Head Coach Interview Questions

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I have interviewed for a few head coach positions in my career. The interview process can be a little overwhelming. Often times you are sitting in a room being interviewed by a panel of people that can range from 2 to 10 or more! All of these people asking questions have a different agenda and want to hear specific answers to make them happy.  These are typically the types of people you might have on a panel:

  • Parent that wants to hear you talk about how you will make their child’s life better.
  • Administrator that wants to know how you are going to positively reflect the school.
  • Vice Principal that wants to know how you will support academics.
  • Athletic Director wants to make sure they make the right hire and you will be someone they can work with.
  • Other Sport Coach wants to make sure you don’t consider football to be the end all be all of the school.
  • Booster Member that wants to know how you will work with them and help raise money.
  • Influential Alumnus that wants to make sure you will bring (or keep) the football program at a level of dominance.

These are obviously only a few of the possible people that might be on the panel, and they are also a generalization of what you might see.

There is not usually a “right” answer to any of the questions. What works for one interview is not necessarily the right answer for a different one. My only advice is to plan out your answers to each question. Do not try to answer the question to get the answer “right”, instead, use the questions to make sure that your Coaching Plan is detailed, organized and covers all possible answers. Be genuine, because if you get the job, you will have to prove these answers to be true.

The first thing I will do is direct you to the Eight Laces website. Coach Chris Fore provides detailed articles, books and consulting services on the proper way to answer these questions below. I cannot recommend his services enough!

These questions are culled from many different sources. Some are from personal experience and some are taken from the experiences of others. I want this list to be exhaustive, so if you have any questions that are not on here, please let me know and I will add them to the list!

Visit our shop to see the templates that can help you save time and create professional looking playbooks to keep your players attention, or to get that job you want!

