When getting an interview coach is (and isn’t) worth it (2023)

The secret is out: lots of job candidates are doing interview coaching to try and get an advantage. If you’ve got an interview coming up, you’re probably asking yourself: is it worth hiring an interview coach?

The short answer is: yes, probably.

However, it’s not always that simple. Let’s take a look at exactly when it is worth the investment, and when it’s probably best to pass.

Is hiring an interview coach worth it?

Hiring an interview coach is usually well worth it if you really want the job but you’re up against other strong candidates. Working with a coach should enable you to give a better performance in interviews and so increase your chances of getting the job (and future jobs). That’s a huge, long-term benefit in return for a few hundred dollars investment.

Interviewing is a skill and like any skill, you can improve it with practice and expert training. A coach will teach you how to give better quality answers and communicate more confidently.

(Video) Is Interview Coaching Worth It? - Who it is NOT worth it for

Furthermore, if they’ve worked in your industry, they can give you specific insights into what your interviewers will be looking for.

So yes, there are many reasons why interview coaching could be a great investment. But in the end, it will depend on your personal circumstances.

8 times it’s worth hiring an interview coach.

Let’s look at some of the situations when it really makes sense to hire an interview coach.

    1. You’re applying for a very competitive job

      Getting a job at companies like Google or McKinsey is harder than getting into Harvard. Thousands of applicants apply for each open position, and you can do fairly well in your interviews and still not make the cut.

      Doing mock interviews with someone who used to run interviews at your target company can help you understand exactly what you need to do.

      2. You’re facing several rounds of interviews

      If you’re hoping to get a job at a top firm, you’ll probably have to go through several interviews. And you won’t be able to rely on a smile and a strong resume - you’ll need to give great answers to tough questions, again and again.

      In this context, anything you can do to improve your interview skills and approach the interviews with confidence makes a lot of sense.

      (Video) Executive Career Coach - 6 Things to Look for When Hiring a Career Coach

      3. You’re going for a significant salary increase

      Imagine you’re applying for a job that’s going to earn you an extra $20,000 per year. From a purely financial perspective, why wouldn’t you spend a few hundred dollars on interview coaching to increase your chances?

      Many of the candidates who use our platform see it in these simple terms. In fact some claim that the benefit-to-cost ratio is over 100.

      4. Interviews make you very nervous

      Almost everyone gets at least a bit nervous before job interviews, but some people get so stressed that they can’t give a good account of themselves, and of course after a poor performance the cycle repeats the next time they interview.

      Doing mock interviews with a coach will make the real thing seem less daunting, purely by repetition. Plus, some coaches will be able to teach you relaxation and focus techniques.

      5. You’re getting interviews but not offers

      Unfortunately, most companies aren’t very good at giving feedback after an unsuccessful interview, so often it’s up to you to try and guess where you’re going wrong.

      An interview coach can pinpoint your weaknesses and work with you to improve them.

      6. You haven’t interviewed in a while

      As with most things, interviewing skills can get pretty rusty if you don’t use them for a while. Plus, things change. For example, a typical interview with a top corporation is run quite a bit differently today compared to how it was ten years ago.

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      An interview coach should be plugged into your industry and will explain exactly what you can expect from each of your interviews.

      7. Your communication skills aren’t great

      For 90% of jobs, good communication skills are vital. Even for more technical roles such as software engineer, you won’t be able to get into the top companies on the strength of your technical skills alone. You’ll need to be able to demonstrate in the interview that you can work well with people and will contribute positively to the “culture” of the company.

      Luckily, improving your communication skills can be fairly straightforward with a bit of practice and some expert guidance.

      8. You really really really want the job

      Sometimes, you have to simplify your thought process and ask yourself: “how badly do I want this job?”

      If you really, really want it and you’ve already prepared as much as you possibly can, then interview coaching may be one of the only things left that you can do to increase your chance of getting the job.

      If that's you and you'd like to compare our platform to other services, check out our list of the best interview coaching services.

      4 times it’s probably not worth hiring an interview coach

      1. You’re not even getting invited to interviews

      If you’re not making it to the interview stage, you probably need to work on your resume a bit more. You can do this with a help of a resume coach, or with handy online guides such as this one we wrote for product managers (most of it is relevant to any position).


