Tips to Nail Your Next Coaching Job Interview
You did it! You finally landed that coveted job interview for your next coaching position. The hard part is over, but now another major challenge is on the horizon: the actual interview.
Here's how to go into it confident, prepared, and hireable:
Before the Interview: Analyze the job description
When interviewing for a coaching job, you need to make sure you know what's at the core of the position you are interviewing for. What skills and characteristics are the hiring committee looking for? How can you demonstrate those things during the interview? Study the job description carefully for key words that clue you in to what the hiring committee will be looking for.
Research the school, program, or organization
It sounds basic, but you'd probably be surprised at the staggering number of potential coaches who walk into an interview without researching the potential employer's background or even visiting its website. Showing up with virtually no knowledge of the school, program, or organization is an excellent way to get your name crossed off the list. One of the main things you need to do if you want to nail your interview is to do as much homework as you can on the school/program you're interviewing with, including the people you are interviewing with, notable events in the program's history, big rivals or conference opponents, and key characteristics of the surrounding community. Pick out some of the most interesting points from your background research and have them ready for the interview. The interviewing committee may not ask you something specific about an event two years ago, but think of how impressed they will be if you just so happen to know an interesting fact about that event. This will show the employer that you're already invested in their school/program, before you've even stepped foot onto the job.
Another important aspect of your background research: if you are interviewing in a community unfamiliar to you, get there the day before so that you can learn more about the area.
Demonstrate how much you want the job
Some people want a job just to have a job - and that's perfectly respectable in today's economy - but if you're not in it to win it, it'll show in the interview.
Don't bother if you're going just because you want any job. Demonstrate your passion for the position and why you are the best candidate for the job.
During the Interview: Be ready to engage in conversation
You're not going into the interview just to answers questions. You should plan to ask questions too - to feel out the position a little more, get a better understanding of what's required, and get answers to anything else about the position.
Rehearse Your Responses
Don't memorize your answers to potential interview questions or you will come off as stale and unprepared. Instead rehearse your thoughts, ideas, and philosophies in regards to the most common questions asked in a coaching interview. If you are completely confident in your coaching philosophies, there aren't many questions that will stump you. Have a friend ask you some of the most common questions to help you prepare. Not sure what some of the most common questions are in a coaching interview? Sign up for The Coaching Portfolio Guide and receive a free copy of The Complete Guide to the Coaching Interview where you will find hundreds of potential questions you may be asked in a coaching interview.
Sure, you're interviewing for a coaching position where khakis and a polo shirt may be your normal every day attire. This still does not give you the liberty to dress casually during the interview. Keep it as professional as possible with your best suit, dress pants/blazer, or business dress.
Don't Make The Interviewer Want To Tune You Out
Are you ever listening to someone speak about a topic you're only semi-familiar with, and they seem to go on and on and on? You find yourself staring at this person thinking, "Are they ever going to stop talking?" If you're drowning the interviewer in words - especially if the words aren't relevant to the job, stop right there, because you could be doing more damage than good. Remember that the hiring committee wants to hear why you are a good fit for this position. Give them what they want and nothing more. You can do this by talking about recent employment and why it makes you qualified for the the position you are interviewing for. Use your words to sell the interviewer on why you're a good match - don't waste time talking about things like your personal history which may be irrelevant in this scenario. If you feel like you're rambling, reign it in.
Stick to the point. Talk about what is relevant to the interview and the position -- your work experience, job qualifications, and your goals for the organization if you are hired. If you are asked questions about personal matters, of course answer, but do so honestly and briefly. Too much unrelated information can ruin an interview and your chances at the position.
Believe in yourself
What sets you apart from other candidates? Your skill set, for one - but also your confidence. Go in with your head high, ready to nail it. Come in knowing you have value to bring to the school/program, and show that confidence through the belief in your coaching philosophies and your past experiences and achievements.
Ask good questions
Jot down a list of questions before your interview. Keep questions brief and intelligent. Ask questions about what the goals and expectations are for this position and the school/program, and how success will be measured. Not only does it provide you with information you may need to determine if this will be a good fit for you, but it also shows you are ambitious and motivated to succeed.
After the Interview: Send a thank you note
Sending thank-you notes is a lost art these days, but they're perhaps never more important than when sent as a follow-up to an interview. Email is okay, but a hand-written note sent via snail mail is better. Personalize the note and reference a memorable part of the interview for an extra edge.
Best of luck!!
Receive a FREE copy of The Complete Guide to the Coaching Interview, which includes over 250 sample interview questions specific to coaching jobs + the best answers to common interview questions, when you sign up for The Coaching Portfolio Guide at www.coachingportfolio.com.