Not Closing Interviews

Case 2

Marketer seeking help after 8 months of unemployment lands a competitive role at a top market research company with only 2 interview coaching sessions.

“There was a disconnect between what was on paper and how I was presenting myself in front of interviewers. On paper, I looked like a great candidate. But I would always second guess myself when going into interviews and it showed.”  (Sai)

Could you tell me about your background?

My Bachelor’s degree is in Anthropology and Jewish Studies from the University of Maryland. I also hold a Masters degree in Jewish Studies. From there, I decided to enter the Jewish non­profit world head on. Between college and graduate school, I did some international work and gained core experience with donors and fundraising. After I finished my Master’s, I transitioned back to a more fundraising­oriented role and was responsible for large­scale campaigns with key stakeholders.

As a Director, I had reached a point in my career where I wasn’t moving up and increasing my responsibilities at an engaging rate. This started to drain on me so I began to put out feelers. I reached out to a few organizations and received a positive response, which encouraged me to expand my job search outside of my state.

What steps did you take to differentiate your job application?

During my first session with Diana, we worked on posture and projecting confidence. This was really important for me because, after eight months in the job market, my confidence was getting very low. She also taught me how to give more powerful responses during interviews. She stressed the importance of being concise during our practices and the result was very beneficial. Her coaching gave my responses more clarity and I found that I could think better when I was talking.

Before I had the second session with her, I found out that I had been called for an interview at with a global research corporation. I went back to Diana and she helped me prepare specifically for that interview. We did some mock interviews that really gave me a better sense of how I react to questions, how I should present myself, and how I tend to speak. What also really helped me was the way she told me to structure my interview responses.

What was your success coming out of your coaching sessions?

I received an offer from the research corporation, and I am working there now!

Do you have any advice for other professionals in similar positions?

I have two pieces of advice for new grads:

  • Job hunting requires patience: I didn’t get my first job until 4 months after graduation. It got a bit depressed seeing my friends getting jobs before me. When I did get a job, I started with such a recognizable company that it made the waiting worth it. For those that are job hunting, my first piece of advice is to be patient. Build a job search action plan, connect with people in your target industry through networking events and informational interviews, and always keep your eye on the goal. Also, don’t forget to take care of yourself during the job hunt. Exercise and meet up with friends and family to de­stress.
  • It’s okay to not like your first job: Once you get a job, you may not like it­ and that’s okay! It’s fine to not like your job, as long as it is taking you somewhere that you would like to go. For example, if you take up a sales role at a company but it’s giving you exposure to the marketing department, where you really want to work, do your time in sales and switch over to marketing when you can. Building a career requires getting a foot in the door. There is not one direct route to where you want to get to. Any two people can land up in the same position in different ways.