      2. You’re making a sideways or backwards move

      If you’re not highly motivated for the position, then you may decide that interview coaching isn’t worth the investment. After all, there’s not much point investing in a coach if you’re not going to back it up by doing the preparation work as well in your own time.

      3. You’re facing an informal interview process

      It’s generally agreed that interview coaching is more effective for candidates who go through an interview process that is reasonably formal and standardized.

      In a formal process, interviewers will ask questions that fit within parameters designed by the company, and they will be evaluating you on clearly defined skills and traits. A coach who has experience working for or coaching for this company or similar companies will have a very good idea of what they’ll be looking for.

      By contrast, an informal interview often just takes the format of a·”chat” and depends on the whims of the person who is hiring you. A key factor in whether you get hired may be simply whether they like you. With a criteria that’s so subjective, this type of interview is more difficult to train for.

      4. You need help on aptitude tests

      Many large companies use online aptitude tests to filter out candidates who lack the technical, analytical or conceptual skills for the role. If you’re failing tests, you may want to get help from an expert in that field (e.g. a math coach) rather than an interview coach, as they’ll probably be better placed to teach you the necessary skills.

      Are you ready to ace your interview?

      If you have a job interview coming up and you don’t want to leave anything to chance, we’d highly recommend considering an interview coach, either on our platform or one of the other many good interview coaching websites out there.

      Not only will it help you nail your interviews, but it’s a great way to improve your communication skills and self-confidence, benefits which will have a lasting impact in your career.

      (Video) If Football Coaches Were Honest...

      We work with over 200 highly experienced coaches on our platform. Browse them and see whose profile fits what you’re looking for. Coaches only need 12 hours notice to be booked, so you could start practicing as early as today.


      Are interview coaches worth it? ›

      An interview coach can identify what you need to improve and help you develop these skills. As soon as you become better at interviewing, you may see more job opportunities. You have an important opportunity: An interview coach may be necessary if you happened to get an interview opportunity for your dream job.

      Are interview prep courses worth it? ›

      Training for behavioral interviews is worth it if you're struggling to come up with stories. Especially if you're in an industry like management consulting where the fit interview can make or break your chances. Technical questions are different for each industry and require some deep industry knowledge.

      How much does interview coaching cost? ›

      The average rate per hour is $150 and can vary depending on the coach and their expertise.

      How much should you pay for a career coach? ›

      Generally, career coaches charge $75 to $150 per hour. More in-demand career coaching services can run from $250 to $500, occasionally even higher. When you're choosing a career coach, the bargain option may not be the best option.

      What are the disadvantages of guided interview? ›

      Disadvantages of structured interviews
      • The interviewee can only respond to the questions asked.
      • The formality of structured interviews doesn't allow a rapport to be developed with interviewees.
      • There is no flexibility in structured interviews. ...
      • Structured interview responses omit detail.
      May 17, 2022

      Do coaches really make a difference? ›

      Coaches have a significant impact on success in both the professional and collegiate ranks, a University of Chicago study finds, providing new insights into the never-ending debate over how much leadership matters in sports.

      How many hours should I study for an interview? ›

      Balance your time

      While five to 10 hours is the recommended time for interview preparation, each person is unique, and you may need less or more time to prepare successfully.

      Is it bad not to prepare for an interview? ›

      In not preparing for a job interview, you won't understand how to present yourself as the best fit for that vacant space. In other words, if you want to nail the interview process, you must be confident in your understanding of the business and its job description.

      Which course is best for interview? ›

      Popular Data Science Topics
      • Artificial Intelligence.
      • Data Analysis.
      • Data Engineering.
      • Data Science.
      • Excel.
      • Machine Learning.
      • Power BI.
      • R Programming.

      Is it worth it to pay for coaching? ›

      While hiring a life or executive coach can be a powerful solution to help you solve personal or business issues or attain goals, it's not a miracle fix. Working with a coach is likely not worth the money when you: Want someone to listen to your problem and explore your feelings. You may need a therapist instead.

      Why use an interview coach? ›

      Interview coaches are trained to help you build your confidence, practice answering the toughest interview questions, and guide you through each step of the interview process so you leave a lasting, positive impression.

      Which interview is most expensive? ›

      Personal interviews are the most expensive followed by telephone and then mail.

      What should be included in a coaching package? ›

      A coaching package offers more value to a coaching client.

