How To Effectively Approach Your Interview

By Dr. Howard Gauthier

Reflect back upon your most recent professional interview. How was your interaction with the search committee or hiring manager? Did you take charge of the interview or did the search committee control the environment? When searching for a job, you need to know how to properly execute the job search process. This includes knowing how to properly approach the interview.

One of the major keys for properly executing the interview is to approach it with the mentality of “interviewing like a consultant.”  But what does a consultant do?  A consultant sells their expertise to an organization; and then gathers facts, identifies the strengths and weaknesses of the organization, and analyzes their problems. He or she then communicates these strengths, weaknesses, and problems to the appropriate people within the organization. They then follow this up by making recommendations for solving their problems.

This is your role during an interview. You need to be prepared to sell yourself, to provide a good impression, to ask quality questions so as to gather facts, to identify the problems that face the organization, to develop solutions to these problems, and to communicate these solutions to the search committee.  This process is categorized in three stages known as pre-interview research, interview strategies, and post-interview strategies.

During the pre-interview research you need to be extremely organized in your approach.  You will want to gather information about the job search, the search committee, and the organization. You will want to uncover the strengths, weakness, and challenges that face the organization, and find out who is on the search committee. You will want to research the members of the search committee and find out more about them.  For example, do you share commonalities with any of the members on the search committee? This could help you as you work towards building a positive relationship with each person you meet.   Additional pre-interview strategies include knowing when to interview, making sure you visit the interview site prior to your interview, and practicing your answers to potential interview questions.

During the actual interview, you will want to make a great first impression.  This includes arriving early to the interview, knowing what to wear (and what not to wear), being aware of your body language, knowing what to bring with you to the interview, and asking probing questions.  Once the interview is over, you will now need to begin to strategize on how you should follow-up with each person you met during the interview. You will begin by sending them a letter, note, or e-mail that thanks them for their time. You will also what to reiterate your qualifications, share with them why you are a good fit for the position, what strategies you have for solving their problems, and finishing your follow-up correspondence by letting them know that you want the job.

This is a brief outline of how you should approach the interview process. By knowing how to effectively approach your interview, you will be more prepared so you can perform your best. Ultimately, the job will go to the candidate who is best prepared and who effectively executes the basics of the job interview process.


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 or his new book Execute for Success at


Best Selling Sports Careers 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




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