Three Qualities Employers Look For When Hiring in The Sports Industry

By Dr. Howard Gauthier

This past summer I led I let a group of graduate students at Idaho State University in a class entitled Athletics in the West. It’s a weeklong field trip where we tour various athletic facilities and interview athletic professionals both at the college level and professional level so that the students can get a feel for the industry. This was my first year of teaching this class.

In years past the class went from Idaho through Wyoming and Colorado, and back home. They stopped at various Division I athletic departments, Division II athletic departments, and professional sport organizations. This summer I decided that the class would head a different direction. We decided to explore the differences between various organizations in Idaho and Washington. We began by traveling from Pocatello over to Boise and up to Lewiston Idaho. There we began our adventure by touring the athletic facilities at Lewis-Clark State College. They have a visionary athletic director who presented some of the best athletic facilities in the NAIA. Later that day we toured the athletic facilities at the University of Idaho. Their associate athletic director was so gracious in providing his time, vision, and insights into the profession. This first day allowed us to compare the differences in facilities, staffing levels, vision, and strategies between a high-level NAIA school compared with a Non-Power 5 athletic department. The difference in facilities and staffing levels was significant. The Division I institution was bigger in everything – staffing, facilities, vision, and strategy. The employees were similar though – very nice, friendly, and professional. During our visits at both schools, one of our students asked each athletic professional what they look for when hiring people.

The next day we visited the athletic department at Washington State University. The senior associate athletic director provided a tremendous opportunity for our class. He gave us a thorough tour of their new and renovated facilities, their branding strategies, and provided insights into the industry that can only be gained by visiting with a seasoned college athletic administrator. After a three-hour tour of the athletic facilities and picking-the brain of one of the most respected athletic administrators in the country, our campus tour moved across campus and concluded with a two-hour visit of the recreation department. Once again, at both stops, the student asked the same question about what they look for when hiring people.

This theme continued as the next day we visited with a first class football coach at the University of Washington. We toured their facilities, and visited on the vision and culture that makes Huskies football outstanding. Our trip concluded with the class touring CenturyLink Field (Seahawks and Sounders) and Safeco Field (Mariners). With each stop came the same question – What do you look for when hiring employees.

While the answer to this question varied slightly from each athletic professional, there was a definite pattern that crossed over to every person at every sports organization. What these athletic professionals are looking for when hiring employees is loyalty, work ethic, and positive attitude. Our students thought the answers would be more in alignment with having a certain type of college degree, a certain number of years of experience, or even a certain type of skill. These latter qualities are either part of the minimum qualifications for the job, and therefore every applicant has them, or they can be gained on the job. The bottom line is – employers want positive people who work hard and are loyal. If a future employer were to call your references, would they say that you are an upbeat positive person, that you work hard, and that you are loyal? Just some food for thought.

 

Howard Gauthier is an Associate Professor of Athletic Administration at Idaho State University. He is a former collegiate athletic director and collegiate basketball coach. He is also an author of 9 books. Check out his book, Getting Hired In College Sports – 2nd Edition at www.sportscareersinstitute.com or his new book Execute for Success at www.ThePositiveLeader.org.  

*******

The #1 Careers Book in Sports

2nd edition Image

In Getting Hired In College Sports you will discover:

  • The types of jobs that exist in college sports
  • How to plan and navigate your career
  • How to create an effective job search campaign 
  • The proper way to create an effective resume, cover letter, and sales pitch
  • How to properly brand yourself
  • Techniques and strategies to prepare for your interview
  • How to properly prepare yourself for the five types of interview questions 
  • How to properly follow-up after the interview in order to influence the decision of the hiring manager

Only $23.95 Click Here To Purchase 

.
“I have recommended this book to many aspiring sports administrators.  This is a must read for anyone who wants to work in college athletics”

-Bill Fusco
Director of Athletics
Sonoma State University

 

 


Preparing For Your Phone Interview

By Dr. Howard Gauthier

Periodically I receive questions about how a person should prepare for their upcoming job search or their upcoming interview. I appreciate you asking me advice about the job search process and I welcome your questions. This week was no different. I received an e-mail from Bill (not his real name) who has a telephone interview for a position within a college athletic department.

