It feels like we woke up one day and suddenly there was a coach for absolutely everything in our lives that could “help us reach our maximum potential.” From confidence coaches to career coaches and even selfie coaches, there seems to be a coach for anything you can think of.
So when you think about an interview coach, you may be curious: I’ve never needed an interview coach before. Will this make a difference for me? As someone who has been a successful international interview coach for years, allow me to spill the tea about what to expect when working with an interview coach.
What does an interview coach do?
A great interview coach will leave you feeling excited and confident for your interview.
Think of an interview coach as both a detective and a counselor. They investigate the company and role you’re interviewing for, dig into your experience, and provide advice based on what they find.
Researching the job and company
Your coach can dig for articles on your interviewers, company trends, insights on the company from employees, and even do a deep dive into the people who are in the department you are interviewing for. This is especially helpful for those who are short on time.
Your coach will discuss the position you’re interviewing for and review the resume and cover letter you submitted for the position. They’ll ask questions about the type of interview you’re preparing for (phone, video, in-person, final round, etc.) and get the name of the company and the job description so they can do thorough research for you.
Identifying and addressing mistakes, challenges, and confidence issues
An interview coach talks you through your interview challenges to help build your confidence around this meeting. For example, my clients often struggle with some form of imposter syndrome, which can show up as rambling, underselling themselves, or panicking when they don’t have an answer. I work with them through those blocks so they can focus on their value and how to give the best answer they can.
Conducting mock interviews
Lastly, they conduct a mock interview to help you practice and provide live feedback on how you can approve.
What can I expect when working with one?
Many interview coaches will set up a free consultation with you to start. In this consultation or through a survey, you will be asked how you will be interviewed (i.e., phone, video, in person), the type of interview you are having (i.e., individual, panel, group, technical, day of all-day interviews), more about the role, and your feelings surrounding interviewing.
From there, your coach will schedule an in-person or video session. Coaches typically go over your concerns about interviewing, coach you through those challenges, and then conduct your mock interview. Everything can be done in a single one- to two-hour session, but if you have multiple interviews scheduled, they can schedule additional coaching / mock interview sessions.
Finally, they will follow up with you after your interview to find out how it went, discuss any feedback you received, and encourage you.
To get the most out of your experience, schedule your coaching session at least a few days before your interview so you have time to practice the feedback and ask additional questions, if needed.
Do I need an interview coach?
Maybe. Both novices and experienced professionals can benefit from interview coaching.
If you feel nervous about your upcoming interviews, are interviewing for a job as part of a career change, or are being interviewed in a way that you haven’t been before (i.e. panel interviews or rapid-fire technical interviews), then an interview coach may be for you.
But even if you’re an excellent interviewer, an interview coach can be helpful in cutting down your research time and highlighting any areas where there is room for improvement. Additionally, knowing how to demonstrate the value of your experiences and qualifications can mean higher pay or a higher title.
Where do I find an interview coach?
Use your network, both in person and digitally.
Ask people in your network if they have worked with an interview coach and/or if they have one to recommend.
You can also check out career groups on social media, use LinkedIn’s search feature, or use LinkedIn Profinder and have interview coaches bid to work with you.
How do I know if the coach is the right fit for me?
Ask for a free consultation to get an idea of what working with the coach will be like: Are you comfortable talking to them? Do they provide insightful answers to your questions? Are they present in the conversation or do you feel rushed? What is their process and timeline?
Another way to know whether a coach is right for you is whether they specialize.
However, I have less experience with technical interviews, so while I can give you feedback on how you answer technical questions, I’m not able to completely gauge the accuracy of your answers, so a technical interview coach may be a better fit for you.
The questions below can also help you vet a potential coach.
What questions should I ask when looking for a coach?
Ask about the kinds of clients they work with and whether they specialize: What are the types of challenges past clients of theirs have had? How did they coach them through it?
Ask about their approach to coaching and their expectations for you. This will help prepare you for a session so you can get the most out of it.
Ask what their success rate is in supporting their clients in securing job offers. You should be searching for a coach with a success rate that’s over 75 percent.
Testimonials and referrals are key! Ask to talk to past clients about their experience.
How much does interview coaching cost?
Just like the cost for any service, the cost of interview coaching is going to depend mostly on the coach’s experience and who their target audience is.
Newer coaches will charge little to nothing as they are looking to grow their business, but an executive interview coach with 15 years of experience will likely cost much more. But on average, interview coaching can cost anywhere from $60–$150 per session.