Interviewing Lessons from the NFL

Although I’m admittedly not much a football fan, I’ve been captivated like a lot of people by the unusual drama taking place within the NFL playoffs this year.  In fact, as I type this, I’m sitting here watching the Indianapolis Colts put the finishing touches on the New York Jets — which is too bad, since the Jets are unquestionably the “Cinderella” team of the season.  Luckily, though, there’s another exciting game coming up shortly, where millions of people will tune in to see whether the grizzled 40-year-old veteran, Brett Favre, can lead his team to the Super Bowl over the New Orleans Saints.  Alas, if only the Seahawks were still in the running….

In the meantime, since I’m in a sports-related frame of mind at the moment, I thought I’d pass along a New York Times article that a client of mine was kind enough to e-mail to me earlier today.  This article outlines the interviewing process Rex Ryan went through a year ago to land his role as head coach of the New York Jets.  You’ll find the article here and I’d strongly encourage you to read it, since it not only is pretty amusing, but also provides a refreshing illustration of a case where “substance” was able to trump “style” in the interviewing process.  As you’ll read, Coach Ryan didn’t necessarily make the best first impression by showing up late for the interview, or by dumping soda all over himself, but when he started to talk about his leadership philosophy and his incredibly clear and positive vision for the team’s future, the powers-that-be knew they had their man!

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One Response to “Interviewing Lessons from the NFL”

  1. I thought the “wow” factor by Coach Ryan is that he showed up with a 60 page plan. That’s right, 60 pages written by a football coach!

    I think the lesson learned here is that when interviewing, be prepared like Coach Ryan. You might not be asked for that much information, but if you don’t have a strong, substantial answer to “what is your 90 day plan for this position,” you better! I really think this type of strategy for interviewing is catching on.

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