Bill asked how he should go about properly preparing for his upcoming phone interview and what type of questions he should ask. These are great questions; so let’s discuss some thoughts on this topic.

As you prepare for your upcoming telephone interview there are some thoughts that you will want to focus on. For example, the interview is about them (the organization) and not you. Let me explain this.

The reason the job is open is because the organization has a need. Without this need, the position wouldn’t exist. So the over-riding questions you need to answer are “what are their needs, how can I solve their problems, and what makes me the best fit for this position and their organization?”

So let’s examine these thoughts. First, how do you prepare for the phone interview? You will want to make sure that your phone is charged and is in good working order. Also, you will want to make sure that there is good telephone coverage or service in the area, and that you have a location for your interview where you will have privacy and no distractions. I also like to dress up a little bit so I feel I’m ready for the interview. This will help with your confidence, which will come across loudly in your conversation. Also, know the answers to potential interview questions, and what questions you want to ask the search committee. You will want to practice your answers so you are smooth in your delivery. A lack of preparation will sound like you are unsure of yourself or even that you’re not qualified for the position.

To help you prepare for answering the interview questions you will want to develop a personal sales pitch. Also known as an elevator speech, your personal sales pitch is a short statement of who you are and what makes you qualified for the position for which you are interviewing. Your pitch will include three subsections that you can use to sell yourself. And if you are asked a question that you’re unsure of the answer, you can revert back to your personal sales pitch. During a phone interview, I like to have my personal sales pitch (and answers to interview questions) lying in front of me or taped to the wall so I can glance at a key word and remember the answer. This is a little trick I’ve used to help me during my telephone interviews. But make sure you’re not reading the answers word for word. This would come across poorly on the other end of the telephone. These are some thoughts on how to prepare for your phone interview. Now let’s examine Bill’s second question – what questions should I ask the search committee?

Asking questions during an interview is a vitally important aspect of the process. If you don’t have any questions for the search committee, that’s a clear sign that you’re not qualified for the position. So what type of questions should you ask? When interviewing for a job I always like to think of myself as a consultant who is trying to uncover the problems of the organization so I can propose solutions to their problems and also so I can sell myself as the “consultant” they want to hire. As a consultant you will want to ask questions such as who, what, why, when, where and how come. Answers to questions will spur on additional questions. Ultimately, you will want to ask yourself “why should they hire me?” You need to answer this question and help them to believe you are the best person for the job.

Howard Gauthier is an Associate Professor of Athletic Administration at Idaho State University. He is a former collegiate athletic director and collegiate basketball coach. He is also an author of 9 books. Check out his book, Getting Hired In College Sports – 2nd Edition at www.sportscareersinstitute.com or his new book Execute for Success at www.ThePositiveLeader.org.  

*******

The #1 Careers Book in Sports

2nd edition Image

In Getting Hired In College Sports you will discover:

  • The types of jobs that exist in college sports
  • How to plan and navigate your career
  • How to create an effective job search campaign 
  • The proper way to create an effective resume, cover letter, and sales pitch
  • How to properly brand yourself
  • Techniques and strategies to prepare for your interview
  • How to properly prepare yourself for the five types of interview questions 
  • How to properly follow-up after the interview in order to influence the decision of the hiring manager

Only $23.95 Click Here To Purchase 

.
“I have recommended this book to many aspiring sports administrators.  This is a must read for anyone who wants to work in college athletics”

-Bill Fusco
Director of Athletics
Sonoma State University

 

 


Dual Purposes Of The Job Interview

By Dr. Howard Gauthier

Meagan was preparing for an upcoming job interview as an athletics marketing director at an NCAA Division I school in the Midwest. One of her colleagues suggested that to better prepare herself for the interview she should get the book Getting Hired in College Sports. It is the #1 sports careers book in the country and has helped thousands of people get jobs. As she read the book, one of the sections in the book discussed the dual purposes of the job interview. The book shared that very rarely does a person get offered a job during the interview itself and therefore the real purpose of the interview is two-fold: (a) To sell yourself, and (b) To gather information.

