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ESPN interview requires broad knowledge

By Jason Huff
Assistant Sports Editor

Being interviewed by ESPN is not a normal job interview.

While experience and technical knowledge are important, they are not nearly as valuable to ESPN as being passionate about sports and having the sports knowledge to back up that passion.

I was one of the lucky few chosed to be interviewed by Fred Brown of ESPN on Jan. 25. We sat down and talked about what my past experience was and why I am qualified.

The main thing we talked about during that segment was my previous internship experience.

That part of the interview only lasted 10 minutes at most.

He went straight into asking me about sports. He led off asking me what my favorite major sport was which is college basketball.
In the blink of an eye he asked me to tell him my top five teams in college basketball without using the Associated Press or ESPN polls as a guide.

I gave him my answer, expecting a follow up, but he went straight to college football.

He wanted to know how I felt about the Bowl Championship Series and what I would change about it, like adding a potential playoff or keeping it the same.

He seemed impressed so far, so he went on to the NFL.

He wanted to know what I thought of the teams in the Super Bowl and what I believe the outcome will be.

Next he wanted me to compare two quarterbacks: Brett Favre and Donovan McNabb.

It was a strangle comparison, but he seemed pleased with my answer. So far the interview was going well.

He switched over to the NBA next with the question of who I thought was the best team in the NBA right now and why. Next he asked me why I believed the Chicago Bulls and the Miami Heat were struggling.

I answered those well and thought I was on a roll. This was until we hit Major League Baseball, which I have knowledge of but not in depth.

His first question was how do I feel about the Detroit Tigers chances next season, for which I had a solid response ready.

I felt like I may have dodged the bullet until he asked me about the Chicago Cubs, which I have little knowledge about.
I gave him a small tidbit of information then admitted I did not want to waste his time with me rambling for an answer.

He seemed to like the way I handled it.

The last thing he asked me to do was come up with a story for Sportscenter.

He gave me one minute and left the room. When he returned, I pitched him my idea, which he seemed to like. He asked me if I had any questions of him, which I didn’t because my main goal is to work for ESPN, so I know almost everything there is to know about them.

The interview lasted 40 minutes with 30 minutes of sports questions.

If you plan on interviewing with ESPN next year when they come to UNCP, the most important things to remember are to have a previous internship and know your sports. I can’t stress this enough. You must have a thirst for sports knowledge.


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