How to Win a Basketball Coaching Interview

Interview Photo

Congratulations! You made it through the initial screening process and now you have an interview for a job you really, really want.  You may not be the favorite going into the interview, but you can do some things to improve your chances coming out of the process.  Here are 10 Tips to help you present “the best” of what you have to offer.

Job Interview Tip #1

Dress like “YOU” for the interview.  What kind of “coach dresser” are you?  Suit and tie at games?  Or slacks and polo with school color?  That’s how you should dress for the interview so they see “YOU”as you intend to coach.  Be sure to wear the colors of the school where you are interviewing though.

Job Interview Tip #2

Present your Basketball Philosophy first and sell it. Then let them quiz you on what else is important to them.  They have special needs that you may not know about until the questions start to come.  Sell your “Basketball Coaching Philosophy” first and you will sell yourself.

Job Interview Tip #3

Don’t mention your camp record or your AAU record. Sell your BB Philosophy. That’s what matters.  Don’t mention your school coaching record either.  They know that from looking at your resume already.  That’s why you got the interview in the first place.  It is fine to casually mention your successes (championships) as a summation of your philosophy.  Something like: “…. and that’s why I believe we were successful in winning at my previous school” or “….that’s why I believe we improved each year at my previous schools.”

Job Interview Tip #4

If the previous coach was let go, find out beforehand why & prepare to correctly answer a question concerning that subject.  Usually it was for having a losing record.  How will you improve on that?  If you previously have seen film from the past season, maybe you can site examples of poor fundamentals, or weak defense, or bad shot selection.  Find a reason and let the committee know how you will improve that weakness.

Job Interview Tip #5

Talk to everyone in the group.  Make “eye contact” with each person around the room. Each member has a vote. Win them all.  Direct your answers at first to the person who asks the question, then engage the others with your eyes and posture.

Job Interview Tip #6

State realistic goals for the Program. Don’t promise Championships. Promise improved play through better fundamentals, solid teaching and your style of play.  This should be  your own Coaching Philosophy and is the backbone of all that will win you the job.

Job Interview Tip #7

Be careful on the question, “What is your biggest weakness?”  You have some, but pick one that can be made into a positive.  Example: “Sometime I tend to work too long because I go until I solve the problem.”  Or, “Sometimes I’m not satisfied with progress and keep seeking better results.”

Job Interview Tip #8

A written outline of your philosophy or proposed program is nice, but don’t hand it out until the end or interviewers may read it instead of listening to you. You want to sell yourself and you need everyone’s attention.  An outline given out later will be a reminder of your presentation after you are finished and gone.

Job Interview Tip #9

The two most important qualities to have are experience & success.  Without them, you will have a tough time beating out those who do.  Present your philosophy and your plan for success, then sell it.  You have experience, even if it’s limited.  Maybe you worked under a great coach or played for a great coach.  Use that to your advantage.  You may not have won many games, but you haven’t lost too many either.  This can be a positive.

Job Interview Tip #10

Shake hands and thank each member of the interview committee for the opportunity to meet and talk with them.  Look them in the eye and smile as you do so.  Leave the interview with a lasting “good impression.”

Job Interview Finale

After you get home, write down all the questions you can remember from the interview.  File them away with your resume so you use them when preparing for future interviews.  Even if you win this particular job, you will have more interviews in the future.  And if you don’t get the present job, you will be applying and interviewing again real soon.  You will now be even more prepared and experienced as an interviewee.  Good Luck.  Now sit back and wait for that phone call.



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