Selling Yourself

We all know that the main purpose of an interview is to sell yourself to the members of the search committee. You do this by being prepared, scripting out and practicing the answers to potential interview questions, having a quality sales pitch, dressing appropriately, knowing your strengths and skills, being up-beat and positive in your communication, being yourself, and successfully closing the interview. You will want to sell the members of the search committee that you are the expert who can solve their problems. You will also want to build a positive relationship with each of these committee members.

Gathering Information

Since the job offer rarely comes during the interview itself, a second purpose of the interview is to gather information about the organization. You will then use this information during the follow-up stage of the job search process. This information should be used in an attempt to influence the hiring decision in your favor. In other words, during the interview you will both sell yourself to members of the search committee, and you will gather information that can be used later in the process to convince the committee members that you are the best person for the job.

As you interview and gather information, you will want to ask probing questions. You should take the approach as seeing yourself as a consultant where you are analyzing the organization and their situation. You will want to gather facts, understand what the committee members are looking for in a candidate, understand what concerns they have regarding your candidacy, and understand the strengths and weaknesses of the organization.

With the information you’ve uncovered, you will now want to send follow-up correspondence to everyone you met during your interview. This correspondence is used to thank the people for their time and also to sell yourself to them. Let them know that you want the job, what skills and abilities you bring to the position, and you will want to be very strategic as you really convince them that you’re the right person for the position. Each letter or note that you send should be individually tailored. This is where your information gathering really pays dividends.

Meagan followed these strategies, interviewed well, followed up with personalized hand-written notes, and in the end, she was offered the job. These strategies came directly from the book Getting Hired in College Sports. It is the most complete and comprehensive job search book in all of sports. To get a copy of this book, go to our website at http://www.SportsCareersInstitute.com. Best of luck in your job search!

 

Howard Gauthier is an Associate Professor of Athletic Administration at Idaho State University. He is a former collegiate athletic director and collegiate basketball coach. He is also an author of 9 books. Check out his book, Getting Hired In College Sports – 2nd Edition at www.sportscareersinstitute.com or his latest book Execute for Success at www.ThePositiveLeader.org.  

*******

The #1 Careers Book in Sports

2nd edition Image

In Getting Hired In College Sports you will discover:

  • The types of jobs that exist in college sports
  • How to plan and navigate your career
  • How to create an effective job search campaign 
  • The proper way to create an effective resume, cover letter, and sales pitch
  • How to properly brand yourself
  • Techniques and strategies to prepare for your interview
  • How to properly prepare yourself for the five types of interview questions 
  • How to properly follow-up after the interview in order to influence the decision of the hiring manager

Only $23.95 Click Here To Purchase 

.
“I have recommended this book to many aspiring sports administrators.  This is a must read for anyone who wants to work in college athletics”

-Bill Fusco
Director of Athletics
Sonoma State University

 

 


After Your Interview, Out-live Your Competition

By Dr. Howard Gauthier

If you want the job, you need to have a great interview, properly follow-up after the interview, and out-live your competition. This is one of the concepts I discuss in my book Getting Hired in College Sports. When I say out-live your competition, I mean that you need to be patient, let the other candidates drop out of the race, so you are available when the hiring manager is offering the position. This is just one of many strategies you will want to consider when you are strategically following up after your interview. Let me give you an example of this concept.

After a job interview, many candidates get frustrated that the hiring process is taking too long and is dragging on and on. The reaction of many candidates is to pull their name from consideration. Similarly, quite often a candidate will pull their name from consideration when they find out that the hiring manager is going to offer the job to another candidate. In both cases, you have definitely eliminated yourself from consideration. But what happens if the first candidate, who is offered the job, decides to turn down the job offer? Who does the search committee turn to? Who is the next candidate in line?

