Let’s say you just got the call and you have an interview. Great! After months of hard work and endless applications, you are going to finally meet a potential employer face to face. But before you freak out, just breathe. You’ve got this. The skills you have gained as a performer have prepared you for this moment. You can rock any interview by simply putting into practice what you have learned throughout your arts training.
So let’s put this all into performance language:
You just landed your dream acting role. As the excitement sweeps over you, a voice in the back of your head starts to remind you that this is where the real work begins. Same with interviews. Your role: interviewee. The next step is research. Just like with any role, applying for a job requires an extensive amount of research. It goes beyond simply skimming through the company’s ‘about’ page. Anyone (and most likely everyone else you are competing against for this job) is doing that. You need to dig in a go beyond this surface.
Look into the company’s current projects, it’s history, and the people who work there. If you know who you are interviewing with, look them up as well. See what other companies are saying about your potential employer. Ultimately, be ruthlessly curious! This could potentially be where work for the next several years of your life. Take interest in it, and form your own questions for them too. Let them know that you have done your work.
2. WARM UPS
Just like with performance, the key to a successful interview is to warm up. An interview is just as much of a high stakes scenario as performing in front of an audience of people. So, automatically your body tenses up. Your breath becomes shallow. Basically, interviews make us nervous. So why not use those same movement and vocal warms ups you use before a performance before leaving your house for the interview? This way you can walk into the room, in alignment, grounded, ready to fearlessly respond in the moment to your interviewers. While doing so, how nice it will be to speak clearly, articulating your consonants as you speak about your past accomplishments.Warm ups allow us to ditch the tension and find the confidence in our body and voice.
3. TAKE UP SPACE
That’s right, don’t be shy in the interview room. You are there to show off your very best self. You have warmed up physically and vocally, so take up room physically and vocally. Don’t lean back in your seat. Sit up with poise. Keep your feet grounded on the floor. Don’t hide from your interviewers by crossing your arms and legs. Be free, released, and open. Remember that you have hands, and that they can help you express yourself. The same way that eye contact is necessary in a scene, it is necessary in a conversation with a potential employer. Let them know that you are there and want to be there. They called you in for the interview to see who you are, so don’t let timidity hide your strengths.
4. THANK YOUS
Lastly, like at the end of the run of any performance, handwritten thank you notes go a long way. You write them for your cast, crew, and director to let them know how much you enjoyed working with them and valued their time, your interviewer deserves no less!
Posted by Sanam Hashemi – artsii contributor