Interview Coaching

Three Candidates Interviewed…Two Went Home…One Received An Offer


6-Months of Interviewing…Still Not Satisfied

After six months of searching for the talent they wanted, the Chief Compliance Officer (Bob) still wasn’t satisfied. He and his team of eight interviewed one candidate after another over a six-month period. Nobody satisfied all 8 interviewers plus Bob.

When asked what was Bob was expecting in the right candidate, he could not articulate his thoughts. He just knew in his gut that he hadn't met the right person yet. This happens frequently. A hiring decision maker needs to fill a mission-critical position on their staff, and they are not able to articulate what it is they want in the ideal candidate.

The Solution

What was the solution? The solution came in the form of an external executive search professional who was gifted with the intuition and sales skills required to know what questions to ask Bob in order to unlock the previously masked thoughts in his head.

Until the gifted executive search professional came along, nobody in Bob’s company knew how to ask the right questions and nobody had the courage to ask questions that would challenge Bob’s thinking. Challenging Bob’s thinking is exactly what needed to happen.

An Offer Was Made

Bob did say that he had recently made an offer to someone just to get the search process over with, and the person turned the job down. When asked if the person he made an offer to was the ideal candidate, he said, No!

Hiring a Candidate Who Doesn’t Fit

Why would a company hire anyone who is not the ideal candidate? This particular company had a somewhat unique interview process. An interview consisted of eight company employees positioned around a conference table with the candidate positioned near the middle of the table.

When eight people are involved in an interview, there is a significant chance that there could be eight different agendas to satisfy when you’re the candidate being interviewed. Why? Because everyone is wired differently, everyone thinks differently and everyone could have different questions on his or her minds.

Time For a Paradigm Shift

Once the executive search consultant got involved, he re-wrote the job description based on the new information he’d been able to extract from Bob’s thinking. Instead of posting jobs on job boards to discover candidates who were actively looking for a new position, the executive search consultant directly recruited candidates whose skills, abilities, characteristics, and capabilities aligned with Bob’s picture of an ideal candidate.

Three Candidates Flown In

Three candidates were introduced to Bob’s company. All three candidates were granted telephone interviews. All three candidates were flown in for final interviews. All three candidates sat in front of Bob and his committee of eight interviewers.

Candidate Number 1

The first candidate arrived in a suit and tie. He spoke well, looked like a Vice President and made a great first impression. When the eight interviewers’ questions started to fly, the first candidate instantly answered each question by telling the interviewers exactly and precisely how he would build the new program. He thought he’d nailed the interview because he said everything he had planned to say. His confidence was high.

Candidate Number 2

The second candidate arrived. He also made a great first impression, spoke clearly and looked like a Vice President. All was good until the eight interviewers started asking questions.

The second candidate had a previous first career that was different from the job he was interviewing for and he was ten years removed from the first career. For some reason, every answer he provided to the interview committee came from the basis of what he’d done in his first career and he skipped over what he had professionally accomplished in the ten most recent years of his life. He too thought he had delivered a great interview.

Candidate Number 3

The third candidate arrived. Just like the first two candidates, he was articulate, he dressed well, he looked like a Vice President. After a time of meet and greet, everybody took their position at the conference table.

When the eight interviewers started asking questions, the third candidate paused for a moment and asked clarifying questions before he answered questions. He heard each interviewer’s original question and he had ideas that quickly popped into his mind, but he didn’t speak right away. He exercised impulse control.

Instead, he asked each interviewer for the deeper meaning behind their question so he could be precise in answering the interviewer’s question with an answer they wanted to hear rather than an answer he wanted to give. He adjusted his delivery to match each unique person in the eight-person interview audience and doing so made all the difference.

Job Offer

At the end of the day while the third candidate was still in the building, Bob, the Chief Compliance Officer, called the executive search consultant, expressing his satisfaction with the third candidate. An offer was made, by the executive search consultant, to the third candidate before he’d left the building. The hired candidate had been with Bob’s company for the past 10 years and is still prospering.

The Audience Matters Most When Interviewing

While an interview is about you, it is for the benefit of your audience. When you interview, you’ll likely meet multiple people. Each person in your interview audience will have unique thoughts, ideas, and agendas.

Invest time to find out what your audience cares most about and talk about their topics rather than the agenda you might be tempted to bring to the interview with you.

Jeff Snyder’s, Interview CoachingCareer Coaching Blog, 719.686.8810 

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How to Master an Interview

Mastering an Interview

Interviewing is an art versus a science. There are no tricks. There are no gimmicks. 

Mastering an interviewing comes down to pure communication. You have control over some of this communication but you’ll never have control over all the communication that occurs in an interview.

While you can prepare for an interviewer’s questions, you’ll never know exactly what will be asked of you in an interview. 

What you have 100% control over is what you choose to say during your interview.

