We may spend hours, even days, preparing for an interview. We know exactly what to say and how to say it—but when the time comes to face the hiring manager, we freeze. We’re so nervous, and we want the job so badly that we lose all track of who we are and why we deserve the job.
You’re not alone. In fact, we spoke with one Muse user, Rebecca Cohen, who was able to overcome her interview struggles to land the perfect role for her—thanks to a little help from The Muse Coach Connect.
Here’s her story:
Give Us Your Elevator Speech!
I have 15 years of finance experience, and four in grants and contracts. I’m extremely organized and detail-oriented. I love managing budgets from the beginning of a project through close-out, and I really enjoy working across departments to coordinate efforts and information sharing. I excel at coming up with creative solutions to maximize efficiency, whether it’s with a color-coded spreadsheet, a template, or implementing best practices.
Much of my work experience has been as a finance manager of Partisan Pictures, a documentary film company, but over the past four years I’ve transitioned to the nonprofit world.
How Did You Hear About The Muse?
My boyfriend’s son was using The Muse to help with his job search, I thought I might be too old for it, but I was pleasantly surprised—it turned out to be a great resource for me! There were so many useful articles and tips for job searching.
Tell Us About Your Coaching Session
My resume and cover letter were strong, but I wasn’t getting second-round interviews, so I knew that interviewing was an area I needed to focus on. I signed up for two, half-hour conversations with Jasmine Farrar. I didn’t have a lot of money, but I knew that I couldn’t continue as I was in my job search. $50 for a 30-minute coaching session seemed very reasonable, so I decided to invest $100 for two sessions.
I mainly needed help with my confidence. I tend to be self-deprecating and humble, and I knew an interview is no place to put yourself down.
Jasmine helped me sell my strongest skills. I really struggled with the question, “Tell me about yourself” in interviews—my answer was all over the place. She helped me craft a solid pitch that I could use in interviews, in my cover letter, and even on an elevator! I was surprised by how confidently delivering that one paragraph could make all the difference.
After our two sessions, I felt more comfortable interviewing and pursuing jobs. I felt like I knew who I was as a candidate. I went from dozens of first interviews with no callbacks to so many second and third interviews that when I received my job offer, I had to email so many terrific organizations that I was sorry I was no longer available to come in for the next round.
What’s Your Job Now, and What Does Your Day to Day Look Like?
I work for a small international NGO, The Center for Economic and Social Rights, as a finance officer. I have the opportunity to wear many hats in my role—which I love—such as grants management, accounting, HR, and general administration and operations. I wanted a position where I could be actively involved in many aspects of the small business, and to work for a nonprofit doing great work in human rights, women’s reproductive rights, or the environment—my current job fills both these requirements.
What’s Your Go-To Activity for a Work Break?
I like to snack to keep my energy up—nuts, cheese, fruit, carrot sticks. I’ll also Google surrounding farmer’s markets near my office and make sure to get out during the day and pick up a few things. Walks really help me unwind.
How Did You Destress During Your Job Search?
I tried lots of things: I’d read fiction, do a bit of yoga, or take a ballet class. I even revamped my work wardrobe!
What Advice Do You Have for Someone Who’s Stuck in a Tough Job Search?
Respect yourself and your talent, and journal often! Write down your strongest assets, what you excel in, what kind of work environment you want to be in, even allow yourself to fantasize about the perfect workplace for you. Then, don’t be afraid to go after it.