Today in my networking challenge I am interviewing Carole Martin, who is better known as The Interview Coach. Carole is the Author of 8 books on interviewing and I am excited to pick her brain today about her interviewing tips. Thanks so much for sharing your tips Carole!
In case you are reading this at work and can’t watch the video, you can read all of the great advice below instead!
1) What is the best way to prepare for an interview?
My advice is to look at the job posting and the job description. It’s like a piece of gold. Read through that 3 times. The first time for content. The third time for words. The third time for read between the lines to figure out what are they looking for? How can you solve a problem unless you know what the problem is. So look at what the company is looking for and pick out key things. Read between the lines to figure out what they are really looking for which are key factors. Later on when you get about 5-7 keywords, when you do that you will make stories or examples about those 5-7 words. We can’t prepare for questions because we don’t know what questions they are going to ask. But we do know they are going to ask us about whether we have experience in those particular keyword areas. This will make you feel more prepared. Also you should know what you bring to the position whether it is your education or experience or your expertise. You should know who you are and your brand and what you have to offer.
2) How can we eliminate nervousness and stress before a big interview?
Stress is part of interviewing. You always are going to get those butterflies and get a little nervous because it is a new situation. The truth is that you have power over some things and you don’t have power of over things. Control the things that you have power over. What you can control is letting them know that you are the best person for the job. You have to be prepared to tell them that and to sell yourself. While you are selling yourself, they are watching you and saying this is how he or she is going to interact with our customers. How does she come across? Do we want her representing our team?
3) What are some things that we can do during an interview that will make us stand out from our competition?
By knowing what you bring to the position. Sometimes you can have added value like maybe you speak a language or maybe you had an experience that is beyond what they are looking for. Find what I call your ace which something that makes you stand out from the others. You will be ahead of the others if you just have a good idea of who you are. Know your branding and what your strengths are and know what others say about you. Have an inventory of who you are and what you bring is really important.
4) What are some common mistakes that people make during interviews?
The biggest two mistakes are that you talk too much or not enough. People ask me how long a story or an example should be. A story is an answer to a question the says “Give me an example of” or “Tell me about a time when.” They want to hear about your past behavior. The reason they do that is because you did it before, you can do it again. People ask me how long should the story be. I recommend thinking of an electric toothbrush. The toothbrush will go off after about 2 minutes and that is when you should turn off too. So 2 minutes is a long time and is a pretty long time to tell a story or answer a question. If you go beyond two minutes, people’s eyes glaze over and you have lost them. If you don’t talk enough. If someone asks you if you have a problem speaking in front of other people, don’t just say no. Say, no in fact I have done it. I have talked in front of as many as 300 people! Expand a little on yes or no to make yourself look good so that they know why you are saying no.
5) What can we do after an interview so that we don’t get forgotten?
I believe in rating yourself. After the interview, get a paper and pencil or notes in your laptop as soon as you can. Write down everything you remember about the interview. What did you think went well? What would you do differently if you could do it again? Start to keep a diary of your interviewing experiences so that you won’t make the same mistakes next time or you will do more of what went well. Score your own interview and of course ask for feedback if you can but chances are you probably won’t get any. If you do, take it as constructive and do not argue back.
6) What do you wish you would have known when you were a young professional woman just starting out in her career?
I wish I had known that I had more to offer than I realized. Women under rate themselves. I had a client this morning who didn’t feel like she was worthy but I said where are you coming from, you have done some remarkable things! But we want to beat ourselves up. Some men beat themselves up too. Females are very self critical. Believe in yourself. If you don’t believe in yourself, why would anyone else believe in you? Don’t say I am pretty good. You are either pregnant or you aren’t. You are either good at it or not. Don’t use those kinds of words like pretty. Say I am good at it and I am an expert at it. Give yourself credit for knowing what you know.
7) If people want to learn more about you where can they find you online?
www.interviewcoach.com or my books are on amazon. My website has information about products and packages with recordings and coaching. I do a lot of coaching with federal law enforcement. I am a subject matter expert on interviews.
8 ) What made you decide to become an interview coach?
I went back to school later in life because I wanted to help women in transition. I ended up being the guru for the FBI interviews. You set a goal and you let fate take its course. You never know where you are going to end up.
What are your interview tips?