Tag Archive | "INTERVIEW"

INDUSTRY EXECUTIVES SPEAK: What we look for during the interview

Abraham Madkour, executive editor of the Sports Business Journal, recently interviewed three industry executives who provided insight as to the specific traits they look for when interviewing candidates. Andy Loughnane Columbus Crew SC, President of Business Operations
The first question I’ll ask is: What do you know about the company? You will quickly figure out if someone’s done their homework, and how much, by the depth they provide with narratives and anecdotes, which should come out if you have someone who’s inquisitive and intellectually curious. The second question is: What do you know about the job? You’ll get an idea if they know something about the job and can relate to the tasks. Hopefully, they’ll highlight elements that go beyond the expectations of the job that you will like.
Angela Taylor, Atlanta Dream, President and General Manager
Often, I’m across the interview table of someone who’s passionate about sports, but what does that mean? It’s great to be passionate about sports, but if you aren’t proficient in whatever that job is, you aren’t going to be successful. So you can be passionate about something, but make sure that you are proficient in it as well. In addition,w hen I am having conversations with my direct reports about hiring, I talk about ability vs. ambition. You may have the ability, but are you ambitious enough to do that job exceptionally well? If you don’t have that ambition, it is going to hold you back and hold our organization back.
Peter Luukko, Florida Panthers, Executive Chairman
I look real hard at work ethic. You can find out through an interview how hungry they are. What are you doing? What are you looking to do? The person who took six months off to go to Europe probably isn’t right for me. But the person who is looking for a job while in school and is looking for a career in sports and understands it’s not a job, it’s a lifestyle, that is a better fit. It’s all about work ethic. I take for granted that you’re smart, but I need to see work ethic and that you are a team player. I’m a big believer that a lot of ex-athletes do well because they are team players. I don’t care if you’re the smartest person in the room, but if you can’t play well in the sandbox, then you are useless.
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John McDonough, CEO of the NHL Chicago Blackhawks, recently sat down with the executive editor of the Sports Business Journal, Abraham Madkour. Mr. McDonough discussed what he looks for in hiring new staff and added some suggestions for those seeking employment within the sports industry.
Hire great. I want young, enthusiastic, dynamic people that want to be part of something that has never been done before; people who pull for each other. I want them to succeed, first and foremost, collectively. The individual part will take care of itself. INTERVIEW PROCESS: I like people that are personable. I like people that engage. If someone were to come in and basically just talk about how quickly they want to ascend through the organization as opposed to being part of something that is going to be-or is-great, that is always a red flag; if all I hear about is how they think their career is going to accelerate. But in an interview, I like to be knocked out, I love to have that personality tsunami challenge me. I like spirited, enthusiastic, dynamic people.

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CLASS of 2013: Steps to Secure a Job in Sports

STUDENTS, Specifically to the graduating Class of 2013. Here are some Job + Employment preparation tips, featuring steps you should take in your quest to secure a Job in Sports. COURTESY of Bill Sutton (Principal: Bill Sutton and Associates, Founding Director of the Sport and Entertainment Business Management MBA program at the University of South Florida) – taken from the latest issue of the SPORTS BUSINESS JOURNAL. — Résumés and Cover Letters are essential. – They should demonstrate two key concepts: how you have spent your time preparing for this opportunity, and how well you communicate. Those two aspects will determine how you are perceived as a candidate, as well as what type of representative will you be for your new employer/organization. Make sure that whoever is reading your Résumé is able to understand exactly what it is you have done in previous internships, jobs and volunteer activities. Proofread closely to make sure there are no mistakes. Be careful with your social media endeavors. – Remember that whatever you put out there is for eternity and can be very damaging if it conveys immaturity or anything that could reflect poorly upon you and on your organization. Party pictures and other impulsive posts should be avoided. Think before you tweet or post. Invest in yourself. – Engage in activities that help prepare you for the interview. Seek out job-shadowing opportunities, informational interviews and mock interviews. Use these opportunities to network, find out more about people who do what you think you would like to do, research companies and people for your job search, and prepare a list of interview questions that you would ask. I provide my students with a subscription to TeamWorkOnline because it provides job descriptions, information on available opportunities, and job-seeking suggestions and tips. Invest in such a service for yourself to help collect the necessary information to make the quest more manageable. —- Download the FREE eBook: ADVICE From the PROS WALL STREET JOURNAL: 29 Rules for College Graduates

