Preparing For Your Upcoming Skype Interview

By Dr. Howard Gauthier

Todd was both excited and nervous as he hung up the telephone.  Four weeks ago he submitted his resume and cover letter for a marketing position at a Mid-level Division I institution in New York. Today, Todd was asked to interview with the search committee via a Skype interview.

He was excited because this is a job that he really wants, but Todd is also nervous because his initial interview is via Skype. Todd has never used Skype before and he knows that if he is going to make a great first impression, he needs to be prepared. The first thing he did was to contact a friend who regularly uses Skype and asked for some help and advice.

As Todd was preparing for his interview and learning more about the Skype process, he concluded that in order to have an effective Skype interview, he needed to concern himself with four broad areas:

  • Computer related issues
  • The physical setting
  • Practice and preparation
  • The interview

Todd knows that in order to have a quality interview, he needs to have the proper computer equipment and software.  This includes having a relatively new computer (within the last five years) with a webcam, a microphone, and speakers.  The interviewee would also need access to an Internet connection and have a Skype account.

Todd found that when setting the location and atmosphere for the interview, you should select a place where you won’t be interrupted or distracted.  Quite often, a home office is best because it has a professional look and feel.  If added lighting is needed, a person will want to set up a table lamp about four feet behind the computer.  And to make sure that the setting looks professional, both the desk and surrounding background must be clutter free.

Once the computer equipment and software are coordinated, and the interview setting has been established, you will now need to practice using Skype and all of the computer settings.  Prior to the actual interview, you will want to practice calling and receiving Skype calls, and practice answering interview questions.  To make sure you look good on the video, you will want to sit back a little further from the computer and make sure that your face and shoulders appear in the video screen.

During the actual interview, a person will want to have their cell phone close by and ready in case the Internet connection is lost.  Make sure you have the cell number of the interviewers in case this happens.  But also make sure that your cell phone is turned off during the interview. You don’t want your phone ringing during this session. Other items you will want to consider during the interview session is to have your computer plugged into an electrical outlet so the battery doesn’t die, dress in a professional manner, keep other computer programs closed so the computer doesn’t slow down, and as you interact with the search committee look into the camera and not at the computer screen.

As you prepare the room for your interview, you might want to display your resume, sales pitch, and the answers to interview questions behind the computer so you can glance and refer to this information without looking awkward to those who are interviewing you (similar to a television news anchor using a teleprompter).  In the end, Todd was very well prepared for his Skype interview, he performed well, and was invited for an on-campus interview.  

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 The Positive Leader 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

 

 


Five Stages Of The Job Search Process

By Dr. Howard Gauthier

So you’re looking to break into, or advance within, the sports industry. But are you doing everything you can to conduct a successful job search? In my book “Getting Hired in College Sports”, I share a five-stage model that outlines the effective job search process. This model is based on research both within the sports industry and the best practices within the world of career development.

More specifically, the five segments of an effective job search include: (a) the self-assessment stage, (b) preparation stage, (c) connection stage, (d) interview stage, and (e) the follow-up stage. Mastering each of these components will help you to excel in the job search process and will help you to be competitive for the job you want. These five stages are explained in greater detail below

  • Self-Assessment Stage – In the self-assessment stage you will identify your strengths, weaknesses, skills and abilities. You will also understand what you like and dislike in a job, and what are your top personal traits. You will then create a plan that will lead you to achieving your dream job. Finally, you will systematically figure out which organizations you will want to contact in your job search.
  • Preparation Stage – During the preparation stage you will want to establish a target market contact list for the jobs you are seeking. You will also want to construct a professional resume, write a cover letter that can sell you, create a personal sales pitch, be strategic in which references you use, develop answers to the interview questions you are most likely to be asked, know how to research the organizations within your target market, and understand how to prepare for an interview.
  • Connection Stage – In the connection stage you will want to develop a job search campaign, understand how to network within the industry, and know how to promote yourself. You will also need to understand which promotional techniques you should use, how to create your brand, how to create a strategic marketing plan for yourself, and know how to control your job search.
  • Interview Stage – In the interview stage you will need to understand the proper approach for interviewing, the basic techniques you should use during an interview, and how to conduct yourself in a group interview. You will also want to understand what type of questions you should ask in the interview, what mistakes people make, and how to successfully close the interview.
  • Follow-up Stage – During this stage you will want to conduct a follow-up mini-campaign that includes thanking the members of the search committee and addressing any issues or concerns they may have about you as a candidate. You will also want to have an organized method for keeping track of each job you’ve applied for and the status of each of these searches.

These five stages are the major elements of the job search process. To land a job, you need to know, and be able to perform, each of the strategies and techniques that are within these five stages. To assist you in your job search, the book “Getting Hired in College Sports” is available as a resource. It identifies the techniques and strategies that are the best practices for all aspects of the job search process and it includes step-by-step worksheets that help you prepare for each stage of the job search. By performing these best practices you will be able to effectively execute the job search process. Best of luck on your upcoming job search!

