Preparing For Your Football Job Interview

By FirstDown PlayBook on Nov 30, 2022
Mike Singletary & FirstDown PlayBook

Football job interviews can be tricky. I have been on double digit job interviews when I was a college and NFL coach. They were all pretty intense and, yes, nerve racking. I was never fortunate enough to have one of those interviews where it was “come on in and interview. You have the job.” More often than not they were grueling all day affairs where the shirt and tie I wore was drenched from demonstrating technique and my shirt had grease pen markers on it by the end of the day.

Two Important Pieces Of Advice As You Prepare For Your Football Job Interview

There are two pieces of advice that I can absolutely give you about a football job interview. First you must absolutely prepare your rear end off for that interview. I don’t care how experienced you are or how good you thing you are, you had better have a plan. The plan will resemble something like you would have when you go into your players’ position meeting. (If you don’t plan your position meetings you probably don’t deserve the job anyway).

The second suggestion is this. You should be prepared for the interview to go 180 degrees from where you thought it was going to go. In other words, you may end up talking about, demonstrating and maybe even getting hired for something you had no idea you were there for. I once went in for an offensive job and ended up getting hired as the linebacker coach. True story.

When you are on a job interview you are being evaluated on "How' you coach as much as you are "What' you coach.

When you are on a job interview you are being evaluated on “How’ you coach as much as you are “What’ you coach. You may be interviewing for a job where the head coach knows what he wants to run. He wants to make sure you are a capable communicator. Nick Saban expressed several years ago that he wasn’t looking for coaches with ideas. He was looking for coaches that could come in and teach their system.

Your Football Job Interview Will Be More About How You Teach, Not What You Teach

So how do you prepare for a football job interview? My suggestion is to show your interviewer that you can teach. Remember that your interview committee may be the head coach, but it also might be the principal, the superintendent and the local booster from down at the bank. Yes, you can throw your video up there on the interview. Remember though, this will be the same video that was filmed from the top bleacher seats you used to teach your players. Don’t be surprised if the interview committee starts to doze off or glaze over.

Here is a suggestion and what I always did. I taught and coached them. I coached the interviewers like they were in my meeting room. The interviewers saw play diagrams (done on FirstDown PlayBook of course). I engaged the interviewer like I would my players. They were up out of their chairs as I demonstrated a wrong arm technique on them. It was a full contact meeting. At the end of the day, it was not an interview. It was a meeting. I wanted them to experience how I taught.

FirstDown PlayBook Can Help You Stand Out In Your Football Job Interview

When you are on a job interview you are being evaluated on "How' you coach as much as you are "What' you coach.

I got hired after most of those football job interviews. Not because I was the smartest coach they interviewed. Not because I drew up the latest greatest RPO. I normally got hired because I could communicate and sell whatever I was teaching. Here is where the connect comes in. I have always thought that coaches are teachers. FirstDown PlayBook was born from this concept. Sometimes you have to prove you are a teacher to an interview committee before you get a chance to teach the players.

Regardless of if you are along time FirstDown PlayBook coach or have never used it, we can help you on a job interview. FirstDown PlayBook can help you organize your ideas for your coaching job interview. You will have the advantage of using NFL technology at a high school price too. Promise you this. If you go into your job interview prepared with FirstDown PlayBook you will be in the hunt. Heck, they might even hire you on the opposite side of the ball.

Rich Mannello