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Interview Preparation for Sports Jobs

The Sports Job Interview: 30-60 minutes to prove yourself!

You’ve made it through two of the biggest hurdles already: carefully crafting your cover letter so the hiring manager to took notice and building a rok-solid resume to showcase your relevant experiences. You’ve received that magical phone call to schedule an interview and are so close to your dream job in the sports realm, but there’s still a huge looming 30 to 60 minute event that could make or break you.

We’ve all been there: the sweaty palms, the fidgiting in your chair, eyes darting around the room surveying the hiring managers faces as you look for signs of approval. These are all telltale signs of one thing: insecurity

But, fear not, as someone who has been a hiring manager before, I can tell you, the fact that you’ve walked into the room and are facing this interview, means that we already think you are qualified for this job! That’s the good news. The not so good news is that I’ve unfortunately seen quite a few folks take what looks great on paper (well, on my computer screen) and quite literally blow it in person. My personal tip is to never act like the job you’re applying for is beneath you or that it is just a building block for what comes next. I mean, we know most recent college grads are not looking for a permanent position.

Great Tips From Sports World Professionals: 

1) Poise and Grace Under Pressure

Sports jobs are often high-stakes, high-pressure positions with periods of intense work followed by periods of calm. Employers want to know that you can step up to the plate and work long, hard hours when necessary. Most sports employers also want employees they can trust to make sound decisions in the heat of the moment without much guidance. So practice a few scenarios in your head, examples from your own life to demonstrate you’ve dealt with pressure with grace and poise.

2) Visualize

Picture yourself having this job and then ask insightful questions about the future of the organization. A great candidate wants to know what the company plans to do–and how they will fit into those plans. This does not include “Google-able” questions by the way…

3) Be an Eager Beaver

Show the hiring manager you are ready to hit the ground running and that you don’t intend to spend weeks or months “getting to know the organization.” You want to make a difference–right away. Strike a balance between excitement and overzealousness so you do not appear overly confident. This is your time to shine though so have some ideas about what strengths and skills you can bring to the  job. Engage your hiring manager with some thoughtful answers and questions.

4) The 5-Second Pause

Be thoughtful. Take a breath and visualize. Listening slowly can turn a Q&A session into more of a conversation. Try listening slowly in your next interviews. That means think before you speak – wait 5 seconds before you’re ready to start talking and you’ll be grateful for the extra boost of confidence and calm in your answer. Sitting on both sides of an interview, I find the ones I recall the most are the ones that became more conversational which had a lot to do with a level of thoughtfulness that the candidates had.

5) Practice, Practice, Practice.

But please don’t practice the following question/answers so much that you forget that an interview should be a fun experience and not an SAT test.  For some practice questions: http://sportsprblog.com/blog/2009/08/06/50-frequently-asked-interview-questions/

BONUS!

“Dress for the job you want!” For interview fashion advice (hey, it’s important) : http://work.chron.com/wear-sports-job-interview-3764.html

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