3 Interview Tips to Steal From Actors

We all dread the worst case interview scenario: sitting tense and anxious across from a hiring manager, dreading the next question to come out of their mouth, then reeling off a babbling, incoherent response before they’re even done asking it. “Thanks for coming in today. We’ll be in touch with our decision.” Those canonical post-interview words might as well be code for “nice try.”

That’s about the point where we wish we could portray someone else for the interview – someone savvier, more interesting and more confident. Why can’t we? Interviews are performances, after all. Each one presents the opportunity to nail the role of “interviewee” by communicating your knowledge, skills and experience. But like any actor in any role, giving an Oscar-worthy performance takes preparation. Check out these acting tips for your next interview…

Research, Research, Research

There’s probably no need to pull a Daniel Day-Lewis in your interview preparation, but knowing the ins and outs of the position will give you the freedom and confidence to fully apply yourself. Not only will a hearty knowledge of the role and the company help you better position your skills and experience to the job, it will also enable you ask better informed questions to the interviewer and learn if the job is right for you.

Warm Up

A successful performance is as much a physical undertaking as it is a mental one. Just ask any actor who’s worked with David Fincher – 20 takes for one scene really drains your energy.

An interview might not be as exhausting as that, but you should still make sure your body is ready. A short walk or light workout beforehand might do wonders for keeping your body relaxed and tension-free. Also, it never hurts to practice your answers and prepare your voice for clear, loud and confident enunciation.

Embrace Opportunities to Improvise

There’s no script for an interview, and even if there was, there’s no guarantee it would be followed to the letter. You could be asked a question you didn’t expect, you might end up being interviewed by four different people, or your interviewer might even cancel at the last minute. No matter what unexpected or cringe-worthy turn your interview takes, it’s important embrace the moment as an opportunity to reveal more about your interviewee “character.” Tell a story about yourself, take the opportunity to crack a joke or call up some knowledge from that college class you forgot about. You never know, those happy accidents could make you stand out from all the other candidates.

Anybody Can Give a Great “Interviewee” Performance

Not everyone can dazzle audiences as Hamlet or Romeo. But with the right preparation, repetition and discipline, “Interviewee” is a character that can be in everybody’s repertoire. Show off your chops today in an interview for the latest entertainment job to come open.

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