Proper Research Can Help You Ace Your Interview

By Dr. Howard Gauthier

Interviewing for a job is both an art and a science. Interviewing is a science in that there are definite techniques you can use that will give you an advantage in the interview process. It is an art, however, in how you perform these techniques. Together, the use and performance of the proper job interview techniques will give you an advantage as you prepare for your upcoming job interview.

Take Randy for example.  He is a recent graduate from a sports management program and has a job interview scheduled for a position in sports marketing.  As he prepares for the interview, he decides to review the book his sports management class used for orienting the students to the job search process.  In particular, he wanted to know how to properly prepare for the interview.

Randy found a section in the book that suggests that you should prepare for an interview by completing a form entitled “The Pre-Interview Research Form”.  This form is a worksheet that is designed to help you prepare for your upcoming interview by researching the position, the organization, and the search committee.

In completing the worksheet, you will begin by identifying the hiring manager and their contact information. You will continue by identifying the members of the search committee and their association with the athletic department.  Once this information is gathered, you will continue by answering, at a minimum, the following questions:

  • Who has influence with the hiring manager?
  • What are some of the issues facing the organization?
  • What are the strengths of the organization?
  • What are the weaknesses?
  • Who will make the hiring decision?
  • What are their concerns about you as a candidate?
  • Do you know anyone who knows people on the committee?
  • Who else are they interviewing?

This information is important in helping you prepare answers to the various questions you will be asked during your interview.  It will also help you to be able to ask the right questions when you meet with the search committee. The information you gather from your questions can then be used during your follow-up as you attempt to influence the committee’s hiring decision.

In the end, Randy was extremely organized, wowed the committee, and was offered the job.  He knew exactly what they were looking for in a candidate, and he was prepared to answer the interview questions in a way that showed that he truly understood the challenges that faced the organization.  Randy also knew when the other candidates were interviewing and he was able to adjust his follow-up correspondence so they had the maximum impact and influence.  In other words, Randy did his homework and was extremely organized in his approach.

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 or his new book Execute for Success at


Helping You Get A Job 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

Only $23.95 Click Here To Purchase 

“I have recommended this book to many aspiring sports administrators.  A must read for anyone whom has a goal of working in athletic administration”

-Bill Fusco
Director of Athletics
Sonoma State University




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