By Dr. Howard Gauthier
Getting a job in the world of sports takes preparation, networking, persistence, a little luck, and a lot of organization. To help you with your organization, I have created a five-part worksheet that is designed to help you in your organization for your job interview. Entitled the Interview Preparation Form, it is an organized “cheat sheet” that helps you with the organization of your communications so you can ace your interview.
The Interview Preparation Form is designed to provide you with a method of organizing your interviewing thoughts, answers, questions, and stories. It has you create an overview of the answers to the questions you’re most likely to be asked, it outlines your personal sales pitch, it provides bullet points to the stories you want to share when answering questions, it provides a list of questions you want to ask the search committee, and it provides an organized method for you to properly and effectively close the interview. The Interview Preparation Form consists of the following five sections:
Section One – The answers to questions you anticipate you’ll be asked during the interview.In this section you will list the questions that you believe might be asked in an interview and then provide your corresponding answers. You will want to practice answering these questions prior to having your interview.
Section Two – Your personal sales pitch. Your Personal Sales Pitch is the foundation for selling yourself during the interview. Your pitch should include three sections – a summary of your resume; your skills, abilities and traits; and your current situation. Depending on the question you are asked, you can use the pitch in its entirety or just one of the three sections.
Section Three – Five stories you can tell the search committee. People like to hear stories. This section helps you prepare for sharing examples of your experiences through the use of stories.
Section Four – Questions you should ask. You need to be prepared to ask questions that will help you to understand the organization and their needs. This information will be used during the follow-up stage.
Section Five – Closing the interview. The closing is an organized method for concluding the interview. It allows you to leave the search committee with your strengths, and lets them know that you are interested in the position. It also provides you with information that you can use later in the process.
Once you have written your Interview Preparation Form, you will want to rehearse these answers and stories to memory so they flow easily during an interview. Some people will actually lay the preparation form in front of them and take notes on the cheat sheet during a group interview. In fact, when interviewing over the telephone, your cheat sheet should be organized in a manner that allows you to glance down and remind yourself of the answer to a particular question. It is best not to actually read from your interview preparation form, rather just refer to it as necessary so your answers come across fluid and confident in nature.
I hope this information is helpful to you. You can read more about the Interview Preparation Form and the entire job search process in my book Getting Hired in College Sports. Remember that it is critical that you are properly prepared for your job search, because 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.
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