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Case Study: Interview Coaching Nets Client $20,000 Pay Increase

The above title reads like a headline from your local newspaper, but this is a classic story of what happens when preparation meets opportunity.

Rick is an IT Project Manager, and has been my client for the past three years. He reconnected with me recently for interview coaching as he was pursuing an opportunity through a recruiter. He met with the recruiter and got a clear idea of the challenges his target company was facing. Using that information he developed a strategic plan, prepared a PowerPoint presentation highlighting the challenges and offering solutions, and sent it to the recruiter for review. The recruiter was so impressed with his approach that he asked all shortlisted candidates to prepare a presentation.

By the time Rick came to me for coaching, he had updated the presentation to include matrices and charts, and was confident he knew what the company needed and the value he could offer them. I reviewed the presentation with him, then we focussed on interview questions he would most likely be asked. To cover all bases, we reviewed other questions that could come up based on the problems he identified and the environment in which he was going to work. He left feeling very confident.

At the interview, all eyes were focused on him and the presentation. When the interview ended he was told that he would hear from them by Friday. In less than two hours, and before he got back to his office, they called to offer him the position. Not only did he get the job, but it came with a $20,000 pay increase and an excellent benefit package.

Here are some things that Rick did right:

  • He took his job search very seriously instead of leaving it up to luck.
  • He did not wait until a day or two before his interview to seek coaching. Too many people go to the interview ill-prepared and with high expectation that something miraculous will happen.
  • He researched  the company, found out what problems they faced and offered strategies for solution.
  • He separated himself from his competitors by going the extra mile. He capitalized on his strength and, in so doing, raised the bar by which the other candidates were measured.
  • His expertise and enthusiasm shone during the coaching session and because of that we were confident he would do well at the interview.

Rick’s case is not unusual. More and more hiring managers are asking candidates, particularly those at the managerial and executive levels, to prepare to deliver a 10-15 minute presentation. Rick was not asked to do one, but it gave him an edge, and to a large extent, allowed him to set the agenda and control the interview.

I have coached many individuals to do what Rick did.  In one case, it was a corporate lawyer who wanted to apply for an internal position as Corporate Responsibility Officer. A presentation was not a requirement but I suggested she prepared one anyway, as she was competing with three other internal candidates. From her assessment, they appeared to have had the edge, including one who was with the company for 22 years and was acting in the position. The research that she did and the strategy we developed helped her to ace the interview and get the job!

As competition increases, job seekers are being pushed to find creative ways to stand out from the crowd. Not everyone will have the successes mentioned above; not everyone will be vying for positions at those levels, but if you are serious about moving your career forward, it requires an investment of your time.

Some people spend more time planning their vacation than they do their job search, and from my experience, it’s easy to spot these individuals. They call in a panic the day before the interview to ask “Do you guys do interview coaching, and can you see me this weekend?” or they leave a message wanting to know the fee for a ‘general’ or ‘generic’ resume so they can apply for a job that has a deadline the next day. This quick fix, microwave approach won’t work, and that’s the reason some people’s job search go wrong. Don’t let this happen to you.

2009 Awards of Excellence

While I was nominated for two awards this year – ONESTEP 2009 Awards of Excellence (The Ontario Network of Employment Skills Training Projects), and Career Professionals of Canada’s “2009 Award of Excellence”, .

cpc-aoe-final-2009

It’s not possible to post all the documentation related to the nominations, so I have listed few highlights:

1.

My book: No Canadian Experience, eh? A Career Survival Guide for New Immigrants Letters of acknowledgement were received from: The Right Hon. Governor General Michaëlle Jean, MPP Linda Jeffrey, and former Minister of Citizenship & Immigration, Hon. Mike Colle, who cited in a letter that the book “is an excellent resource tool”.

A publisher of career books in Toronto remarked in an email that he “was pleasantly surprised to see so much valuable information for a segment of the population that was largely ignored in regards to the job search.”

2.

I was also nominated for the 2009 One Step Award of Excellence for my work on the Pathway to Success for Women – Life Skills and Career Options Program.