 

Howard Gauthier is a 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 10 books and e-books. Check out his book, Getting Hired In College Sports – 2nd Edition at www.sportscareersinstitute.com or his new book The Positive Leader 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.  A must read for anyone whom has a goal of working in athletic administration”

-Bill Fusco
Director of Athletics
Sonoma State University

 

 


To Succeed In Your Career, You Need To Develop Your Skills

By Dr. Howard Gauthier

Today’s blog is the final article in a series of four blogs on “The competition for jobs in the sports industry is stiff, therefore you need to prepare accordingly.” The first article discussed the need for mentoring in order to advance your career, the second was on effective networking, and the third blog was on the importance of gaining experience. In this article I am sharing with you the importance of gaining and improving your skills.

To be successful in your career you need to know the basic fundamental skills of your profession, and you need to be able to perform these skills with great precision and accuracy. Whether it’s coaching or athletic administration, the first step toward effective skill development is for you to learn how to properly perform the tasks of your job.

So what are the basic fundamentals of your job? As a coach you need to know the skills, strategies, techniques, and schemes that you will teach to your players and team. You also need to understand human behavior, motivation, and recruiting. As an administrator, you need to understand the basics of your endeavor. For example if you are in marketing you need to know the skills associated with product development, pricing strategies, supply and demand theory, promotional techniques, customer service, techniques for effective selling, and social media.

But understanding these skills and tasks is just the beginning. It takes more than just learning a new concept at a coaches clinic or at a marketing seminar in order to be great at what you do. According to the book “Execute for Success”, researchers have identified three stages of skills acquisition – the cognitive stage, associative stage, and autonomous stage. To be the best in your industry, you need to develop your skills so they are automated. But how do you develop your knowledge and skills to the point of automation? How do you become outstanding in your profession? You first need to understand the difference between these three stages of skills development.

In the cognitive stage, you begin to learn a skill by memorizing the facts that are relevant for that particular skill. As you enhance your understanding of the skill, and improve upon your performance, you enter into the associative stage of skill development.

During the associative stage, you refine the performance of your skill, and the decisions you make, through practice and by learning from the errors you make and the successes you experience. The outcome attained is improved performance on a consistent basis. As you continue to practice and improve your skill, you will enter the autonomous stage. In this stage, your skills become more automated, rapid, and you make fewer mistakes. You are able to perform your skills automatically and without thought, and make quality decisions based upon your experience.

So I ask you again, what are the basic fundamentals of your job? You need to identify these tasks, learn how to properly perform these skills, practice them (or study the concepts), and become proficient in your industry. Somebody has to be the best in the industry, why shouldn’t this be you?

 

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

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

 

 


Get Organized For Your Upcoming Job Interview

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 OneYour 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 TwoYour 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 ThreeOutline 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 FourQuestions 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 FiveClosing 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

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

 

 


Still Looking for a Job in the Sports Industry?

Get Yourself Unstuck With This Strategy

 

By Dr. Howard Gauthier

Are you still looking for a job within the sports world? Whether you’re trying to break into the industry, or move up, the sports field is competitive and you need to be at your best. If you’re struggling to get a job, you need to analyze where you’re getting stuck in the process, and adjust what you’re doing.

There are five stages to the job search process. These include:

  1. Assessment Stage
  2. Preparation Stage
  3. Connection Stage
  4. Interviewing Stage
  5. Follow-up Stage

Which stage or stages are you struggling with? You need to identify where you’re struggling and then educate yourself as to the best practices in career development. The problem for many people is that they believe they already know all of the best strategies and techniques. But the savvy person will analyze where they are struggling and then learn all they can about overcoming their deficiencies.

For example, if you don’t know the exact type of job you want, then you’ll need to begin at the assessment stage. You will also begin at the assessment stage if you can’t succinctly communicate your strengths, weaknesses, skills, or abilities. However, if you know what type of job you want and you’re qualified for this type of position, and you also know your strengths, skills and abilities, but you still can’t get an interview, then you need to place your focus in both the preparation stage and connection stage. These stages will help you to prepare your marketing materials and how to conduct an effective job search campaign. Finally, if you are getting interviews but can’t land the job, you will then need to place the bulk of your focus on the interviewing stage and the follow-up stage. These stages will help you to become a great interviewer.

The key to getting your next job in the sports industry is for you to get to know the basic fundamental skills of each stage of the job search process and be able to effectively perform these skills. 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.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

 

 


Three Qualities Employers Look For When Hiring in The Sports Industry

By Dr. Howard Gauthier

This past summer I led I let a group of graduate students at Idaho State University in a class entitled Athletics in the West. It’s a weeklong field trip where we tour various athletic facilities and interview athletic professionals both at the college level and professional level so that the students can get a feel for the industry. This was my first year of teaching this class.

