7 Job Interview Tips for the TV & Film Industry

Posted on: Mar 24, 2023

A woman on a job interview wearing a nice suit with her next boss at an office.Photo courtesy of Zivica Kerkez / Shutterstock.com

By Staff Me Up

We all know that things are a little different in this line of work, and that includes job interview do’s and don’ts. That’s why we asked our Facebook followers for good interview tips for the TV and film industry. Some of the responses we got were very insightful, while others were flat-out hilarious. Here is our collection of carefully cultivated interview tips to help you land your next production gig.

1. Remember that you don’t know everything

Sometimes being humble can take you a long way. Be honest, be yourself, tell the truth, and remember—you don’t know everything. Know that these are jobs where there is always something to learn, so be a sponge. Absorb every lesson that you can from your unique experiences and seasoned colleagues before you’re ready to move on to your next gig (or in our case, before the project wraps). They will all help you in the long run. Although it might help you with your first few gigs, “fake it ’till you make it” can only take you so far.

2. Stand out from the crowd

There are plenty of other people who want the job you’re trying to get. Make yourself stand out from the other applicants by bringing up your relevant work experience and proving to them that you will be an integral part of their team.

Attaching reels and linking to your portfolio during the application process is another way to show off your skills. You might assume everyone is already doing this, but you’d be surprised how many don’t—and that’s a good thing for you. It not only validates your experience, but your skills as well.
If you’re early in your career and don’t have much experience or a large portfolio, use what you can and start creating projects highlighting those skills in your spare time.

3. Make eye contact

When interviewing, be sure to make eye contact and stay engaged. If you’re interviewing remotely, use a desk mount or stack books under your laptop to help bring your camera to eye level. Eye contact is one of the most basic forms of communication, but many are shy to use it—or are too anxious to realize that they aren’t making it when it counts.

It’s been said that eyes are a window into the soul, and eye contact is essential as it helps establish trust and professionalism, and proves your interest in a conversation. According to Simply Law, the most successful candidates are said to be those who sustain eye contact, and whose eyes light up during discussions.

4. Don’t sell yourself short

Remember, you’re being interviewed because there’s a chance they need you. Be the product they’re shopping for—someone who knows what they are doing. Yes, you need a job, but you should also know what you’re worth. Be confident, but not cocky during your interview and you’re sure to impress.

5. Smile

It doesn’t have to be a perfect smile, but let it be known that you can be a warm and happy person. When you strip it down to the bare bones, people want to work with people they like—so show them how great you are and think of it as though you’re meeting a new friend. Don’t be so serious, but don’t be a clown either. You’re in a professional setting, after all.

6. Familiarize yourself with the production company’s previous projects

It doesn’t bode well for you to start the interview saying “Oh yeah, I don’t watch TV,” or “I’ve never even heard of that show.” And although you might have scheduled an interview with a show you’ve never seen or a production company you’re not familiar with, they didn’t know you were clueless at the time you applied.
Once you’ve agreed to conduct the interview, it’s your job to get up to speed—even if it’s just with the last several projects that your could-be employer has worked on. Use the in-between interview time to do your homework and research the production company or show you’ll be interviewing for. Jot down some notes and questions while you’re getting prepped, be sure to mention your observations and ask your questions when it’s game time. They might even be impressed with your attention to detail. 

7. Dress appropriately

Dress for success from head to toe, even if you’re interviewing remotely. Even if the dress code is normally Hawaiian shirts and sweatpants, you never get a second chance to make a first impression. When it comes to a job interview, It’s always better to be overdressed than underdressed, so put on your best attire and look sharp. If you have concerns, just ask the person you’re arranging the interview with about dress code expectations.

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