Potential coaching interview questions

Great news! You made it through the initial screening process for the coaching job you want, and now you’re on the short list. They invited you to visit with them. Or perhaps it’s just a phone call to start. Either way, your foot is in the door. So what’s the next thing on your mind? Is it something like this:

What will I be asked in the interview?

I hope so, because it should be!

Here are some of the ones you might get.

  • What would you do if a parent approached you and complained about playing time (or anything else, really)?
  • If it’s a team which has been successful, how do you plan to continue the success?
  • If it’s a team which hasn’t been a contender, how do you plan on turning the program around?
  • What is your coaching philosophy?
  • How do I know you’re not a jerk (or some variation)?
  • What is your biggest challenge is as a coach?
  • How do you deal with players (or parents) who are out of line?
  • Define sportsmanship.
  • How are you going to communicate with your student athletes?
  • What would your typical practice look like?
  • How do you plan to help the school recruit players?
  • How I plan to help athletes get recruited by colleges?
  • Who would you bring in as assistant?
  • Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
  • Why they should hire you over their other applicants?
  • Do you have a season plan? A long-term plan?

Of course, there are different considerations for every job, and they will tend to bias interview conversations in one direction or another. The more you know about the recent history of the team you’re looking to coach, the person you’ll be working for, and the like, the more likely you’ll be able to anticipate the questions and be prepared to offer a good response.

And don’t forget to think about questions to ask them.

John Forman
About the Author: John Forman
John recently compelted a stint as head coach for a women's professional team in Sweden. Prior to that he was the head coach for the University of Exeter Volleyball Club BUCS teams (roughly the UK version of the NCAA) while working toward a PhD. He previously coached in Division I of NCAA Women's Volleyball in the US, with additional experience at the Juniors club level, both coaching and managing, among numerous other volleyball adventures. Learn more on his bio page.

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