Each organization conducts interviews a little differently. Every Head Coach has his own way to interview candidates as well.
I’ve been present for well over a dozen coaching interviews. Most often the first thing done is to introduce yourself and your existing staff to the candidate. Make them feel at home and comfortable. Use this part of the process as an opportunity to sell your first-class organization.
After introductions, when you are short on experience and young in the profession, there is normally a segment of the process to gauge your knowledge and expertise in the subject matter required for your position. In the coaching world, this is called “being put on the board”.
Being put on the board used to mean going to the chalkboard and detailing your X and O knowledge as well as answering any questions you are bombarded with. It can be an intimidating process for a young candidate. It is important for both the employer and candidate because the employer determines if the candidate has the expertise necessary and the candidate gains confidence in presenting his material under stress.
Even when the candidate is not selected, the experience of the interview and being on the board is invaluable for the future.
I had coached 15 years before I was experienced enough and had a resume to prove it before I was interviewed and not put on the board.
Regardless of a candidate’s experience and reputation it is wise to have them present a list of the subject matter and systems they have coached in. These sessions don’t have to be as detailed as with an inexperienced candidate. You will be surprised how eager even a seasoned coach is to display his knowledge. Never assume a candidate has the expertise you feel would qualify him for your team. Once they are on your team it is too late. All other aspects of the expertise segment concern who the candidate on the board should be presenting to.
I have experienced everything from just the Head Coach to the whole staff or a mixture. I believe the interview should be conducted by the Head Coach and the candidate’s immediate supervisor who is the coordinator. I feel candidates can feel a little insulted when they must present to peers or coworkers, not superiors during these sessions.
It can also appear to the candidate as an intelligence gathering opportunity more than an interview. Candidates will share more information with superiors than with peers.
After the introduction and subject matter phase, some organizations will tour the facility have lunch or dinner and send the candidate on their way. One of the best and most thorough interviews I had was when I was sent to spend time with each member of the staff in a low-key fashion so they could get a feel for my personality and to see if it would mesh with the staff as a whole. Then there was the exit meeting with the coordinator and head coach.
Talent acquisition is the most important aspect of building a champion. Leave no stone unturned and be sure to check with previous employers when possible, for feedback.
No matter how great strategies and tactics are, it is mainly impossible to sustain success without talent!