Instead of dropping out, you should stay focused on the job, stay positive, continue to follow-up, and be patient. Let the other candidates drop out. If the other candidates drop out of the search process, you have now bettered your odds of being hired. This type of situation happens more than most people realize, but it doesn’t usually rise to the level of making national news.

However, this past week we did see this scenario play out in a very public manner. Over the past couple of months, Montana State University conducted a search for a new athletic director. With over 60 applicants for the position, the university’s search committee narrowed the list to five finalists. One by one, each candidate came to campus and interviewed.   When the dust settled, the job was offered to University of Utah Deputy Athletic Director Kyle Brennan. Brennan quickly accepted the job on Monday May 2, 2016 and this wrapped up the process. Right?, Wrong!

A week later, Brennan contacted Montana State President, Waded Cruzado, and informed her that he was returning to his previous position at the University of Utah. Cruzado wasted little time and contacted South Dakota State University Sr. Associate Athletic Director, Leon Costello, and offered him the job. Costello was the final candidate to interview, and he had not pulled his name from consideration. On May 10th Costello accepted the position and is now a Division I athletic director.

While we don’t know if any of the other four candidates officially withdrew their names from consideration, what we do know is that Costello made a good impression during his interview and that he was still available when the first candidate turned down the job offer. This particular scenario is a little unusual, but the process of being patient and out-living your competition is a real strategy. Good luck in your job search!

 

Howard Gauthier is an Associate Professor of Athletic Administration at Idaho State University. He is a former collegiate athletic director and collegiate basketball coach. He is also an author of 9 books. Check out his book, Getting Hired In College Sports – 2nd Edition at www.sportscareersinstitute.com or his book Execute for Success at www.ThePositiveLeader.org.  

*******

The #1 Careers Book in Sports

2nd edition Image

In Getting Hired In College Sports you will discover:

  • The types of jobs that exist in college sports
  • How to plan and navigate your career
  • How to create an effective job search campaign 
  • The proper way to create an effective resume, cover letter, and sales pitch
  • How to properly brand yourself
  • Techniques and strategies to prepare for your interview
  • How to properly prepare yourself for the five types of interview questions 
  • How to properly follow-up after the interview in order to influence the decision of the hiring manager

Only $23.95 Click Here To Purchase 

.
“I have recommended this book to many aspiring sports administrators.  This is a must read for anyone who wants to work in college athletics”

-Bill Fusco
Director of Athletics
Sonoma State University

 

 


Three Steps to Creating a Solid Elevator Speech

By Dr. Howard Gauthier

You’ve prepared your resume, written a quality cover letter, but now the search committee has called and asked you to interview. Are you prepared? What happens if you’re asked a difficult question, are you prepared to answer the question without stumbling and saying a bunch of um’s and you know’s?

This is where your elevator speech comes in. You need to have a prepared spiel that you can use to answer nearly any interview question that is thrown at you. The elevator speech, also know as your sales pitch, is a necessity for every job seeker. It is a three part sales pitch that allows you to answer various questions without stumbling or bumbling.

Your elevator speech should be used in all of your correspondence, including your cover letter. It should be used when communicating with potential employers and in answering interview questions. Your elevator specch should be composed of three sections – a summary of your resume; a listing of your skills, abilities, and traits; and a description of your current situation. You should be able to recite the entire pitch in less than two minutes. The entire pitch will be used for answering questions such as “Tell me about yourself” or “Why should we hire you”.

Depending upon the question you are being asked, you could answer it with the entire pitch, or one of the three subsections. For example, if you are asked the question “What is your experience in working in this industry”, you would answer this question by reciting your first section, the summary of your resume. If you are asked the question “What are your strengths” or “How would your colleagues describe you”, you would answer these questions using your second section, a listing of your skills, abilities and traits. Finally, if you are asked the question “Why are you looking to leave your current position”, you would answer this by reciting your third section, your current situation.

