Updated: Feb 16, 2021
A good friend told me this story, so I am taking it as truth and sharing. It is an elite mindset that can help everyone when interviewing for a coaching position or any job.
When Nick Saban interviews in front of a committee, he identifies the problems that needs to be solved and addresses in detail how he will correct them.
Here is the Coach Saban interview tactic as it was told to me; "When Coach Saban interviews for a job, he has several legal pads with him in a briefcase. Once the pleasantries are over, he will ask, 'what is the #1 problem your program needs solved?' The panel tells him what they believe is holding them back. Coach Saban looks in his briefcase and pulls out the appropriate legal pad. He shows them how he will correct the issue. Then he asks, 'what is the second most pressing issue that your program needs to be fixed?' Again, the panel answers, and Coach Saban pulls out a legal pad and describes in detail how he will resolve and correct the issue. Basically, Coach Saban's #1 goal when interviewing is to show that he has the answers to fix their problems. Now, don't get me wrong, he already has a good idea about what the issues are, but he makes sure they verbalize them, then he describes how it will be different under his leadership."
People and organizations need problems solved. When I decided to write Culture Defeats Strategy, the best advice I received was, "don't talk too much about yourself, solve the readers' problems." I knew 99% of programs across the country do not have an intentional culture, so that was my main objective; give coaches an easy-to-follow system to create a championship culture.
When you interview for a job, know as much about it as you possibly can. Don't ask questions you could have found out by looking at their website. Call anyone you know familiar with the situation. If you already have an idea, you can convince the panel you can turn it around and fix what ails them.
Jobs are open because problems exist. Sell yourself but make 100% sure they know you are the person they need to 'get it fixed'. A head coach must provide HOPE! If you are interviewing at a school that went 1-9 the year before, you must convince them YOU are the person who will not allow 1-9 to happen again!