In years past the class went from Idaho through Wyoming and Colorado, and back home. They stopped at various Division I athletic departments, Division II athletic departments, and professional sport organizations. This summer I decided that the class would head a different direction. We decided to explore the differences between various organizations in Idaho and Washington. We began by traveling from Pocatello over to Boise and up to Lewiston Idaho. There we began our adventure by touring the athletic facilities at Lewis-Clark State College. They have a visionary athletic director who presented some of the best athletic facilities in the NAIA. Later that day we toured the athletic facilities at the University of Idaho. Their associate athletic director was so gracious in providing his time, vision, and insights into the profession. This first day allowed us to compare the differences in facilities, staffing levels, vision, and strategies between a high-level NAIA school compared with a Non-Power 5 athletic department. The difference in facilities and staffing levels was significant. The Division I institution was bigger in everything – staffing, facilities, vision, and strategy. The employees were similar though – very nice, friendly, and professional. During our visits at both schools, one of our students asked each athletic professional what they look for when hiring people.

The next day we visited the athletic department at Washington State University. The senior associate athletic director provided a tremendous opportunity for our class. He gave us a thorough tour of their new and renovated facilities, their branding strategies, and provided insights into the industry that can only be gained by visiting with a seasoned college athletic administrator. After a three-hour tour of the athletic facilities and picking-the brain of one of the most respected athletic administrators in the country, our campus tour moved across campus and concluded with a two-hour visit of the recreation department. Once again, at both stops, the student asked the same question about what they look for when hiring people.

This theme continued as the next day we visited with a first class football coach at the University of Washington. We toured their facilities, and visited on the vision and culture that makes Huskies football outstanding. Our trip concluded with the class touring CenturyLink Field (Seahawks and Sounders) and Safeco Field (Mariners). With each stop came the same question – What do you look for when hiring employees.

While the answer to this question varied slightly from each athletic professional, there was a definite pattern that crossed over to every person at every sports organization. What these athletic professionals are looking for when hiring employees is loyalty, work ethic, and positive attitude. Our students thought the answers would be more in alignment with having a certain type of college degree, a certain number of years of experience, or even a certain type of skill. These latter qualities are either part of the minimum qualifications for the job, and therefore every applicant has them, or they can be gained on the job. The bottom line is – employers want positive people who work hard and are loyal. If a future employer were to call your references, would they say that you are an upbeat positive person, that you work hard, and that you are loyal? Just some food for thought.

 

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

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

 

 


Preparing For Your Phone Interview

By Dr. Howard Gauthier

Periodically I receive questions about how a person should prepare for their upcoming job search or their upcoming interview. I appreciate you asking me advice about the job search process and I welcome your questions. This week was no different. I received an e-mail from Bill (not his real name) who has a telephone interview for a position within a college athletic department.

Bill asked how he should go about properly preparing for his upcoming phone interview and what type of questions he should ask. These are great questions; so let’s discuss some thoughts on this topic.

As you prepare for your upcoming telephone interview there are some thoughts that you will want to focus on. For example, the interview is about them (the organization) and not you. Let me explain this.

The reason the job is open is because the organization has a need. Without this need, the position wouldn’t exist. So the over-riding questions you need to answer are “what are their needs, how can I solve their problems, and what makes me the best fit for this position and their organization?”

So let’s examine these thoughts. First, how do you prepare for the phone interview? You will want to make sure that your phone is charged and is in good working order. Also, you will want to make sure that there is good telephone coverage or service in the area, and that you have a location for your interview where you will have privacy and no distractions. I also like to dress up a little bit so I feel I’m ready for the interview. This will help with your confidence, which will come across loudly in your conversation. Also, know the answers to potential interview questions, and what questions you want to ask the search committee. You will want to practice your answers so you are smooth in your delivery. A lack of preparation will sound like you are unsure of yourself or even that you’re not qualified for the position.

To help you prepare for answering the interview questions you will want to develop a personal sales pitch. Also known as an elevator speech, your personal sales pitch is a short statement of who you are and what makes you qualified for the position for which you are interviewing. Your pitch will include three subsections that you can use to sell yourself. And if you are asked a question that you’re unsure of the answer, you can revert back to your personal sales pitch. During a phone interview, I like to have my personal sales pitch (and answers to interview questions) lying in front of me or taped to the wall so I can glance at a key word and remember the answer. This is a little trick I’ve used to help me during my telephone interviews. But make sure you’re not reading the answers word for word. This would come across poorly on the other end of the telephone. These are some thoughts on how to prepare for your phone interview. Now let’s examine Bill’s second question – what questions should I ask the search committee?

Asking questions during an interview is a vitally important aspect of the process. If you don’t have any questions for the search committee, that’s a clear sign that you’re not qualified for the position. So what type of questions should you ask? When interviewing for a job I always like to think of myself as a consultant who is trying to uncover the problems of the organization so I can propose solutions to their problems and also so I can sell myself as the “consultant” they want to hire. As a consultant you will want to ask questions such as who, what, why, when, where and how come. Answers to questions will spur on additional questions. Ultimately, you will want to ask yourself “why should they hire me?” You need to answer this question and help them to believe you are the best person for the job.

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

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