September 10, 2015
Here is another exclusive employment column by Glen Esnard, the executive vice president and principal of 20-20 Foresight Executive Search. He contributes to Connect Media regularly.
An important component in our Executive Marketing program we provide to clients seeking a career or job change is Interview Coaching. Interestingly, it is the one component most prospective clients suggest they “won’t need much of that.”
Despite their career success, which may also include successfully selling acquisitions to a committee, selling a business plan or selling a disposition, job seekers often fail to consider two factors:
1) Most have not had a bona fide job interview since they got out of college. Relationships and situational opportunities have led them from job to job with little competition and few, if any structured interviews.
2) Selling yourself is not the same as selling a product or service. It is really difficult to detach and develop the perspective needed to sell yourself effectively. Moreover, most forget how much time and effort was required to perfect the pitches used every day in normal course of business. The securities world disclaimer of, “Past performance is not necessarily indicative of future results” does apply here.
As an example, the first coaching scenario I raise to clients comes up sometime in every interview process. The interviewer says, “Tell me about yourself.”
I have yet to have a client answer that question effectively in the first run-through. The classic initial approach is to review every career step, which the interviewer likely already has in the resume in her hands.
It’s a natural response, most people are very proud of their career. But what the interviewer wants to know is, specifically, how your career and life experiences have made you an awesome fit for this position.
That is a two to three minute response. Reciting your autobiography will consume ten.
There are a host of interview questions that fall into the same situation. The natural response is frequently not the best.
Interview Coaching, like any form of coaching, is designed to help you perform at your peak. If your career is in transition or you are seeking the next critical step in your career advancement, is there any reason not to perform at your peak?