As you create your elevator speech, always be positive in your response. If you are currently unemployed, do not say that you are unemployed because your previous boss is a jerk. Instead, be prepared for this question and develop an answer that sounds plausible in a neutral tone, and then transition into selling yourself using either your experiences in the industry or your skills and strengths. In other words, share your strengths and why they should hire you.

To create a great elevator speech you will want to consider the following three steps:

  1. Prepare a 30-60 second summary of your resume (your first section); another 20 second listing of your strengths, skills and abilities (your second section); and another a 10-20 second description of your current situation (your third section).
  2. Write out each section, and prepare reciting these sections like an actor would recite their lines in a play. Make sure that each section is smooth and flows nicely.
  3. Then merge all three sections together to make your overall elevator speech. Make sure all three sections flow smoothly together and they are written in a way that effectively sells you to the hiring manger.

Once you have created your elevator speech, practice reciting it with enthusiasm so you can deliver it with persuasion. To see examples of how to write an effective elevator speech, and how to recite your speech, check out the book Getting Hired in College Sports at www.SportsCareersInstitute.com. Ultimately, the job will go to the candidate who is prepared and who effectively executes the basics of the job interview process. In all you do, you will want to EXECUTE FOR SUCCESS!

 

Howard Gauthier is an Associate Professor of Athletic Administration at Idaho State University. He is a former collegiate athletic director and collegiate basketball coach. He is also an author of 9 books. Check out his book, Getting Hired In College Sports – 2nd Edition at www.sportscareersinstitute.com or his new book Execute for Success at www.ThePositiveLeader.org.  

*******

The #1 Careers Book in Sports

2nd edition Image

In Getting Hired In College Sports you will discover:

  • The types of jobs that exist in college sports
  • How to plan and navigate your career
  • How to create an effective job search campaign 
  • The proper way to create an effective resume, cover letter, and sales pitch
  • How to properly brand yourself
  • Techniques and strategies to prepare for your interview
  • How to properly prepare yourself for the five types of interview questions 
  • How to properly follow-up after the interview in order to influence the decision of the hiring manager

Only $23.95 Click Here To Purchase 

.
“I have recommended this book to many aspiring sports administrators.  This is a must read for anyone who wants to work in college athletics”

-Bill Fusco
Director of Athletics
Sonoma State University

 

 


Make Sure You Prepare For These Seven Interview Questions

By Dr. Howard Gauthier

Jake is excited for his upcoming interview.  After six years as an assistant coach, Jake is looking to move up in the coaching profession.

After working under an extremely successful coach, Jake believes now is the perfect time to make the move to a head coaching position. He has experience in all aspect of running a program including preseason conditioning, on-court coaching, recruiting, scouting, and player development. What he doesn’t have experience in is interviewing for a job.

To better prepare himself for his interview, Jake sought the help of a veteran coach and his mentor, Bob Cross. Coach Cross was Jake’s head coach in college and has been a great mentor ever since. So naturally, Jake sought his advice and guidance when it came to interviewing for a head coaching position. Coach Cross shared various interview preparation tips and strategies, and then shared seven interviewing questions that Jake should be prepared to answer during the interview. These seven questions include:

  1. Tell us about yourself.
  2. What are your strengths?  Weaknesses?
  3. What is your coaching philosophy and coaching style?
  4. What is your vision for the program?
  5. Give us an example of a difficult problem you’ve had to deal with regarding a student-athlete and how you handle the situation.
  6. What is your plan for the first 90 days on the job?
  7. Why should we hire you?

In the end, Jake aced his interview and he is excited for his new challenge as a head coach. He paid his dues, sought the guidance of a mentor, and was prepared for his interview. He is now actively planning for his first season as a head coach.

Remember, ultimately the job will go to the candidate who is prepared and who effectively executes the basics of the job interview process. In all you do, you will want to EXECUTE FOR SUCCESS!

 

Howard Gauthier is an Associate Professor of Athletic Administration at Idaho State University. He is a former collegiate athletic director and collegiate basketball coach. He is also an author of 9 books. Check out his book, Getting Hired In College Sports – 2nd Edition at www.sportscareersinstitute.com or his new book Execute for Success at www.execute4success.com.

