Frequently Asked Questions
Why is interview coaching so important? Is it really worth spending money to get an interview coaching session?
The interview is the most important part of the job application process. It’s where the hiring manager makes the final decision about who to hire and who to ignore. Unfortunately, many candidates come to the interview not knowing how to present themselves or how the hiring manager will perceive their answers to common interview questions. Every hiring manager has seen highly qualified candidates come to job interviews:
- Inappropriately dressed
- Giving answers to common job interview questions that left a very negative impression
- No knowing what aspects of their background to emphasize during the interview
A interview coaching session will help you avoid these problems and build an effective interviewing strategy that shows the hiring manager you have the skills, personality, and background to do the job effectively. A single interviewing coaching session can make the difference in your application process and is well worth the price. Paying for a job interview coach may be the best decision you ever made.
Interview coaching can make a huge difference for graduate school applicants as well.
Can you really help me prepare for a interview over the phone or video chat?
Absolutely, we have helped hundreds of clients over the phone and Skype. A phone connection is more than enough for your job interview coach to hear your answers to interview questions, see the way you present yourself in an interview and provide real time feedback. Using Skype or video chat is a small advantage over phone because your job interview coach can see your facial expressions. Regardless, both the phone and video chat are great ways to communicate regarding interviews. Even for Interview SOS’s Los Angeles-based clients, we suggest communicating over Skype to save communing time for the client. (Of course, we still meet many clients at our Los Angeles offices as well.)
Prior to scheduling an interview, please make sure you have either:
- A reliable telephone or
- A computer with video chat capabilities (Skype or Google Video Chat) and a reliable high-speed internet connection
As long as you have one of the above two, you should be able to interact with your career coach successfully and get the practical feedback required for a successful job interview coaching session.
What is your Money Back Guarantee?
At Interview SOS, we feel that we shouldn’t be paid unless you are satisfied with our services.
We offer a Money Back Guarantee on our job interview coaching services. If at any time during your job interview coaching session you are not convinced that we can help improve your interviewing skills and chances of getting a job, let your interview coach know and we will terminate the session and give you a full refund. As a courtesy, we ask that you give an explanation for why you felt we did not meet your expectations so we can improve for the future.
Please note we cannot guarantee you will get the job. We can only guarantee that our job interview coach will do everything he or she can to help you succeed in the job interview process.
Your interview coach will spend time reviewing your resume and job description before your interview coaching session. Therefore we cannot offer a money back guarantee for no shows.
What should I expect from a free consultation?
One of career coaches will contact you by phone or by Skype to ask you about your specific circumstances and the job or graduate school you are applying for. We will suggest a plan for your job interview preparation, often referencing our The Definitive Guide to Ace Your Interview and Get the Job. This usually takes 10 minutes or less. If appropriate, our career coach will a schedule an interview coaching session with you at a mutually agreed upon time.
Interview SOS serves job applicants in what industries?
Interview SOS coaches have helped applicants apply for positions in many industries, including:
- Accounting and Finance
- Marketing, Sales and Communications
- Engineering, Computers and Information Technology
- Operations Management
- Human Resources
- Administration (Secretarial)
- Nonprofit Management
We have also helped applicants interviewing for business and medical school but that requires additional preparation. Please see our Services Section to learn more.
I get REALLY nervous about job interviews. How do I overcome my anxiety?
The best way to get over your anxiety is being prepared. Spend as much time as you can to get ready for the interview both in researching the company and preparing answers to common interview questions. We can help you overcome your anxiety.
If you find that you are still nervous about job interview, than we suggest rehearsing under less than ideal circumstances. Our suggestions are as follows:
Loud Music Strategy
Play some music you don’t like loud enough that it interferes with your thoughts but doesn’t wake the neighbors. Then rehearse your answers to common job interview questions. Don’t try to talk over the music just deal with it. Practicing for your interview under less than ideal circumstances will help you do better.
