Interviewing: It’s More Than Just Showing Up And Selling Yourself

By Dr. Howard Gauthier

Interviewing for a job is much more than just showing up and selling yourself. There is a considerable amount of strategy you should use in preparing for your job interview. Below are seven strategies you will want to consider as you prepare for your interview.

Gather Information – Prior to an interview you will want to research and gather information about the organization. You will want to research the people, the position, the organization, and the industry. Having the correct information is powerful and you will want to continue to gather information during your interview. Like a consultant, you will want to try to uncover the strengths, weaknesses, and any potential issues the organization is facing. Once you have identified the issues, develop a plan that shows the committee how you can help solve their problems. Your plan should be shared during the interview as one possible solution. Then continue to ask questions and gather more information. This information will then be used during the follow-up phase in an attempt to influence the hiring decision of the search committee.

Organize Your Findings – Once you have begun to gather information, you will want to organize your findings. It would be helpful if you created a form that lists who the hiring manager is and a little bit about their background.  You will also want to list the names of the members on the search committee, what their backgrounds are, and if you can make any connections with any of them (i.e. similar friends, from the same area, etc.). Finally, list pertinent information you have uncovered about the position and the institution. This could include a list of the strengths of the organization, the weaknesses of the organization, and any major issues facing the department/organization.

When To Interview – If at all possible, try to be the last candidate to interview. This gives you an advantage over the other candidates because you will have the opportunity to leave the final impression on the committee. In addition, the longer a search is drawn out, the more anxious the candidates tend to get. Quite often, this leads the other candidates to withdrawing from the search.

Visit The Interview Site – Once the interview is scheduled, if you are not completely familiar with the exact location of the interview, you should plan to drive by the location the day before your meeting. Finding the exact location would also pertain to interviewing in a hotel. Make sure to walk by the room where you will be interviewing ahead of time. The last thing you want to do is be late to the interview because you couldn’t find the interview room. Be prepared and know where you are going – this will help to reduce your anxiety.

Practice Your Answers – A large part of interviewing is being able to effectively communicate the answers to the questions that are asked by the search committee. This takes practice. You would not expect an actor in a play to be smooth with their lines if they did not practice, this holds true for an interview. You need to know which questions will most likely be asked, and you need to practice your answers to these questions. Knowing your personal sales pitch should also assist you with many of the questions you are asked.

Know The Job Description – A part of knowing which questions will be asked in an interview has to do with what the people within the institution want from the position. Review the job description and know how you meet the qualifications and the duties of the position.

Arriving At The Interview – First impressions are everything. If you are meeting a search committee member prior to the interview, such as being picked up at an airport, view this first meeting as the first stage of the interview. Dress appropriately for the situation and be prepared to make a good first impression.

Interviewing is more than just showing up and selling yourself. Be prepared and be organized.  For more information on the basic fundamental skills needed for the job search process, check out my book Getting Hired in College Sports at www.SportsCareersInsitute.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.

*******

The #1 Careers Book 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.  This is a must read for anyone who wants to work in college athletics”

-Bill Fusco
Director of Athletics
Sonoma State University

 

 


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Strategies For Your Current Job Search

By Dr. Howard Gauthier

Tracy and Ron are both searching for a job in the sports world.  Tracy is a soccer coach who is looking to advance in her career and Ron recently graduated with a master’s degree in Sports Management.  While Tracy is very focused on her career, Ron isn’t sure what he wants to do.

Tracy knows that she wants to advance in the coaching profession but is having a difficult time getting an interview.  Ron on the other hand is confused as to what type of job or career he wants.  They both seek the assistance of a career coach to help them with their search process.

The career coach shares that there are five stages to the job search process:

Assessment Stage – In this stage of the job search process you will identify your strengths, skills, abilities and traits. You will also familiarize yourself with the various types of jobs within the sports industry and plan out your career.

Preparation Stage – During the preparation stage you will write your resume, cover letter, sales pitch, and reference list. You will also prepare yourself for an interview by developing strategies and answers to the most popular interview questions.