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Securing Employment with a Pro-Sports Team (in TEXAS)

CANDIDATES, This article contains helpful tips and notes from the Human Resources Directors and Recruiters of the Dallas Cowboys, Houston Texans and Dallas Mavericks. The topics covered include Interview Tips, Company Research and Professionalism. NOTE: Information taken from the February Edition of the Baylor S3 Report JEANNETTE SALAS – HR Manager of the Houston Texans HEIDI WEINGARTNER – Chief HR Officer, Dallas Cowboys GEORGE PROKOS – VP of Ticket Sales and Service, Dallas Mavericks


  1. Research. Thoroughly research the organization prior to interview.
    1. How is the team marketing and advertising?
      Insights from Heidi Weingartner, Chief HR Office at the Dallas Cowboys and George Prokos, Sr. VP of Ticket Sales and Services at the Dallas Mavericks

      Insights from Heidi Weingartner, Chief HR Office at the Dallas Cowboys and George Prokos, Sr. VP of Ticket Sales and Services at the Dallas Mavericks.

    2. How are they involved in the community?
    3. Who are the C-level executives and managers?
      • Know their names and positions.
      • Look up their backgrounds/bios (team website, Google; LinkedIn)
  2. Questions. Come up with at least five questions to ask about corporate culture, likes/dislikes, challenges, etc. Why? Good questions:
    1. Should be written down.
    2. Show interest.
    3. Allow you to get FREE valuable information from someone in your career choice on how to move up and be successful in your career.
The best question a candidate asked me was, “What do you like and not like about your position?” Asked sincerely, this question showed a personal interest in me and what goes on here every day.

The interview

How important is this interview to you? If you are selected from the 100′s of resumes received, I’m assuming it should be important to you.
  1. Attire: Dress professionally (suits). More on making the best first impression in next month’s issue.
  2. Arrive 10-15 minutes early. Don’t show up an hour or two early.
  3. Turn off your phone before exiting the car.
  4. No, turn it off. Silent is not good enough.
  5. Be ready to go once you step outside of the car.
    1. Have your hair and/or makeup done before arriving.
    2. Put your jacket on before you exit the car.
    3. You don’t know who’s watching or who you’ll meet when or where along the way.
  6. Have a padfolio, pens and extra copies of your resume.
    1. Some employers intentionally “forget” to bring your resume to the interview.
    2. Someone may forget a pen.
    3. Be prepared.
  7. SMILE!!! Everyone is watching you.
    1. That person you don’t think is watching is the person who talks to the manager right after you leave.
    2. Beware of windows – people like to observe and will give feedback.
  8. Be courteous. Yes, the receptionist counts. Double.
  9. Exude confidence.
    1. Firm handshake.
    2. Make eye contact during interview. (But, don’t stare the person down.)
  10. Relax and be yourself, but remain professional regardless of interviewer’s professionalism.
    1. Removing jacket, unbuttoning tie, etc. is not acceptable
    2. Be personable, but not overly excited.
    3. Keep an engaged, positive posture – no slouching.
    4. Don’t stare.
    5. Don’t fidget:  Biting nails, playing with hair, tapping pen, cracking knuckles, etc.
  11. Stay focused.
    1. Listen to what is being asked and answer the question.
    2. Ask for clarification if you don’t understand question.
    3. Don’t ramble.
  12. Be confident in your answers:
    1. Don’t answer with an upswing inflection, where the cadence of the voice rises as though every sentence ends in a question mark.
    2. Be accountable. Everyone makes mistakes!!!!! Explain what you learned from mistakes and what you did to ensure it was not repeated.
    3. Be able to explain gaps in employment clearly.
  13. Never bash former employers or colleagues. This gives a clue as to how you might view your next employer and colleagues.

Closing the Interview

If you are interviewing for a sales position, they are looking for someone who can close a deal.
  1. Close the interview.
  2. Highlight why you are the best candidate for the position based on the needs identified during the interview.
  3. Show how your strengths make you a good fit for the position.
  4. Show enthusiasm!!!!
  5. Thank interviewers for their time and again give firm handshakes.
  6. Say goodbye to the receptionist by name (s/he always counts).

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