Dual Purposes Of The Job Interview

By Dr. Howard Gauthier

Meagan was preparing for an upcoming job interview as an athletics marketing director at an NCAA Division I school in the Midwest. One of her colleagues suggested that to better prepare herself for the interview she should get the book Getting Hired in College Sports. It is the #1 sports careers book in the country and has helped thousands of people get jobs. As she read the book, one of the sections in the book discussed the dual purposes of the job interview. The book shared that very rarely does a person get offered a job during the interview itself and therefore the real purpose of the interview is two-fold: (a) To sell yourself, and (b) To gather information.

Selling Yourself

We all know that the main purpose of an interview is to sell yourself to the members of the search committee. You do this by being prepared, scripting out and practicing the answers to potential interview questions, having a quality sales pitch, dressing appropriately, knowing your strengths and skills, being up-beat and positive in your communication, being yourself, and successfully closing the interview. You will want to sell the members of the search committee that you are the expert who can solve their problems. You will also want to build a positive relationship with each of these committee members.

Gathering Information

Since the job offer rarely comes during the interview itself, a second purpose of the interview is to gather information about the organization. You will then use this information during the follow-up stage of the job search process. This information should be used in an attempt to influence the hiring decision in your favor. In other words, during the interview you will both sell yourself to members of the search committee, and you will gather information that can be used later in the process to convince the committee members that you are the best person for the job.

As you interview and gather information, you will want to ask probing questions. You should take the approach as seeing yourself as a consultant where you are analyzing the organization and their situation. You will want to gather facts, understand what the committee members are looking for in a candidate, understand what concerns they have regarding your candidacy, and understand the strengths and weaknesses of the organization.

With the information you’ve uncovered, you will now want to send follow-up correspondence to everyone you met during your interview. This correspondence is used to thank the people for their time and also to sell yourself to them. Let them know that you want the job, what skills and abilities you bring to the position, and you will want to be very strategic as you really convince them that you’re the right person for the position. Each letter or note that you send should be individually tailored. This is where your information gathering really pays dividends.

Meagan followed these strategies, interviewed well, followed up with personalized hand-written notes, and in the end, she was offered the job. These strategies came directly from the book Getting Hired in College Sports. It is the most complete and comprehensive job search book in all of sports. To get a copy of this book, go to our website at http://www.SportsCareersInstitute.com. Best of 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 www.sportscareersinstitute.com or his latest book Execute for Success at www.ThePositiveLeader.org.  


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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