      For example, you can include email or Voxer coaching, access to a resource library, access to bonus training, or even check-in emails and calls. This helps your client get the most out of the coaching experience.

      Can you expense a career coach? ›

      YES, business coaching IS tax deductible! But, as with anything tax related, the IRS has precise requirements that must be met. Not all coaching is tax deductible. Coaching must be used only for business purposes to qualify for a deduction.

      What is the key to a successful interview? ›

      Be sure to briefly cover your education, work history and a hobby. The interviewer wants to know you are well-rounded person. Show confidence in yourself and your abilities. Key words to use are: profit, challenge, responsibility, developing new skills, team player, etc.

      What is the most common problem to avoid during interviews? ›

      Talking too much or not enough

      Waffling is a common interview mistake and tends to be the result of nerves, so avoid talking about everything all at once. It's important to sell your skills and experience without rambling.

      Is it good to have a career coach? ›

      But it's important to know that working with a career coach won't be the magic bullet to receiving job offers. A career coach helps you build the skills and capabilities to improve your job-searching skills. They can help you write a cover letter, review your resume, and practice interview skills.

      What are the pros and cons of coaching? ›

      Other pros include freedom, community, and creativity. (See More) What coaches hate most is having to wear so many hats while running their business. Other cons include mindset struggles, bad clients, and other toxic aspects of the industry.

      Why do successful people have coaches? ›

      Coaching techniques are designed to help individuals find their own way and discover their own strengths, skills, and blind spots, helping clients draw from within their own experience and wisdom to collaborate on a plan to move ahead successfully.

      What is the 20 interview rule? ›

      As a rule of thumb, it is recommended that you spend just 20% of your preparation time researching the company in question, and 80% of your time focusing on yourself and your relevant skills and experience.

      Is a 22 minute interview good? ›

      If an interview lasts 15 minutes or less, it's probably not a good one. If it's 30 minutes long, it's just not long enough. That said, 45 to 90 minutes is the golden number - and that's not just one of the random interview facts.

      Is a 30 minute interview good or bad? ›

      A typical interview should last around 30 minutes and a really good interview could even last longer. The length of the interview shows that the interviewer is seriously interested in getting to know you and is genuinely considering your job application. If the interview lasts less than 15 minutes, then you have a ...

      What should you avoid saying in an interview? ›

      15 things you should never say in a job interview
      • “Sorry I'm late” ...
      • “What does your company do?” ...
      • “I'm really nervous” ...
      • “My boss was an absolute idiot” (or anything else disparaging) ...
      • “I just need to take this call” ...
      • “I increased our sales, by like a lot” ...
      • “In 5 years' time I will have your job”

      What should you avoid during an interview? ›

      Common job interview mistakes to avoid
      • Dressing inappropriately.
      • Neglecting hygiene.
      • Getting to the interview late.
      • Arriving too early.
      • Eating or drinking during the interview.
      • Checking your phone.
      • Knowing nothing about the job or company.
      • Lying on your resume.
      Sep 1, 2022

      What not to do after an interview? ›

      • Harass the recruiter. We know that waiting for an answer can be stressful, but this is not a reason for sending several emails and calling the recruiter 10 times. ...
      • Stop looking for a job. ...
      • Lose touch with the recruiter.

      What jobs have the hardest interview process? ›

      Here's Glassdoor's list of the 25 Companies That Give the Toughest Job Interviews:
      • McKinsey & Company.
      • ThoughtWorks.
      • The Boston Consulting Group.
      • Gartner.
      • Bain & Company.
      • Rolls Royce.
      • ZS Associates.
      • Google.
      Aug 9, 2013

      How can I look cool in an interview? ›

      Interview Tips: 10 Ways to Improve Interview Performance
      1. Practice Good Nonverbal Communication. ...
      2. Dress for the Job or Company. ...
      3. Listen. ...
      4. Don't Talk Too Much. ...
      5. Don't Be Too Familiar. ...
      6. Use Appropriate Language. ...
      7. Don't Be Cocky. ...
      8. Take Care to Answer the Questions.

      Is interview easy or hard? ›

      Job interviews are tough. If you're not well-prepared, some questions can leave you frantically searching for an answer, says Barry Drexler, an expert interview coach who has conducted more than 10,000 interviews.

