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30 Questions and Answers by Rachelle Enns

Updated November 11th, 2019 | Rachelle is a job search expert, career coach, and headhunter
who helps everyone from students to fortune executives find success in their career.
Question 1 of 30
As a coach, what values do you have for your team?
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How to Answer
The interviewer wants to get to know how you are as a leader- what is important to you. As a coach you are the leader of that team and depending what you value will reflect on the team. Do you care about timing? If you arrive five minutes late everyday, your players are going to the same thing and it shows you don't value time.

Don't list off a ton of values that are important to you while answering this question. Pick two or three values that you believe are important to you as a coach and explain why. You don't need to talk about everything that is important to you.
30 Coach Interview Questions
Win your next job by practicing from our question bank. We have thousands of questions and answers created by interview experts.
  1. As a coach, what values do you have for your team?
  2. What was your most successful team you have been a part of? Why was it successful?
  3. What is the most rewarding part of being a coach?
  4. If we asked one of your players to describe you and your qualities as a coach what sort of things would they say about you?
  5. How long have you been coaching for?
  6. Your previous coaching record does not show many successes. Why do you think we should appoint you?
  7. Our team finished top four last year, what would be your approach to improving the teams ranking this year?
  8. Is there any further specific training you see yourself requiring to meet the needs of this position?
  9. How do you know as a coach if you are doing an effective job, what are your measures?
  10. Have you experienced coaching a team who have struggled to perform? How have you resolved the problem?
  11. How do you know when you have delivered a coaching session that is of high quality?
  12. Why do you want to coach here?
  13. If a player openly badmouths your coaching decisions, how will you handle the situation?
  14. How will you handle an irate parent questioning a player's playing time?
  15. How will you generate community interest for the program?
  16. What is your off-season conditioning program like?
  17. How do you build trust with your athletes?
  18. How do you handle criticism from fans?
  19. What does your bench look like during games?
  20. How do you communicate your expectations to parents/guardians?
  21. As a coach, how would you develop trust with teachers?
  22. How do you manage playing time?
  23. What is one of the most important qualities to have as a coach?
  24. What does a typical day at practice look like for you?
  25. What is the most difficult part of being a coach?
  26. Why did you choose to become a coach?
  27. In fifteen years, what team do you see yourself coaching?
  28. How important is winning compared to how your students are doing in the classroom?
  29. Thinking about a challenging team you've been apart of, what was difficult about the team and how did you improve it?
  30. Do you have any other experience coaching, besides this sport?
15 Coach Answer Examples
1.
As a coach, what values do you have for your team?
The interviewer wants to get to know how you are as a leader- what is important to you. As a coach you are the leader of that team and depending what you value will reflect on the team. Do you care about timing? If you arrive five minutes late everyday, your players are going to the same thing and it shows you don't value time.

Don't list off a ton of values that are important to you while answering this question. Pick two or three values that you believe are important to you as a coach and explain why. You don't need to talk about everything that is important to you.

Rachelle's Answer
"My top two values for my team to have are being committed and teachable. I want my players to show up everyday on time and ready for practice- showing up is a huge part of commitment for me. It shows that they want to be part of the team. I'll also show my commit to the team by always be there early and ready to start on time. I also believe being teachable is an important factor in playing sports. If a player isn't willing to try something new, they won't be able to grow with the team."
2.
What was your most successful team you have been a part of? Why was it successful?
This question isn't meant to scare you if you don't have many winning records. You can use a team that you came in first and talk about how you lead the team to victory, but it is not the only way to approach this question.

Success comes in many different forms, you can talk about a player that struggled at the beginning of the season to be part of the team and by the end he/she ended up being an important leader. You should think of a team that you were proud of by the end of the season (we are proud of all our teams, but one that really stuck out). When you are passionate about the team you pick, you'll be able to bring more engagement to your answer.

Rachelle's Answer
"The most successful team I was apart of was when I first started coaching club season. It was the first club for me as well as my girls., most of the girls came from many different schools and didn't know what to expect. All were still learning basic skills while trying to get to know each other, so they could be prepared to play together for the next six months. Club is much more challenging than I expected, because we all only saw each other once a week for practice, they weren't able to get to know each other very well. During practice and game days, I set aside time for team bonding time. During those team bonding times I watched the girls connect on a deeper level, which improved our playing on the court. We did not end in top four for the season, but they improved on the court with their skills and working together so much by the end of the season- that is what success is to me. Being able to see the positive change in the players."
3.
What is the most rewarding part of being a coach?
The interviewer wants to know what keeps you going, what part of coaching keeps you coming back season after season. You don't need a huge elaborate answer for this question, you just have to find what drives you.

