By Dr. Howard Gauthier
Being organized and prepared for your upcoming interview is one of the keys for getting the job. As you prepare for your interview you need to gather information such as who is the hiring manager, who is on the search committee, and who can influence the hiring process. This type of information is important so you can be strategic in your approach. But this is just one of five recommendations for preparing for your upcoming interview.
Interviewing is both an art and a science. It is a science in that there are strategies and techniques you can use that will give you an advantage in the job search process. It is an art, however, in how you execute these strategies and techniques. Below are five strategies that you need to properly execute that will help you to become prepared for your upcoming interview.
Gather Information Prior to the Interview – Be prepared as you go into your interview. Know who the hiring manager is, who is on the search committee, and what they want in their new hire. Also, know a little bit about the organization and the job itself. What are the strengths and weaknesses of the organization, and how can you solve their problems. What are the duties of the job, and why did the previous person leave the position. These are some of the items you will want to research before you go into your interview.
Prepare Your Answers to Interview Questions – A second suggestion is to be prepared in how you will answer the various interview questions. Know the type of questions that will most likely be asked during your interview. Write out your answers to these questions and practice reciting your responses. In addition, many interview questions can be answered using your Personal Sales Pitch. Think of yourself as an actor on a stage. Practice your lines so they easily flow when it is your turn to talk.
Gather Information During the Interview – During the interview you will want to ask questions and gather information. You will want to find out what the vision is for the future of the organization and uncover any problems the organization is facing. This information will help you so you can develop a plan to meet their vision or solve their problems. Finally, try to understand something that is unique about each search committee member. This could be how they view you and your fit for the position, any potential personal friends or colleagues you may share, or any type of information that can connect you with the committee member. This information will be used as you follow-up after your interview.
Understand the Basic Techniques of Interviewing – When the day of your interview arrives, you need to be ready and skilled with the proper techniques for conducting a successful interview. This includes knowing what to wear, how to interact with the search committee, knowing your body language, knowing what to bring with you to your interview, what questions to ask, and how to successfully close the interview.
Strategically Follow-up After the Interview – Following up with the people you met during your interview is one of the most important parts of the interview process. Many interviewees do not send follow-up correspondence to the people they have met. This is a big mistake because the follow-up stage provides you with an opportunity to influence the decision of the search committee members by thanking them for the interview, and convincing them that you are the right fit for the job. This could be reiterating your strengths with a search committee member who does not believe you are a good match for the institution. It could also allow you to share your plans in how you will lead the organization toward their vision, or how you will solve their problems. In other words, following up after the interview gives you a platform in which you can convince the search committee that you are the right person for the job
As with most endeavors in life, if you are not prepared you will not be as successful as you desire. Therefore, as you approach your upcoming interview, vow to be as prepared as you should be and follow the five key elements listed above. Ultimately the job will go to the candidate who is best prepared 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.
Helping You Get A Job In Sports
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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“I have recommended this book to many aspiring sports administrators. This is a must read for anyone who has a goal of working in athletic administration”
Director of Athletics
Sonoma State University