By Dr. Howard Gauthier
Editor’s Note: The Coffee House Mentor is a series of 10 topics that discuss all aspects of the job search process. This week’s blog is on being prepared for your interview by completing your interview preparation form. This is the seventh article in the series. To review any of the previous six articles, go to our Home Page at http://www.SportsCareersInstitute.com.
Rob welcomed the five mentees as they arrived to this week’s meeting. As the session began, Brian was the first to speak up. There was a sparkle in his eyes that the other members haven’t seen before. He is typically painfully shy, but today his demeanor was one of excitement. As he spoke, he thanked Rob for the help and guidance he’s been providing the group. Brian had needed help with promoting himself and last week’s session on developing the personal sales pitch was exactly what he needed to bring him out of his shell. He was able to use this information to sell himself during a networking meeting and was able to secure an interview for next week.
As you remember, Rob is a retired coach and athletic director, and he is extremely skilled in the job search process. The group congratulated Brian, and Rob stated “this is perfect, because this week we’re discussing the interview process and the need to have an organized Interview Preparation Form.” This form is from the book Getting Hired in College Sports and can be used and adapted for anyone who is looking for any type of job. Rob passed out a worksheet on the form, and the group was able to learn how to become very organized in preparing for an interview.
The Interview Preparation Form is a worksheet that is designed to help you prepare for your communications during your interview. It includes five sections that outline:
- The answers to questions you anticipate you’ll be asked during the interview
- Your personal sales pitch
- Five stories you can tell the search committee (everyone loves stories)
- Questions you should askThe six talking points you’ll want to communicate in order to properly close the interview
After nearly two hours of discussing these items, Rob began to wrap up the session by encouraging the group to complete their Interview Preparation Form and then “. . . practice your answers, stories, and responses.” He also presented a handout on how to develop the “stories” section of your Interview Preparation Form. He stated “these forms will take quite a bit of homework in developing the proper communication structure for having an effective interview and next week we’ll continue by discussing how to prepare your answers to interview questions.”
Brian was grateful for the help and the mentoring, and he promised the group that he would take the Interview Preparation Form to heart. He promised that he would be extremely organized in his communication, and would outline and practice each of the five sections. He now knows that there is both an art and a science to the interview process and he is learning as much as he can so he can secure an interview, ace the interview, and land a job. He is buying into the concept that 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, which will be released on October 1, 2013 and is currently available at a pre-publication discount at http://www.execute4success.com.