12 common questions in sport job interviews and how to answer them

Even though the questions of an interview differ for every sports company, there’s a handful which pop up almost every time. Answering them might be easy for some, but hard for others. That’s why we’re here to help. Whether you just graduated or it has been a while since your last interview – here’s advice on how to answer the most common job interview questions.

“Tell me about yourself”

Most of the times, this is one of the first questions the interviewer will ask. Normally, you should recite your resume here , but don’t just trot it out completely. The recruiter normally knows your CV and your application and probably even has a duplicate of it in front of him/her. Instead, use this moment as an opportunity to show the milestones that you feel are the most relevant for you and the job. It shows your personal focus and is a great way to highlight your qualities for the position.

“Where do you see yourself in 5 years?”

Whether you’re a person who is planing ahead or prefer being spontaneous and see where life is taking you, your answer should be honest.  You don’t need a concrete plan to answer. What they’d like to find out about you is if you’re ambitious and possibily a loyal employee, you should also reword the question for yourself to “If you’re still in this company, where do you see yourself in 5 years?”.

It could be something around the lines of: “I like the idea to have proven myself in this company and advanced my career by offering added value through the years.”

“What’s your biggest weakness?”

The most cliché answer we have heard? Probably “I am a perfectionist”. It proves that you didn’t understand the purpose of this question. It aims to find out the strengths of a person: Whether they’re reflective and able to analyze themselves and in conclusion their surroundings. Also, if they’re able to solve problems, whether it’s their own or work relative.

The best way to answer this interview question is to be honest about your weakness. Keep in mind though that it’s supposed to be work related – you don’t need to share any personal problems.
Furthermore, add the way you’ve been dealing with your weakness in the past, showing that you’re able to provide solutions.

“On a scale from 1 – 10, how would you rate yourself / how proficient are you at xxx?”

Whether it’s about yourself or Word, Excel, Photoshop or any software, this tactical interview question comes up in every other interview. We’ll let you in on something of our headhunting experience: The question isn’t really about the skills, but about seeing how well you are able to evaluate yourself. Have you heard about “hiring for attitude“? The response “Clearly a 10!” is probably exaggerated in most cases. There’s always room to improve yourself, train and learn new skills, but you can’t change a first impression. Be honest about your skill-set, give them a clear insight by going a little into detail of your knowledge (a little is key here). But also admit in which areas you could do better. If you show that you’re eager to learn and would be grateful to improve throughout your job, this shows a lot about your work attitude – and recruiters will mark it as a strength.

“Why do you want to work for this company?”

This should be a no-brainer – as long as you want to work at the sports company. It might be hard to answer though when you’re not really into the job.
In any case, informing yourself beforehand about your future employer is the key to formulate your response. Find out what they value, which features they emphasize on their website and integrate them into your answer. Of course, you can always share your personal interest as well – maybe you have a nostalgic story with the sports brand, love their products or their services – it shows passion.

“Tell me about a time when…”

Probably the most concrete question – which requires a concrete response. The interviewer wants to find out how you’d react in a special situation. A classic way to answer this, is the so called STAR format:

  • What was the Situation
  • What was your Task
  • Which Action did you take
  • What was the Result

Following these simple rules, you’ll be able to keep it work-related and rational.

“When you have been let go and they ask about it” 

This is actually not a common question and only comes up rarely, but as we know it’s one of the hardest to answer, we wanted to integrate it in our post anyway. Whatever reason there was, that you have been let go, there’s two rules to follow when answering:

  1. Don’t badmouth your former employer
  2. Focus on the positive and the opportunities that came out of it

Emphasize that you’re excited for the new opportunity to prove yourself, to pursue a new position that fits you better.

“Do you have any questions?”

Yes! The answer to this one is always yes. It shows you care, that you’re interested in your employer and the job.

Possible questions could be:

  • What has someone else in this position done to succeed in their role?
  • Which advancement opportunities has this position in the next years?
  • What indicates success for this company?
  • Could you describe a typical day of this position?
  • Can I contact you if I think of anymore question?

We’ve added additional questions in our blog Good Question: The best questions to ask in a sport job interview.

“How do you stay current with industry trends?”

In the rapidly evolving sports industry, staying current is crucial. To answer this question, mention specific sources you rely on such as industry journals, online forums, or professional groups. Highlight any relevant courses or certifications you’ve completed recently and discuss how you apply this knowledge in your work.

“Describe a time when you had to work with a difficult team member.”

Team dynamics are critical in sports-related jobs. Use the before-mentioned STAR method to frame your response, focusing on how you navigated the situation, maintained professionalism, and ultimately contributed to a positive outcome. Emphasize your communication skills, empathy, and ability to stay focused on the team’s goals.

“How do you handle high-pressure situations?”

The sports industry often involves high-stakes scenarios. Discuss your strategies for managing stress, staying organized, and maintaining performance under pressure. Provide an example where you successfully handled a high-pressure situation, detailing the steps you took and the results you achieved.

“What is your approach to diversity and inclusion?”

Diversity and inclusion have become increasingly important in the sports industry. Explain your understanding of these concepts and discuss any initiatives you’ve been involved in. Highlight how you foster an inclusive environment in your current or past roles, and why it’s important in the sports sector.

Of course, a job interview it not only about the questions, but also about your body language and your appearance. We also prepared advice for this in our blog How to score in a job interview for a follow-up and the best way to win your interviewer over.

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