Preparation for a Vidi interview:
I experienced the coaching trajectory as very insightful, not only for the preparation of the grant interview but also for more hands on tools on how to present myself better. The sessions gave me plenty of opportunity to practice my presentation and interview settings. This structure was really helpful to give me a clear picture of where we were in the process and whether I’ve been making progress. Marieke is very knowledgeable, professional, provided a lot of useful tips and tricks as well as constructive feedback.
Preparation for a Veni interview:
Marieke helped me preparing my Veni interview. With the help of a couple of colleagues, we structured and practiced the presentation, and practiced answering questions. Marieke made sure the preparations were organized smoothly, and gave constructive feedback. This made me feel comfortable, despite being nervous about the interview. She also helped with tips on how to come across during an online interview. I ended up going into the interview with the feeling that I had prepared everything I could, which gave me a lot of confidence.
Preparation for a consortium interview:
Together with my colleagues, I was invited for a funding interview as part of the Dutch Research Agenda. We asked Marieke to help us prepare this interview. This turned out to be a good choice. To summarize: during the two mock interviews we weren’t able to communicate in a clear and concise way with the practice jury. During the real interview, we did succeed.
What worked very well was gathering questions during the practice sessions. During a third session, we formulated strategies to answer the questions we deemed important together with Marieke. We did this without loosing the spontaneity during the real interview.
Without the practice sessions, I don’t think the interview would have gone well. Now it did, and our proposal was funded. I don’t like preparing interviews, but this was useful.