All for sports!

Interviewing Director of Coaching Candidates

So, you’re part of the process to select your new Director of Coaching (DOC).  Start by creating the most professional environment for your candidates. This will showcase the commitment to the DOC position and can have a long lasting impact on your program.

Next, be prepared for the interview. I have been part of interviews where committee members remain for the entire interview for the questions and answers and I have also experienced settings where volunteer board members have one on one time with each candidate. In either scenario, the end result should be the same – get to know the candidates as much as possible to find the right fit for your soccer organization.

Below are a few starter questions, which can be shared with members of the interview committee before the process begins.

Interviewing the DOC: A list of potential questions

  1. What qualities and attributes make an effective DOC?
  2. Describe your most challenging encounter with a coach and the end result.
  3. Based upon what you know about XYZ Soccer, what role should the DOC play and what experiences can you bring to help us elevate the program across the spectrum from player development to coach development to parent education?
  4. Describe for us the opening orientation session you will create for the fall season for our volunteer coaches. What should they gain from the session, and what do you hope they will learn about you as their new DOC?
  5. If you had a U12 Boys team that has issues with player attention and commitment, how would you change the culture of the team and what activities would you share with the coach to improve the quality of soccer specific instruction?
  6. What is your experience with player evaluations throughout the year?
  7. How would you explain to our volunteer coaches how to create effective practice plans? Which components would you stress the most?
  8. What experience have you had recruiting parents to coach? How will you assist them in delivering soccer education at an adequate level for our players?
  9. In curriculum development, what methods would you implement in the training sessions of our players to ensure players are developing accordingly?
  10. If all our DOC candidates are identical in background and in skill, share with us what “value added” abilities you can bring to XYZ Soccer.
  11. The topic for the training session is utilizing the outside midfielders on attack. Describe to us what the training session would look like from start to finish for a U12 B Level Girls Team.

The key for all of the conducted interviews is consistency. Consistency in the members of the interview teams and the questions asked (of course, there will always be room for follow up questions) create the most level interview process for the DOC candidates.

I like the idea of a rating sheet to be collected after each interview by the head/chair of the search. A quick five point scale from 1= Poor to 5 = Excellent on categories that fit what the soccer organization is looking for in a DOC (examples of ranking areas: Education, Coaching Licensures, Experience/Background, Technical Skills). Or another way to assess or rank the candidates may also be by scoring each question asked using the same scale 1= Poor to 5 = Excellent.