Many of us have had some sort of experience with a coach in our personal life, whether as a gymnast, volleyball player, or baseball little leaguer. As a former high school athlete, I fondly remember my football head coach, who enthusiastically challenged me and my fellow teammates to work together as a team, study our playbooks and work diligently on the practice field so that we could outperform our opponents at game time.
Any candidate can read and regurgitate the company's About page. So, when interviewers ask this, they aren't necessarily trying to gauge whether you understand the mission-they want to know whether you care about it. Start with one line that shows you understand the company's goals, using a couple key words and phrases from the website, but then go on to make it personal. Say, I'm personally drawn to this mission because or I really believe in this approach because…" and share a personal example or two.
The practice of coaching, however, transcends the traditional relationship of an athlete in a sports arena. Today, with increasing popularity, coaches are being utilized for professional as well as personal purposes. Life coaches, health coaches, business coaches and dating coaches are just a few of the various types of coaches currently used in the professional and personal arenas.
Again, companies want to hire people who are passionate about the job, so you should have a great answer about why you want the position. And if you don't? You probably should apply elsewhere. First, identify a couple of key factors that make the role a great fit for you (e.g., I love coaching because I love the constant human interaction and the satisfaction that comes from helping someone solve a problem, then share why you love the company e.g., I've always been passionate about education, and I think you guys are doing great things, so I want to be a part of it.
Depending on what's more important for the the role, you'll want to choose an example that showcases your project management skills spearheading a project from end to end, juggling multiple moving parts or one that shows your ability to confidently and effectively rally a team.
Remember: "The best stories include enough detail to be believable and memorable, Show how you were a leader in this situation and how it represents your overall leadership experience and potential.
Choose an answer that shows that you can meet a stressful situation head-on in a productive, positive manner and let nothing stop you from accomplishing your goals, says McKee. A great approach is to talk through your go-to stress-reduction tactics making the world's greatest to-do list, stopping to take 10 deep breaths, and then share an example of a stressful situation you navigated with ease.
Don't be thrown off by this question-just take a deep breath and explain to the hiring manager why you've made the career decisions you have. More importantly, give a few examples of how your past experience is transferable to the new role. This doesn't have to be a direct connection; in fact, it's often more impressive when a candidate can make seemingly irrelevant experience seem very relevant to the role.
The best managers are strong but flexible, and that's exactly what you want to show off in your answer. (Think something like, "While every situation and every team member requires a bit of a different strategy, I tend to approach my employee relationships as a coach...") Then, share a couple of your best managerial moments, like when you grew your team from five to 15 or coached an under-performing employee to become the company's top salesperson.
This question seems forward (not to mention intimidating!), but if you're asked it, you're in luck.
There's no better setup for you to sell yourself and your skills to the hiring manager. Your job here is to craft an answer that covers three things, That you can not only do the work, you can deliver great results. That you'll really fit in with the team and culture; and that you'd be a better hire than any of the other candidates.
Suppose if you get the admittedly much tougher follow-up question as to why you were let go and the truth isn't exactly pretty, your best bet is to be honest (the job-seeking world is small, after all. But it doesn't have to be a deal-breaker. Share how you've grown and how you approach your job and life now as a result. If you can position the learning experience as an advantage for this next job, even better.