Interview transformation lands job
Paige was an ambitious new college graduate who walked into Jody Michael Associates’ office for career coaching. She wanted help landing the right job.
At age 23, Paige was articulate, beautiful and poised. She carried herself powerfully for her young age. That wasn’t surprising given that she already had media experience and TV exposure, and had traveled internationally as a professional water-skier and model.
So, when she mentioned in her second session that she had a job interview lined up in four days for a job she really wanted, there wasn’t much concern on JMA’s part regarding her ability to perform well. We couldn’t have been more wrong.
JMA immediately set up the rest of the session to be a mock interview, followed by performance evaluation and ending with identification of coaching areas that needed development.
We asked her questions that a future employer might pose and assessed her performance. We didn’t find much that was positive. Paige was horrible at interviewing. What happened to the confident young woman who had started the session?
During the mock interview, from the moment JMA greeted her in the waiting room and shook her hand, almost all of her marks were well below average. She had a terrible handshake, poor eye contact, and physical nervous tics throughout. Even more worrisome was that she responded poorly to questions in content, delivery and tone. The “cringe” moments had both of us worried whether we could prepare her quickly enough for the real interview that was just a few days away.
When the time came for our evaluation, we were candid about the level of her performance. She would be hard-pressed to land any job at all, much less a job she coveted, with the kind of performance she exhibited in the mock interview. She needed to work hard to improve in several areas to even have a chance of landing her coveted job.
Paige took comprehensive notes during our session. JMA coached her around managing her anxiety and taught her techniques that would physiologically help her in moments of high stress. We sent her home with several interview coaching handouts and clear directions about how to prepare and practice for our last interview coaching session before the “real deal.”
When the day of the real job interview came, Paige knocked it out of the park. She was offered the job immediately. Her prospective employer told her that he was particularly struck by her confidence and poise. She later shared her version of the experience: “The interview was four short days after my practice run with Jody, and the difference between the two was monumental! Not only did I act and feel confident in my responses (a victory in itself!), I was offered the job on the spot. The whole experience gave me priceless knowledge that I will be able to use even long after I’ve nailed the interview.”