Preparing For Five Different Types of Interview Questions

By Dr. Howard Gauthier

If you are going to get the job, you need to be prepared for your interview.  This includes being prepared to answer the interview questions you will be asked.  During your interview you will be judged on the answers you provide to interview questions, how you deliver your answers, and how you present yourself.  Therefore, in order to have a successful interview, you must be prepared to effectively answer each of the five basic types of interview questions. These five types of questions include:

  • Personal questions
  • Competency-based questions
  • Performance-based questions
  • Company-based questions
  • Position-specific questions

Personal Questions

Personal questions are focused on you and your personality.  This includes information on your background, your character, and your value system.  The intent of these questions is to find out if you will be a good fit within the organization.  An example of a personal question is “Tell me about yourself”.

Competency-based Questions

Competency-based questions are designed to determine if you are qualified for the position.  They are focused on your skills, abilities, strengths, and experiences.  An example of a competency-based question is “What are your strengths (or weaknesses)”.

Performance-based Questions

Performance-based questions are also known as behavior-based questions. They are focused on how you have performed in your previous positions or how you would handle a specific problem.  These types of questions are also designed to see if you are qualified for the position and to see if you are a good fit within the organization.  An example of a performance-based question is “What is your greatest accomplishment”.

Company-based Questions

Company-based questions are designed to see if you will be a good fit within the organization.  They are focused on why you want to work for that particular company.  Company-based questions can include “Why do you want to work for us” or “What distinguishes you from the other people we are interviewing today”

Position-specific Questions

Finally, the fifth type of interview question is a position-specific question.  They are designed to test your knowledge about the actual job.  An example of a position-specific question is “What is your management style”.

In order to ace your interview, you will need to be prepared to answer questions from each of these five categories.  You will want to prepare yourself by writing out each possible question that could be asked during an interview, and your corresponding answer.  This is where your sales pitch will come into play.  You should be able to answer most interview questions by using a portion of your sales pitch or the pitch in its entirety.  To find out more about the various questions that you might be asked in an interview, refer to the book “Getting Hired in College Sports”.  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.


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How To Get a Job in College 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

Click Here To Purchase Only $23.95

.
“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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You Must Meet The Minimum Qualifications

By Dr. Howard Gauthier

Kari graduated with her master’s degree in sports management this past May. She has been struggling to find a job in intercollegiate athletics since this time but now she has some hope. As Kari was looking through the various sports job listings on the Sports Careers website, she noticed that her alma mater was advertising for a compliance officer. She thought she would apply.

As Kari was reviewing the job announcement, she read through the minimum qualifications. She noticed that she didn’t meet all of the minimum requirements, but she also exceeded them in other areas. A bachelor’s degree was required and a master’s degree was preferred. She clearly surpassed this requirement. The school also wanted, at a minimum, someone with two years of NCAA compliance experience. The preferred level of experience was 3-5 years. The problem was that Kari only had a 6-month internship in an athletic department’s compliance office. The final requirement was that the applicants needed to submit three letters of recommendation.

Kari printed out her resume and wrote a good cover letter. She planned to send them to the Human Resources Office tomorrow. She then called two of her sports management professors and also her supervisor from her internship, to see if they would write letters of recommendation for her. As she was visiting with one of her former professors, Dr. Rosbach, he asked Kari if she met the minimum qualifications. Her response was “I don’t have the amount of experience they want, but I make it up by having a master’s degree.”

Dr. Rosbach was careful in his words as he thoughtfully responded to Kari. Encouragingly he said, “You know Kari, you certainly won’t get the job if you don’t apply.” “However, without meeting the minimum qualifications, you probably won’t get the job.” Dr. Rosbach went on to coach Kari in how to approach the job. He shared with her that most people get jobs through networking. And since she knew some of the people within the athletics department she has a “leg-up” on her competition. However, very seldom will someone get hired into a position when they don’t meet the minimum qualifications. In fact, in some universities, the Human Resources Department screens the application files to make sure the applicants meet the minimum qualifications. They will forward to the search committee all of the application files from the applicants who meet the minimum qualifications. For those who don’t meet minimum qualifications, their files aren’t forwarded to the search committee and that person is sent a rejection letter.

This is a pretty standard practice – meet the minimum qualifications and you will be considered by the search committee; don’t meet the minimum qualifications and your resume won’t make it to the committee. I’m not saying don’t apply for the job, I’m just saying – know that the chances of getting an interview are extremely slim if you don’t meet the minimum qualifications. But again, you definitely won’t get the job if you don’t apply.