Connection Stage – In the connection stage you will develop your plan for how you will network and promote yourself to the organizations where you’d like to work. You will begin to brand yourself and create a marketing plan for your career.

Interview Stage – During this stage you will prepare yourself for every aspect of a job interview. You will learn the basics of the interviewing process, understand how to interview, know what types of mistakes people make, what types of questions to ask during the interview, and how to successfully close the interview.

Follow-up Stage – During the follow-up stage you will create a very detailed strategy about how you will influence the hiring decision of the search committee. This includes what strategies to use during your follow-up, addressing possible issues or concerns the committee might have with you, and knowing how to negotiate your salary.

In Tracy’s situation, the career coach suggested that since she knows what type of job she wants, the majority of her energies should be focused on the preparation and connection stages.  The preparation stage would have her review her cover letter, resume, references, and sales pitch to make sure they are formatted correctly and written correctly.  She needs to make sure that her sales tools are excellent, and that they are effectively selling her.  The career coach continued by explaining that most jobs are secured through networking, and that the connection stage would help her to be active and effective in networking within the profession.

In Ron’s situation, the career coach suggested that he begin his job search process in the assessment stage.  He needs to understand the various types of jobs that exist in the sports industry, and understand what type of job best fits his personality, skills, and lifestyle.  The career coach went on to share that during the assessment stage, Ron will also discover his strengths, weaknesses, skills, and abilities.  These will help him as he identifies what type of career he wants to pursue, and in developing his resume, cover letter and sales pitch.

So where are you in your current job search?

  • If you are lost and not knowing what type of job you want, you’ll start with the assessment stage.
  • If you know what type of job you want but aren’t getting interviews, you’ll need to assess your situation and focus on both the preparation and connection stages.
  • If you are getting interviews but not job offers, you’ll want to focus on both the interview and follow-up stages.

It is critical to your job search that you know which stage of the job search process you’re in.  Once you know which stage you’re in, you can place your focus and energies into becoming proficient in the basic fundamental skills within that stage. Good luck with your job search!

 

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.

*******

The #1 Careers Book 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.  This is a must read for anyone who has a goal of working in athletic administration”

-Bill Fusco
Director of Athletics
Sonoma State University

 

 


Six Words or Phrases Not To Use in Your Resume or Cover Letter

By Dr. Howard Gauthier

Writing a quality resume and cover letter isn’t an easy task. These promotional tools take time, great thought, and many revisions in order to create a document that can really sell you. In this week’s blog, I’m outlining a thought for you to consider as you analyze the effectiveness of your resume and cover letter. My writings for this blog are an adaptation from a recent article written by Catherine Conlan from Monster.com where she identified eight words and phrases that should not be used in your resume. I have adapted this and outlined six terms that you will want to carefully consider not using as you polish up your resume and cover letter. These six terms are:

Results-Oriented – The general thought is that the term “results-oriented” is not very descriptive. Instead, you should provide specifics about what you accomplished. It is best if you describe the project, share the actions you took, and discuss the results or outcomes.

High Technical Aptitude – Again, this term isn’t very specific and appears that you’re trying to hide your lack of experience. If you truly have a high technical aptitude, discuss a specific program you’ve worked with, explain what you did, and share what you accomplished (or what the results were). In a compliance office this could include working with CAi or LSDBi.

Assisted – Most people who work in the sports world work in a team setting. In this role they are constantly assisting others as they strive to achieve the outcome of the project. Stating that you assisted someone isn’t very impressive. Instead, state what you did. Provide examples of your experiences. For example, as an intern you may have assisted in game management, but be more descriptive. Instead, let the hiring manager know that you have experience in game management, ticket sales, and in-game promotions.

Use of Trendy Adjectives – Don’t try to impress the search committee by using terms such as “cutting-edge” or “ground-breaking”. Instead, clearly describe what you’ve done or what you’ve accomplished.

