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Concise, Confident, Convincing: How Interview Coaching Helped a Pharma Sales Manager Get the Job

by THEA kelley | June 3, 2024

Through interview coaching, West Los Angeles sales manager Jason (not his real name) polished his presentation skills and amped up his confidence. The effort was rewarded with an offer at a bigger company with more opportunities.

Recently laid off after five years with one company, Jason hadn’t interviewed in a long time. He was nervous, and worried about his tendency to be, as he said, “a bit verbose,” and to pad his speech with fillers like “um” and “ya know.” He needed to be sure he’d come across as the dynamic leader he is, someone who exudes credibility and inspires a team. So he contacted me.

Interview Coaching for Clear Communication

As with most job seekers, when Jason wasn’t well prepared to answer a question or tell a story, he would verbally wander, figuring out his answer as he went along. Such rambling doesn’t demonstrate the strong communication skills so necessary in leadership roles. Together, we planned his answers, not by scripting them, but by identifying the key talking points for each. By keeping those mini-outlines in mind, he was able to let go of unnecessary verbiage and give clear and concise answers.

“It really helped having 15 stories planned out in bullet points,” he told me. “It set me up for practicing on my own.”

As for the verbal fillers, while Jason was aware of them in the abstract, he didn’t notice them as they occurred. By gently bringing his attention to these and exploring alternatives—such as simply pausing—I helped him pare this nervous habit down to a barely-noticeable level.

But there was another, potentially more serious issue.

Poker-faced to Passionate

I know Jason is driven and believes in the products he sells. Yet, in our Zoom calls, I saw a poker face. This guy could have a royal flush in his hand, I thought, without twitching a lip.

“It’s not enough to be passionate about the role,” I told him. “You need to look and sound like it.” So we worked on how to show enthusiasm in ways that feel natural to him and come across authentically.

Results

Jason sailed through the interviews to an offer.

“Being prepared makes you feel like you’ve earned the right to get the job,” he told me. “I felt like ‘I’m the best candidate and there’s no reason they shouldn’t hire me.’”

So that’s how, with interview coaching, West Los Angeles sales manager Jason landed an excellent new role–with plenty of opportunities for a talented pro like him to bring big revenues into the company and be well rewarded for it.

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