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Taking Charge Of The Interview Process

Jim McLoughlin


The bad news is that due to inexperience many job applicants are not comfortable taking the initiative through the interview process. They are not used to talking about themselves nor of their value to others. Accordingly, they generally pay a price for this shortcoming.


However, the good news is that this is a correctable situation. Interviewing can be a stress-free process that candidates can learn to control from start to finish.


There are two separate approaches to quality-controlling an interview:

  1. Today's preferred approach:  A tension-free collaborative tour of the golf course with members of the search committee & proceeding from there. (See the June 26th blog for more on this subject).
  1. The traditional approach associated with the long-standing routine interview process, the component parts of which are:

a.   Candidate requests an on-course tour briefing with the outgoing superintendent to get an inside picture of what the course status is at the time.


b.   Candidate reviews/digests the information contained in the documentation requested in his/her cover letter. (See July 2nd blog.)


c.   After completing all due diligence as profiled above, candidate prepares and submits a definitive plan of action well in advance of scheduled interview date. (See August 14th blog.)


d.   Candidate should ask (when notified of an interview date) how long the interview is scheduled to last so he/she can plan accordingly.


e.   Within a matrix format: (i) candidate lists the +/- 10 questions that he/she thinks the Search Committee is likely to ask and prepares answers accordingly; then, crosses the questions off the matrix as each is asked and answered during the interview; and (ii) candidate lists the questions he/she would like to ask and have answered by the search committee; then, when appropriate, candidate asks the committee for permission to ask his own questions; and then crosses these questions off as each is asked and answered.


This should leave all anticipated questions from both parties asked and answered. Preparation has been rewarded through diligent planning.


Following one or both of the above interview scenarios virtually assures that search committees will see candidates in their best possible light... a rare occurrence throughout the interview world.


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