*******

The #1 Careers Book in Sports

2nd edition Image

In Getting Hired In College Sports you will discover:

  • The types of jobs that exist in college sports
  • How to plan and navigate your career
  • How to create an effective job search campaign 
  • The proper way to create an effective resume, cover letter, and sales pitch
  • How to properly brand yourself
  • Techniques and strategies to prepare for your interview
  • How to properly prepare yourself for the five types of interview questions 
  • How to properly follow-up after the interview in order to influence the decision of the hiring manager

Only $23.95 Click Here To Purchase 

.
“I have recommended this book to many aspiring sports administrators.  This is a must read for anyone who has a goal of working in athletic administration”

-Bill Fusco
Director of Athletics
Sonoma State University

 

 


Where To Begin Your Job Search – Answer These Four Questions

By Dr. Howard Gauthier

So you are beginning to look for a new job. Where do you start? How do you begin your job search? There are five stages to the job search process. These include the assessment stage, the preparation stage, the connection stage, the interview stage, and the follow-up stage. Each of these stages is so very different. To have a successful job search campaign, you will need to be able to effectively execute the fundamental skills for each of these different stages.

Everybody is at a different place in his or her job search. Some are just beginning their work life and they need to complete various self-assessments so they truly understand their personal strengths, skills, and abilities. Others need to understand how to prepare for a job search by understanding how to effectively write a cover letter and resume. Still others need to brush up on their interview skills and/or their follow-up skills.

To help you determine where to begin in your job search, and learn the appropriate job search skills, you should answer the following four questions to see which one best applies to you. By determining which of the four questions is closest to your situation, you can determine which stage of the job search process is the best place for you to focus your energies. I highly recommend that you do not skip any of the stages of the job search process, because the better you know yourself, and the better you know the job search strategies, the more likely you are to land the job of your dreams. But, by identifying where you should begin your job search, you can place the majority of your focus and energies in that particular stage of the job search process.

Questions

  1. I feel as if I am lost. I am not sure what type of job or career I want.
  2. I think I know what type of job I want, but is there a type of job that I am better suited for?
  3. I know what type of position is right for me, but I cannot get an interview.
  4. I am getting interviews but I cannot land the job.

Where Should You Begin?

If you answered #1 or #2, you need to initially focus on the testing and assessments stage. Once you have completed this stage and have a better understanding of your career path, you will begin to focus on the preparation stage. If you answered #3, your greatest focus needs to be on preparing for your search. Finally, if you answered #4, you need to review the information regarding interviewing skills and your follow-up strategies. You also need to look to expand into different types of markets within the sports industry.

By knowing which stage of the job search process you are in, you will be able to place the majority of your focus and energies in this area so you can learn and get better. You will be able to learn the fundamental skills and strategies of each stage of the job search process so you can effectively execute the various skills and strategies of the job search process. Good luck with your job search!

Howard Gauthier is an Associate Professor of Athletic Administration at Idaho State University. He is a former collegiate athletic director and collegiate basketball coach. He is also an author of 9 books. Check out his book, Getting Hired In College Sports – 2nd Edition at www.sportscareersinstitute.com or his new book Execute for Success at www.ThePositiveLeader.org.  

*******

The #1 Careers Book in Sports

2nd edition Image

In Getting Hired In College Sports you will discover:

  • The types of jobs that exist in college sports
  • How to plan and navigate your career
  • How to create an effective job search campaign 
  • The proper way to create an effective resume, cover letter, and sales pitch
  • How to properly brand yourself
  • Techniques and strategies to prepare for your interview
  • How to properly prepare yourself for the five types of interview questions 
  • How to properly follow-up after the interview in order to influence the decision of the hiring manager

Only $23.95 Click Here To Purchase 

.
“I have recommended this book to many aspiring sports administrators.  This is a must read for anyone who wants to work in college athletics”

-Bill Fusco
Director of Athletics
Sonoma State University