I recently coached a client for an important interview.

She had prepared as much as humanly possible by reading the organization’s website, talking with people associated with the organization, and writing some key statements about how her talents and abilities could contribute to the organization.

She was nervous about being thrown off by questions she might not be prepared to answer.

If you are asked an interview question that you hadn’t anticipated:

-Breathe and stay present (your brain needs oxygen!)

-Feel free to ask a clarifying question such as:

“I want to answer your question, but you could you first tell me what you mean by x, y, or z?”

Or:

“There are a couple of ways into that question.  What first comes to mind is x.  Is x a good place to start?

It’s important to remember that you are interviewing the organization and their representatives, as much as they are interviewing you.

Think of the overall interview as a conversation to determine not just whether you are the right candidate, but also if the position is one that’s right for you.

Clients often confide, “What I can’t say but I’d really like to say in the interview is this…” and they will say something incredibly powerful and compelling about how deep their knowledge, experience, or passion is.

If there is something deep and powerful about your abilities that you want to say in an interview, find a way to share it.

If you’re afraid that it might sound like you’re bragging or is too honest about how you feel, find a coach or someone you trust to practice saying it until you find the right words for you.

Employers want to see the real you.  They want to see and hear why you’re passionate about the job and what you feel you can contribute.  The light in your eye, and the passion in your voice are just as important as finding the right words.

You need to know that who you are will be appreciated, seen, and valued on the job.

May we pursue our paths, finding appropriate ways to communicate our abilities,

Best wishes,

Elizabeth