I have been teaching college students for many years helping them get their foot in the door in Hollywood. They usually want to know how to pitch themselves more effectively. How do you know if an employer is interested in you and what kind of questions will they be asking? Here’s a few questions you might or might not expect and some insider tips on just what those questions really mean.
Why do you want this job?
The real question they’re asking is if this is just a job, or will you be invested in the company or project. Is this a paycheck or do you truly want to do the best you possibly can to bring them success? If you’re interviewing for an assistant’s job and you say you want to be a writer or director, I know you’re going to be jumping ship as soon as something better comes along. Or, if you are an actor interviewing for a casting office position, I may be suspicious that you’re looking for an acting job and not really wanting to gain expertise as a agent. An employer invests time and money into you and they don’t want to hire someone who is only going to be there a short few months until they get their big break. They want to hire someone that wants to be the best assistant or associate ever and who believes they can assist the company in fulfilling what the company’s vision. Even if being an assistant is not your lifelong dream, respect the position and company and invest yourself into whatever it is they’re doing knowing that you’re learning new aspects about the industry and gaining perspective as an assistant or associate if only for a short time.
What’s the best thing about yourself and the worst thing about yourself or are you any good at what you do?
The real question is how well can you look at yourself objectively and handle challenges. Mature professionals know they aren’t perfect and know their strengths and weaknesses. If you don’t know them, take a “strengths finders test.” There’s lots of them online. Once you know what you are good at doing, focus on those traits and get better at them. Those are the ones that are going to get you noticed. Yes, you should also understand and work on your weak points but they aren’t going to get you the ultimate future job you want. Let the interviewer know you have much to learn and are willing to be taught. Keep it positive and have a good sense of humor since it’s always an added plus. This is a question you should be prepared to answer on a regular basis and one that you should revisit yourself regularly. It shows you are growing, learning, and trying new things. Those are the people that get hired.
Tell me what your closet looks like?
Ok, that’s a strange question, right? Not really. They are asking how organized you are. Do you have a system and method for how you work? Messy people generally produce messy work. Film, TV, and most media projects are collaborative efforts. Being a creative genius is great, but you have to collaborate with others. Be creative but be clear, organized, and able to present your work.