Self-Starter – The term self-starter is a pretty generic term and working in the sports world requires working long hours and having the initiative to complete projects. Be more descriptive and share with the committee what projects you have worked on and what the results were. You will also want to share with the employer what strengthens and skills you would bring to their organization.

Detail-Oriented – All employees should pay attention to details. Instead of using “detail-oriented” to describe yourself, try sharing some projects you’ve worked on that requires a real attention to detail. For example, if you work in a compliance office, it requires that you are detail-oriented, that’s a given. How much more impressive would it be to tell the search committee that you have experience working with NCAA eligibility reports, hardship waivers, squad lists, etc. You get the idea.

The six terms listed above are similar in that they aren’t very descriptive and they lack detail. People quite often use generic terms, such as these, to describe themselves when they don’t know their strengths, skills, abilities and accomplishments. As you write your resume and cover letter, make sure you understand your attributes and are able to clearly communicate them.

 

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.

*******

The #1 Careers Book 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.  This is a must read for anyone who has a goal of working in athletic administration”

-Bill Fusco
Director of Athletics
Sonoma State University

 

 


To Get An Interview, You Must Meet The Minimum Qualifications

By Dr. Howard Gauthier

Tom recently graduated with his master’s degree in sports administration. He has been struggling to find a job in intercollegiate athletics but now he is hopeful.  As Tom was looking through the various sports job that were listed on a Sports Careers website, he noticed that his alma mater was advertising for a marketing assistant. He thought he would apply.

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

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

Dr. Hess was careful with his words as he thoughtfully responded to Tom.  Encouragingly he said, “You know Tom, 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. Hess went on to coach Tom in how to approach the job.  He shared with him that most people get jobs through networking.  And since he knew some of the people within the athletics department he has a “leg-up” on his 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 only forward to the search committee the application files from the applicants who meet the minimum qualifications. 

This is a pretty standard practice – meet the minimum qualifications and your application will be forwarded for consideration 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.

*******

The #1 Careers Book 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.  This is a must read for anyone who has a goal of working in athletic administration”

-Bill Fusco
Director of Athletics
Sonoma State University

 

 


Answering Interview Questions Through Storytelling

By Dr. Howard Gauthier

The big day has finally arrived. You are nervous, yet excited for today’s job interview. You keep telling yourself that the interview is your time to shine – and it is! One of the new techniques that you have prepared for is the use of telling stories and providing detailed examples as a way to answer some of the interview questions.

During your interview you will be asked various questions, some of which can be answered by telling stories or sharing examples. These include questions that begin with the phrase “tell me about a time when . . .” or “give me an example of . . .” These types of questions can really help you to sell yourself and to connect with the members of the search committee. And the good news is people like to hear stories.

So how do you tell a good story? One of the best and easiest ways to tell a story is to follow the following guidelines:

  1. Identify Your Story – You will want to identify which of your accomplishments, achievements or examples you want to communicate through the use of a story.
  2. Organize An Outline For Your Story – Follow the PAR format for storytelling – Problem (or situation), Action, and Result.
  3. Write Out The Story (30 seconds to 2 minutes in length) – Once you have identified a particular situation where you have excelled, and you have also outlined the event, you will then begin to write out the story. As you’re writing, you will describe the problem or situation that you faced, continue by describing the actions you took, and conclude by describing the results or outcomes.
  4. Read Your Story Out Loud – Once you have written the story, read it out load and make sure it is written exactly how you want it to be expressed.
  5. Practice Reciting Your Story – As with all of your answers to potential interview questions, you will want to practice reciting your stories so they flow naturally and are communicated with confidence.
  6. Organize Your Stories – Once the story is complete, you will want to type your story, and keep it organized along with your answers to all potential interview questions.

In telling a story, be sure that you communicate all three parts of the story – describe the problem, communicate the actions that you took, and share the results. Since this is a job interview, make sure your stories have a positive message, and that you communicate your stories with energy, enthusiasm and confidence. Best of luck on your upcoming interviews!

 

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

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.  This is a must read for anyone who has a goal of working in athletic administration”

-Bill Fusco
Director of Athletics
Sonoma State University