How to Ace Your Production Job Interviews When You’re New to the Industry
Posted on: Dec 28, 2023
For those just starting in production, it can be difficult to figure out how to go about securing that first gig in the industry. I’ve been there before and it can be very stressful to figure out how to sell yourself in an interview to get the job.
Interviewing is a critical part of the selection process for productions. It can allow for a chance to describe your experience and work ethic. When I started, I found it hard to get production jobs because of my lack of experience, but once I was able to get to the interview stage, I realized a few key things that helped me get to where I am today.
One of the most important things to remember during an interview is to be yourself.
Film and TV sets thrive off the diversity and individual personalities working together to create, so it is very important to be yourself and show that you can be a great addition to the team. A job interview is a chance to sell yourself, so always be enthusiastic and positive during the interview.
I’ve had the pleasure to be able to work on the most recent season of Queer Eye. I believe I would not have gotten the job if I had not been so enthusiastic and familiar with the content. As a member of the LGBTQ community, I credit that show with being a huge reason I went into the reality TV industry.
By sharing my experience and personality, I was able to sell myself despite not having any previous experience in that department.
Being prepared for your interview is the best way to ensure that you are concise and professional during it.
A production interview is not any different than an interview for any other job, but in my experience, it tends to be a lot more relaxed and conversational. That being said, it is still important to hold yourself to a higher standard.
You should be able to summarize your experience in about 30 seconds and describe what you bring to the position that could set you apart from other candidates —possibly with more work experience than you. Come in with prepared questions and be able to anticipate some of the questions the interviewer may ask you.
If you’re new to the industry, you may be applying for production assistant roles. Showing up to the interview prepared can show the hiring manager that you can translate that to set.
Do Your Research
I always do my best to research the production to which I am applying. For example, when applying to a TV show, it can make a huge difference during the interview if you bring up aspects of the show and demonstrate that you know the tone and vibe the project is trying to give off.
I would also suggest going back to your application to familiarize yourself with the duties, responsibilities and requirements of the position. The job poster will not usually share what exactly the show or film is in the post, but it can still be beneficial to look at what information they give and research the position.
When I was first applying to production assistant roles, I would research what makes a successful PA and I would then incorporate the skills and keywords into my application and interview.
Interviews can be daunting to people who are new to the industry, but as long as you can demonstrate why you are the best person for the job, there will be no shortage of work for you. It’s also important to remember that everyone you interview with was likely in your place at some point, so go into it with confidence.
As someone who is still early in their career, I still have a lot to learn, but I find comfort in keeping in mind that applications do not hire production managers and line producers do. I always ensure that I let my preparation and positive attitude guide my actions in an interview.
Benjamin Hickson is an aspiring producer and production coordinator who has 4+ years experience working on various Film and TV projects. He has a background in Public Relations and served for six years in the military. He also has passion for travel and aims to increase LGBTQ+ representation in the entertainment industry.
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