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Making the Right First Impression on a Job Interview – Work in Sports Podcast e070
6th April 2018 • The Work in Sports Podcast - Insider Advice for Sports Careers • Brian Clapp - Work in Sports
00:00:00 00:17:35

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Seven seconds - that's how long it takes for someone to determine how they fit with you. On a job interview, that's your magic window where they decide no or potential yes. How do you nail that moment? Pretty easy actually. Hi everybody – I’m Brian Clapp Director of Content for and this is the work in sports podcast. It’s Friday – the Masters is going on, Villanova won the NCAA championship, Conor McGregor just attacked a bus of UFC fighters and tomorrow HBO will debut “Paterno” with Al Pacino starring as the embattled Penn State coach – what a week. Here’s the deal – in a few weeks all that stuff will be old news, but our podcasts aren’t. All of my advice and interviews are evergreen, meaning they last, they aren’t tied to a specific event or time. They are just as relevant today as the day they are published – so go back, listen to some old episodes. I’ve talked about interning, networking, interviewing and more… plus, I’ve interviewed executives in the NFL, NHL, NBA, MLS, MLB college sports, sports education, sports marketing and more. We’re covering it all…so go back through the archives. Learn yourself a little something, and if you have a question – email me, That’s how I got todays question – it comes from Ariel in New Jersey – Hi Brian, I’ve really enjoyed your recent podcast episode where you played the best clips from the past 10 interviews. It inspired me to go back and listen to your interview with Sam Doerr – originally I skipped that one because I’m not that into soccer, but once I heard him speak I wanted to hear more. One thing that stood out to me is that he said he could tell during the first 8-10 seconds of an interview if the person was going to be worth hiring. This scared me, because it takes me a bit to warm up during any interview or first meeting. Question 1: do you think this is true that someone can decide your future with a company in that short a time period? And Question 2: What are some tips you have to help me make a better first impression? Ariel – I love that you went back and listened to my interview with Sam. I’ll tell you a little insider story, when I first booked Sam as a guest I thought to myself, I wonder how this will play…I mean people either love soccer or hate it, and he’s working in essentially minor league soccer… will this be a popular episode? Side note: The #1 most popular episode we have to date is episode #39 with sports recruiter Dan Rossetti, president of Prodigy Sports – his episode has 5 more downloads than e5 with Colleen Scoles Talent Acquisition Manager for the Philadelphia Eagles. It’s crazy that only 5 downloads separate those two interviews… Side note #2 – the least popular episode is a QA session where I talked about the career benefits that stem from being a student athlete – which I thought was a pretty great episode, but really fell flat… thousands less downloads than the two mentioned above. Alright back on topic -- A minute into my conversation with Sam I knew I had hit gold. I could tell immediately he had experience, well-articulated opinions, and wasn’t someone who was just going to spout off clichés. His first impression was spot on. I loved when he said he can usually make a determination on a candidate within 8-10 seconds, because I feel the exact same way. And I know 80% of the people in charge of hiring feel the same way…and the other 20 just don’t want to admit it. Think about it. You only got the phone call, or the in-person interview because you already checked off all the boxes. You had the right skills to do the job and you passed through the initial filter. That’s what got you in front of the hiring manager – your skill profile. The interview part, that’s all about who you are. When you see people out there on the street, or around campus, you mentally categorize people within seconds. Sometimes you are attracted to them,