Insulting Friend Strategy
Ask your friends to help you rehearse for you job interview. Tell them they can say anything mean or insulting they want to say to you (within reason), while they ask you common job interview questions. You cannot respond to their insults, only respond to the job interview question they are asking you.
The conversation should go something like this:
Friend: “Why are you interested in working for company x? By the way, I think your car is really ugly.”
You: “I really admire company x for reason a, reason b and reason c. [do not respond to car comment]”
Friend: “Your room is always such a mess. You are such a slob. What is your greatest weakness?”
You: “My greatest weakness is my math skills. I overcame this weakness by studying extra hard for my math final exams. [Do not respond to slob comment.]”
Both of these strategies are very childish, which is why they are so effective at getting rid of anxiety. The real job interview will never be as bad as the artificial situation you created when you were practicing for it.
Can you really help me? What types of clients has interview SOS helped in the past?
Interview SOS career coaches have helped applicants with many different backgrounds get jobs. Past clients have included:
- Experienced professionals seeking new employment opportunities in their field
- Career changers entering a new field in midlife
- Recent high school and college graduates seeking a first job
- Former retirees and housewives reentering the job market
- Unemployed workers trying to improve their chances of getting a job
We also have some experience helping candidates with special situations such as:
- Speech Disorders
- English as a Second Language
How do I prepare for a job interview coaching session?
We strongly suggest that the applicant send us their resume, cover letter (if relevant) and a copy of the job description prior to the interview coaching sessions so the coach can review these documents and suggest an appropriate interviewing strategy.It’s optional, but we suggest that the applicant come to the coaching session prepared to answer the following common interview questions:
- Tell me about yourself? [Hint: Give a 2–3 minute personal sales pitch]
- Why are you leaving your current or previous job?
- What is your greatest strength? What are your strengths?
- What is your greatest weakness? What are your weaknesses?
- Why are you interested in this position or company?
- Tell me about your greatest achievement.
Please consult our Interview SOS Practical Guide to Job Interview Preparation for additional hints on how to answer these questions successfully.
The job applicant can also bring a list of questions and concerns about the interview process for his or her coach to answer.
Can you guarantee I’ll get the job?
What happens if the company does not contact me after an interview?
When it comes to the job application process, no news is (usually) bad news. Not all companies bother to send letters to unsuccessful job applicants. If you don’t hear back from your contact in Human resources or the hiring manager two weeks after a job interview, we suggest you write to your contacts in the company expressing your continued interest in the position. Companies are notoriously indecisive about giving out offers for some positions and the candidate who continues to (politely) express interest in the position may receive an offer at a later date or be called back to interview for another similar position if one opens up. If you have not heard back from the company two weeks after the interview, sending the following letter (or some variant of it) is appropriate:
Dear [Hiring Manager/HR Contact name],
I had not heard back from you and I wanted to express my continued interest in [position xx].
I was very impressed by your [business, nonprofit, etc.]. Let me know if there is anything I can do to move forward with my candidacy.
Until you receive a concrete job offer, we suggest that you assume you did not receive the job and continue your application process at other companies.
What happens if I am informed that I did not receive a job offer?
It is important for candidates to recognize that “no” usually means “not now.” Many Interview SOS clients have been called back at a later date to interview again for positions similar to what they interviewed for in the past as additional opportunities opened up in those companies. You should accept the rejection with grace and express continued interest in the position. Accepting rejection with grace is a sign of maturity that is highly respected by many companies, employers, and educational institutions.After receiving news that you did not receive an offer, sending the following letter (or some variant of it) is appropriate:
Dear [Hiring Manager/HR Contact name],
I am sorry to hear that I did not receive an offer for [position xx]. Thank you for taking the time to consider me for the position.
I was very impressed by your [business, nonprofit, etc.] and I would like to express my continued interest in the position. If this position or a similar one opens up at a later date, I hope you will consider my candidacy.
You should continue your job search but be ready to respond to a job inquiry if you are called back to interview for another position.