Interview Questions for Coaches

By Keith Grabowski | Posted 12/14/2018

Interview Questions for Coaches

By Butch Reiser

Much like game day, being prepared and understanding what you will face in an interview will increase your likelihood for success. Below is a common list of questions that are asked in coaching interview. Reviewing these and having a plan for the answer with concrete examples or short stories illustrates a useful strength. Having answers that incorporate these elements are much more effective and set an interviewee apart from the competition.

Behavioral Based Questions:

  1. Tell me about yourself?
  2. Why should I hire you?
  3. Give me one reason on why you wanted to apply for this job?
  4. What do you think you can bring to this position?
  5. Who are you as a person?
  6. If not this job, then what?
  7. How would you describe your leadership philosophy and style?
  8. What did you do to prepare for this interview?
  9. What experiences have you learned in coaching that have made you uniquely qualified to be a HC / Asst. Coach at XYZ?
  10. Define your vision/philosophy for the program?
  11. What would you say in your first press conference? Team meeting?
  12. How would you change the culture of our team?
  13. What would you need from the administration to be successful? AD?
  14. In terms of your coaching philosophy, what can our fans expect?
  15. What do you want in a staff and how will you build it?
  16. What is your philosophy on recruiting?
  17. What is your 30, 60, 90-day plan?
  18. What makes you different from other coaches?
  19. What drives you?
  20. What are your strengths? Weaknesses?
  21. What would your detractors say about you?
  22. What is your dream job?
  23. Do we have a chance to win?
  24. What are you looking for in a player?
  25. Hardest decision you ever had to make?
  26. Greatest satisfaction in your coaching career?
  27. Who is the greatest person you ever worked for?
  28. How will you relate to today’s players and keep your approach fresh?
  29. What is your discipline policy when players get in trouble off the field?
  30. Describe a time you faced adversity as a coach and how did you respond?
  31. What are your academic and behavioral expectations for your players both on and off the court?
  32. Why are you the best person for this job?
  33. Describe the top five priorities in your life in rank and order? Why?
  34. Who is the biggest recruit that you landed and how?
  35. What about this job interest you?
  36. What do you know about our program? School?
  37. Do you plan on keeping any of the current staff? Why or why not?
  38. What is your plan for your staff?
  39. We’ve all had to make difficult decisions. Tell me about a time when you had to make a difficult decision that had a poor outcome and what would you have done differently in hindsight?
  40. What was your biggest coaching challenge?
  41. Why did you leave your last job?
  42. What is the hardest part of your job?
  43. What is your single biggest accomplishment in your career so far?
  44. What would your current AD say is the area you need to improve on the most?
  45. What are your goals?
  46. Why do you want to coach here?
  47. What haven’t we discussed that’s important for me to know?
  48. Describe a time when you had to make an unpopular decision?
  49. What do you do in your spare time?
  50. In what ways has your current or previous position prepared you to take on more responsibility?
  51. Tell me about a time when you had a difficult player? Asst. Coach? Parent? What was the result?
  52. What three words would you use to describe yourself?
  53. Tell me about a recruit you lost and what did you learn from it?
  54. What is your biggest career failure and why?
  55. Tell me about a time you went above and beyond for a student-athlete?
  56. Walk me through how you progressed in your coaching career.
  57. Who was your best coach in your career and why?
  58. What do you feel are the most challenging obstacles in this role?
  59. What does this position have in common with some others you have had?
  60. Tell me about a time you failed.
  61. What’s one question I haven’t asked you that I should?
  62. What did you like most and least about your previous job?
  63. What circumstances contributed to leaving your last job?
  64. What immediate changes would you like to see if you were hired for this position?
  65. Tell me about the teams you’ve coached and how you built them.
  66. What decisions do you routinely make in your current position?
  67. Can you name four people whose careers you have fundamentally improved? (Look for names of peers or subordinates.)


RELATED CONTENT:  [Podcast] Game Plan Your Next Job - Strategies and Tips for a Winning Interview with Butch Reiser

RELATED CONTENT: [Podcast] Game Plan Your Next Job - Acing the Interview with Dr. David Hoch

RELATED CONTENT: [Podcast] Game Plan Your Next Job - The Coaching Portfolio that pops with Bill Vasko