      Why should you trust your coach? ›

      Building trust in a coaching relationship is crucial to the success of the coaching because people are willing to be challenged if they trust the person coaching them. People often tell me that they're open to uncomfortable coaching conversations when they trust that the coach has their best intentions in mind.

      What are 3 benefits of coaching? ›

      10 benefits of coaching
      • It helps you learn to stay on task. ...
      • It encourages you to set clear goals. ...
      • It improves job satisfaction. ...
      • It solidifies your values. ...
      • It defines strategies for overcoming personal obstacles. ...
      • It builds confidence. ...
      • It develops transferable skills. ...
      • It promotes employee engagement.
      Feb 3, 2023

      Is coaching more effective than training? ›

      Training transfers the desirable knowledge and skills, coaching instil the learning and enthusiasm from the training to the workplace in a more sustainable way with greater influence.

      Would you ever consider hiring a coach why or why not? ›

      If having a higher probability of your goals sounds amazing, a coach can help you get there. Whether it's in your personal life or your business life, working with a specialized coach will help you achieve it. Just having someone by your side, guiding and supporting you can make the biggest difference.

      How do you prepare for a coach interview? ›

      Research the organization. Be sure to research the organization and what their values, mission statement, and coaching philosophies are. This will also allow you to relate your own values and philosophy to the organization during the interview. Brush up on your technical skills.

      Why hire a speaking coach? ›

      Increases Your Confidence Level.

      Speaking and communication with others is something we all do every day, yet a large majority of people are terrified of public speaking. Perhaps one of the most important benefits of having a speech coach is that your self-confidence will improve dramatically.

      How much pay should I ask for in an interview? ›

      I'd recommend quoting a range that's comparable with your experience and potential. Ask for too much and you'll appear ignorant (not knowing what a general range for this job type is) and arrogant (thinking it's okay to ask for a lot more money than the experience and skills you have).

      Is 3 interviews too many? ›

      Ideally the number of interviewers at an interview should not exceed more than three. This is because it puts the candidate also at ease as they can make eye contact with each person so that you can ascertain better if the candidate is suitable or not.

      What is a good interview rate? ›

      Anywhere from 10 to 20% is considered average and 20% to 30% is a good application to interview ratio.

      What are the 3 C's of coaching? ›

      The Three “C's” of a Coaching Perspective
      • Curiosity: You won't see possibilities in situations unless you're curious about what's possible. ...
      • Compassion: Coaches have compassion for people. ...
      • Courage: It always cracks me up when people tell me that coaching is “fluffy” or “soft.” It's anything but.

      What are 5 things to look for in a coach? ›

      • Knowledge and Credentials. Look for a coach who has experience and who has been working with athletes that you admire, like and have seen succeed. ...
      • Communication Skills. ...
      • People Skills. ...
      • Goal-Focused. ...
      • Quality Feedback. ...
      • Honesty. ...
      • Understanding of Your Training/Life Balance. ...
      • Motivational.

      Is coaching a tax write off? ›

      You can write off a lot of expenses related to your coaching practice as a small business owner or self-employed coach since you are "ordinary and necessary." Your coaching must be considered labor to be eligible for these deductions; otherwise, it is a pastime.

      How much should you spend on a career coach? ›

      Usually, career coaches get paid per session they work with you. The average cost is about $100 to $150 per session, but prices may vary depending on where you live. Factor in the cost of living to see how much you'll pay for career coaching sessions. Coaches with more experience may charge more for their services.

      Can I write off training on my taxes? ›

      ✓ It allows you to maintain or improve your job skills

      To stay competitive, you need to maintain your level of skill -- and improve on what you already offer. Training that helps you do this is tax-deductible. That goes for classes and self-study programs.

      What questions to ask in a career coach interview? ›

      General career counselor interview questions
      • Can you give me a brief summary of your professional background?
      • Why did you decide to become a career counselor?
      • What do you consider your greatest professional strength?
      • What do you consider your greatest professional weakness?
      • What interested you about this role?
      Sep 30, 2022

      What questions will a career coach ask? ›

      Examples of coaching questions
      • What are your goals?
      • What is the most important thing to you?
      • Have you done anything so far to achieve your goals?
      • What timeline do you have in place to meet your goals?
      Sep 30, 2022

      How do I get the most out of my career coach? ›

      How to prepare for a career coaching session
      1. Pause and reflect. ...
      2. Consider taking a career assessment. ...
      3. Adopt a growth mindset. ...
      4. Think about what you'd like to get out of the coaching experience. ...
      5. Identify what you like (and what you don't) about your current job. ...
      6. Root down in your purpose.
      Aug 5, 2022

      What are the benefits of interview coaching? ›

      They will help you analyse the role job descriptions and personal specification to identify what the employer is looking for. They will review Competency Frameworks if appropriate, to identify role specific technical or behavioural requirements to help you shape your answers.

