Preparing for a Job Interview in the Entertainment Industry

entertainment-job-interviewThe spotlights... the applause... It’s true, there’s nothing quite like working in the entertainment industry.  Who among us doesn’t harbor secret (or not-so-secret) dreams of acting, singing, dancing, or telling jokes in front of adoring throngs?  To get there, though, you will need to endure job interviews in one form or another.  Let’s take a look at the ins and outs of interviewing for jobs in the entertainment industry.

Rejection is your Friend

Yes, you read that correctly:  Rejection is your friend!  Learn to embrace rejection, because in this industry more than most others, you will be confronted with the word “no” many, many times.  Why else did you think so many aspiring actors and musicians spend years waiting tables?  It’s part of the process, so it’s better to develop a thick skin sooner than later.

Straight to the Top... through the Side Door

Jennifer Lopez didn’t become a famous singer, dancer, and personality overnight; she first had to be a backup dancer on In Living Color.  It’s not unusual for aspiring entertainers to take ancillary positions within their industry as an indirect route to their target objective.  That’s why it’s a good idea to learn how to operate a movie camera, sound board, or microphone, or how to make costumes or set a stage.  These are all ways to get your foot in the door while earning a paycheck.

When an Interview Suddenly Becomes an Audition

In the entertainment industry, be prepared for any job interview to unexpectedly become an impromptu performance.  If you aren’t able to ad-lib or read from a script that you’ve never seen before, then these are skills that you might consider developing.  What they’re really testing is how well you can handle pressure and “go with the flow.”

All of Those Old Interview Rules Still Apply

Entertainment jobs might make you think of actors or musicians with casual clothes and attitudes.  Being blasé about one’s work is the privilege of the rich and famous; you’re not there yet, so all of the old rules about professionalism still apply when you’re at the job interview.  Besides, a smile, a handshake, and a great attitude are assets in any industry.

It’s Like They Always Say: Just Be Yourself

Perhaps the best advice is the simplest:  Just be yourself.  You might fantasize about being a rock star, but few employers want to hire someone with a rock star attitude.  They want to work with people who can be part of a team and get the job done.  They want somebody who’s... well... normal.  Don’t try to be somebody you’re not.  Want to ace that entertainment job interview?  Know your profession, prepare like crazy, and make persistence your forte.  Rock on!