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Athletic Director Interview Questions

To help you prepare for your Athletic Director interview, here are 25 interview questions and answer examples.

Athletic Director was written by and updated on April 22nd, 2016. Learn more here.

Question 1 of 25

What role do you believe athletics play in a students development?

How to Answer

Participation in athletics makes a positive influence in the development of students. The interviewer wants to know how you feel athletics would help a student. There are numerous benefits so share your opinion and support with an example.

Written by Rachelle Enns

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25 Athletic Director Interview Questions & Answers

  • 1. What role do you believe athletics play in a students development?

      How to Answer

      Participation in athletics makes a positive influence in the development of students. The interviewer wants to know how you feel athletics would help a student. There are numerous benefits so share your opinion and support with an example.

      Written by Rachelle Enns

      Entry Level

      "I think that participation in sports can play an important part in a child's development. Sports can instill confidence, teamwork, communication and leadership skills."

      Written by Rachelle Enns

      1st Answer Example

      "I strongly believe that participating on an athletic team improves health, teaches kids about cooperation and how to work in a team. There are numerous benefits that every person should experience as they grow up."

      Written by Rachelle Enns

      Experienced

      "I had a student on a soccer team I was coaching who was having trouble in school. He loved soccer, but couldn't play if he didn't pass his classes. I took time to get to know him and found he was very smart, just very discouraged. The longer he was on my team, I noticed he felt more confident. He was able to keep his grades up and ended up getting a scholarship to go to college."

      Written by Rachelle Enns

      Community Answer

      "It is absolutely an extension of the classroom. Skills learned through sports are the exact skills business and employers are looking for in today's world: commitment, willingness to collaborate, leadership, sacrifice for a team goal, ability to influence and motivate others. These things aren't always available in the classroom, but sports are an avenue to open some student-athletes up to new experiences and showcase those intangible skills."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Rachelle Enns

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Rachelle Enns Reviewed the Above Answer

      Your perspective of athletics being an extension of the classroom is a very wise one. Athletics do so much for a young person, and you bring up some fantastic points in this response.

  • 2. What is your current salary?

      How to Answer

      The interviewer would like to know what you are currently earning so that they can make a competitive offer when the time comes. A potential employer will often base their offer on your current salary. You should be transparent about your most recent earnings and be prepared to back up any salary requests.

      Written by Rachelle Enns

      Entry Level

      "As I am a recent graduate, I would like to be offered a fair salary that reflects my recent education. I am most concerned with joining an organization that will help me to grow my career in (industry). Compensation is not my primary driver."

      Written by Rachelle Enns

      1st Answer Example

      "I am currently earning a base salary of $98,000 plus a car allowance of $900/month and health benefits. I am looking for a competitive salary in my next position."

      Written by Rachelle Enns

      Experienced

      "I am currently making $100,000 per year with two bonus opportunities. I am looking for compensation that is aligned with the role and provides an opportunity for growth."

      Written by Rachelle Enns

      Community Answer

      "$13.13 / hour"

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Chad Wilson

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Chad Wilson Reviewed the Above Answer

      This is a very concise and straightforward answer to the question. Good start! Consider providing the interviewer with your annual salary, as opposed to the hourly salary. Also, be sure to highlight any other remuneration or benefits that are included with the salary, and use full sentences in your response, to ensure the interview has a complete understanding of your thoughts. In the "Revised Answer" section, I have included a suggested way to restate this response.

      "I am currently earning a base salary of $26,260, plus health benefits. I am looking for a competitive salary in my next position."

  • 3. How would you try to improve fan attendance?

      How to Answer

      As an athletic director, you are in charge of coordinating events, marketing, and management for all associated sports teams. Discuss a marketing strategy that shows off your experience and knowledge.

      Written by Rachelle Enns

      Entry Level

      "In my current position, we have improved fan attendance through social media strategy. We have seen a great increase in attendance by creating Facebook fan a page and marketing events through that platform."

