My First Interview

Mar 30, 2011 by     No Comments    Posted under: The business

There’s an important skill that we haven’t talked much about here on the blog, but that most of us will need to master at some point: the interview. I’m not talking about a meeting with an agent or casting director, but rather the good old-fashioned “tell the folks at home a little bit about yourself” interview. These can be a great opportunity to spread the word about your upcoming shows, gain valuable Twitter followers, or simply get your name out there. Naturally, you’ll want to be at your best, so honing your interview chops might be something you want to consider doing.

I was honored to be the featured guest on this week’s episode of Jessie and Matt’s Podcast, a show that interviews Chicago actors, improvisers, and comedians. I’ve been an avid listener of a number of different podcasts for a few years now, but I had never been a guest on one until now. My preparation consisted of…well, not as much as it should have. More on that later.

Recording the episode was a total blast! I’ve known Jessie for a number of years, and I’ve recently become friends with Matt, and both of them are incredibly fun and super nice. In the episode, we talk about a variety of topics, ranging from acting to baseball to the new fries at Wendy’s. The hour flew by quickly, and I left feeling great about the interview! Like the title of this post suggests, it was my first such interview ever, so I’m probably not in any position to be giving advice. That said, there are a few things I’d like to toss out there that I’d have liked to know going into the process.

  • Be prepared! If possible, find out the types of questions you’ll be asked during the interview. The more you know about what to expect, the more you can practice giving clear, informed replies! Also, it never hurts to do some light vocal warm-ups to get your instrument running smoothly. Make sure to get plenty of sleep the night before!
  • Know thyself! Sometimes you won’t be told what questions to expect, so be extra mindful of the things you’d like to plug during the interview! This can include, but isn’t limited to, your upcoming performances/appearances, social networking handles (e.g. Twitter name, Facebook URL), websites (e.g. actor’s website, IMDb page), or anything else you’d like to promote! If it helps, make a notecard to remind yourself of each of these talking points during the interview!
  • Have fun! You’re an actor! You’ve got the coolest job in the world! :-) Be a pleasure to interview, and don’t be surprised if they ask you back at a later date!

I’m listening to the episode now, and I’m pleased with the way everything turned out. For next time, I’d like to remember to delete the phrases “uhhh” and “y’know” from my vocabulary. Seriously, it’s getting annoying for me to listen to myself stumble over thoughts right now, and I love the sound of my own voice, so that should tell you something. I searched the phrase” giving an interview” on Amazon.com, and I’m considering picking up a copy of Interview Tactics: How To Survive The Media Without Getting Clobbered! The Insider’s Guide To Giving A Killer Interview! It sounds like it might be an interesting read.

I’d love to hear some things you guys taken away from these types of interviews! Feel free to leave your thoughts and experiences in the comments section below!

~JVB


Joe Von Bokern is the Chicago contingent of this blog. Find out more information and view his materials on his website, or read the rest of his blog posts.