A Freelance Gig Worth Considering: Career or Interview Coach

While some interview coaches are also life coaches, you don't have to have a life coach certification to work with interview candidates.  Although marketing or public relations expertise helps, a degree isn't necessary either.  However, a graduate degree may be required if you want to work with college students.

It helps to keep a pulse on what type of counseling job seekers need at the moment.  Keep in mind that not industries are the same and people can only be true to themselves when communicating.  Your goal is to open their eyes to hindrances and seek solutions that will give them more confidence about what they have to offer.  Presentation is everything when it comes to interviewing.  Some people with so-so resumes (in terms of work history) have been able to score a job based on how they were able to sell themselves.

This is a growing field due to many factors that are happening in the current work climate -

  • People who desire to change careers
  • People who are over 40 and haven't been on an interview since Clinton was in office
  • People who want to become freelancers but don't know where to start
  • ...and yes, people over 40, who want to change their line of work and be their own boss after spending nearly half of their life working for someone else.

And the list goes on...

Those who've served time or got fired from their last job, and a growing concern...video interviews. There's also a niche for disabled workers that want to supplement their disability income.

Even if a candidate has none of the above issues, they could still be selling themselves short of that dream job.  Nervousness, lack of knowledge, and even a modest attitude can kill an opportunity.  With careful thought and the ability to execute a reasonable strategy for your clients, you can build a nice client base.

Setting Up Shop
In the beginning, it may help to be a specialist instead of a generalist.  Those specialties should be 1-3 industries with which you're familiar.  If there's a small employment agency in your area that has an influx of clients, you may want to start off offering free services until you get your feet wet. There are a number of helpful career resources but depending on your long-term goals, you may want to seek some formal guidance from a veteran career coach or educational institution.

One-on-One, Remote, or Live Group Sessions
Some people like speaking in confidence or getting feedback from one source.  Others like to take full advantage of email or Skype, and some individuals thrive in group communication.  The latter (though it can get noisy) is beneficial for those who may freeze up during panel interviews.  If your funds are too low to rent an office space or private room, most neighborhood libraries rent spaces or study rooms for free (or at a very low cost).  You can also hold workshops where attendees follow a series of steps and use their new information towards a future session.

How to Charge
You may want to get a small amount of money per session, charge a retainer fee, or by the hour.  Some new consulting businesses often make the initial client session complimentary, then charge for future sessions.  Whatever you charge, it's best to get the money upfront with a guarantee of a takeaway.  Experienced coaches prefer to deal with retainer fees or send out invoices unless you, as a beginner, know the odds and ends of a particular industry very well.

A Final Note
Keep in mind that most people know how to navigate the web well enough to conduct and analyze career assessment tests.  In addition to giving interview advice, other services may include social media promotion and branding, how to research for future opportunities, and how to network effectively.  You have to keep several scenarios in mind, such as people who are too busy with work tasks to work a room when meeting those who may influence their next move.

Your side hustle will flourish when you stay on top of the trades, meet others, and don't be afraid to build alliances within an industry.  Having the knowledge and contacts can go a long way but it does take dedication and not a "check-in" attitude.  The great thing is that using appointment scheduling software can make interaction easier than having to rely solely on cold- calling.