What Gene Hackman Wants You to Know About Interviewing


The Fundamentals of Interviewing – and Basketball?

My favorite movie, of all time, is Hoosiers. I’ve probably seen it as many times as Michael Jordan’s high scoring game (around 70, I believe!) It likely has to do with some personal associations to that movie, for me, especially that I was a high school basketball player back in the day when the movie came out!  


(If you haven’t seen it, and you like a classic feel good triumph movie, you’ll like it! 
And as job seekers, who couldn’t use a little inspiration, right?)
and (Yup! That’s me, HA!)

Gene Hackman plays the tough old-school coach, that whips a bunch of unruly players full of raw talent into (spoiler alert!) State Champion winning shape (sorry, but when I said it was feel good and inspirational, you already KNEW they were gonna win, right?) 

The players (and local towns folk) are frustrated at first, though, because Coach INSISTS they focus on the fundamentals of basketball first and foremost – over and above practicing actually SHOOTING BASKETS. Without these basics mastered, he knows, they don’t really have mastery over the entire game. 

They must practice the basics first: dribbling (ball handling), and passing, along with plain old cardio & conditioning, so they can do the fundamentals naturally and automatically well, and, that they have the strength to go the extra mile in a tough game, or into overtime, and succeed. THOSE THINGS enable them to, in time, run plays, and, shoot the baskets that ultimately do win the game.

In interviewing, these basics, the fundamentals you must master to be successful in the interview, are maybe not what you think they might be.

These basics aren’t the little things you may be thinking about, like being on time, smiling, making eye contact or body language (though sure, those are great, even important, to do, too.)

It’s not even mastering your nerves (though that helps, just like it does on the court!)

The fundamentals of interviewing are this:

1) SHOW, don’t TELL them about your skills and career wins (this is why I call my interview coaching offers “Prove YOU in the Interview) – demonstrating HOW you’ve *actually done* what your resume SAYS you know how to do is MUCH more convincing than just TELLING them “I have XYZ skills”. Illustrate it. Show them, with a real past work life example.

2) Knowing, and using, a simple, clear, and concise way to *structure* your answers so you don’t get lost and go on too long in trying to tell you story, discern which details to include, or not on the spot (which I may add is why practice really, really helps)

This structure also makes sure you tell the most important part of the story, too (any guesses what that might be?)  HINT: it’s almost akin to scoring a basket in my sports analogy here… it’s how you rack up “points” during your interview, the most MEMORABLE moments of the “game”

I go over all the details and make sure you have some real PRACTICE TIME “out on the floor” in all my interview coaching sessions. And to throw in a mixed sports metaphor, switching to baseball here, I always say in my coaching calls, that the practice, the interview preparation means your hitting will then be pretty consistent, so that one curve ball thrown at you for which you are NOT prepared, if you swing and miss, it doesn’t throw the whole game for you. (Sorry, I’ve never really thought of a basketball metaphor for that!)

So let’s hit the court! Reach out anytime for more info. I promise the only laps you’ll have to run are in your mind, thinking through and practicing  your answers, no actually running involved!