- Are you landing 1st interviews, but not 2nd interviews?
- Are you struggling to 'close' in your interviews?
- Would you like to get honest and thorough feedback from an interview expert?
Executive interview coaching is in demand both in my private practice and in my MBA Career Advising role at the University of Georgia. Since you put so much effort into landing an interview, it's essential that you ace it!
I can help demystify this process by conducting a mock interview with you. Since I work with business recruiters I can help you understand what they are looking for and provde expert feedback.
Below is a sample summary of an interview evaluation with a client. He uploaded a video interview and I provided the critique below and several follow up coaching sessions. I'm happy to report that the interview coaching worked. He has 2 offers and is choosing his favorite as we speak!
Interviewer: Sharon B. Cohen (*career manager)
Interviewee: JS. Business Professional
Decision:Passed - Good!
Thank you for uploading your mock interview and submitting your interview answers. After reviewing your video responses, I would like to provide some feedback.
Camera Placement – The camera has a good view of your profile.The background is neutral and the color of your tie is complimentary to your eyes and complexion.
Verbal Communication – Energy and variety in tonal inflection is key to maintain the interviewers' interest. Employers are seeking 'engagement' as a criteria. This often determines if they call candidates in for the 2nd round of interviews.
Non-verbal - body language appears to be direct and sincere. Eye contact is good.
1. Take me through your resume and tell me how you made a difference at each experience. – Good
This question is all about confidence. Highlight your career accomplishments and express what you gained from each experience.
2. How have these experiences prepared you to be a successful employee with my firm? –Good
When you specifically stated the skills and software you are proficient in, you highlighted attributes that set you apart from other applicants. You described both your education, work experience and your transferable skills. Tying in the transferable skills to the needs of the employer is key!
3. Describe a challenging team project you worked on in which the group had difficulty accomplishing its objectives. – Needs Improvement, partial answer. In your response you stated the situation and task but forgot to mention the action and results. Use the STAR system of interview answers to cover the situation, task, action and result. This will provide a comprehensive and cohesive answer.
I’d recommend using the STAR technique to explain your great accomplishments. You did give some examples, but you kept forgetting to tie them into any potential new job or employer needs. IE: when explaining technical skills go beyond the list and emphasize what a bonus this would be when doing x,y,z tasks. STAR stories describe the situation, task, individual actions/contributions, and the results.
4. Tell me about a busy time in your career and how you managed your time effectively. –
Very good answer. You demonstrated work/life balance and showed how you perform under pressure. Good examples.
5. How do you stay current in your field? What resources do you use? – Excellent
This is one of my favorite questions. It helps me determine if the candidate is truly motivated and passionate about their field. Give specific examples of e-sites, LinkedIn groups, professional journals that you subscribe to and read. They may test you and ask you about a recent article you read and what it implies for the industry. Be fully prepared.
6. Tell me about your technical skills. – Good
Knowledge and proficiency from your educational background is good, but what other skills do you possess outside of the classroom? Good job using business language and mentioning what specifically you can do in Excel.
7. What is your greatest weakness? – Ok, could be better
This is a trick question. It's less about the actual 'weakness' than about your insight about your self. Remember, that recruiters have heard it all. So, saying you're a perfectionist is not the way to go. Highlight a skill you are currently working on, to show insight into future growth and development. Also, tie this to the job description and reference the “responsibilities” and how you can meet them effectively.
8. What are your short & long-term career goals? – Good. In your answer, you gave specific goals that you strive to accomplish.Ensure that your answer is aligned with the job and company goals.
9. What will you say to “close” the interview? – Needs Improvement
Don't say “I believe I am a qualified candidate for this position, but there are probably a lot of others too.” In a live interview you need a 5 step closing, Show your confidence, re-state your pitch. offer a handshake and your business card. Ask for their card, so you have a name/address to send the "thank you card." Also, inquire about their hiring timeline.