Football X&O’s Shop

  • What is something that you do to keep players eligible?
  • Do you implement peer tutoring with members of the team?
  • Do you monitor the players grades?
  • How do you get players to improve grades?
  • What plans do you have for study halls?
  • Will players be allowed to attend extra help after school?
  • What do you think is important in working with the Administration?
  • What do you see as the role of the administration in athletics?
  • How should the booster club be organized?
  • What is your involvement with the booster club?
  • Who should be in charge of the booster club?
  • What are some of the fundraising events you have done?
  • How much will you need to operate your program?
  • How will you raise funds to operate your program?
  • How do you get the community involved in football?
  • How are you going to make a different on campus?
  • How do you deal with criticism from fans?
  • How do you get the faculty involved in football?
  • How do you get the players involved in the community?
  • How do you handle the media?
  • How will you get people to attend our games?
  • How will you increase football participation at our school?
  • Is social media a resource that you use to engage with your players and the community?
  • What community service activities do you plan to involve yourself with?
  • What is the head coach’s role and responsibility in the community?
  • What is your experience working with Youth programs?
  • What is your social media policy?
  • Why will students want to come to your games?
  • How do you handle disciplinary cases?
  • How do you handle disrespectful athletes?
  • How do you handle individual player discipline?
  • How do you handle team discipline?
  • How do you prevent lawsuits?
  • If a player misses a practice, what is the punishment?
  • What is your philosophy of discipline and what methods do you use to achieve it?
  • What is your policy on foul language?
  • You learn of a party being planned following an upcoming game, how would you handle the situation?
  • What is your offensive philosophy?
  • How do you handle special teams at practice?
  • How do you make your defensive system work?
  • How do you make your offensive system work?
  • How do you win football games?
  • How long will practice be?
  • How will you transition your offense and defense systems into ones that our kids are running now and understand?
  • If time and money were not concerns, what would you do to make us State Champions?
  • Take us through a typical practice week.
  • Take us through a typical Tuesday practice.
  • What are the overall defensive skills that a great defense needs to have?
  • What are the things that a great defense must do?
  • What is your defensive philosophy?
  • What is your practice philosophy?
  • What is your primary concern when developing your offense and defense?
  • What skills do [position] need to develop?
  • What system are you going to use on offense and defense?
  • What time will you start and dismiss practice?
  • Will you bring in your systems for offense and defense and expect players to adapt or will you base what you do on offense and defense upon the talent you have available?
  • Would you be willing to attend football clinics?
  • You have been a defensive coordinator. How will you handle the offensive side of the ball?
  • You have been a offensive coordinator. How will you handle the defensive side of the ball?
  • Tell us about your strengths.
  • Body language is interpreted by parents and fans, what is your body language like?
  • How do you coach? What is your style of coaching?
  • How do you handle equipment?
  • If offered the position, are you prepared to accept now?
  • If you are not hired as the head coach, would you want to be on the staff?
  • In what area do you believe you could grow professionally?
  • Our last head coach was loved by the whole school system and we didn’t want to see him go. Our next head coach will have to follow in his steps. In one sentence, tell us why you will or won’t be that coach 10 years from now?
  • Tell us about your weaknesses.
  • Tell us about yourself and why you are a coach.
  • We have 10 candidates for this job, what makes you stand out?
  • We want you to live in our district. Would you move here?
  • What are two mistakes you made in your coaching career?
  • What are your long term goals?
  • What are your thoughts on multi-sport athletes?
  • What compensation do you expect?
  • What do you know about the school district?
  • What does your family think of you being a head coach?
  • What makes you different than everyone else we will talk to?
  • What would be different about the way our program is currently run?
  • What would you say at your first team meeting?
  • Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
  • Who is the best coach you have ever coached with? Why?
  • Who is the best coach you have ever played for? Why?
  • Why are you no longer at your previous position?
  • Why are you the right person for the job?
  • Why do you want this job in particular?
  • You were on a staff here that wasn’t successful enough. Why? What will you do to change it?
  • Describe how your off-season program works?
  • How do you plan to increase off-season attendance?
  • How does your weight room philosophy deal with multi-sport athletes?
  • What are your thoughts on off-season attendance?
  • What will you do to gain parental trust?
  • Dealing with parents is a major factor that comes with coaching today’s high school athlete, what is your philosophy on fielding complaints, phone calls, emails, etc from disgruntled parents?
  • How do you handle helicopter parents?
  • How do you handle issues with parents?
  • How do you handle parents asking about playing time?
  • How do you respond to the parent that thinks football is too much of a time commitment?
  • How would you handle a parent that threatens you physically?
  • What should the parents roles be with the football team? How do you communicate this to them?
  • What word would parents use to describe you?
  • When do you contact parents regarding their players?
  • How does your faith impact your football philosophy?
  • How do you value losing?
  • How do you value wining?
  • Is winning the most important thing?
  • There is a possibility that you will be 0-18 over the next two years. How will you deal with that?
  • What are your team rules?What is your coaching philosophy?
  • What is your definition of leadership?
  • What is your philosophy on life?
  • What is your philosophy on playing time for each level of the program?
  • What is your program philosophy?
  • What makes your program different from everyone else?
  • Do you do anything sepcial for Seniors?
  • Are you a visual teacher or audio teacher?
  • Do you have a plan if a female student wants to come out for football?
  • How are captains chosen?
  • How do you communicate with your athletes?
  • How do you discuss playing time with a player?
  • How do you evaluate players?
  • How do you handle players who criticize, complain, degrade, or use foul or abusive language, or have trouble with teammates or being part of the team concept?
  • How do you handle the trainer and injuries?
  • How do you motivate your athletes?
  • How do you see yourself handling injuries, especially concussions?
  • How would you develop the football players at all levels of the program?
  • How would you purposefully go about developing players on and off the field?
  • If a player is openly badmouthing the coaching decisions that you have made, how do you handle it?
  • Since you do not have a faculty position in the school, how will that affect your relationship with the players?
  • What are some team building activities that you do?
  • What are the most important criteria you look for in a player?
  • What do you do for your players as far as college recruiting help?
  • What do you need to know about your players to be successful?
  • What should the top priorities of a high school athlete be?
  • What will you do to gain the players trust?
  • What word would players use to describe you?
  • Why will kids want to play at your school, in your program?
  • How do you develop your staff?
  • Assistant coaches are important. What attributes of an assistant coach are most important to you, and why?
  • How much do you plan to delegate in your program?
  • How will you handle your football coaching staff assignments and organize your staff among the teams we promote? (9th, JV, Varsity)
  • Ideally, how many assistants would you like to have?
  • We are working hard to develop a staff that trusts each other, how would you develop relationships with the coaches/teachers in your building?
  • What do you do about game film?
  • What is your philosophy on hiring assistant coaches?
  • What is your philosophy on staff development?
  • What is your plan for hiring assistants?
  • What kind of staff will you put together, who will you bring with you?
  • What qualities do you seek in assistant coaches, and how will they be handled?
  • What word would your former staff use to describe you?
  • Will you have student trainers / managers?
By | 2018-02-06T14:09:10-05:00 February 6th, 2018|Categories: Coaching, Featured|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

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