Tell me/us about yourself and why you think you’re a good fit for XXXXX.
This question, in some form, features in a lot of interviews – among others, of course. You won’t get it every time, but interviewers use it as a common starting point to get an initial sense of you. Are you ready for it?
You could approach this question in two parts. First, there is your own experience and career development. Second, there is how that all fits in with the job you’re pursuing and the organization you’re trying to join.
Let me take each of those in turn, but starting with the second first. I’m going to assume you’re interviewing for a head coach position. You can follow a similar thought process if you are trying to get an assistant position, though. Likewise, just to keep the language simple, I assume you are interviewing with a school, but you could just as easily take the same approach when trying to get a club job.
The position and organization
The starting point to answer the “tell us..” question is to understand what the school is looking for in a head coach. This is not a simple question.
It’s really easy to think in terms of volleyball. The reality, though, is it often has more to do with culture and community. This is especially true when you’re talking about a smaller school and a smaller community.
If you’ve worked at the school, then you’ll know the culture – hopefully. If you haven’t, you’re going to have to try to learn something about it. That means a combination of research and thinking about things.
Your side of things
It’s really easy to use this question as a way to brag about all the great things you’ve done. Guess what? If it’s on your resume – and it probably is – then they already know that stuff.
Remember what I just said. This is about starting to gauge fit for the interviewer(s). That means whatever you say about yourself should tie in with the idea of fit. Just rattling off a bunch of stuff about how great you are likely isn’t going to accomplish that. It could even work against you.
The bottom line here is that you should plan for this question. Research the school as much as you possibly can to get a sense for what they are after in terms of that fit side of things. Once you have a good idea of things, think about how you can demonstrate that you would be a good fit.
And keep in mind that it’s not just about your coaching here. It could be about places you’ve lived or situations you’ve been in which aren’t even volleyball related. You’re basically trying to show that you have something in common.
So, prepare yourself!