      Written by Rachelle Enns

      1st Answer Example

      "Enhancing the fan's experience is one of the best ways to improve attendance. Last year we rewarded superfans with prizes through online contests using social media. This strategy increased overall attendance by 30%."

      Written by Rachelle Enns

      Experienced

      "I have two strategies to improve fan attendance. One is a grassroots effort to drum up interest at a local level by personally inviting folks to events and hoping to generate some excitement around our programs. The other strategy is to utilize social media like Facebook and Instagram to broadcast our wins and the excitement around our future events. When paired together, these strategies have helped boost our attendance at football games and swim meets."

      Written by Rachelle Enns

  • 4. Being an athletic director requires a flexible schedule. Are you able to meet these requirements?

      How to Answer

      You don't need to share what your schedule looks like, but you should let the interviewer know you understand the expectations. If you're not clear and need to know more about what the schedule might look like, ask. The interviewer wants to see that you will treat your role as an athletic director seriously.

      Written by Rachelle Enns

      Entry Level

      "Being newer to my career as an athletic director, I am willing to work any hours needed. Rest assured, I will be present whenever it's required of me."

      Written by Rachelle Enns

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  • 5. Define a good coach.

      How to Answer

      The interviewer wants to know more about your thoughts on what makes a competent coach. State the qualities you believe in and reinforce the fact that you possess these talents as well. Take this as an opportunity to share your values. Reflect on the responsibilities listed in the job description. Providing training to the athletes, challenging them and developing them to excel as individuals and as a team are some of the general expectations of a solid coach. Think about which characteristics are needed to fulfill these responsibilities.

      Written by Rachelle Enns

      Entry Level

      "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 person on the team while also leading the entire team towards one goal is truly an amazing coach. I like to hire coaches who are empowered and committed."

      Written by Rachelle Enns

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  • 6. What experience do you have with fundraising?

      How to Answer

      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.

      Written by Rachelle Enns

      Entry Level

      "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."

      Written by Rachelle Enns

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  • 7. When have you negotiated a deal?

      How to Answer

      Negotiation is a large part of your role as an athletic director. Show your knowledge of the position and the types of negotiations you will anticipate. You will have new and existing vendors, and you want to show how you cultivate relationships with these businesses. You also want to articulate your creativity, the ability to create alternative options within the framework of the contract.

      Written by Rachelle Enns

      Entry Level

      "I have negotiated deals in the past which include supply costs and overtime hours for coaches. Before becoming an athletic director, I worked in sales. I believe this experience has greatly increased my negotiation skills."

      Written by Rachelle Enns

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  • 8. If a coach was loved by the students, but under-performing on the field, what would you do?

      How to Answer

      This is a problem-solving question. Consider your experience from the past. If you have experienced this scenario before, discuss how you handled it and what the positive outcome was. Share that you understand this is a situation you would be responsible for resolving, even though the coach is to be held accountable.

      Written by Rachelle Enns

      Entry Level

      "This situation has come up in my current role, and I think clear communication on expectations is key. By providing solid feedback to the coach, while setting specific goals and guidelines, we can create a performance plan to measure success."

      Written by Rachelle Enns

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  • 9. What type of experience do you have with hiring?

      How to Answer

      Give the interviewer confidence in your onboarding experience by sharing examples of how you have completed the interview and hiring process in the past. If you lack experience in this area, share any related knowledge and experience that would assist you in performing this duty.

      Written by Rachelle Enns

      Entry Level

      "I have not spent time hiring coaches as of yet; however, I do know how to interview from my time as a recruiter in the army."

      Written by Rachelle Enns

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  • 10. What makes a successful athletic event, in your opinion?

      How to Answer

      Attendance is not the only indicator of a successful event. How will you ensure everyone has a positive experience? Consider all of the different elements that play a role in the success of a sporting event.

