Interview coaching works

Interview coaching works. Fact.

Just ten minutes ago I was writing a blogpost on women in leadership positions. Then the phone rang. It was a client I coached last week and over the weekend who had a job interview yesterday with one of the best law firms in the world. I froze. I always do. A call from a client the day after an interview demands one of two things from me. Commiserations or congratulations. They either get the job or they don’t. It’s binary. Nothing vague about it. My only hope was that because it was the day after the interview it was good news.

I answered the phone. My voice was scratchy. I asked how she was. I stopped breathing. She put me out of my misery. “I got the job!”

She had called her Mum and her next call was to me. I shouted and laughed and whooped. And then I laughed and whooped again. My dog Buster thought I had been electrocuted and came to lick my face and see if everything was alright.

She told me what had happened. We had spoken yesterday after the interview and she had left the interview yesterday feeling buoyant and quietly confident. She thought she had done quite well – not perfectly but quite well. As time went on she kept re-running the interview in her head. By this morning she was convinced she had failed the interview and even started applying for other jobs. Then she got the phone call. Job done.

Storytelling in interviews

Storytelling is my job and I use storytelling to help politicians, campaigns and businesses. And they are all rewarding and good for me and my clients. Mutual self-interest. But there is nothing like a graduate getting their first job. The impact ripples out and affects all their family and friends. And changes the life of the graduate.

She came to me with a great CV that kept getting her interviews but she kept stumbling at the interview. She is a really good candidate and has a great series of stories and life experiences – but she was nervous and she massively undersold herself. We fixed that together in a storytelling session last week that was cemented by homework and two follow up sessions on the phone. We went through her CV and her life experiences and worked though my master list of interview questions and her answers. I gave her tips on keeping calm in an interview and how to prepare for an interview the night before. We talked through what I wanted her to do on the morning of the interview.

This afternoon she doesn’t know what to do. Her day is suddenly free. She is phoning friends and family. Her job search is over. Her other live and future applications are redundant. She will celebrate tonight. And I love my job.

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