It could be the thrill of the game when you have one minute left and your team is down by one or the look on your player's face when they get a touch down. Most of you already know what keeps you going; take time to thing about it prior to your interview, because the interviewer will want to know what will keep you going with their team.

Rachelle's Answer
"I love the look on the teams' faces each time they score a well deserved point. It's seeing them working hard together and earning each point they get. They realize their true potential when they work as a team and everyone is doing their part."
4.
If we asked one of your players to describe you and your qualities as a coach what sort of things would they say about you?
The interviewer wants you to put yourself one of your player's shoes, if you haven't done this before you should considering doing it. It helps coaching understand how their message is coming across. For this question think about a few qualities you want to have as a coach and then think if you believe your players would see you that way, if yes explain why to the interviewer- if not it would be best to pick another quality.

There is no right answer for this question as long as you back up your answer with why you believe your players would describe you with those qualities.

Rachelle's Answer
"I believe the my players would describe me as honest and patient. I am very honest with my players on what they need to work on and what they need to change to get there. I had a player once who had incredible talent but she didn't practice as hard because she believed she was already the best player on the team. I had a conversation with about this and explain how much further she could go as an athlete if she put in the time. Another quality would be patient because I will always take the time to help a player is isn't grasping a concept."
5.
How long have you been coaching for?
The interviewer wants to know how many years of experience you have. For young coaches this can be an intimidating question; no matter how many years you have show the interviewer your passion for the sport.

This question is meant to scare young coaches away, this question can spark a conversation about this new journey you are on or for older coaches a conversation about what you've learned over the years.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I have been coaching for two years, over these two short years I have discovered the positive impact I can have on athletes and I am looking forward to continuing that impact."
Cassandra's Answer #2
"I have been coaching for fifteen years and every season brings a new set of players with different challenges and curiosity for the game. Each season ignites my passion for the game."
6.
Your previous coaching record does not show many successes. Why do you think we should appoint you?
Generally, not every season is going to be a winning season, but it is alarming when a coach's record shows a lot of losses. Don't be alarmed by this question during an interview, the interviewer is going to do their research too, so it is better to be up front and honest with your record.

For this answer try to focus too much on what went wrong or putting blame on other people. The interviewer mainly wants to know how you plan to do better.

Rachelle's Answer
"My record does show quite a few losses, the team I coached with was brand new to sport. This is not an excuse, but for the first part of the season we were very focused on the basic skill of the game and working together as a whole. Towards the end of the season you are able to see we won a few games. I believe you should appoint me as head coach because I will not give up on the team and my focus is always on getting the players to improve."
7.
Our team finished top four last year, what would be your approach to improving the teams ranking this year?
The interviewer wants to know that you are here to improve team- this doesn't always have to be focused on winning, but part of what we do is to help our players succeed at the sport.

Being new to a team that is coming off a winning season isn't always easy, there will be push back against changing an approach that has been working. Players and parents can be resistant at first and important to remember that any frustrations come from a place of passion.

Rachelle's Answer
"Last season the team did a great job and I hope to continue that record for this coming season. I continue to learn new drills for improving skills on the court. I also believe in open and honest communication, so I like sitting down with my players and discussing what has made they successful in the best and what hasn't. Sometimes with team sports the individual athlete is forgotten about and how the majority of the team thrives is what over rules other needs, one of my strategies I use to improve season by season is looking at all individual needs and team needs and focus on fostering success."
8.
Is there any further specific training you see yourself requiring to meet the needs of this position?
All coaching positions required generally require First Aid and CPR, so if you don't have that will be a training that you'll need prior to coaching. This certification expires every two years, so it important to keep it up to date- sometimes schools will train you to get this done.

Look into the requirements that the school has for coaching and if there is something you need knowledge that during the interview- this will show the interviewer you are educated with their requirements and are also on top of your trainings. Also, if there is any future training that you would like to attend this would be a great time to mention it.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I notice CPR and First Aid are a required, I currently am certified, but half way through the season I will need to re-certify. Re-certifying isn't an issue, but I wanted you to be aware."
Cassandra's Answer #2
"I believe I have all the required trainings for this position, but there is a summer lacrosse coaching seminar coming up that I am hoping to attend to bring new drills back to the team."
9.
How do you know as a coach if you are doing an effective job, what are your measures?
The interviewer wants to know what drives you as a coach. Think about how the school measures the success of their coaches, your answer may be based on the school's record and their core values for their sports teams- if the school has a strong winning record for the past five years, they will want to hear that you plan to continue that.