“Certain areas were not originally included in the curriculum, but based on her assessment of the needs of each group, she was able to incorporate small business information and interviewing techniques into the program. In an effort to enhance the Personal & Professional Communication section of the program, she took several of the women on field trips to attend meetings of Toastmasters.” ~ Wanda Marsman, Assistant Manager, COSTI Immigrant Services.

******

“No Canadian Experience, Eh?” … is unique and exceptional because it is the first and only resource for foreign trained professionals that focuses solely on the issue of lacking Canadian experience as a main hurdle impeding their employment integration in their fields of training and experience.” ~Dr. Yamil Alonso, Program Director BNRC, Brampton

******

“Daisy Wright was inspirational, motivating and passionate about this program.  It is her genuine need to help people that made this program more enjoyable”. Program Participant.


3.

Opportunities 2008 Conference – Co-presenter on Session – “Wanted:  A Mentoring Model for Employers to Ensure Successful Workforce Integration of New Immigrants”. This was an attempt to get service providers to engage employers in understanding the value that Internationally-Educated Professionals could bring to their organizations.

4.

My work as Career Advisor to The Link, a radio program on CBC Radio Canada International (Since February 2008).

There’s No Corporate Ladder to Climb: You’re On Your Own!

Today’s post is a link to Mark Schnurman’s article in the New Jersey Business News:

Climbing the corporate ladder is an anachronism today. For most of us, toiling at the same company for our entire career is not a viable option. The frequency of layoffs, mergers and acquisitions, and the transient nature of our society and work force combine to destroy the social contract of lifetime employment with one employer.

Today, each of us is a small-business owner.

We own our careers and our lives and benefit from their fruits.

The seminal question must be: Would you invest in the company called YOU?

Click on the link in the title to read the full article.

How To Secure Your Dream Job

“The most important thing is that you must understand the company you are approaching. Then show them you can marry the organisation with your personal qualities.

“Most companies don’t care about anything except how the interviewee is going to improve the company itself. So tell them: Sell yourself as a package; present yourself as a business proposition. You are delivering a set of expectations related to your education, upbringing, attitude – your brand.

When you are looking for a job, you’re searching for an avenue to show The Ultimate You. Your main selling point should be to show how you will help the organisation reach its goals, while you are reaching your own.

“Also important is how you present yourself. Your appearance must mirror the image of the organisation. Reflect how the head of the organisation presents himself or herself. The CEO is the embodiment of its brand, and you cannot go wrong projecting a similarity. It doesn’t mean you must spend the kind of money that they do on clothing – it is more about attitude and capturing their brand.”

thebe ikalafeng
Brand expert and author

Want to Secure Your Dream Job? Learn to Brand Yourself First

“The most important thing is that you must understand the company you are approaching. Then show them you can marry the organisation with your personal qualities.

“Most companies don’t care about anything except how the interviewee is going to improve the company itself. So tell them: Sell yourself as a package; present yourself as a business proposition. You are delivering a set of expectations related to your education, upbringing, attitude – your brand.

When you are looking for a job, you’re searching for an avenue to show The Ultimate You. Your main selling point should be to show how you will help the organisation reach its goals, while you are reaching your own.

“Also important is how you present yourself. Your appearance must mirror the image of the organisation. Reflect how the head of the organisation presents himself or herself. The CEO is the embodiment of its brand, and you cannot go wrong projecting a similarity. It doesn’t mean you must spend the kind of money that they do on clothing – it is more about attitude and capturing their brand.”

thebe ikalafeng,
Brand expert and author

Daisy Wright Recognized as ‘Outstanding Canadian Career Leader’

At the recently held conference of Career Professionals of Canada, I was awarded the prestigious award “Outstanding Canadian Career Leader”. Executive Director of the association, Sharon Graham said,

“Daisy Wright was nominated and awarded the prestigious Outstanding Canadian Career Leader Award for two very important reasons: She has proactively contributed to establishing Canadian résumé writing as a viable leader in a largely dominated US market. She has also significantly influenced the Canadian marketplace through numerous high-profile volunteer activities. Her supporting material outlined multiple significant achievements in 2006.”

The Wright Career Solution
http://www.thewrightcareer.com/