Acing the Interview at Olympia Sports: An Insider’s Guide

Note from the editors: We will talk to a Spider Track during the 2012 indoor and outdoor seasons. This week we sit down with junior Kyle Ragan.

I think that the attitude and belief that our team has is what sets us apart from most other programs. Everyone in this program holds themselves to a very high standard both athletically and academically. We have very high goals, and we’re sure we can reach them even if other people outside the program don’t. People don’t understand why we’re willing to give up things that other people think are impossible so that we can reach our goals.

RS: Of all your teammates, past and present, from whom have you learned the most and why?

KR: I think Garrett Graham was the teammate who helped me the most over the course of my career. He was a senior when I was a freshman, and he helped me a lot when I was having trouble getting used to playing at the college level. Garrett is a great guy who gave me the confidence to keep working hard so that the performances would come in the end.

KR: In the past I would have always said cross country. I love the team aspect. I find that it is more enjoyable to experience a team success rather than an individual accomplishment. I still love cross-country skiing, but I’ve grown to enjoy the other seasons too. Each season has its own special aspects. Since I’m almost done with running, I’ve been trying to enjoy each season for what it has to offer.

For the indoor season, what kinds of goals have you set? How do you feel about your progress toward those goals as the A-10 Championships get closer?

KR: I have some specific times I want to run, but my main goal is to get better at racing and focus on running more consistently. I would like to place well at the conference championship. I’ve been making progress toward my goals, but in this sport, you’re never happy with how you do. There are some things I need to keep working on in order to reach my goals for both indoor and outdoor seasons.

KR: I eat oatmeal as my race day breakfast. Also, I always put on my left spike first when I’m getting ready for a race.

KR: Well, strange things do happen at cross-country races all the time, but one story stands out. Back when I was in high school, I was running a local road race. As I looked down the starting line, I saw a man smoking a cigarette. That is definitely something that you dont expect to see at the start of a race.

KR: Coach Taylors philosophy of “running one step at a time”. The only way that you can make it to the finish line is by taking the next step. It seems very basic and clear, but I believe it is very useful for running and for life in general. It is easy to get caught up and overwhelmed when trying to tackle obstacles all at once. You will get to the end goal if you focus on each step and do what you need to do every day to improve yourself as an athlete or person.

KR: Outside of sports, I would say my parents. They have helped me reach all of my goals, and I admire what they have done in their own lives. In terms of running, Sue Crowe, my eighth-grade track coach, was the first person who really believed I could do well and pushed me to do my best. It was her last year of high school when she died, but I know that without her, I would not be where I am now. She gave me the confidence to set my goals high and believe that I could achieve them.

RS: If you could go on a run with anyone, dead or alive, who would it be? Why?

KR: I would go running with Henry David Thoreau. He spent a lot of time outside, so I’m sure he ran when he was young. I would love to hear his thoughts and ideas from his own mouth. It would make for some very interesting conversation and be very enlightening.

KR: I am majoring in Business Administration with a concentration in Innovation and Entrepreneurial Management. I also have a minor in Environmental Studies. My ideal job would be to run an environmental consulting company that helps companies make business plans that are good for the environment.

KR: My favorite spot on campus is definitely the old library in Ryland Hall. Not many people know about it, so it is usually a good quiet place to go and study. It is also a really cool room with a huge vaulted ceiling and big glass window.

RS: Teammate Patrick Love listed you as his favorite athlete in his recent “20 Questions” feature. With the exception of him, who would you say is your favorite athlete?.

KR: It would have to be 2008 Olympic marathoner Brian Sell if we took Pat out of the running. A fellow central Pennsylvania native, Brian has shown what tremendous work ethic and dedication can achieve. This summer, when he was living in State College, I was lucky enough to be able to go for a run with him. It was a really cool experience.

RS: If you were stuck on an island by yourself, who or what would you want to have with you?

RS: In the interests section of your bio, you mention enjoying camping and backpacking. Any entertaining stories from an outdoors trip youve taken?.

Three of my best friends and I were going to backpack through Glacier National Park’s backcountry for a whole week. The night before our hike, we took a shuttle from the airport to a motel. But we still had to walk from the motel to the park headquarters to get our backcountry permits. From there, we took a park shuttle to the trailhead.

We began our first day by walking down the road that would lead us to the park’s entrance, which was about 3–4 miles away. We met an older woman who was stopped on the side of the road about ¾ of a mile down the road. She offered to put our packs and other gear in her car so we could get them when we got to the park after we had talked to her for a while. She drove all of our stuff into the park, and then we walked the rest of the way. What we did not realize was that there was a security gate about a half-mile up the road.

Now at this point, all we had on us was the clothes we were wearing. No wallet, ID, cell phone or anything. We were stuck in the middle of Montana with nothing but the clothes on our backs. The guard at the gate didn’t believe us. We sat on the side of the road, wondering what we would do. Alex and I, who were on the same high school cross country team, finally decided that we would run to the park headquarters and try to find the woman and all of our stuff. Luckily, after a brief search we found her waiting in a parking lot. She laughed at our story and was able to drive back and pick up the other guys. It certainly made for an interesting start to a great trip.

RS: If you could be on any TV show or in any movie, what would it be? Why?

KR: I would choose the movie “Into the Wild”. The outdoors is my favorite place to be. Getting away from the stresses of everyday life can teach you a lot. I would choose to alter the ending so that I could make it out alive.

RS: Lets say you could have the perfect meal prepared for you. What would it be?

KR: For dinner I’m going to have a steak, twice-baked potatoes with blue cheese, asparagus (I need to make sure I eat enough vegetables), and apple pie with an oatmeal crumb topping.

