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Top Tips For Athletes To Prepare For A Job Interview

Preparing for a job interview is a lot like preparing for competition. But with a game plan in place, you'll be ready to land the job you want.

 

1. Athlete Strengths 

Student-athletes have a unique skill set, and it is important that you not only identify with your skill set, but can also articulate and demonstrate these experiences with others. Start by making a short list of your strengths, like discipline, competitive, time management, and accountability. Then translate those strengths to professional life. Example: Athletics allowed me to set clear goals and work hard to achieve them as an individual and as part of a team.

 

2. Resume 

Update your resume and bring a few printed copies with you to the interview. Be sure to include the following sections:

  • Summary of qualifications
  • Education
  • Relevant coursework
  • Athlete experience
  • Work experience

 

3. References 

Contact people who can speak to your professional skills BEFORE your interview and ask them if they will reference for you. Good references might include coaches, advisors, professors, volunteer leaders, or former employers. 

 

4. Dress the Part

First impressions are vital for your interview, and that all starts with presentation. Unless you are interviewing on Wall
Street or a law firm where the attire is generally formal business wear, a good rule of thumb is to dress one step above
the environment. Business Formal is still seen as the standard interview dress code. So, when in doubt, SUIT UP. Even if your interview is remote, be sure to dress for an interview.

 

5. Questions

Prepare a list of questions you can ask during the interview. Be sure to review and update your questions as you interview for different positions and with different companies. They should be specific to that interview with that company. 

 

6. Follow-up

Send a written note (preferably) or an email (or both) to thank your contact for their time and express interest in the role. Use specific details from the interview to demonstrate interest and listening. This step is key, but often overlooked, for landing the job.

 

7. Be Passionate

Especially over the phone or a Zoom call, it’s important to convey energy and enthusiasm as part of your first impression. Low energy is usually a no go for most recruiters and employers because they want people who can help lift a team, not bring it down. Use the 80% Rule: Typically only 80% of your enthusiasm comes across the phone. Try to stand and smile during the interview.