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What are the Best Coaching Interview Questions?

By Patti Kate
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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The best coaching interview questions typically will depend upon the type of coaching position for which the individual is applying. When interviewing coaching candidates, basic questions may include those pertaining to relevant experience and how long the candidate has worked as a coach. It is a also a good idea to inquire what motivates the individual to want to coach.

Coaching interview questions such as, "What inspires you to participate in coaching?" can often reveal a lot about the person to be hired. Questions like, "What is it about coaching you enjoy the most?" are a good way to begin the interview. Rather than asking a question that can be answered by a simple yes or no answer, thought-provoking questions can reveal much about the person's character.

When attempting to hire someone as a youth coach for a sports team, it's a good idea to learn how the candidate feels about children and teenagers. Therefore one of the essential coaching interview questions might be, "Can you tell me how you relate to and get along with children and adolescents? Do you have any children or God-children?" While this may not seem directly related to the job, it may give the interviewer a better perspective into the person being interviewed.

Of course, prior experience will be an added benefit in most cases, so other relevant interview questions should pertain to past coaching responsibilities. "How much experience in coaching have you had?" is one question that can help determine if the person is the best candidate for the job. Asking what type of coaching the person has done is also a good question.

When conducting an interview, asking something like, "How will you be an asset to this job?" is another question that can be addressed. Coaching interview questions that tend to draw out how the candidate views himself can often be helpful. Along the same lines, the interviewer may ask, "Why should I hire you?"

"What do you hope to achieve by taking on this coaching job?" is a good question to ask. This may provide a clue as to whether the person is wanting to commit to the job for the right reasons, or simply to make some spare cash. In conjunction with that question, the following question might be, "How long of a time do you hope to commit to this coaching job?"

Other good coaching interview questions may pertain to how the individual might handle difficult children. "How will you help to motivate the child who does not want to be coached?" is an example. Asking how the candidate will handle difficult parents is another example. A good question may be, "How will you handle a situation where a parent interferes with your efforts to coach his child as you have been trained to do?" These questions can help when making final hiring decisions.

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Discussion Comments

By Drentel — On Mar 05, 2014

Regardless of what level you are coaching and regardless of who you are coaching, I want to know what you see as your primary responsibility. The answer to this job interview question should vary depending on the job you are applying for. I mean, do you want a youth football coach whose primary concern is winning games? Do you want a professional football coach whose primary concern is making sure his players have fun and enjoy the game?

By Sporkasia — On Mar 04, 2014

The article is correct in that the characteristics you want in a coach will differ significantly based on who he will be hired to coach.

In my experience interacting with sports coaches and the people who hire them, I have found that there are a standard list of interview questions and answers. The interviewers often know the answers they will receive before they ask the questions, and the coaches know the questions before they are asked.

I was once advised that to learn something interesting and revealing about an applicant I should ask why he chose to where blue socks instead of black. The point being that I should ask a question the applicant had not expected. While the question might have nothing to do with coaching, the answer will probably reveal more than the routine and predictable questions.

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