KR: Growing up I played several different sports, including baseball, basketball, football and fencing. Eventually I decided on running.

With over 200 store locations across New England and an ecommerce site delivering nationwide, Olympia Sports is a leading sports apparel and equipment retailer. Working here means joining a company with deep roots in supporting local communities and youth sports.

If you have an interview coming up at Olympia Sports, proper preparation will be key to impressing hiring managers and standing out In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore insider tips and strategies to master the interview process at this iconic sporting goods chain

Overview of Olympia Sports’ Hiring Process

While specific details vary for corporate vs store roles, here are some common elements of Olympia Sports’ interview process:

  • Initial online application and possibly a short screening call

  • One or more in-person interviews featuring a mix of situational, behavioral and technical questions

  • For corporate roles, there may be multiple rounds of interviews with different stakeholders

  • Manager interviews to assess culture fit and communication skills

  • Potential job tryouts for store associate roles

  • Reference checks as a final step before offer

Understanding this typical flow can help you strategically prepare for each stage of the process. The in-person interview tends to be the most intensive, so focus your preparation efforts here.

Key Interview Questions to Expect

Going in familiar with the types of questions asked will prevent surprises and build confidence. Here are some commonly reported questions from Olympia Sports interviews:

Customer service and sales questions:

  • How would you handle an unhappy customer who received an incorrect order?

  • Tell me about a time you went above and beyond for a customer.

  • Describe your approach to interacting with customers on the sales floor.

  • How would you respond if a customer insisted on a product that wasn’t suitable for their needs?

Situational and behavioral questions:

  • Give an example of when you had to learn something new quickly. How did you approach this?

  • Tell me about a time you made a mistake at work. How did you handle it?

  • Share a time when you had to adapt to a change in priorities or policies at work.

  • Describe a situation where you had to work through a conflict or disagreement with a coworker.

Motivation and culture-fit questions:

  • What interests you in working for Olympia Sports versus another company?

  • How would you describe your work style?

  • Tell me about a time you stepped up as a leader on a team or project.

  • Where do you see yourself professionally in 5 years?

Preparing stories around demonstratable experiences for these types of questions is key to impressing hiring managers with your capabilities and potential.

Tips to Ace the Interview Process

These tips can help you prepare for a stand-out interview experience:

For written applications:

  • Carefully review the job description. Tailor your resume and cover letter to match requirements.

  • Quantify achievements like sales growth, positive reviews or productivity gains from past roles.

For screening calls:

  • Keep resume, cover letter and JD handy to reference details.

  • Convey genuine interest in Olympia Sports’ brand, mission and culture.

  • Ask insightful questions about day-to-day responsibilities and growth opportunities.

For in-person interviews:

  • Practice responses to likely questions out loud to polish delivery.

  • Prepare success stories following the STAR method (situation, task, action, result).

  • Dress professionally and exhibit confident, friendly body language.

  • Research interviewers beforehand on LinkedIn to personalize your interaction.

For job tryouts:

  • Treat it like you’re already part of the team. Engage customers and ask questions.

  • Look for opportunities to showcase your brand knowledge and selling skills.

  • Stay positive throughout. The goal is to evaluate fit – not perfection.

With dedication and practice, you can ace each step and have a stellar interview experience.

Insights from Olympia Sports Interview Reviews

Checking sites like Glassdoor for interview insights can provide an invaluable leg up in your preparations. Here are some of the key themes that emerge:

  • The culture is described as upbeat and team-oriented. There is a focus on assessing culture fit.

  • Leadership wants to see you are passionate about sports. Retail experience is valued but not required.

  • Hiring managers look for strong customer service skills and the ability to engage diverse customers.

  • The dress code is business casual. Making a positive first impression is emphasized.

  • For corporate roles, expect multiple interviews with various managers and executives. Come prepared.

  • The overall experience is seen as relaxed and conversational. The focus is on getting to know you.

Considering these inside perspectives helps you demonstrate the qualities Olympia Sports prioritizes, boosting your chances of interview success.

Questions to Ask at Your Olympia Sports Interview

The interview is a two-way street. Asking thoughtful questions shows your engagement. Here are some options:

  • How would you describe the culture at Olympia Sports? What sets it apart?

  • What opportunities exist for career development and growth?

  • What are some of the biggest accomplishments or changes at Olympia recently?

  • How does Olympia Sports stay competitive and innovative in today’s retail landscape?

  • What traits does it take to really excel here?

  • What can I expect in terms of training and onboarding if I join the team?

  • What metrics determine success for this role? What tools are used to measure this?

The insights you glean allow you to determine if the role aligns with your goals and expectations.

Time to Shine at Your Olympia Sports Interview

With dedication to showcase your customer service skills, sports passion, leadership potential and cultural fit, you have an excellent chance of transitioning from candidate to team member with Olympia Sports.

We hope these insider tips empower you to have a winning interview experience. Trust your preparations, be your authentic self, and highlight your genuine excitement to contribute to Olympia’s continued growth and community impact. You’ve got this! Wishing you the very best in your upcoming interview and career. Go ace it!

John Kennedy Has Tense Questioning Of Olympic Athlete Who Ultimately Refuses To Answer


What makes a good sports interview?

Stay focused: Keep the interview focused on the athlete’s experience, avoiding any unnecessary topics that might distract from the interview’s objective. Be respectful: Be respectful of the athlete’s time, avoid being confrontational, and show appreciation for their willingness to participate in the interview.

What are good questions to ask athletes?

Have you faced any challenges in trying to play sports? What do you like most about playing our sport? What skills would you like to improve throughout the season? How can your teammates help you improve?

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