Eight Specific Strategies For Acing Your Interview

By Dr. Howard Gauthier

Before you set foot on campus for your interview, make sure you’re prepared. The following are eight strategies and suggestions you can use that will help you to ace your interview. Of course there are many more strategies that you might want to adopt, but these eight suggestions are strategies that many people overlook when preparing for the interview itself.

Shake Hands, Make Eye Contact, And Repeat Their Name – As you enter the interview room, you will quite often meet some or all of the people who will be interviewing you. As you are introduced to them shake their hand, make eye contact with them, and repeat their name. This will show that you are confident and will also help you to remember their name.

Write Down Their Names And Titles – As you sit down and are introduced to each person sitting around the table, write down their name, title, and any personal information they shared with you on the notepad you brought to the interview. It will be impressive to use their names as you interact with them during the interview. But this information is also critical for when you follow-up after your interview.

Make Eye Contact With And Speak To Everyone In The Room – When someone asks you a question, acknowledge them and then answer the question. As you answer the question, make eye contact with everyone in the room and address them personally. It’s important to treat every member of the search committee with respect.Remember, any one of these people might have influence on who gets hired. Attempt to make a positive impression, or even build a positive relationship, with each person you meet during your interview.

Listen And Answer The Question – When you are asked a question during the interview, listen carefully to the question that’s being asked, and answer that question. Do not ramble on and on. As you answer the question, you may want to share a personal story that will show how you have experienced a similar situation and the outcome you achieved.

Be Prepared – There’s no substitute for solid interview preparation. Before you go into your interview, know the job and research the organization. You should know the mission of the college, the structure of the department, and how the department fits into the overall organization. You should also know the successes and challenges facing the college and the department.

Relax And Be Confident – Being nervous at an interview is natural. Do your best to relax by taking a deep breath, and having meaningful conversations. Do not think that the group is judging you, instead, look at each interviewer as an individual and speak to them accordingly.

Ask Questions – When interviewing, be prepared to ask questions in order to gain the information you need that will allow you to analyze the organization. You are interviewing them as much as they are interviewing you. You wouldn’t want to take a bad job just because it was offered to you. In addition, the information you uncover during your interview will also be used in the follow-up process.

Closing The Interview – As the interview comes to a close, take the lead in closing the interview by asking them if there is anything else you can answer for them, explain how you’re qualified for the position, find out what the next steps are in the search process, and thank them for their time.

These are just eight of the many strategies you should include as you interview for your next job. For more tips and suggestions on the job search process, check out my new CD entitled “Preparing For Your Upcoming Job Search” at www.SportsCareersInstitute.com.


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.


Follow Your Dreams Of Working 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

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“This book is fantastic – it is very practical for people who want to get into (or advance) in the sports industry.”
-Greg McDermott
Head Men’s Basketball Coach
Creighton University


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