How To Choose The Perfect Mentor For Interview Preparation & Career Growth

Abhimanyu Zala
Abhimanyu Zala
Summary

Mentors play an important part in every individual’s career. They play even more important role in cracking your dream interview. Hence, it is vital to choose the perfect mentor for yourself.

How To Choose The Perfect Mentor For Interview Preparation & Career Growth

Cracking an interview is no child’s play. We live in a world where the job market is extremely competitive and cut-throat.

With the number of job aspirants witnessing a steady rise with every passing day, a candidate’s skill set is no longer enough for them to outshine their competitors. The onus has now increasingly shifted onto their presentation and communication skills.

Role of a Mentor

Preparing for interviews these days, subsequently, has become a highly challenging and complicated affair. This is where a mentor comes into the picture. A mentor’s significance lies in letting a candidate polish their existing skills and abilities.

Two people working, and discussing about a presentation with code on a screen. Student showing code on a tv.

A mentor is someone who constantly motivates you to explore and investigate new opportunities for learning and discovery. Additionally, they help you deal with exacting situations such as adapting to a new workplace and taking up stretch assignments.

Developing a firm and steadfast mentor relationship allows you to actively work upon your strengths and weaknesses, besides infusing you with the requisite perspective to excel in all your recruitment tests and interviews.

Besides this, coming up with a correct interview preparation strategy is something most candidates struggle with. Although this is one of the major reasons for failure in interviews, it is one of the most ignored aspect.  Here's where, having a mentor helps immensely. One of the key duties of a mentor is to present candidates with a roadmap to effectively navigate through all of the tides and turns that announce themselves in the interview preparation journey.

These are just a few points on how having a mentor can give you an upper-hand in your interview preparation. If you are not yet there in deciding whether you even need a mentor for your interview preparation, we would like to explain why you need a mentor for interview preparation in first place?

But if you are well aware, then let's go ahead and find your perfect mentor.


Things to Know Before You Try to Find a Mentor

There are certain key points that you need to understand before even thinking about getting a mentor. Understanding these points will help you get an idea of how the mentoring market works today and what are the different mentoring options out there.

A person mentoring a younger person

1. Mentoring comes in all forms - Pick the right one

While it is not unusual to have a peer as your mentor, in most cases, your mentors end up being individuals who are at least a year or two senior to you in a professional capacity.

Although most people visualize mentorship as a long-term and one-to-one relationship, it necessarily need not be that way always. There exist various mentoring modes out there, like personal mentoring, group mentoring, and peer mentoring.

With the perfect mentor at your disposal, one-on-one mentoring sessions are traditionally considered more intimate and insightful than the other mentoring models. But you can try to understand which type of mentoring works for you and choose your plan accordingly.

Additionally, mentoring can also take place in the form of bite-sized segments. This usually happens when you happen to come across someone who possesses a specific skill that you want to acquire, and you then subsequently proceed to discuss the same with them via a one-off mentoring session.

2. Understand the types of Mentor Collaborations

• Free collaborations

There are many industry experts out there who believe in mentoring and lending a helping hand to rookies and new learners out there at no cost. However, they are indeed in nature.

Most expert professionals are unwilling to invest their valuable time and resources in a candidate for free. Mentorship is a dedicated line of service, and candidates willing to opt for proper mentorship programs should be mentally prepared about the financial aspect.

• Paid collaborations

This is the most preferred and ethical way of mentorship collaboration. An experienced mentor is spending quality time in your growth and it is completely fair for him/her to expect something in return. Even as someone looking for a mentor, you should go out with an open mind and be ready to pay a fees.

Most beneficial collaborations are the once which are beneficial for all the involved parties. Free programs look nice and tempting but they generally don't last more than a few sessions as there is no commitment. Also, the interest and commitment of the mentors goes down quickly as they are not getting great returns out of their investment.

If you truly want to get the best out of a mentorship program over an elongated period of time, definitely go for a paid collaboration.

3. Have Clarity Regarding Your Goals

A person climbing up the stairs- a metaphorical picture for going up the steps of a career

Even before you go about searching for a mentor for your interview preparations, you must have a clear idea about your goals and ambitions to begin with. Before getting yourself into a mentoring relationship with someone, you should have a definite idea regarding what you hope to extract out of it.

"Not creating clear preparation goals is like working against yourself. There is no way to analyse if you're on a right track - a sign of potential failure."

Always bear in mind that a mentoring relationship’s objective is to enable you to resolve seemingly un-resolvable challenges and focus more on your areas of weakness. You can only do so when you are clear about your reason behind looking for a mentor in the first place.

Thus, develop a clear understanding of the lapses that exist in your performances and outputs before you proceed with rectifying them by roping in a mentor of your choice.  

What if You're Not 100% Sure?

Many a times, you might not even be sure about your weaknesses, goals and even what help you require. It happens and there is completely no problem in being not sure about it. You might even know how a mentor can help you out. In such scenarios, there are multiple options that you can explore.

  • Have a goal setting session with a mentor to help you come up with a preparation plan and smart (Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Relevant & Time-based) goals. It is very important to create your goals before starting, otherwise things can quickly go out of control. You might end up spending a lot of time, effort and money with no concrete results.
  • You can even have a discussion session with a mentors to understand how they can help you with preparation & career growth.

Take a Goal Setting Session

Drop the burden of planning and setting goals on experts.


