Interviewing for Sports Internships

Informational Interviews

After conducting some basic research, a good second step is seeking out an informational interview. An informational interview is a great tool to use when seeking an internship or job. By speaking directly with a professional in your desired field, you’ll be able to ask specific questions that can’t be answered in a book or on a website. In addition to other benefits, you’ll be able to:

  • Find out what sports jobs at your target company are really like from a first-hand perspective
  • Hear what employers are looking for in an intern
  • Gain experience in talking with sports professionals
  • Build your network
  • Uncover potential internship leads

Potential Interview Sources

You’d be surprised at how many people you probably already know who can be a potential interview source. Chances are, even if you don’t know anyone working in sports personally, odds are you know someone who does. Before using additional avenues, exhaust your extended network first. All it takes is an email or a phone call. It is in this area that an online professional network also becomes useful. By searching your contacts on LinkedIn, you can determine if you already know people working at your target company, or if your contacts do, you can request an introduction. You’ll be pleasantly surprised at how willing many sports business professionals are to share their insights and experiences.

Good sources for an informational interview include:

  • Anyone you’ve met who works in a sports job that interests you
  • Your personal and/or professional network.
  • Referrals from friends, family, past employers, or professors
  • Your current or past school’s alumni (check with your administration for a book or database)
  • Employees in organizations you’ve targeted (emails and/or phone numbers are often listed on websites)

The last bullet point is one often overlooked, but can be highly effective. One former intern points to this method as a great way of gathering information.

I was interested in minor-league baseball,” she recounts, “so I looked on a local team’s web site and found the contact information for the marketing manager. I contacted her and she was very willing to answer my questions and even offered to put me in touch with others in the organization. I didn’t end up pursuing an internship, but it was a very educational experience.”

Sports Internships – Ask Questions at your Interview