You may find a job interview even more nerve-wracking than competing at the Olympic Games! Here are five top tips to make sure your interview technique is on medal-winning form.
When you’re looking for a job in your post-sport career, an interview will likely be the final hurdle to securing any role that you apply for.
And just as you dedicated yourself to training to be at your best for every big sporting event, you should be fully prepared in order to excel in any interview that you have to face. You’re essentially competing against every other candidate for the role, so make sure you come out on top by following our helpful tips…
Research the industry, company and role you’re applying for
Do some research and find out all you can about the industry, the company and the role you’re applying for. You also need to be clear on what skills you can bring to the table (we know you’ve got loads, so don’t be shy) and how you can add value. And very important: write down any questions you may want to ask the interviewer.
If you can’t talk about why you want to work for the company you’re interviewing at, alarm bells are going to ring. Relevant research is the most powerful tool in your interviewing arsenal, so pinpoint what appeals to you about the place and why you and the company make a good fit. Show the passion that you have for the position in the same way as you talk about your sports.
Rehearse: Practice makes perfect
You wouldn’t stand much chance of winning an Olympic gold medal in an event you’ve never tried before, so don’t go into an interview without practising the sort of questions you’ll likely have to answer. Ask your friends and family to train with you and tell them to give you some honest feedback. The IOC ACP has even created a featuring a series of practice questions to help you prepare.
Relax and enjoy
Try to relax ahead of the interview and stay focused – just as you would before a competition. This will help you be at your best during the interview. And don’t forget to enjoy the talk with the person opposite you. Try to understand who the person is and engage in a valuable conversation that consists of answering and asking questions as if you were talking to a colleague.
Engage: Present your skills and qualities
When you enter an interview, it is like being in the finals of a sporting event – everyone is good and are you ready to win? Be prepared to talk about yourself and your strengths. Speak confidently about your education, skills and experiences and how they relate directly to the job that you’ve applied for. As an athlete, you may have to translate your sporting achievements into something that is relatable to the job you’re applying for. Check out the IOC ACP’s Career Transitions Worksheet for more tips on this. They say first impressions count, so make sure you’re presentable and your clothes and hair are appropriate for the job. Also be aware of your body language and ensure your posture and eye-contact make you seem as interested as you should be. A firm handshake, being attentive and a smile go a long way too!
Follow it up
Don’t be afraid to request feedback at the end of the interview, or ask what the next steps are in the hiring process. You should also send a short follow-up email/letter as soon as you can to thank them for the interview and re-enforce your interest in getting the job.
Want to know find out more how to ace the interview? Check out the IOC Athlete Career Programme’s resources on Education, Life Skills and Employment at: https://www.olympic.org/athlete-career-programme
The IOC Athlete Career Programme is delivered in cooperation with the Adecco Group, the world’s leading provider of workforce solutions.