By Dr. Howard Gauthier
Recently I was visiting with a colleague and he shared a story about a time when he had a horrible interview. He wasn’t prepared for the interview and it just didn’t go well. Getting a job in the sports industry takes great preparation and organization. To help you with your organization, I have created a worksheet I call an Interview Preparation Form. It is a worksheet that’s designed to help you prepare for your job interview.
The Interview Preparation Form is a “cheat sheet” you can use to outline your answers to possible interview questions. It also outlines your personal sales pitch, provides bullet points to the stories you want to share when answering questions, provides a list of questions you want to ask the search committee, and it provides an organized method for effectively closing the interview. The Interview Preparation Form consists of the following five sections:
Section One – Your answers to potential interview questions. In this section you will list the questions you believe might be asked in an interview and then provide your corresponding answers.
Section Two – Your personal sales pitch. Your Personal Sales Pitch is the foundation for selling yourself during the interview. Your pitch should include three sections – a summary of your resume; your skills, abilities and traits; and your current situation. Depending on the question you are asked, you can use the pitch in its entirety or just one of the three sections.
Section Three – Outline five stories you can share with the search committee. People like to hear stories. This section helps you prepare for sharing examples of your experiences through the use of stories.
Section Four – Questions you should ask. You need to be prepared to ask questions that will help you to better understand the job, the organization, the strengths and needs of the organization, and what the search committee is looking for in their new hire. This information will be used during the follow-up stage.
Section Five – Closing the interview. This section is an organized method for concluding the interview. It allows you to sell yourself to the search committee and it lets them know that you are interested in the job.
Once you have written your Interview Preparation Form, you will want to type it out in a Word document and practice answering these questions so they flow easily during the interview. In fact, when interviewing over the telephone, you might want to spread your cheat sheet out on a desk or table so you can glance down and remind yourself of the answer to a particular question. But don’t read directly from your form. The interviewers can tell if you’re reading a script. Instead, just refer to the bullet points of your stories, to the answers of potential interview questions, and to the questions you want to ask the committee. I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to practice answering questions and reciting your personal sales pitch. This practice will allow you to come across fluid and confident in your communications.
I hope this information is helpful. You can read more about the Interview Preparation Form and the entire job search process in my book Getting Hired in College Sports. Remember that it is critical that you are properly prepared for your job search, because ultimately, the job will go to the candidate who is prepared and who effectively executes the basics of the job interview process.
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.ThePositiveLeader.org.
The #1 Careers Book 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 wants to work in college athletics”
Director of Athletics
Sonoma State University