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If you’re competing for an in-demand job you need several things: relevant qualifications, appropriate competencies, and the confidence to ensure you make it successfully across the finish line.

But that is only the first hurdle you face. While you may have the skills and experience to be a perfect match, first you have to gain the attention of the hiring manager and convince him or her that you are the perfect fit to sign that contract.

An interview coach is often best placed to help you gain that confidence to make a positive impression. A well-thought out and exceptionally written CV will gain you an invitation to an interview but what happens behind the interview room door will make or break your job application.

This is why hiring a professional interview coach has become an essential job search tool.

Interview coaches can help candidates find their voice

The job interview is designed to identify and evaluate the suitability of a candidate to the requirements of a position. This is determined by posing different types of questions – simple to complex – from experience and credential verification questions to competency-based and behavioural questions.

For the inexperienced (and for many experienced) interviewee answering questions in what is regarded as a nerve-wrecking experience can often lead one tongue-tied, knowing the answers but not knowing how to verbalise them.

A professional job interview coach can help in this and other challenging aspects of the interview.

Manage stress and brain freeze 

Whether you’re being interviewed by a single hiring manager or have to sit through a gut-wrenching multi-person panel interview, being practised at managing stress levels in a job interview helps in portraying much needed confidence.

An interview coach can advise on techniques to employ to ensure that you come across articulate and eloquent. A response – “That’s an interesting and unusual question. I need a moment to consider it” – when thrown by an unexpected question allow you a bit of time to develop an appropriate response.

Body language speaks a powerful language

It is not just what you say that is of importance. Non-verbal signals (body language) are closely observed to gain a more accurate reflection of the feelings of a person, and are seen as more powerful and persuasive than words spoken.

Positive body language to convey confidence includes a firm handshake at the start of the interview, good eye contact, an upright seated position and nodding to show understanding.

Mock interviews provides essential practice opportunities

Job hunting requires a certain amount of dedication, like an athlete training to compete at the Olympics. Mock interviews, under the guiding hand of a professional interview coach, provide essential training before you face a life-changing interview.

It helps if you see a job interview like sitting an A-level exam. You need practice at answering different level questions, especially those that have you squirming in the hot seat.

Additional benefits provided through feedback from a mock interview include:

  • Having an expert help identify those areas of weaknesses in answering questions
  • Providing advice on how to overcome weaknesses
  • View the hiring manager’s perspective and learn how to structure answers to questions accordingly

Remember, a polished confident performance in a job interview is a result of practise, practise, and practise. Present your best self from a position of strength under the instruction and advice from an interview coach.

Zulfah Abrahams writes for Inspiring Interns, which specialises in sourcing candidates for internships and graduate jobs.

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