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Advice / Job Search / Interviewing

How One Coaching Session Helped Me Nail the Interview and Land My Dream Media Job

Colin Berg

Interviewing, as we all know too well, can be a real buzzkill experience. Especially if you’re making it to the final round only to get rejected time and again, or this close to getting the offer after hours of research and preparation.

So, when we hear a success story, it truly warms our heart. Because even though their story might not be your story, it’s proof that all that hard work does pay off.

Today, we talked with Michelle Berg, who was able to land a job she loves with the help of The Muse Coach Connect. Here’s her story:

Tell Us About Yourself!

I live in Brooklyn. I’m a food blogger on nights and weekends (check out my website Bell & Basket), and work at Vox Media Live as a Programming Manager during the day.

I started my career working in television on shows like Live! With Regis and Kelly and Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, and quickly missed talking about food every day—I come from a family of chefs—so I transitioned into producing food content. I’ve worked on TLC’s Cake Boss and cast more than 100 episodes of the Food Network’s hit series Chopped.

Tell Us About Your Session

I’d been interviewing a lot and getting to the last round at several companies, but not getting the job. When I got the opportunity to interview at my dream company, I knew I needed all of the confidence and interview practice I could get. So, I decided to meet with Katie Stricker for an interview coaching session.

My favorite part about the session was (surprisingly) being critiqued. After giving an interview answer, Kate would say, “That was a great answer. I might add this next time, or highlight this.” One thing I also learned was how to turn a “no” into a “yes.” Instead of saying, “No, I haven’t had experience with that before,” I could say, “I’ve done similar work in [blank] and [blank] and think those skills can apply here.”

Once we’d finished our session I felt more confident. And, I ended up landing the job!

I’ve already recommended coaching to a few of my friends. It was amazing to have one source of wisdom to turn to when I was feeling insecure about finding a new job, instead of turning to friends or family members who might not have the best advice.

Also, it was the best money I’ve spent in my life. People think, “Whoa, I could buy a really nice pair of shoes for that.” But the truth is, if you land that job, you’ll have a new job and new shoes!

What Do You Do at Your New Job as a Programming Manager?

I work on booking speakers for our live events and conferences as well as working on overall development and experiential moments. I work on a small team in our NYC office and get to touch (or at least see) most of the moving pieces that go into creating amazing events. I send a lot of emails, sit on a lot of video calls, and get to tell people why they want to speak at our live events or be a part of them.

What Do You Like Most About Your Current Company?

I love what Vox Media stands for. It’s a media company that’s always looking to the future, and most importantly, the people there have a strong set of core values. We tell high-quality stories and create influential brands people love. I’m so proud to be a part of it!

Is This the Kind of Job You Thought You Would Be Doing?

I worked as a freelancer in TV for six years before joining Vox Media. When I was interviewing at a different company a few months ago, the interviewer asked me, “What’s your ideal company to work for?” Instead of saying the company I was interviewing for (oops), I said Vox Media. I’m not even joking. A few months later, I got an email from my current boss asking if I could come in to interview. I really do think it was fate!

What’s Your Go-to for a Work Break?

I like to take a lap around the office, make a cup of peppermint tea, and eat some chocolate-covered almonds. I’m pretty sure chocolate can fix (almost) anything. I also like to meditate in the bathroom for five minutes when I’m having a really tough day—I usually feel a lot better afterwards and can really focus on what’s most important.

What Advice Do You Have for Someone Who’s Stuck in a Tough Job Search?

Don’t give up, try different things, and do what you’re passionate about on the side. Seriously, make time for it. Keep following what you love to do and you’ll be lead to the right place for you.