      Written by Rachelle Enns

      Entry Level

      "The fans always make the event great! There should be elements of hype, excitement, and competition. This energy is what drives that athletes to perform, and the crowd to cheer!"

      Written by Rachelle Enns

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  • 11. Tell me about your experience coordinating, and developing events.

      How to Answer

      This questions is open-ended and allows you to share your past experiences. Give an example or two to build confidence that you are skilled in fulfilling the responsibilities of an athletic director. Show that you have done these tasks before and have overcome challenges along the way.

      Written by Rachelle Enns

      Entry Level

      "I have not personally been in charge of events, but I have helped coordinate events as part of a team. The part I enjoyed the most was recruiting the volunteers."

      Written by Rachelle Enns

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  • 12. Have you had to fire a coach before? How was that process?

      How to Answer

      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?

      Written by Rachelle Enns

      Entry Level

      "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."

      Written by Rachelle Enns

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  • 13. What brings you the most joy, as an athletic director?

      How to Answer

      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.

      Written by Rachelle Enns

      Entry Level

      "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."

      Written by Rachelle Enns

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  • 14. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

      How to Answer

      It's impossible to know where you will be in 5 years but you need to assure the interviewer that, given all possible circumstances, you could see yourself as a long-term fit for their position.

      You may want to start by sharing that you have a long-term goal of managing a professional sports team. Discuss where you'd like to be in the process of achieving that goal in the next five years.

      Consider sharing smaller goals such as the success of your teams, ways you plan to grow in your career or continuing your education. These types of goal show that you are a person who seeks to develop and challenge themselves and that you have taken the time to think strategically about your career and what you want in life.

      Written by Rachelle Enns

      Entry Level

      "In five years I would like to be seen as an authority in our industry. I would like to be well-connected and trusted when it comes to my work here."

      Written by Rachelle Enns

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  • 15. Describe your ideal athletic coach, and what types of coaches you would like to see in our program.

      How to Answer

      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.

      Written by Rachelle Enns

      Entry Level

      "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."

      Written by Rachelle Enns

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  • 16. What do you envision for our athletic program, if you were hired?

      How to Answer

      An Athletic Director needs to be able to see the big picture and how the details come together. Share a realistic vision. Make sure your idea draws from experience and an understanding of the school's needs.

      Written by Rachelle Enns

      Entry Level

      "I have researched your program and am impressed with the direction you are taking the athletics at your school. I think my experience would allow me to focus on growing the intermediate level programs and expand the offering to include swimming and diving. I would also spend time getting to know the coaches and staff to ensure their ideas come to fruition."

      Written by Rachelle Enns

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  • 17. Describe your passion for sports, and how that passion will translate into this position.

      How to Answer

      The interviewer wants to know that you have a genuine passion for sports. This desire will keep you going, even on tough days where students may be acting out, or you experience multiple losses. When faced with challenges, you could lose momentum. Share how your passion will keep you going and motivate others.

      Written by Rachelle Enns

      Entry Level

      "In my youth, I participated in numerous sports including soccer, volleyball, and swimming. I competed in collegiate volleyball and became a high-school coach after graduation. I've volunteered at the Summer Olympic Games and enjoy sport and competition at any level. Rest assured, I will bring this passion with me to this role as athletic director."

      Written by Rachelle Enns

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  • 18. How do you like to be recognized for your accomplishments?

      How to Answer

      We all like to recognition for our accomplishments in the workplace. Share with the interviewer how you want appreciation for your hard work. Through gifts? Financial perks? Public recognition? Kind words? Title promotions?

      Written by Rachelle Enns

      Entry Level

      "I am a highly competitive person who is compensation driven. I like recognition for my accomplishments through monetary bonus' or contests where the stakes are high."

      Written by Rachelle Enns

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  • 19. Give me a time when you had to set an important goal in the past and tell me about your success reaching it.

