I have been working in construction-related fields in a professional capacity for nineteen years; initially in Ireland followed by Australia and Canada. I have always loved my work and have spent much of my spare time studying and keeping up with the industry.
Nine years ago I went to see an interview coach for two sessions and it was an eye-opening experience. Even though the sessions lasted only two hours in total, the exercises, takeaways, application of knowledge had a lasting impact on me.
The global financial crisis had hit the world and the Irish construction industry was crushed. I decided to broaden my options by attempting to find employment and a new life in Australia. There was a lot at stake as I had already committed to fly there for two weeks on a fact-finding mission due to having no luck applying for work in Australia from Ireland.
I had never thought about going to see an interview coach until my sister’s strike rate went from 50% to 100% after two sessions. She wouldn’t shut up about it, so I signed up.
In truth, I did work tirelessly on the exercises the coach set for me as I wasn’t going to fly all that way (at great cost) and blow my chances. I flew home two weeks later with two job offers.
Since that time, I have offered informal coaching to others before important interviews, however, It was only a few years ago I set up on a more formal basis.
I decided that I wanted to become a master interviewee, as this meta-skill would bring about untold benefits in personal and professional growth, I also knew I would have the opportunity to meet great people on the journey. From a work satisfaction perspective, there is no greater feeling than coaching clients, watching their progression, and experiencing the same eureka moments I experienced all those years ago.
“If you want to learn something, read about it. If you want to understand something, write about it. If you want to master something, teach it.”
― Yogi Bhajan
The benefits of being a great interviewee:
- Freedom to choose whom you want to work for (if you master the skills and apply them correctly, you will find yourself in a place with competing offers and difficult but great choices to make).
- Better leverage when negotiating multiple offers. At the outset of Covid, I had to decide between three competing offers, I chose the one that would give me the best experience and work with the best team.
- It greatly improves your personal interactions. Yes, small talk matters, holding an interesting conversation with a stranger is a great skill to possess.
- Improves your verbal communications as well as getting rid of your hidden ticks or non-verbal communications (umm, amm, you know, I suppose, etc.).
- It gives you the confidence to apply for jobs that are ‘perhaps’ out of your range.
- It makes you a better negotiator (not only for salary, benefits, working conditions, convincing Employers you are their best option)
- It opens up the potential to travel and work overseas. I have created many opportunities abroad, even one during Covid.
- It makes you sought after in a competitive environment.
- It sets you apart from the competition.
- It gets you out of your comfort zone.
- It greatly improves your public speaking.
- It teaches you the value of selling your greatest commodity, demonstrating your value will stand to you in every aspect of your professional life.
- It lends itself well to professional interactions and networking.
- It ensures you will always be ready in the event the interview you always desired comes up at a moment’s notice, many opportunities in my career have presented themselves when I least expected it, without much opportunity to prepare.
- Introspection – It makes you consider fully what you are good at and what you love and even dislike doing. Many people float through a career without really thinking about what they want, where they have come from, or where they are headed.
- Positive feedback from Company to a recruiter will give them confidence that you will represent them well, this will matter when they pitch you to Clients over the coming years.
- Options, security that if you need to change jobs due to a certain circumstance, you won’t be out of work long.
- Competition is fierce, particularly in a recessionary environment. Remember, employers, don’t always select the ‘best’ candidate in every sense of the word. They typically have one or two hours to make the most educated guess for who will be the ‘best fit’, In this case, the pendulum inevitably swings to those that are ‘best prepared’ or have created the ‘best impression’.
- The power of questions. Realizing that asking the right questions (in any context) creates a great impression and leads to really interesting conversations. This is a skill that is developed over time and with deliberate practice.
- Competence = Confidence (I liken this to the power of compound interest, consistently adding improvements and skills to your offering, compounds over time, and pays back in dividends)