 

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.


*******

#1 Sports Job Book

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

Click Here To Purchase Only $23.95

.
“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

 

 


Creating a Strong Sales Pitch

By Dr. Howard Gauthier

Having a quality personal sales pitch is a necessity for every job seeker.  Your personal sales pitch 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.

The sales pitch needs to be geared towards the type of organization you are interviewing with and the type of position you are seeking.  As you communicate with potential employers you will want to share your pitch with clarity and enthusiasm.  It is vitally important that you practice reciting your pitch, and parts of your pitch, so it comes across in a natural manner.  Practicing your pitch will allow you to control your message and help you to eliminate poorly phrased responses and long uncomfortable pauses.

The personal sales pitch is composed of three sections – a summary of your resume; a listing of your skills, abilities and traits; and a description of your current situation.  A person 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 in a job interview, you could answer it with the entire pitch, or one of the three subsections.  For example, if you were 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 were asked the questions “What are your strengths” or “How would your colleagues describe you”, you would answer this question by using your second section, a listing of your skills, abilities and traits.  Finally, if you are asked the questions “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 personal sales pitch, always be positive in your response.  If you are currently unemployed, do not say that you are unemployed because your previous boss didn’t like you.  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. 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.


*******

#1 Sports Job Book

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

Click Here To Purchase Only $23.95

.
“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

 

 


Seven Common Interview Mistakes

By Dr. Howard Gauthier

It was mid-morning and Cynthia was preparing for her job interview that was scheduled for later in the week.  The sound of The Today Show was softly playing in the background when something caught her ear.  The hosts were discussing the outcome of a recent study of mistakes people make during their job interview.  This news article stopped Cynthia in her tracks.  She replayed the segment and found that the most common mistakes people make during their interview include:

  1. Dressing Inappropriately – During an interview you need to dress appropriate for the job.  For most jobs, you will want to dress in a professional manner.  Don’t wear jeans or a cocktail dress, instead wear a suit and tie, or a professional dress or pants suit.
  2. Being late for the interview – If you’re late for the interview just know that you probably won’t get the job.  Know where you’re going ahead of time.  If you’re unfamiliar with the area, drive by the interview site prior to the interview.  If you’re interviewing in a large hotel or building, walk by the room prior to your scheduled interview.  Plan on arriving to the interview site an hour early.  With this philosophy, if you get lost or traffic is crazy, you will still be on time.
  3. Leaving your cell phone on – As crazy as this sounds, many people will leave their cell phone turned on during an interview.  In fact, there are many stories of people answering their phone or returning a text message during an interview.  It’s best if you leave your phone in your car during the interview.
  4. Being too focused on yourself – Remember that during the interview process the employer is looking for an applicant who will be a good fit for the organization and who can help the organization solve their problems.  If you are too focused on “what’s in it for me” or too desperate to get the job, you probably aren’t the right fit and probably won’t get the job.
  5. Not being prepared for the interview – When preparing for a job you need to focus on two areas of preparation – researching the company and knowing how you’re going to answer the interview questions.  You will need to know the basics of the company, the job, and the people you’re interviewing with.  You will also need to be able to answer the basic interview questions about your qualifications.
  6. Bad mouthing your previous employer – Never bad mouth your previous employer, or anyone for that matter.  Only negative people will hire other negative people.  If you want to work for a good company, be positive and optimistic.  If you were fired from a previous job, it’s natural to feel anger and hurt.  Redirect any negative thoughts and resist the temptation to make negative comments.  Rise above these temptations and ace your interview.
  7. Not making eye contact – Making eye contact shows the employer that you’re confident and competent.  A lack of eye contact shows insecurities and makes you look like you have something to hide.  Don’t get in a staring contest, but having the appropriate amount of eye contact is important.  Making eye contact with people is something that you can practice and improve upon.

As Cynthia’s interview approached, she made sure that she was properly prepared, that she was dressed appropriately, and she knew where the interview site was.  When she arrived at the interview, she left her cell phone in the car!

Ultimately the job will go to the candidate who knows the intricacies of the job search process, is prepared for the interview, and who effectively executes the basics of the job search 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.


*******

#1 Sports Job Book

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

Click Here To Purchase Only $23.95

.
“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