      How to Answer

      Discuss something relevant to this role that shows off your strengths. Share an accomplishment that gives you a feeling of pride.

      Your goal could be a promotion or the idea that you graduated from college with honors. Share the steps you took to reach the goal and why you think you were successful.

      Written by Rachelle Enns

      Entry Level

      "The most important goal that I set for myself was to become an athletic director five years into my career. I worked very hard to make it here and studied diligently."

      Written by Rachelle Enns

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  • 20. As an athletic director, what do you believe is your best asset?

      How to Answer

      The interviewer would like to understand what you feel you do best, as an athletic director. A good answer to this question would be to share something that makes you stand out. How are you different from all of the other athletic directors they are interviewing for the role?

      Written by Rachelle Enns

      Entry Level

      "I believe my biggest asset is my ability to listen and problem solve. When you have a strong relationship with your staff, they are more willing to share with you the good and the not so good. By listening to issues, I can more quickly work towards a solution."

      Written by Rachelle Enns

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  • 21. How do you decide what gets top priority when scheduling your time?

      How to Answer

      Give the interviewer an idea of the tools you use to stay organized. You can share that you keep a calendar, make lists, set alarms on your phone. When you have multiple high priority objectives, you need to be able to explain how you dedicate your time to each one to accomplish each task efficiently.

      Written by Rachelle Enns

      Entry Level

      "Each morning, I meet with my team, and we prioritize the workload for the day. By being in communication with my staff, I can ensure that the highest priority items get tackled first and that everyone is working towards the department goal."

      Written by Rachelle Enns

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  • 22. Do you consider yourself a leader?

      How to Answer

      You should always be prepared to show the interviewer that you have a natural ability to lead others. Whether you have led a group of 500 or a team of 12, you must display to the interviewer that you are capable of handling the responsibility that comes with being a leader and mentor.

      Talk about your desire to be a leader. Share with the interviewer that you strive to be a role model for others. Explain that you jump at the opportunity to lead groups, encourage your counterparts, and be a face of the school's athletic department.

      Written by Rachelle Enns

      Entry Level

      "I do consider myself a leader. Since becoming an athletic team lead, I have hired, trained and promoted numerous members of the staff and students. My leadership style is to empower those around me so that collectively, we are a stronger and more productive team."

      Written by Rachelle Enns

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  • 23. What motivates you as an athletic director?

      How to Answer

      The interviewer would like to understand what motivates you on the job. Perhaps it is your passion for helping your students, developing new talent, or working with the community. Share with the interviewer your primary drivers.

      Written by Rachelle Enns

      Entry Level

      "Helping kids to gain confidence is all the motivation that I need. Kids who participate in athletics have higher self-esteem and a lower suicide rate. It's incredible what some exercise and camaraderie can do."

      Written by Rachelle Enns

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  • 24. What do you like about your present job?

      How to Answer

      The interviewer would like to know which aspects of the job make you happiest. Share what makes you want to go to work every day. Elements such as the team you work with or your responsibilities are good examples.

      Written by Rachelle Enns

      Entry Level

      "I love making an impact on my students. I have seen many students excel in areas of self-confidence and academics after becoming part of a flourishing athletic group."

      Written by Rachelle Enns

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  • 25. What major challenges and problems did you face at your last position?

      How to Answer

      The interviewer wants to know how you handle conflict or challenges in the workplace. Share an experience and a strategy you applied to resolve a problem in your most recent role.

      If you were working in a place that was entirely different from the athletic director role, think of a situation that applies to the types of challenges you might anticipate, such as difficulties with an employee or low attendance at sporting events.

      Written by Rachelle Enns

      Entry Level

      "The most challenging aspect of my last role was a very tight and sometimes restricting budget. Our athletic programs had to be efficient and productive without many resources. This opportunity allowed me to fine tune my budgeting skills and learn to better collaborate with all of the head coaches. It was a challenge but a great learning opportunity."

      Written by Rachelle Enns

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