  • You have control over how you choose to articulate your past stories of accomplishment, contribution and value delivered to previous employers.
  • You have complete control over knowing how to articulate what it is that you bring to the table in terms of skills.  Focus on skills that matter most to your interviewing audience.
  • You have control over how you talk about past successes and past failures. You should use both successes and failures as opportunities for learning and growing. How you express what you’ve learned and how you’ve grown makes all the difference in an interview.
  • You have control over the questions you ask in an interview. Ask questions about the company. Ask questions about the job itself. Ask the hiring manager to articulate his / her management style. Research shows that people leave bad manager relationships far more often than they leave because of larger company issues.
  • Those who strategically take interviewing to the next level invest in learning their unique personal strengths. They know how to articulate what they have potential to be great at and they know how to articulate what they should say “NO” to based on how they are wired.

Those who approach interviews with extreme Clarity, Confidence and Direction are the ones who get offers for the best jobs.

Jeff Snyder’s, Jeff Snyder Coaching Blog, 719.686.8810


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"Ace Your Interview with Perfect Interview Answers"

Acing An Interview

"Ace Your Interview with Perfect Interview Answers"

This was the subject of an email that recently landed in my Inbox.  This kind of email subject drives me crazy.  Here's why.

  • There are no tricks to acing an interview. 
  • There are no perfect interview answers.

My Advice For Performing Well In An Interview

  • Communicate with clarity about what you're great at and what you're not great at.
  • Know how to articulate what you're great at by backing up what you say you're great at with stories of past accomplishments and contributions and well-articulated aspirations of what you want to accomplish in your future.
  • We're all not great at something. Know exactly what you're not great at and know how to articulate what you're doing to manage your weaknesses.
  • Honesty and accuracy is always your best strategy.
  • If you're younger and you're chasing a job that is above you, know your unique personal strengths and know how to tie your strengths to the job you're stretching towards.
  • If you're older, know your unique personal strengths.  Know how to tie your unique personal strengths and hopefully the wisdom you now have to the job you can easily contribute to.
  • Be sure to show up to your interview with questions.  Questions should not be one-dimensional.  Ask technical questions, business questions, questions about the hiring authority's management style and more.  


Knowing yourself inside and out and knowing something about the company you're about to interview with is your responsibility when you go to an interview. Being prepared to ask strong questions is your responsibility when you go to an interview.

If you don't know your unique personal strengths, consider strengths coaching. Knowing your unique personal strengths will go a long way towards bringing clarity to your interview process.

If interviewing is uncomfortable to you, don't risk leaving a job offer on the table.  If you need interview coaching, invest in yourself and get interview coaching.

Jeff Snyder Coaching

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“He’s Really Cool. He Drives a Maserati!”

The Phone Call

My phone rang.  On the other end was an enthusiastic Human Resource (HR) person at a very large company.  She told me that her company had several positions to fill and they’d just fired an executive retained search firm that wasn’t producing.  Interesting but I needed to know a lot more before allowing this hot potato to be dropped into my hands.


The HR person told me about a senior executive who had recently been relieved of his duties because he was creating significant turnover.  She told me about the great products her company was creating.  She told me about all the opportunity that existed for the right people if they were to join the company now that the bad manager was gone.

My Wheels Were Turning

When the HR person stopped talking, I had at least 30 questions built up in my head.  I wanted to know how long the bad manager was there before action was taken.  I wanted to know how many people left because of the bad manager.  The answer was that he was there far too long and far too much damage had been done.

What's The Hiring Manager Like?

I asked about the executives who were still on board.  I asked the HR person to describe the particular executive the open positions would report to.

“He’s really Cool…He Drives a Maserati!”

This is all she had to say about the hiring manager.  

I was thinking more along the lines of managerial style, ability to communicate effectively, the hiring manager’s ability to build trust, the hiring manager’s character, ethics and values, etc.

People Leave Bad Managers

It has been said that people don’t leave companies nearly as often as they leave bad managers.  I hope I don’t know anybody who would take a job with someone simply because they drive a certain kind of car. 

If you are considering a new position, learn how to interview your potential employer in order to clearly understand what you might be walking into.  If you join a toxic company, it will likely continue to be a toxic company long after you’ve moved on.

It is your resume that will show a bad career move and it is your body that will absorb the damaging stress that comes from being misaligned with a job that does not align with your personal strengths and your personal values.

Jeff Snyder Coaching


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What Does Aligning One’s Resume, LinkedIn and Interview Message Mean?


The other day, I created a simple message because I know that most people don’t like to read long blog articles.  On one hand, my effort worked for those who would rather scan than read but on the other hand, someone commented because they didn’t know what I was talking about.

Here you go.  As a recruiter for 25+ years, I have had significant experience in listening to job candidate’s stories on the phone.  Then they send their resume and their resume tells a different story than the one I heard on the phone. 

Next, I’ll look this person up on LinkedIn (as many employers do) and I’ll find yet another story.  You get one chance to make a first impression.  I suggest aligning the message you create on LinkedIn with the message you send in your resume.  Ultimately, make sure both of those messages align with the way you’ll communicate when you have an opportunity to interview.