Here's how to Find & Finalise a Mentor:

It is an easy task to showcase the significance of having a mentor. Finding the perfect mentor, however, is not as straightforward as it might seem. Not only should the mentor’s thoughts and beliefs align with yours, but their industry and professional expertise must be relevant enough to act as your interview guide.

The world is full of bright and intelligent people. However, not all of them are equipped enough to helm a position of mentorship. Thus, the onus of settling upon a mentor that perfectly complements your profile rests exclusively with you.

Once you have a clear idea about the skills you want to develop and the areas you want to address, you can begin scouting for individuals you feel are best suited to act as your mentor. Here are some ways you can find your perfect mentor:

1. Reach out to individuals on LinkedIn

As the world’s largest network of professionals out there, Linkedin presents with you a host of mentoring options to choose from. You can search for individuals and business professionals who belong to your domain and get in touch with them by simply sending them a message on the platform.

A person holding a LinkedIn icon on his left hand

With Linkedin, you also get the benefit of scanning through the complete professional profile of the individual you have in mind before approaching them. This subsequently helps you determine whether the person in choice can be the perfect mentor for you or not.

2. Contact topic experts on Quora/Reddit/YouTube

The rise of the internet as a globally accessible commodity has resulted in a spate of positive developments in the professional world. It has allowed industry veterans and other topic experts to share their experience and knowledge with everyone via platforms like Quora, Reddit, and YouTube. Subsequently, this also allows you to reach out to these people directly through these platforms and seek their help while preparing for your interviews.

Be Particular about your Requirements while reaching out

  • While reaching out to a mentor, you must present them with a clear picture of your profile and understand your expectations from the mentoring relationship you are about to establish with them. Be specific about what you want right from the very beginning so that there remains no scope of ambiguity later on.
  • Let your mentor understand why you chose them over someone else and the exact areas you wish to address with them as your interview guide. Besides showcasing the fact that you are serious about your preparations, it also helps the individual in question curate a mentoring program that is best aligned with your needs and requirements.
  • Maintaining a transparent and open channel of dialogue with your mentor at all times goes a long way towards amping up your interview preparations and eventually securing your professional journey in the greater scheme of things. Remember that the perfect mentor is as crucial for your professional growth as they are for your personality development.

3. Use professional Mentoring Platforms

We all know that reaching out to people for help is hard. Messaging strangers, getting rejections and rude replies in return and wasting time & effort in quest of a perfect mentor is not everyone's cup of tea. That's where most people prefer taking help from premium mentoring platforms and cut the hassle of finding a mentor with a little extra cost to pay.

The choicest mentoring programs out there consider your existing strengths and weaknesses and work towards fine-tuning them to the best of their abilities. These programs and platforms are invaluable for allowing you to get directly in touch with someone working in the same role and domain that you aspire to or having sufficient and relevant experience handling the same set of responsibilities in the past.

Here are some of the famous Mentoring Platforms for Interview Preparation that you can try out:

  1. Preplaced
  2. Exponent
  3. MentorCruise

Going about searching for a mentor without any direction in mind is an exercise in futility. This is such mentoring platforms come to the rescue. These sites take your profile into account to fix you up with the most qualified and experienced mentors out there.

These platforms scan through your profile to determine your strengths and weaknesses and accordingly allot you a mentor who is best suited for your profile. The platform itself carries out the entire work of finding and choosing the mentors.

All you have to do to cut your research short is canvass through these platforms’ database and settle upon a mentor of your choice.  Invariably, your mentor will be someone who would be based out of the same industry as you are or someone who’s working in a role to which you want to switch to. Subsequently, this puts them where they can guide you effectively regarding all the steps to smoothen up the transition process.


How a mentor is assigned at Preplaced

A rigorous pipeline is followed to find a perfect mentor for each of the candidates. To personalise the process and assign the best possible mentor, a personal assistant is provided to each candidate. Below are the high level steps followed:

Step 1: Understanding candidate's requirements and goals

Once the registration process is completed, one of our experts will get in touch with you to understand more about your goals. Your requirements, background, and work experience play a crucial role in assigning the mentor.

Step 2: Finding a suitable mentor

We choose a mentor that would perfectly suit your needs. Dream company, years of experience, area of interest, and job role are the factors that are taken into account. Our large mentor community helps us to make sure that you get a mentor based on the role and company of your choice.

Unlike other companies, we use a manual process for this step as it ensures a perfect match between candidate and the mentor.

Step 3: Finalising the mentor

Once a suitable mentor is selected, we share the complete profile of the mentor. We believe that knowing your mentor is of utmost importance. It inculcates trust and belief about the guidance, you are about to receive. You can go through the profile, achievements, and journey of the mentor and even opt for a different mentor(or a mentor from a specific company) if you wish.

Conclusion

Preparing for an interview is always a challenging and nerve-wracking affair. One needs to have the proper guidance at their disposal to crack the interviews of their dream jobs. You can try out various online platforms like LinkedIn, Quora etc. to find and reach out to experts in your domain and ask for guidance.

Finding this guidance, however, is more complicated than what meets the eye. This is where mentoring platforms come into the picture. They not only help you come in touch with a mentor who is tailor-made for your strengths and weaknesses but also let you foster a mentoring relationship that is as nourishing as it is empowering.

Need an expert mentor?

Preplaced matches you with a perfect mentor from the company of your choice.



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