Part 1: How to interview with the pros

About Jeannette Salas

After five years in the oil and gas industry, Jeannette Salas joined the Houston Texans as HR Manager and has loved every minute of it! Jeannette is responsible for all recruiting, onboarding, compliance, employee relations, and training. "I also travel locally and regionally visiting universities and speaking to students regarding interviewing, resumes, and careers in sports. I truly enjoy what I do because I enjoy helping others."

Part 1: Getting the first interview

Many candidates applying to job postings don’t realize as soon as they click Send the interviews begin.

The minute the potential employer has your name they begin the interview process.  If your background matches with qualifications, the next step often includes Googling your name and visiting social media websites (LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, etc.) to see what they can find not readily available on the resume.

Employers may reach out to a previous employer, particularly if the candidate has previous experience in the sports industry. Always expect employers to check with your last employer or with faculty at your university if you were in a sports-related program.

This is the first in a series breaking down the interview process – what to/not do during the interview, creating and submitting your resume and cover letter, and dressing for the interview.  We’ll also address social media and networking along with some tips for success along with first year mistakes.

Let’s start with how to get the first interview with the team.

Online Resume Submission

    1. Check for grammatical errors. For many teams one error means disqualification.
    2. Review for consistency in formatting. Do dates line up? Is the size of bullet points the same throughout? Are all titles and company names formatted in the same way? Hint: Use tabs not spacebar to align sections.
    3. REMEMBER – you are selling yourself on paper first in order to get a phone interview.

Phone Interviews

Ring-back tones and voicemail: Appropriate vs Inappropriate
    1. Remove and replace ringtone with personal message while job hunting
    2. If you keep ring-back tone make sure song is not vulgar or offensive
    3. Make sure the voicemail message is appropriate for business

YES – “Hi, you’ve reached Sally.  Sorry I missed your call. Please leave a brief message and I will return your call.”

NO – “Do your thang and I’ll hit you back.”

Tone of voice – Sound interested
  1. Engaged – upbeat and happy; give thorough answers. Stand up and smile during the interview. It affects enthusiasm and comes through on the other end.
  2. Not engaged – monotone speaking; one-word/one-line answers
Appropriate Surroundings
  1. Be able to speak without interruptions or distractions (e.g. loud noises, friends aren’t in the background,  co-workers walking by, not while driving, etc.).
  2. Ask to call back if necessary – interviewers will appreciate this if they catch candidates at a bad time.
Replying to Questions
  1. Answer questions thoroughly but only answer the question asked.
  2. DO NOT give one-word/one line replies.
  3. Don’t talk too much–exclude your life story.
  4. Ask Interviewer Questions. Think of 2 or 3 questions to ask because you will be asked if you have any.

If you follow these guidelines you stand a good chance of getting the interview. Next month we’ll offer ways to succeed in the face-to-face interview.

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