My coaching clients who have put these three topics in alignment have had significant success all over the world.  Communication that is delivered in a clean, clear and logical manner works for your resume, for LinkedIn and for your interviews.

Jeff Snyder Coaching, 719.686.8810

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No Personal Clarity + No Personal Confidence = No Job Offer

Getting Bad News.jpg


If you’re great at interviewing, you either have a natural gift or maybe you’ve interviewed too often and you have too much experience.  You’re not supposed to be an expert when it comes to interviewing.  In fact, I know many people who never face an actual interview until they are in their 40s or 50s.

Some people are just flat out lucky.  They move from one job to another based on someone pulling them from one job to another.  In this case, they are already know to the person who is inviting them to the next company and they never really have to interview to get their next job.

Not everybody is this lucky.  Whenever possible, I write about real live factual situations rather than theory or my own opinions.  This morning, an email came to me from one of my resume coaching clients.  The resume I taught this client how to build performed precisely the way it was built to perform.  The result of this client’s investment in my 1 Hour Resume Coaching was an interview within a week after building her new resume.

She just figured out that while a clean, clear, logical resume will open interview doors, the resume itself will not land anyone a job.  She was lucky to get this feedback from the employer that just rejected her as a candidate.

"You need to relax and trust in yourself more.  They sensed your tension at the front of the interview, and that will always be interpreted as a lack of confidence.  So my advice is to trust in the value that you bring, relax and enjoy the experience of an interview.  Think of it as a chat, and all will be well."

The good news here is that my client’s resume performed in the marketplace.  The resume opened interview doors.  The bad news is that my client is no as ready as she thought she was for the actual interview experience.  More good news is that she received very clear and direct feedback from her interviewer and she can now decide whether or not to take action on the advice she received.

If my client decides to take the next career coaching step to learn about her natural strengths and she embraces the natural strengths that are part of her DNA, she’ll behave differently in her next interview.  The clarity she’ll gain from understanding her talents and strengths will translate into confidence. 

When she finds clarity and her clarity turns into confidence, the perceived or real tension she brought to her last interview will disappear.  She’ll be able to enjoy the interview experience just like the interviewer told her to do in the feedback paragraph above.

My client does have a problem.  The good news is that this problem can be solved if my clients takes action.

Jeff Snyder’s Coaching Blog found at, 719.686.8810

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Know This before Your Next Interview


Your Next Interview

The best trick, gimmick or tactic to get your next job is to have no trick, gimmick or tactic at all in mind when you interview.

The best person to take to your next interview is the real authentic you and not a made up fictitious you.  If you get a job based on presenting a false you, how long do you think you’ll be able to live up to the false image you created during your interview process once you start working?

Instead, know yourself inside and out.  Know what is great about you and know what is not so great about you.  Know what you’re great at and know how to articulate that message clearly.  Know what you are not great at and what you’ll never be great at.  Have a strategy in place to articulate this message clearly too.

Learn how to ask questions of your prospective employer to get them to ask you to talk about your strengths.  This is not a slick, fancy gimmicky move.  This is a well-planned interview strategy that will put you in a natural position to deliver the authentic you.

Jeff Snyder’s Coaching Blog, 719.686.8810

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Interviewing With Confidence Produces Desired Results

Interview Confidence



This email arrived over the weekend. It came to me from a CISO candidate I’ve been fortunate to work with as a career coaching client.  While I don’t have any latest tricks or gimmicks to share, what I can tell you for sure is that this candidate for CISO Jobs is interviewing with confidence that comes from the clarity he gained by learning about his personal strengths through strengths coaching


“Great news - interview went very well… Talking to the VP of HR I used a nugget from our Strengths coaching session… I was a good fit for the CIO's extrovert personality and was very good in crisis situations…anyway it looks like we are moving forward with offer discussions.  With that - if you can squeeze a coaching session in tomorrow I would love to get your thoughts / direction on salary, the company, the people and other items.”


He’s on to the offer stage.  Isn’t that what everybody wants when they put their resume in the hat for consideration?  Knowing how to interview a prospective employer is just as important as knowing how to handle interview questions.  While interviews generally start out as what feels like an interrogation, at some point in the interview, the tone should change and the interview should become a two-way dialogue.  

At this point, the interrogation generally stops and a relaxed, comfortable, balanced two-way conversation takes over.  At this point, a job candidate who is prepared can ask very unique questions that ultimately generate an invitation for the job candidate to talk about their personal strengths.

A person who intimately knows their strengths is the best qualified person in the world to talk about their strengths.  The purpose of learning about one's strengths is to find professional work that aligns as closely as possible with those strengths.

The more closely aligned one's strengths are to their work, the more likely they'll be engaged in their work, passionate about their work, producing exceptional results and getting paid well.

Jeff Snyder's Coaching Blog

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