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Top 25 Athletic Director Interview Questions

Question 1 of 25
What role do you believe athletics play in a students development?
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Question 2 of 25
Describe your ideal athletic coach, and what types of coaches you would like to see in our program.
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"My ideal athletic coach is passionate about their work and their students. They are self-aware and a visionary, goal-minded and determined to meet and exceed the school's financial goals."
The interviewer would like to know what characteristics you look for when hiring coaches. List characteristics that would make a person successful in a coaching role. Imagine your favorite coach and explain what they were like. Being able to speak from experience will make your answer more authentic.

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Entry Level Example
"I want coaches who truly care about their work and want to improve themselves. The type of coach I want to work for me wants to learn more and is a problem solver, looking for ways to improve the programs and strengthen their teams as well."
Experienced Example
"In my experience, there are many different coaching styles, and I'm not sure there is one typical style. However, I think a coach who can communicate effectively with each of the team members while also leading the entire team towards one goal, is truly an amazing coach. I like to hire coaches who are empowered and committed."
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Question 3 of 25
What experience do you have with fundraising?
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"Last year, our athletic department sold raffle tickets for a trip that was donated by a local travel agency. We raised $55,000 which went directly to new uniforms and travel expenses for our team."
In education, budgets may be tight and efficient fundraising will be necessary. Talk about a specific experience that displays your knowledge and skills. Tell the interviewer about your success in fundraising. Share how many people attended and how much money you raised. Specific numbers will speak volumes.

You will want to know about the school and their current fundraising efforts. Based on what you know about their fundraising and financials, present something cutting edge and creative that they may not have considered or aren't investing as much energy into. Events, new athletic programs, social media and broadcast marketing are all compelling examples to present.

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Entry Level Example
"This year we are putting together a gala to raise money for our girl's soccer team. There will be a silent auction with items donated by local businesses and a local band playing. We did a similar event last year, and the event was packed."
Experienced Example
"In my previous role, I was the fundraising lead for all of the athletic programs. Each year, we needed to raise an additional $50,000 to support our hiring of coaches and purchasing of equipment. I implemented small-scale fundraising efforts like a local donation drive, and I also led the large-scale efforts such as the annual auction. In all, we did meet our goal but it was a team effort, and I had some of the best volunteers you could ask for."
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Question 4 of 25
What brings you the most joy, as an athletic director?
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"I love my staff. I take pride in building a team of individuals who strive for excellence and have fun together. It makes me happy to grow my coaches, getting to know their personal goals and investing in them to see them achieve them."
There are many responsibilities within the athletic director role. Rather than sharing a specific duty, like fundraising, consider sharing how much you enjoy motivating your coaches or how much you appreciate strategy and problem-solving. Think about what excites you most about the role.

More Answer Examples
Entry Level Example
"My favorite moments as an athletic director are those when our students rise to the challenge and stretch their skills. Whether they win the championship or not, if they have grown throughout the season, it brings me joy to witness that growth."
Experienced Example
"What has brought me the most joy over the years is the idea that I am making a life-long impression on my young students and athletes. I have had the honor of mentoring many different people in my career as an athletic director, and for that, I will always be grateful."
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Question 5 of 25
Have you had to fire a coach before? How was that process?
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"It was difficult having to let go of the basketball coach a couple of years ago. He was with the school for five years, but we had some issues with attendance in his last year. I met with him two times the first month we started to notice tardiness, and he shared some of his issues. I let him know I am an advocate for him and want to support him but I also need to support our teams and our administration. We put him on a performance plan, and I checked in with him twice a month. Unfortunately, he couldn't meet our expectations, so I had my final meeting with him and let him go."
The interviewer would like to know if you have experience in terminations. If you do not have experience in terminations, share a time when you had to let someone down. If the answer is yes, discuss the situation and explain why it was necessary to let them go. Retention of your staff is essential. You want to show the interviewer the strides you take to support your team and keep them around. When you have exhausted your options, what steps did you take?

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Entry Level Example
"I have not yet needed to fire a coach, but if that situation came up, I would follow the procedures put forth by your school. I understand that it would be a tough situation to handle, but if a coach is not performing, then they need to go."
Experienced Example
"In my current role, I had a coach that was underperforming, and I was getting unfavorable feedback from the participants. Initially, I laid out a short-term performance plan in hopes of bringing her skills up to standard, but she was not able to meet the goals we set. It was tough, but I was committed to the integrity of our athletic program and let this coach go."
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Question 6 of 25
Tell me about your experience coordinating, and developing events.
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Question 7 of 25
What makes a successful athletic event, in your opinion?
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Question 8 of 25
What type of experience do you have with hiring?
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Question 9 of 25
If a coach was loved by the students, but under-performing on the field, what would you do?
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Question 10 of 25
What do you envision for our athletic program, if you were hired?
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Question 11 of 25
Describe your passion for sports, and how that passion will translate into this position.
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Question 12 of 25
How would you try to improve fan attendance?
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Question 13 of 25
What do you like about your present job?
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Question 14 of 25
Being an athletic director requires a flexible schedule. Are you able to meet these requirements?
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Question 15 of 25
Do you consider yourself a leader?
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Question 16 of 25
How do you decide what gets top priority when scheduling your time?
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Question 17 of 25
As an athletic director, what do you believe is your best asset?
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Question 18 of 25
Define a good coach.
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Question 19 of 25
How do you like to be recognized for your accomplishments?
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Question 20 of 25
When have you negotiated a deal?
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Question 21 of 25
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
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Question 22 of 25
Give me a time when you had to set an important goal in the past and tell me about your success reaching it.
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Question 23 of 25
What motivates you as an athletic director?
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Question 24 of 25
What major challenges and problems did you face at your last position?
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Question 25 of 25
What is your current salary?
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About Athletic Director

August 17th, 2017

An athletic director (commonly "athletics director" or "AD") is an administrator at many American colleges and universities, as well as in larger high schools and middle schools, who oversees the work of coaches and related staff involved in intercollegiate or interscholastic athletic programs.

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