Would you send your team into a game without practicing first? Would you practice for your next game without scouting your next opponent?
Assuming you answered those two questions with a “no,” the same concept applies when preparing for a job interview.
While no two interviews are alike and you should always expect the unexpected, you can transform your mind into “interview mode” and walk into your interview with confidence by pre-planning your answers to some of these interview questions.
Tell me/us about yourself.
This is an opportunity to talk about how your experiences have led you to this interview. Rather than repeating what is in your cover letter or resume, talk more about how your previous experiences have shaped you as a coach.
What is your coaching/recruiting philosophy?
This is a question that you should ask yourself regardless of if you are going through the interview process. How you understand the profession and what you believe as you function within it will help you be confident in the interview and beyond.
Why do you want to coach here? How does your personal coaching philosophy align with our goals?
“I need a job!” is by far not an acceptable answer to this question, even if it is true. You applying for certain positions should be deliberate and when called for that interview, you should research that organization and be able to articulate how you could fit in.
Explain how you would prepare your team leading up to gameday?
Similar to the coaching philosophy, knowing your preparation process is something you should know regardless of the interview process. Your process should not only align with the organization, but also the players which you will be coaching.
What are your plans for hiring assistants?
If you are interviewing for head coach or DOC positions, the hiring managers will want to know how you will seek out a supporting staff and what qualities you look for in them.
How familiar are you with our governing body’s (NCAA, NAIA, etc.) rules?
Whether you are a head coach or an assistant, you should know what the governing bodies allow and doesn’t. A solid understanding on the rules that affect your responsibilities could help set you apart.
What are your thoughts about generating interest in this program amongst the surrounding community?
Sometimes, hiring managers want to know how you plan to work with and in the community to promote the program and establish (or continue) goodwill with supporters. While you don’t need a detailed plan, you might want to think of a few thoughts on how you would accomplish this task.
As it pertains to this position, what does success look like?
Some hiring managers and organizations may want to know what you see in the future for the program you are interviewing for. In addition to thinking in terms of win-loss-tie record, consider other intangibles that can quantify success, such as player development, sportsmanship on the field, or the program’s reputation on campus or in the community.