first impression - of the job interview process and, as such, can be pretty intimidating. A coach can help you gain the confidence and skills to get through this call and move forward to the next step.

You haven’t mastered your elevator pitch

It’s not easy to condense all your experiences, hopes and dreams into one 30-second spiel. But because that’s often what you’ll have to do in a job interview, your coach can help you polish and perfect yours. And once you get it just right, you can use your pitch beyond the interview setting, as in phone screens, at networking events, and even in your LinkedIn profile, to name a few.

You go blank in behavioral interviews

These are the interviews where you have to think on your feet and pull specific experiences out of your hat. You know, the ones where they ask you to “tell me about a time…” The key here is to feel comfortable and confident, which is exactly what will happen when you spend time practicing and conducting mock interviews with your coach.

You have a hard time making small talk

Ok, making small talk with a stranger can be downright intimidating - especially when it’s someone who has a ton of power over your next career move. You can practice handling an unstructured interview situation like this with your job coach. It will help you feel comfortable making small talk without sacrificing all your main selling points.

You get interviews but no offers

Maybe you even go so far as to make it to the final round of interviews without getting an offer. Could be you’re not highlighting your accomplishments or touting your best skills. By connecting with a coach, you can get to the bottom of what’s going wrong, learn how to reveal your positives and turn interviews into job offers.

You haven’t interviewed in years

Times change and so do interview requirements. A coach can help you rediscover, update, and rehearse the skills you possess, but may not have used in a while.

You have some type of issue

For example, let’s say you got fired from your last job. Or, you’re switching fields or industries. An interview coach can teach you how to address these topics during interviews and navigate through them to a successful outcome.

You have an upcoming interview for your dream job

You sure don’t want to blow this one! Instead, you need to go in feeling extra confident and prepared. Targeted practice with a coach can give you the exact edge you need to land that perfect job.

You stumble through salary negotiations

Once you receive a job offer (congratulations!), do you crumble at the thought of negotiating your salary? Maybe to the point of not negotiating at all? If you want to practice your negotiating skills or figure out where to start and what key phrases to use, ask an interview coach. They’ve got the know-how to empower you with tips, tricks, and the practice that will help you negotiate a salary that’s just right.

How Interview Coaching Works

There are three basic types of interview coaching options are available: in person; online; or by phone. Regardless of the one you select, or what’s available in your locale, most coaches will offer similar services and address all the topics essential to a great interview.

Practice Interviews

Whether you meet in person or work with your coach online or by phone, you can expect them to conduct practice interviews with you and provide important feedback. They also might provide you with a list of typical interview questions and help you prepare strong answers. Some who are working with you remotely may even ask you to send a video of your answers. A mock phone interview might be included, as well, to ensure you are ready for any type of scenario.

Some coaches can even guide you through other specific situations like panel interviews or those that involve a presentation.

Pointers in Non-Verbal Communication

You may not have thought much about this, but non-verbal communication is another critical aspect of job interviews. It’s not only what you say that counts; your demeanor during an interview is just as important. A coach will teach you facial and body language that demonstrates to your potential employer that you are friendly, interested, and actively listening.

Importance of Doing Your Homework on the Company

Taking time to prepare for a job interview can help you secure a job offer. One component of doing this is to learn about the job and the company beforehand. Did you know that applicants typically spend up to seven hours researching a company before their interview? Many even research their interviewer. Company research not only will help you answer questions during the interview but ask insightful questions, as well.

A coach can guide you through the homework process. You’ll learn how to analyze the job posting and determine exactly what the company is looking for in a candidate. Then you can make a list of the skills, knowledge, professional, and personal qualities that are critical for success in the job. And a list of your assets that match the job requirements. This could include skills, qualities, professional qualifications, computer skills, knowledge bases, and even personal experiences that apply. Presenting these to the employer during the interview will firmly demonstrate how you’re an excellent fit for the job.

Dressing Right for the Interview

Regardless of the type of job you’re interviewing for, that first impression needs to be a great one. Either in a professional work setting or one that’s more casual, this means projecting a positive image that’s neat, tidy, and well-groomed (and includes interview attire, hair, makeup, and accessories). Your coach can help you determine the appropriate look to ensure you dress accordingly. A good rule of thumb is to have an interview outfit ready at all times. Remember, the interviewer is going to notice everything about you, so do dress appropriately and don’t wait til the last minute to prepare.

What to Bring to an Interview

Yes, there are dos and don’ts here, too. A job coach can remind you what they are and is likely to tell you this:

Do bring a portfolio with extra copies of your resume, a list of references, questions to ask the interviewer, and something to write on and with.

Don’t bring your cellphone (or at least turn it off), a cup of coffee, gum, or anything else beyond yourself and your credentials.

Interview Etiquette

By now you’ve probably grasped the idea that making a positive impression will help your chances in a job interview. A job coach can help you do just that. In addition to all the pointers mentioned above, your coach will teach you the tenets of good interview etiquette. You most likely will work on these in your practice interviews, but In a nutshell, they include:

  • Greet everyone politely, pleasantly, and enthusiastically.
  • Pay attention to your body language.
  • Shake hands firmly.
  • Make eye contact as you speak.
  • Pay attention to the interviewer.
  • Be attentive, listen, and ask questions.
  • Look interested.
  • Be ready to engage the interviewer.
  • Follow up with a thank you note or email.

How Much Does an Interview Coach Cost?

The price of interview coaching can vary greatly by region and even by zip code. While it’s best to check local coaches and get free estimates from pros near you, you can expect to spend anywhere from $89 to $150 per 60- to 90-minute session. This typically includes one-on-one job search and interview prep.

If you’re ready to invest in a career coach, we recommend TopInterview.

Bottom Line

An interview coach can give you the tools and the confidence to ace an interview and land the job of your dreams. Your coach will teach you how to sell yourself and impress hiring managers. More importantly, you’ll learn how to build a relationship, get interviewers on your side, and convince them that you're the best person to solve their problems - the one they want to work with every day.

There’s no doubt that successful interviewing requires a fine-tuned skill set, one that could make a world of difference in your career. Fortunately for job seekers, one-size-fits-all doesn’t apply to coaching. After all, everybody needs different levels of assistance, in different areas, at different points in their job searches. Professional interview coaches are trained to tailor specific skills and techniques to really work for each individual. So if you think it can give you the edge you need, give interview coaching a try. Just remember that, as with any skill, practice makes perfect.

If you’re serious about hiring an interview coach, we recommend TopInterview.