Contest Interviews & Deckchairs on the Titanic

At the National Auctioneers Association‘s International Auctioneer Championship once the finalists have been selected they are sequestered some distance from the ballroom while they await being called individually to the stage to answer a series of interview questions. This time together with typically the 15 men and 7 women finalists is a special moment of camaraderie and fellowship and one of the many benefits of competing in this championship.

Often during this sequestration contestants will pour through past issues of the NAA’s Auctioneer magazine looking for a clue as to what the questions and appropriate answers might be for the upcoming interview. This strategy, often employed, has always felt like rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic.

Preparation for the interview at IAC or the World Livestock Auctioneer Championship or any of the many state and regional contests should be an ongoing, months in advance process. Here are 4 tips to prepare for the interview in the months and weeks leading up to the contest:

  1. Read the magazines and emails when they are published. If you  have kept up with the association news throughout the year you can spend the moments before the interview more effectively than speed reading the President’s message from Last September. The magazines are seldom heavy reading and even casual study will make you a better informed member; that is a good thing.
  2. Talk to association leadership. Any leader is always happy to talk to members about the programs and passions of the current Board of Directors. Further networking in this fashion will pay dividends beyond any trophy.
  3. Follow industry news. With the various search engines and news aggregators there are very easy tools to stay up on auction industry news, instantly, daily or weekly. If auctioneering is your passion and your source of income being ignorant of the larger auction business world really is unacceptable and you will likely find yourself flatfooted in the interview.
  4. Pay attention. Heads up, situational awareness of the conference or convention where the contest is being held is often the key to winning the interview. Further being an active listener when it comes to the association and specific industry is not just good for a contest it is good business.

This blog post accompanies “How to Win an Auctioneer Contest: Part 7 – Winning the Interview” and is offered in partnership with the Fast Talking Podcast and

Listen to Episode 7:

Thank you to the series sponsor:AuctionFlexLogo
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If you are an auctioneer or auction professional or aspire to the same join the National Auctioneers Association TODAY. It will change your life.


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