Authentic Confidence: How to handle your sports business interview

by michelle tolbert, HR Project Manager at Legends | October 17, 2019

Congratulations! If you are reading this, then you have hopefully got past the hardest part, getting an invite to interview. Here are some quick tips and best practices on how to stand out during a phone or an in-person interview with the company of your dreams:

1. Dress the part for the job you want, not the job you have – it only takes 7 seconds to make a lasting first impression, so make it count! Even if you’re on a phone interview, dress comfortably, but also professionally. It will give you the confidence boost to ace your interview.

2. Prepare, prepare, prepare – research the organization and think of potential responses to common interview questions. If you know the person who is interviewing you, take some time to read about their experience and their tenure at the organization.

3. Ask thoughtful questions to show your genuine interest.

4. Send a thank you note or email within 24 hours of the interview.

Although all of these are great techniques on how to handle an interview, the best way to truly stand out is your presence – that is, when you walk into a room, or answer a phone, knowing exactly who you are and showing that confidence in your conversation and body language.

Sometimes when we plan, prepare, maybe overthink, and repeat that same process over and over before going into an interview, it can overshadow who you are and what you have to offer.

My recommendation: Authentic Confidence.

What does Authentic Confidence mean exactly?

The way I describe this for myself is being brave, passionate, stubborn, not always patience, very hard working, and loyal.

Everything I just listed is a positive, although some could have negative connotation. All these characteristics make up who I am and what I can offer an organization. The interview is the exact time and place to highlight the pieces that make up the playbook that is your own Authentic Confidence.

When I had my first interview in the sports industry, with The New York Yankees – one of the most well-known teams in the world, I was beyond nervous. Instead of letting those nerves get the best of me, the interviewer made a small comment to me, that in turn made the world of difference in my career. She said, “this is just a conversation”. As simple as that sounds, it's so true and was so powerful to me at the time. From that moment on, I realized that to achieve great success I must always stay honest and be exactly who I am, not what is expected or the norm, but my unique, adventurous, and wonderful self.

Just keep in mind that at the end of the day, the interview process is like a two-way street. Not only is the company interviewing you as a potential hire, but you are interviewing them as a potential employer. Ask those poignant questions so you really get to know the organization which will allow you to visualize exactly how you could contribute to the success of their business objectives.

Lastly, remember that follow up is extremely important for both parties. If the interview doesn’t go as expected, and you don’t land the job, keep your head high and learn from the opportunity! Keep pushing to be a better interviewee and build upon your knowledge and presentation. Trust in yourself and your Authentic Confidence that there is an open role and organization that is waiting for someone, who is like no one else, YOU.


Michelle Tolbert is an HR Project Manager at Legends. Legends is a holistic agency that specializes in delivering solutions for legendary brands. They offer Global Planning, Global Sales, and Hospitality services to a variety of team partners including the Yankees, Raiders, UFC, Notre Dame, Tennessee Titans, Liverpool and more. She graduated from West Virginia in 2014 and shortly after she landed a job with Legends at the Yankees project in NY. She's been with the company now for 5 years. She's also a mentor in theClubhouse and you can set up a conversation with Michelle here.