Entertainment Jobs Q&A – Interview Technique Edition

entertainment jobs Q&A interview techniqueI have to admit, our weekly Entertainment Jobs Q&A column is one of my favorite things to write.

I feel I can speak a little more casually, like we are all sitting across from each other sharing ideas over a good meal. Of course, there are thousands of you and only one of me, so it would be hard to sit across from each other…but you get the idea.

It also allows me to share my years of experience with all of you, and to better understand the problems people are dealing with in their search for entertainment jobs. If you have a question you’d like us to ask, please add it to our Entertainment Careers LinkedIn group, post it in the comments or Tweet at us, we’re listening!

This weeks Entertainment Jobs Q&A question is about interview technique and it comes from Johanna in Seattle, Washington.

Entertainment Jobs Q&A: Interview Technique Edition #entertainmentbiz Click To Tweet

The Q:

I think my interview technique is hurting me because I keep getting job interviews but no jobs, heck I’m not even getting follow-ups, it’s like a bunch of crickets chirping quietly after each job interview.

When I analyze and critique my interview technique, I’m worried that I may be being too honest. For example, when I’m asked about my weaknesses, I feel compelled to be honest and tell them that I get really frustrated when people don’t listen to me. So what do you think? How honest should I be in a job interview?

Johanna – Seattle, Washington

The A:

Johanna, it’s a great question. Job interviews are so tough because you often walk out thinking you nailed it and then you may never hear anything.

Personally, I think there should be a federal law that requires all recruiters or hiring managers to provide closure to an interview candidate. I still might be in the running for a few jobs I interviewed for years ago – I mean I never heard no, so I must be in the running right?

I’m being sarcastic, but the point is real – I despise the fact that interviewers often treat interviewees like cattle – bring ‘em in, poke ‘em for a few hours and then send them on their way without a phone call.

Did you like me? Did I answer your questions well? Are you going to call me back? Did I mess up? Tell me please!!

I don’t know about you, but after interviews I always feel like Mike from Swingers, desperate to get any response:

Resist the urge to go Mikey on them.

Let’s look at the positives first – if you are getting interviews you have the skills employers want, which is good. Also, the fact that you are analyzing your weaknesses and critiquing your style, instead of blaming someone else is another good thing.

Now, the negatives. You are messing up.

There is an art form to interviewing, akin to being a politician or professional athlete, where you steer the conversation and answer honestly but without always going into depth on every subject. You can also balance any negativity, with some big picture understanding.

For example, if you are asked about your weaknesses and you really want to say how frustrated you get when people don’t listen to you, stop and think about how you would interpret that if you were interviewing someone.

Here are the thoughts that would come to mind if I was interviewing you and you said that:

  • Powerless
  • Can’t command a group
  • Will never manage
  • Lacks confidence
  • Gets frustrated easily
  • Low ceiling

Now, let’s flip this around. What if you said:

“I take a great deal of pride in my work and my ideas, in the past if I didn’t feel my ideas were being heard I would get frustrated. But over the last few years I have realized the burden was on me to be more assertive and control situations better. Instead of being frustrated, I now look at is as a challenge and opportunity.”

Of course you have to put it in your own words, but you have still been honest, and given the impression it’s something you continue to work on and overcome, rather than blame others or get frustrated. It shows personal progress.

entertainment jobs search interview technique

That answer would make me believe you were:

  • Self-aware
  • Mature
  • Still developing but with a high ceiling
  • Understands the big picture

Remember that the interview process is wrought with behavioral questions, geared towards getting inside your head and figuring out who you are beyond your resume and tactical skills. Questions about your weaknesses are there to find out more about your potential as an employee (i.e. do you have the maturity and fortitude to grow at this company?).

I love the movie Office Space – but just remember being this honest and having it work out well for you, is not how things really go down:

Do you have any other thoughts for Johanna (that don’t involve movie clips)? If you do add them to the comments below, and if you want your question featured in an upcoming Entertainment Jobs Q&A the comments are where it’s at! Or our LinkedIn group….or you can Tweet at us. Whatever works for you.

About Brian Clapp

Brian Clapp has worked in the broadcast media for over 14 years as a writer, editor, producer & news director. After beginning his career in Atlanta at CNN/Sports Illustrated, he switched coasts to Seattle to work at Fox Sports Northwest. In 2010, Brian began pursuing a new found passion on the digital media side, launching a successful website and then taking on the role of Director of Content for WorkinSports.com & WorkinEntertainment.com.

Recently Brian has become addicted to Google+ and LinkedIn so add him to your circles and make him a contact. No seriously, you should.


  1. joseph moskowitz says:

    looking to teach and share the art of making music thru the use of analogue and digital means. I have been a apple beta tester for 17 years with logic pro. Emagic was the original company then bought by apple. I have worked on over 1000 major label remixes. I have over 100 #1 club chart toppers. I need to teach this experience to others. Or all of my time and experience will be for nothing..Please. You have no idea what I have boxed up and ready to be tought and shared with others, I am a specialist!

    • Joseph – sounds interesting, if you want to write a guest post for WorkinEntertainment.com o this subject we’d be glad to consider your submission – it sounds like you are a real expert! email me bclapp at workinentertainment.com

  2. I couldn’t agree with you more! It should be common courtesy to give interviewees feedback. When I find out I don’t get a job, I do my last follow up and say how great of an opportunity it was to learn about that role and then I ask for some constructive feedback on how I can improve my chances for future or similar roles within their organization. 8 times of out 10 I don’t get a reply, I understand everyone is busy, but come on people – it’s common courtesy and just think if the shoe was on the other foot.


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