Preparing for an interview is a lot like getting ready to be in a play. You’re the star, and your interviewer is the audience. Your “standing ovation” means that you get the job.
If you’ve never thought of a job interview as being like a play, you might be missing out on some great ways to prepare for the role of a lifetime. Time to get ready for your debut!
Read the script: Actors decide whether or not to audition based on whether the script suits them. For you, the “script” is the job description posted online. While being in a period of career transition can be scary, avoid the temptation to apply for anything and everything. You’ll be happiest in the long run (and so will your future employer) if you only apply to the positions that are the best fit for your interests, background and talents. So “read the script” and decide whether this particular job opening is a potential “starring role” for you.
Find your place in the plot: Once you’ve determined that the role (job description) is a good fit, it’s time to figure out where your character (job) fits into the overall plot (company). Most plays require an ensemble cast to do justice to the script, and in a company, your role will require interaction with people above, below and beside you to accomplish the goal. Make sure you understand where you fit in the big picture.
Make the most of your role: It’s often said that “there are no small parts, only small actors.” The meaning is that when an actor is offered a minor role, a truly gifted thespian can still turn in an award-worthy performance and perhaps get noticed for future, larger parts. If the job you’re applying for isn’t your dream job, see how you can either grow your role into the part you want, or use this job as a stepping-stone to move up to the job you desire.
Learn your lines: Actors spend long hours memorizing lines and practicing scenes before the cameras ever roll or the curtain rises. Before you’re ready for your interview, make sure you’ve rehearsed. Be comfortable citing the work experience and accomplishments in your resume. Have some stories on the tip of your tongue illustrating the ways you’ve worked well with others, helped a team succeed, and achieved your goals. Practice answering interview questions concentrating on the ones you fear until you can reply without sounding hesitant or nervous. You’ll shine like the star you really are!
Work with the director: To create a great movie or play requires more than just actors; it also requires a director. A director knows the script and knows how all of the roles come together to tell the story. He or she can see the big picture, and coaxes the best performance out of each actor to create a masterpiece. As you prepare for your job interview, your coach or trusted friend becomes your director, helping you play up your strengths, minimize your weak areas, and turn in a great performance.
Prepare for your interview as you would for a starring role on Broadway or in Hollywood, and you’ll be hearing “Bravo! Bravo!” from your new employer!