I've recently been involved in a couple of interview processes as an external member of the interview panel and one thing that surprised me was the lack of preparation by some of the candidates. It was staggering. Jobs in S&C in the UK are like rocking horse poo and if you've read You're Hired you'll know it's a gun fight out there! The candidates ticked many of the technical boxes but let themselves down when it came to the simplest of questions that had very little to do with S&C but everything to do with the organisation(s) they were applying to work for.
Can you tell me what you know about [INSERT NAME OF ORGANISATION]
It's at this point you could see panic set in and tumbleweed rumble around the back of their eyes. A couple of candidates pulled out 1-2 facts but the majority just sat there with a pretty daft look on their face. They weren't able to tell us anything about the organisation, the sports they support, the research being carried out, success stories, who the boss was etc etc.
My old man taught me way back in the day that preparation for job interviews was crucial and part of that was to research the company, after all, you need to know about the organisation you are applying to work for. Unfortunately I think this is the problem. Lots of applicants just fire CV's out without really thinking about the role and organisation. They just want a job.
In the old days research took some effort, you had to make phone calls, send off for promotional material and even visit a library! Today it's simple, a quick search on Google and you should be able to find out everything you need to know, NO EXCUSES.
You may think I'm being a bit pedantic, but I'll tell you why I think it's important. If you apply for a job in performance sport and you can't be arsed to do some background research then I've got a big question mark about how much you want the job and how well you are going to prepare for your first meeting with a coach or athlete. Trust me, if you walk into a room and sit down with a coach and they say "can you tell me what you know about [INSERT NAME OF SPORT]" and you haven't got a scooby - you're done.
'Preparation is, if not the key to genius, then at least the key to sounding like a genius'. Winston Chruchill
There's no excuse for a lack of preparation. In chapter five of You're Hired I explain in detail how you can get your foot in the door and I talk about the importance of preparation in more detail and how to sound like a genius!