Think back to your first job interview.
Were you nervous?
Were you prepared?
Was it a good job? An entry-level position? A dream job?
For hundreds of NFL hopefuls this week in Indianapolis, the Scouting Combine is a chance to make a great impression, in person, with general managers and head coaches who are shaping together an organization.
In addition to the medical exams, physical tests like the bench press and 40-yard dash, most of the college players at the Combine go through a series of sit-down interviews with teams. It's an important part of the process, but Texans head coach Bill O'Brien is quick to point out one key thing before reading too much into it.
"It's only 15 minutes," O'Brien said in an interview with Texans Radio.
You can learn a lot about a person in that span. But you certainly can't get the complete portrait.
O'Brien explained general manager Brian Gaine leads the process once the prospect enters the room.
"Brian starts off the interview with some background questions," O'Brien said. "He does a great job with the player. Most of the guys that you're bringing in are great guys. You're not bringing in any really questionable character guys right now. Basically the scouts have done their homework on that. A lot of guys they saw at the Senior Bowl."
After Gaine asks the background questions, O'Brien and the player look at video from the prospect's time in college.
"I'll watch tape with the guy and just try to gauge his knowledge of his own system that he played in in college," O'Brien said.
The minutes fly by, so it can be a challenge to get a complete read on a prospect. But the time together is valuable in several small ways, according to O'Brien.
"There's some instinct about it," O'Brien said. "There's some gut feel about the guy. How does he shake your hand? How does he answer the questions? How articulate is he? Is he passionate about what he does? You don't get the full picture maybe, in the 15 minutes, but you get a pretty good starting picture, no doubt about it and you're able to make some decisions off of it."
O'Brien and Gaine are in Indianapolis through the early part of next week.