What is Interview Coaching?

Man speaking with woman
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Interview coaching is a way for job seekers to prepare for and feel more confident about upcoming interviews.

Career coaches and career services offices offer interview coaching sessions in which a job seeker meets with a professional interview coach to learn interview strategies.

Interview coaching can help job seekers develop a variety of skills and techniques that are useful for interviews.

Why Interview Coaching?

Interview coaching can help increase your chances of getting a job for a number of reasons.

Coaching gives you experience answering many different interview questions and interacting with potential employers.

The more you practice with a coach, the more confident you will be. You should feel confident walking into any interview, and a coach can give you the tools to feel self-assured.

Types of Interview Coaching

There are many types of interview coaching. Some coaches meet with you in person, and others speak with you online or on the phone.

Whether you meet in person, online, or over the phone, the coach typically conducts one or more practice interviews and then provides you with feedback. He or she may also provide a list of typical interview questions, and help you prepare answers to these questions. In an online interview, a coach my interview you over Skype (or another online video chat service), or ask you to send him or her a video of your answers to a list of interview questions.

Coaches you meet over the phone will typically conduct a mock phone interview.

If you meet the coach in person or online, he or she can also help you develop effective nonverbal communication. The coach can show you facial and body language that will demonstrate to the employer that you are friendly, are very interested in a particular conversation, or that you are actively listening to someone.

Coaches may also help you with other elements of the interview, including how to ask the right questions of the employer, how to prepare for an interview (including ways to research the company and learn more about the position), and even how to dress.

Some coaches can help you with unique interview situations, such as panel interviews or interviews that involve a presentation.

How to Find a Coach

You can find an interview coach at almost any career services office. Career coaches are also typically trained as interview coaches.

However, be aware that most of these services cost money, so research prices when looking for a coaching service.

If you cannot afford a coach, there are some opportunities for less expensive or even free coaching. Check out your local library to see if they hold any free interview or career workshops. State and local agencies also offer career assistance for free to local citizens.  

Consider creating a job club with friends or associates, in which you give each other mock interviews.

Your college career services office may also provide free or discounted interview coaching to alumni.

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