The Career Coach – Supporting Clients On Their Journey
7 Essential skills a Career Coach needs to help their clients.
One of the many specializations or niches Life Coaches choose is that of a Career Coach. A Career coach focuses on helping clients navigate through all the different aspects of their careers, such as personal issues, researching careers or employment opportunities, qualifications, applications and the interview process itself.
The professional career coach will also be mindful about the coach’s code to avoid offering their solutions but instead to explore the needs and goals of the client. The career coach brings their awareness, understanding, and knowledge about career exploration to the coaching conversation which serves to help the client make the best decision for themselves. So this also means the career coach understands that sometimes the client “does not know some important factors they need to know.” In these cases, the career coach will want to offer suggestions or ideas to the client if the client indicates they want them.
In this article, we will focus on one aspect of career exploration with which the career coach can help their client – the interview process.
Discussing The Clients Greatest Achievements and Strengths
Career Coaching Clients Interview Preparation
To start, a career coach might invite a review of what the clients approach to the interview process is. This includes a discussion with their client on how to discuss personal strengths and assets in a positive manner without appearing to be arrogant.
Following are some strategies the career coach might explore with their client:
1. Explore With The Client The Importance Of Staying Relevant.
A Career Coach explores with their client the importance of focusing on qualities they (the client) has that would be critical to the job for which they are being considered. If the company is looking to hire someone who can reduce the company’s travel costs, the career coach will help the client recognize where the client has this skill set and can emphasize it in their job interview. (For example, the client might have been able to cut the travel budget in half at a previous job).
2. Explore With The Client How Attitude Is An Important Factor In Getting The Desired Position.
Career coaches will discuss with their client ways to create a personal connection with the interviewer and company, by displaying the right attitude. Through this part of the coaching conversation, the career coach might also help the client discover the best strategy for them (the client) to demonstrate how they would tackle a project.
3. Explore With The Client How They Might Distinguish Themselves.
A Career Coach might discuss with their client ways their client might help make themselves stand out from the rest. The coach will brainstorm with the client suggesting the client to come up with a personal list of unique skills they possess (i.e., fluent in multiple languages, holds all necessary professional certifications, etc.).
4. How Does The Career Coach Client Feel About Discussing Their Weaknesses, As Well As Their Strengths During The Interview?
An important aspect of the interview process for the Career Coach is to explore with their clients is the importance to be open and honest with an interviewer regarding any weaknesses or possible shortcomings the client feels they may have. In so doing, the coach will help their client learn ways to be careful in articulating their flaws or insecurities.
Some ways a career coach does this includes:
• Thoughts about the client being moderate, and to stay away from any weakness so major that revealing it could sink the client’s chances of getting a job offer. Possibly discussing flaws, but none that could be deal breakers.
• What would it be like for the client to share with the interviewer ways the client has learned from past mistakes (i.e., perhaps the client has made an embarrassing typographical error in a business proposal at a past job and from that the client has now developed a skill as a meticulous proofreader).
• How does the client want to demonstrate that they take responsibility for their performance? Any potential employer wants to be assured that they (your client) will take accountability for their work and will be willing to resolve any issues that might arise as quickly as possible.
5. How Does The Client Want To Handle Salary Negotiations
This can be a tricky subject in the interview process so worthy of some discussion. How does the Career Coach client feel about letting the interviewer know if the client’s salary requirements are flexible, or by politely asking the interviewer if they can provide a salary range before the client offers any specific salary requirements? Additionally, the client might want to research the market before the interview. If the client has a working knowledge of what the salary range is for the job the client seeks in their location, it will strengthen the client’s bargaining position.
6. How Might The Client Pose Their Questions To The Interviewer
Many interviews conclude with an invitation to ask questions. How does the Career Coach client want to handle the fact that asking thoughtful questions makes an interviewee more memorable and strengthens their case for being the right candidate for the job?
Some areas a career coach might touch on include:
• Consider again to highlight their strengths, to recap their qualifications.
• Review general awareness skills throughout the interview. This includes looking for signs from the interviewer that the interviewer wants to conclude their time together.
• Explore how much they actually want the position and to do so honestly. If the career coach client determines the job would be a good career move, encourage them to ask about the company’s organizational culture, its training opportunities and its plans for growth. Answers to those questions will clarify for the client even more, whether or not this job is a good fit.
7. Career Coach Offer To Rehearse The Interview
Discuss and offer to the client the opportunity to rehearse answers to potentially difficult questions in advance. Advise them that to do so will help them feel more confident and more relaxed at the interview. A career coach can also offer the service of conducting a mock interview with their client in a separate coaching session.
Guiding clients through career changes can be an incredibly satisfying experience for both coach and client. The client can benefit by finding their way forward to a potentially new and exciting career, and the coach will benefit not only in the satisfaction of seeing their client achieve success but quite possibly in new referrals from their client, who will be excited to share with others, how extraordinary their coach is!
For those coaches excited to help clients attain career goals a Career Coach specialty can be very rewarding.