At the end of the day, coaches are more than just their winning or losing track record; coaches improve athletes on and off the court.

Rachelle's Answer
"It is a great feeling to end a game with a win, but it is just as great to see my players having fun and giving the game their all. I want my players to be challenged and earn every single point they get. I measure my effectiveness as a coach on how much my players have grown as players during their time with me."
10.
Have you experienced coaching a team who have struggled to perform? How have you resolved the problem?
The interviewer wants to know more about the different methods you use when the team isn't performing as well as you'd hope. Do you focus more on team drills, individual drills, conditioning? More importantly the interviewer wants to know that you'll be able to problem solve the difficulties that your team is faced with.

Sometimes players aren't doing well next to each other and they just need to be moved around, sometimes problems are bigger than a simple which. When answering this question you should talk about a time you problem solved an issue with a team.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I had two twin sisters on a team together at one point and they played horribly next to each other because they weren't always focused on the game. I was able to switch the line up around and both players and the team were able to perform better."
Cassandra's Answer #2
"When a team of mine is struggling, I take a step back and look at how each player is doing with the team as a whole. Sometimes it is just a player not understanding where they should be which throws off others players, but sometimes it's something bigger like I'm not explaining something the way they can understand. When looking at a problem I look at it as whole so I know where in the process that something is going wrong."
11.
How do you know when you have delivered a coaching session that is of high quality?
The interviewer is interested in how you measure the success of your season. Do you measure the season with your wins, your losses, how your players have improved? However you measure your success as a coach be ready to back it up.

You can tie this answer in with the school's mission as well, make sure and do your research prior to the interview.

Rachelle's Answer
"I know I have delivered a session of coaching that is high quality when my players have improved as individuals and as a team. Constantly winning would be great, but that doesn't always happen and as a coaches we need to remember that our players are human and things don't always work out the way we hope."
12.
Why do you want to coach here?
The interviewer wants to know you've done some research about their school prior to the interviewer. It's important to know what you're getting into when applying to different schools. Research a little history about the school, their sports programs, and what they value.

You don't have to know the full history of the school, but you should know a few things that interest you about the school.

Rachelle's Answer
"I have looked into your core values here- respect and pride. I believe is important for each student to learn what respect is and how to give it. Pride in your school and teams is also important- it gives students something to be passionate for."
13.
If a player openly badmouths your coaching decisions, how will you handle the situation?
The interviewer wants to know how you handle conflict with players. The interviewer wants to hear about different ways you deal with players and if those ways are appropriate. One of the best ways to handle the situation is to pull the player aside and have a private conversation.

Depending on the situation you may have to have a team decision, so for this question you may want to pick a situation where you had to deal with this and explain what you did to handle it.

Rachelle's Answer
"I once had a player who during practice was talking how they didn't think the drill I was running was helpful. I pulled the player aside afterwards to hear their opinion why they thought what they thought- there was a deeper issue that the player was dealing with and we discuss proper ways that she should work on frustrations."
14.
How will you handle an irate parent questioning a player's playing time?
No matter what level of sport you coach there will always be back leash with playing time. It is nearly impossible to create a completely equal set up. It can be tricky at the high school level because parents approach a lot of coaches right after a game about playing time because they are generally not at practice.

When approaching parents it is important to remain calm and collected or the situation may heighten with feelings of angry. A common solution to dealing with an angry parent is to have a private conversation with the parent and player- this will keep everyone on the same page. It is the preference of the coach whether or not they want to have the conversation with the parent right away or set up a meeting.

Rachelle's Answer
"After a game when a parent approaches me that is clearly upset and is concerned about playing time, I generally ask them to set up a meeting with the player and myself for after practice. I like letting after one cool down prior to having the conversations because I believe it makes everyone more level-headed."
15.
How will you generate community interest for the program?
Most sports at the high school leave need funding to continue to support the team. Many coaches have fundraisers in many different ways to sport their teams- bake sales, car washes, candle drives, and many more. Through these fundraisers you'll need community support for your team or else they won't generally want to support the fundraiser.

The interviewer wants to know that you'll continue generating sport so that the program will continue and thrive. You can talk about different ways you've reach out to the community on past teams you've coached or on teams you've been on. Be creative and come up with something new to peak the interviewer's interest.

Rachelle's Answer
"I always have my teams volunteer at least once during our season- we've gone to soup kitchens before, cleaned up trash, volunteered in a nursing home, etc. I believe the best way to generate community interest for a program is to show that we have interest in community as well. I also believe that volunteering and helping others is a great lesson to teach our athletes."
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