After Your Interview, Out-live Your Competition

By Dr. Howard Gauthier

If you want the job, you need to have a great interview, properly follow-up after the interview, and out-live your competition. This is one of the concepts I discuss in my book Getting Hired in College Sports. When I say out-live your competition, I mean that you need to be patient, let the other candidates drop out of the race, so you are available when the hiring manager is offering the position. This is just one of many strategies you will want to consider when you are strategically following up after your interview. Let me give you an example of this concept.

After a job interview, many candidates get frustrated that the hiring process is taking too long and is dragging on and on. The reaction of many candidates is to pull their name from consideration. Similarly, quite often a candidate will pull their name from consideration when they find out that the hiring manager is going to offer the job to another candidate. In both cases, you have definitely eliminated yourself from consideration. But what happens if the first candidate, who is offered the job, decides to turn down the job offer? Who does the search committee turn to? Who is the next candidate in line?

Instead of dropping out, you should stay focused on the job, stay positive, continue to follow-up, and be patient. Let the other candidates drop out. If the other candidates drop out of the search process, you have now bettered your odds of being hired. This type of situation happens more than most people realize, but it doesn’t usually rise to the level of making national news.

However, this past week we did see this scenario play out in a very public manner. Over the past couple of months, Montana State University conducted a search for a new athletic director. With over 60 applicants for the position, the university’s search committee narrowed the list to five finalists. One by one, each candidate came to campus and interviewed.   When the dust settled, the job was offered to University of Utah Deputy Athletic Director Kyle Brennan. Brennan quickly accepted the job on Monday May 2, 2016 and this wrapped up the process. Right?, Wrong!

A week later, Brennan contacted Montana State President, Waded Cruzado, and informed her that he was returning to his previous position at the University of Utah. Cruzado wasted little time and contacted South Dakota State University Sr. Associate Athletic Director, Leon Costello, and offered him the job. Costello was the final candidate to interview, and he had not pulled his name from consideration. On May 10th Costello accepted the position and is now a Division I athletic director.

While we don’t know if any of the other four candidates officially withdrew their names from consideration, what we do know is that Costello made a good impression during his interview and that he was still available when the first candidate turned down the job offer. This particular scenario is a little unusual, but the process of being patient and out-living your competition is a real strategy. Good luck in your job search!


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 book Execute for Success at  


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