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Los Angeles

Internship Interviewing Tips

1. Be Prepared. Dress appropriately for the job you are interviewing for. Look like a professional. No ripped or torn jeans, hoodies, t-shirts, sneakers, flip flops, funky makeup or nail polish. If you are interviewing for an agency position, you will need to be in a suit and jacket. If you are interviewing at a production job, wear nice slacks and a dress shirt.

2.  Be on Time. Being on time is being there 15 minutes early. Coming at the appointed time is actually considered late.

3.  SILENCE your cell phones immediately when you arrive including the vibration noise.

4.  Research your company. Know what they have produced, what is in production, what production has been picked up. Learn what has happened, what is happening, who is participating, what is going on. Receive RSS News feeds, Follow the CEO’s, Agents, Producers, Directors that inspire you on Twitter and Instagram.  If it is a production company, make sure you not only have seen some of their work but are familiar with what you haven’t seen. If it is an agency, know who they rep and who the key players are.

5.  Make a list of questions you want to ask them. Avoid questions that show you haven’t researched the company or are unfamiliar with their work. (and see # 4 above)

6.  Practice answering sample interview questions.  Prepare and gain confidence before the interview. The most common question is “Why do you want to work here?” Have an intelligent, well–thought out answer ready.

7.  Bring a clean copy of your resume. Your resume should be a simple one pager that lists your past jobs and internships.

8.  Be conscious of first impressions. Do not chew gum. Brush your teeth. Avoid foods that give bad breath odors. (skip the onions on the burger or eat afterwards) Wear deodorant. Avoid too much perfume or after shave. You may smell good to you, but your interviewer may have sensitivities and/or allergies.

9. Make a Good First Impression. Smile. Give a firm handshake. Maintain eye contact. Sit straight in your chair (no slouching). Be confident. Being nervous is normal but let your body language display confidence.

10.  Clean up your online image. Employers check social media sites. Get rid of anything negative on your Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and delete unflattering blog posts you wrote. Don’t assume you can’t be found.  It only takes one bad tweet to ruin your reputation.

11. Emphasize your skills and accomplishments, provide concrete examples. Do not overstate your qualifications. Focus on your skills and accomplishments especially how it relates to the entertainment industry. College work, volunteering, co-curricular activities, computer (Avid/Final Cut), language (do you speak another language fluently?) Talk positively about previous internships and/or work experiences. (Never, ever, put a previous company or employer down- in this business, the chances you will cross paths with someone again are very likely). Emphasize situations and circumstances in which you used your quick thinking and problem solving skills…

12. Understand the Question Before Answering.  It is OK to ask the interviewer for clarification or to repeat the question. You want to know what the interviewer is looking for before you go ahead and assume that you have the right answer. It’s also okay to pause before answering.

13. Follow the Interviewer’s Lead. Don’t spend too much time on any one question but make sure you have answered the entire question before going on to the next one. You might want to check with the interviewer to see if you answered the entire question or if he/she would like additional information.

14. Emphasize the Positive. You may be asked during the interview to give a list of your strengths and weaknesses. Focus on the positive. Avoid negativity. Don’t list skills necessary to perform the job you are applying for as an example of your weakness.

15. Close the interview with confidence.  Thank the interviewer for his/her time. Tell them you are looking forward to hearing from them.

16. Follow up the interview with a timely handwritten thank you note.  Want to stand out from your competition after an interview? WRITE a thank you note. Writing a thank you note is a simple, effective way to express your gratitude for being considered, while showcasing your writing skills, reffirming your interest in the opportunity, and reiterating ways in which you would be able to contribute to the company.

Things to remember:

a.  Send the thank you note immediately after the interview.

b.  Send a unique note to each person you interviewed with. Comment on the individual conversation or experience with the person as an interviewer. For example, if a project was mentioned that you could work on – indicate that you’re really eager / excited to be part of that specific project.

c.  Make sure to PROOF your grammar, punctuation, and wording. Always use salutations, proper English, capitalization and punctuation. NEVER use slang or text language (“dear mrs jones i want to thank u”) and never use white out or cross errors out within your thank you note. (Deer Dear Mrs. Jones).