Interview prep is one of the favorite aspects of my work as a career development coach. Few things make me happier than having a client reach out after an interview that we’ve prepped for and tell me how well it went, especially when they’ve been offered the job!
So what does it take to prepare well? The following is my recipe for interview success.
It’s well known that January and February are THE best months of the year to land a new job. After all, new budgets are freshly minted and everyone is coming back after the holidays. Common belief is that April and May are the second best, but I believe the second best time of year is September. Hiring managers and recruiters alike are back from Summer vacations and eager to get all those open slots filled so work can get back to normal. And that hiring window is short! It’s not long before the holidays arrive and things come to a crushing halt again.
You can find all sorts of data about how long a job search takes, but in honesty, how long your search takes depends on so many factors that are unique to you. Things like your profession, where you live, how the economy is doing, and so much more. But, from the hundreds of people I’ve worked with over the years, unless you are in a specific and in-high-demand position (like software developers), you can expect your search to take anywhere from 3 – 6 months.
So, given the time that you’re going to invest in your job search, don’t you want to do the best job preparing? Like anything, the more you prepare and the more you practice, the better you will perform. And ‘performing’ in the job search means landing that job.
Preparing means far more than brushing up your resume. It may mean rewriting your resume entirely as resumes have changed over the years. It DOES include your LinkedIn profile, a networking strategy to seek out those people who can help accelerate your search, and most assuredly, it includes interview prep. I know many people think they ace all their interviews. Well, the truth is, some do. But like everything else, interviews have changed over the years and you need to learn the new rules and how to master the experience.
All of this prep takes time to do it properly. The most popular program I offer to those who know the job they seek, is 3 months. Yes, 3 months of research, self-exploration, documentation of your unique value on the job, networking and interview practice. SO WHY ARE YOU WAITING? September is just 4 months away. If you want a new job before the end of the year, now is the time to start that preparation.
To entice those who are still holding back, I’ve been offering a Summer special throughout the month of May. Sign up for my Job Search Strategy or my Career Discovery program by May 31, 2017, and receive a deep discount on my regular program rate. You’ll save money, invest in your career AND be ready to say yes when you receive an offer in September! Just click HERE to schedule a complimentary 30 minute call with me to discuss your career goals.
I write often, providing tips about career strategy, be it seeking a new job, or developing your career so you’re ready for the next step. With so many successful stories in my coaching career, I thought I’d start sharing case studies that represent what many people experience throughout their careers in the hopes that you’ll see yourself in one of the stories and be inspired to take action for yourself. Today, I share the story of Sarah, a client from several years ago who is now flourishing in her new role.
Sarah had been at the same small, local business since the start of her career. With changes in the organization, and a somewhat toxic new boss, she decided it was time to seek new opportunities.
Sarah sought me out based on a recommendation from a friend and former client of mine. When we began working together, she had her sights set high, on large, international companies in the Seattle area.
She worked through my program diligently. We revamped her resume into a strong document that spoke boldly of her experience and accomplishments. We refreshed her LinkedIn profile to present a brand that accurately described her value. She did a great job of networking, getting out and meeting people.
And yet, this bright, skilled leader failed to succeed in her search....initially. As I watched her struggle, and get disheartened as so many job seekers do, I suggested to her that perhaps setting her sights on such large companies after a career at a small, local company was a bit of a stretch in their eyes. There was no question in my mind that she could succeed there, but one always has to be aware of the hiring organization’s perceptions. In many cases, there is an assumption that a long period of time working in a small organization doesn’t prepare you for the larger corporate experience.
So, we adjusted her strategy. Sarah began identifying mid-size companies that needed her skill set and would recognize her value. In no time, Sarah landed a great job. One year later, she was thrilled with her work and had even succeeded in earning a promotion.
There is much more to the job search than just a good resume. A resume will get you in the door, but targeting the right companies, and developing a strategy for your search will land you in your new job sooner. This week is International Coaching Week. If you want to learn more about coaching and how a career coach can help you reach the next level in your career, be it a new job or a promotion, contact me today for a complimentary 30 minute consultation. I’d love to help you reach YOUR next level!
I’ve seen an increased amount of activity from far away staffing agencies recently among my job search strategy clients. Several have reported receiving a high volume of random staffing agencies from all over the country approaching them for placement. Most report less than satisfactory interactions. So, when is it a good idea to work with a staffing agency and when is it NOT a good idea?
My rule of thumb for everything in the job search is to own control of your search. This goes for posting your resume to every possible site that asks for it (don’t do that), to working with random staffing agencies you’ve never heard of.
Being proactive in your job search is paramount, and this applies to working with agencies too. Seek out reputable agencies that have been referred to you and approach them, especially those local to where you seek employment. Chances are these agencies know the local landscape and have been sought out by the hiring employer, raising your chances of a good connection.
Once you’ve connected with an agency, you’ll meet with them and gain an understanding of what they offer and how they work. In turn, they’ll get to know you, your strengths and preferences, along with your experience and you will have a better experience. I’ve seen the agencies here in Seattle help people get into jobs they couldn’t land on their own.
Beware of agencies that are miles and miles away, even across the country. While I’ve heard of a few that worked out, this is not common. Check them out, perhaps even ask for some references of people they’ve previously worked with. Do your due diligence. Most will ask you to sign an agreement with them very early on, and this could have a negative impact on your search. In some cases, once you sign, you cannot apply directly to that employer. Imagine being contacted by an agency about a job with your dream company and signing the agreement, only to have that person disappear. Yes, it has happened! Then you see that perfect job posted at the dream employer and boom! You can’t apply because you signed that agreement. Own your search!
So, what do you do? First, if you haven’t heard it already. Take control of your job search and own it. Seek out agencies and recruiters who have good reputations and with whom people have had good experiences and results. Approach them. Meet with them. Ask questions. Find out any restrictions that might arise from signing agreements. Work with more than one vetted agency to raise your chances.
Recruiters and staffing agencies can be your best friend in your search for employment, but do it wisely and choose carefully. For more tips on working with staffing agencies, click HERE.
Own your search, be curious and you will land your next great role.
As a coach, my goal is to guide people so they learn how to execute a job search, and successfully land that next new job. In my years of coaching individuals, I’ve noticed a 5 key things that people struggle with when trying to go it alone in the job search.
Interested in learning more about my job search strategies program? Go to www.colecoach.com to read more about my services and book a complimentary 30 minute consultation to discuss your goals. Register for my complete package my May 31, 2017, and receive a 20% discount on the package price.
Andrea's passion is to see you achieve your professional dreams. Whether you are a corporate leader seeking leadership development for your employees or an individual seeking guidance in building your career or preparing for retirement, she will coach you to success.