panel interview

From Interview To Conversation

I’ve been doing quite a bit of career coaching in the last three years, particularly working with people on developing their professional brand and their go-to market strategy.

When I coach my clients on how to be their best in interviews the intention is to transform the interview into a conversation.   A conversation is when people, either one-on-one or in the case of panel interviews one-on-many, show up on equal ground to talk about problems that need to be solved, skills required and potential partnerships/opportunities to be had.

To achieve this, I’ve done what I like doing which is to break things down into simple formulas that anyone can follow and achieve success.

Seven crucial things to do when  interviewing for another role, or even having exploratory conversations about potential career opportunities:

  1. Go in curious, not selling. You don’t know if you want the role yet or if it is the best match for you.
  2. Know what you want to learn from the other party and know what you want them to learn about you.
  3. Don’t assume that anyone will be a good interviewer. Be prepared to collaboratively lead the interview to get the information you will need to make a decision to continue in the process or not.
  4. Know who you are talking to, find common ground, and create a relationship and let the conversation start from there.
  5. Write down some questions that are provocative and conversational that allow you to shine.
  6. Substantiate everything you say with tangible results you have achieved previously and connect the dots between your achievements and what the role requires.
  7. Listen to what is said, not to what you want to hear.

These things may seem like common sense, but you know what they say about common sense….not so common!

Copyright 2014, Sheila Madden, Madden Coaching & Consulting. All Rights Reserved.

Sheila Madden is an Executive and Career Coach  and an Organization Effectiveness Consultant. She works with individual contributors and leaders at all stages of their careers to maximize performance, impact and happiness. 


  1. Really good info. I passed it along to my brother & my son- in- law who are both in that transition spots. Thanks, Pam

    Pamela Marie Meyer Design Works, Ltd, Principal , ASID, CID 831-624-4000 (studio) 925-324-5949 (cell)


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