The first bit of advice I can give for a successful job interview seems especially basic: Make sure you’re interviewing for a job that you really want. Or at least a job you’re enthusiastic about finding out if you’re a good fit.
I bring this up because all of the advice I can give you is not going to hide a lack of enthusiasm for a position.
In fact, I think this may be the most important reason for an interview. Both employer and potential employee have a chance to see if they are a good fit for one another. If you’re not truly interested in the position, it will show through.
In an Asbury Press story, Maureen Anderson, who hosts a radio show offering career advice, advises job seekers to take that enthusiasm with them to the interview.
“Go after a job you're so excited about it won't matter what you put on your resume or wear to the interview,” Anderson said. “Passion for the work is one thing employers find irresistible."
Here are some tips, set to a sports them, to make sure that enthusiasm shows through. Hopefully, if this is a sports career, you’re already enthusiastic about the position. Even if it’s an entry level position, keep in mind the potential for opportunity the job holds.
Don’t Show Up on Gameday
Think of the interview as your gameday. You wouldn’t just show up, you’d prepare for that contest. That preparation starts with research.
One thing about sports careers, there typically is plenty of information available for research. Read up about the company on the Internet. The team or sport’s web site should have a wide range of information. If the company is publicly traded, there should be financial and company profile information available from financial analysts and financial web sites.
If you know someone who works at the company, perhaps they will offer some interview tips.
About.com Job Searching Guide Alison Doyle notes such research will allow you to answer this key question: "What do you know about our company.”
She points out it’s important to get the basics down. When the company calls you to confirm the interview, here is your chance to double-check the interview date and time. Ask the caller the preferred title and name of the interviewer(s) and the correct pronunciations of their names.
This preparation not only will impress the interviewer, it will reduce your amount of nervousness and provide you with confidence.
Practice, Practice, Practice
After you complete your research about the company, try to anticipate the questions you will be asked and prepare answers. Doyle has posted some typical job interview questions and answers on her site.
In practice, be sure to not only critique the answers but the style in which you answer them. Perhaps a trusted friend will ask you the questions and provide a critique.
With your research complete, try to match your strengths to what you know about the team, league, or sports career you are pursuing.
While some sports jobs require only casual attire on a day to day basis, it is important to wear conservative business attire to the job interview. This is a day that you want to be at your best and such attire not only will register the right note with the interviewer, it also will help with your confidence.
Right Place, Right Time
Part of the reason our favorite athletes look so impressive is they do the little things. When it comes to a job interview, this involves making sure you arrive early and at the right place.
On the day of the interview, double-check the location. Don’t just use a web site for directions. Call the company ahead of time to make sure those directions are correct. Arrive at the interview ten minutes early.
Also, find out about the approximate length the interview process will take. Some companies may have other items on the day’s agenda that could include multiple interviews, tests, and even small assignments. You do not want to have any other appointments weighing on your mind during the day so make sure you know how much time to set aside.
Again, by doing these things you not only will make a good first impression, you also will increase your comfort and confidence levels. Nobody wants to start an interview with an apology for arriving late.
Make It Happen
You’ve done all the small things, now it’s time to shine. Doyle offers several tips for during the interview. One I especially would like to emphasize is making sure you listen to the actual questions. Don’t let your mind race and jump to conclusions. Make sure you listen to the entire question and answer what the interviewer is asking.
Use all of the research and preparation to show how you will be a good fit for this team, league, or other sports career.
Doyle advises sending thank you notes to all of the people you interviewed with. If you didn’t pick up business cards with their names, double-check with the company on the spelling of each name.