      Is it overkill to wear a suit to an interview? ›

      In most formal job interviews, you will always have a better chance if you're wearing a suit over wearing casual clothes. However, with the changes in corporate and workplace culture in modern society, wearing suits for interviews is no longer necessary.

      How much does a case interview coach cost? ›

      They can give you high quality mock case interviews that closely resemble the types of cases that top-tier firms use. Afterwards, they can provide you with detailed feedback to improve your case interview performance. One session of case coaching typically costs between $100 to $300 per case.

      What is the success rate of the casecoach? ›

      How is it calculated? As a headhunter, Enguerran Loos prepared 563 candidates for interviews at McKinsey, BCG and Bain. 142 received offers, meaning 1 in 3.96 candidates were successful.

      How do I choose an interview coach? ›

      Top five factors
      1. The right fit. ...
      2. Has “walked the talk.” Look for a coach who has personally experienced a situation similar to yours, whether that's a career transition, launching his own company, returning to school, etc. ...
      3. Strong coaching experience and training. ...
      4. Matches or exceeds your intellect. ...
      5. Psychology background.

      What should a coach bring to an interview? ›

      It is a good idea to bring physical playbooks or workout programs with you to provide examples of your previous experience. You can pull them out after answering a related question or at the end of the interview.

      What should I bring to a coaching interview? ›

      Bring along written copies of your coaching philosophy, off-season conditioning program, summer workout program and playbook. These are other ways of greatly impressing the interviewer.

      What color suit is best for job interview? ›

      Ideally, your suit should be either navy blue or charcoal grey. It's often believed that black suits are good for professional situations, but this is something of a misconception. Meanwhile, charcoal or navy give off the air of reliability, credibility and trustworthiness.

      What to avoid in interview outfits? ›

      Here's what not to wear during an interview:
      • T-shirts. When preparing for an interview, you may want to avoid wearing a T-shirt and opt for something more professional. ...
      • Jeans. ...
      • Open-toe shoes. ...
      • Sneakers. ...
      • Restrictive clothing. ...
      • Body jewelry. ...
      • Hats and other headwear. ...
      • Athletic clothing.
      Feb 16, 2023

      Why does no one wear suits anymore? ›

      Now, the “suit” has become casual-looking and has taken a back seat to more causal clothing styles like t-shirts and jeans. With globalization, American clothing standards have caused many other countries to emulate the same causal dressing styles, causing a decline in the “traditional” suit's use in daily life.

      Is a case coach worth it? ›

      Some candidates may find it quite expensive to book coaching sessions, but it is totally worth your money! Case interview coaching provides an excellent opportunity to learn and practice case interview techniques in a one-on-one setting with an experienced coach.

      How many case interviews are enough? ›

      Case interviews take very similar formats across the various consultancies where they are used. Before landing an offer at McKinsey, Bain, BCG or any similar firm, you will have to complete between four and six case interviews, divided into two rounds, with each interview lasting approximately 50-60 minutes.

      What are the best consulting prep companies? ›

      The undisputed top consulting firms in the world are McKinsey, Bain, and Boston Consulting Group (BCG). Collectively, they are known as MBB.

      How do you ace a case study interview? ›

      Tips for standing out in the case-study interview:
      1. Take your time; don't rush it. Talk through the problem. ...
      2. Ask questions. You can always ask your interviewer to define an acronym or to repeat or confirm details. ...
      3. Be flexible. ...
      4. Use visual aids. ...
      5. Focus on impact. ...
      6. Tell a story. ...
      7. Pay attention to cues.
      Jan 9, 2023

      What are the benefits of a case interview? ›

      This interview allows the company and hiring manager to glean insights into a candidate's approach to problem-solving. Because many companies root these questions in real-life challenges, they can also help the candidate better understand the role they are applying for and how the company serves its clients.


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