A mother called me to coach her son. He was a recent college graduate and she didn't think he was maximizing his interviews. He was interviewing for prospective graduate programs in the medical field.
His mother confided that he left home as a sparkling conversationalist and after living with four geeks he became one himself.
Initially, he spoke rapidly and sounded nervous. He wasn't aware that he needed to stop and breathe after a sentence.
But he also didn't have prepared message points which was the reason he would ramble on. We started with the basic questions-"Tell me about yourself", "What are your strengths?", "What are your weaknesses?"
But his toughest question was "What is your major?" Why? Because he was applying to a medical program. Although he had the necessary 96 pre-med credits, his degree was in English. (Not your typical biology applicant).
He'd respond defensively trying to justify his English degree. He didn't know how to turn a perceived negative into a positive.
After the coaching here's how he responded to "What is your major?"
"I have 96 pre med credits, I picked up 30 credits and a degree in English, and I'm two courses shy of a degree in psychology which I'll probably go back and complete."
So your degree is in English?
"Yes, and I'm proud of that. People tell me it's refreshing to meet somebody who is wholebrained. My English degree provided me with good writing skills and will help me communicate with patients. I think it makes me unique."
He now not only knows what to say but he thinks differently about his background.
This student has confidence from the inside out.