Applying To College

College Essay Writing and Interview Skills


Interview Tips: How to Interview with a College Sports Coach

How to interview with a college sports coach from Sharon Epstein and First Impressions College ConsultingDo you plan to play sports at college? Then plan to do your homework. Whether you’re being recruited, or seeking out programs of interest, it’s important to find a school that fits you both athletically and academically.

That’s what Jenn Osher has done. She’s headed to Bard College this fall to play Division III soccer, after helping her Stamford, Connecticut Westhill High School soccer team win the Class LL state championship. Jenn says “always ask where the sports program is headed. “Bard’s program is getting better, and that was important to me.” Jenn also stresses that you should “make sure you like the people who will be on your team. If you don’t like them, you won’t want to play.

How Do You Check Out College Athletics Programs?

  1. Read the info on each school’s website
  2. Visit whenever you can
  3. Talk to the students playing your sport
  4. Contact the coach and schedule a phone or in-person interview

Here Are Tips for Interviewing with a College Sports Coach:

  1. Be on time
  2. Bring your resume, highlight reel, and scrapbook, or send them in advance
  3. Know the coach’s name
  4. Be enthusiastic
  5. Talk about your accomplishments without bragging
  6.  Say what you’ll bring to the team as an athlete and team player, as well as to the college as a whole.
  7. *This is the time to find out if the program is right for you, so have questions ready for the coach

Questions to Ask a College Sports Coach:

  1. How will I fit in on the team?
  2. How would you describe your coaching style?
  3. Where is your program headed in the next four years?
  4. If you’re making big changes in your program, will there be a place for me?
  5. How do athletes balance academics and athletics?
  6. What are the best features of your school?
  7. How will you help me become the best player I can be?
  8. Do your school and students support the program?
  9. Does the team have any travel opportunities during the year or during the summer?
  10. Why should I pick your program?
  11. How does the admission process work and do student athletes get any preference?
  12.  How is the training staff at your school?
  13.  Is there a strength and conditioning coach who will help me become a better athlete?
  14.  How would you describe the overall attitude of the team?
  15. Can you arrange for me to meet other players?

Questions a College Sports Coach Might Ask You:

  1. What fields of study are you interested in?
  2. What are the things that you are looking for most in a school?
  3. What are you most interested in about our school?
  4. What types of grades are you getting now?
  5. How do you see yourself fitting in here?
  6. What extracurricular activities are you involved in?
  7. What do you think about your high school coach?

Follow up right away with a thank you note. Email is fine, and a snail mail follow-up won’t hurt, either.

Want more questions to ask a college coach? Check out this post from
What questions should I ask college football coaches or basketball coaches on phone calls?

If you want to play sports at college you’ll need to work hard to find a school that fits you both athletically and academically. But the rewards will be worth it — both on and off the field.

Sharon Epstein is a Writers Guild Award-winner and two-time Emmy Award nominee, teaching students around the world how to master interview skills, write stand-out resumes, and transform their goals, dreams and experiences into memorable college application essays. She works with students everywhere: in-person, by phone, FaceTime, Skype and email. Visit my website for more info. Connect on Google+, Pinterest and Twitter.