4. Preparing for an interview

Firstly, give yourself a pat on the back. For every job in the media there’s hundreds of applications so it’s an achievement to get this far. Remember to treat this opportunity as a learning experience; if you don't get the job, you'll be more prepared next time.

Firstly... What to wear

It may seem trivial but first impressions count for a lot so it’s best to dress smartly, even if on the job you’d dress down. Some companies will ask you to “come in for a quick chat” or “have a chat over coffee”. Even though this sounds very casual, it’s not a good idea to turn up in jeans. If in doubt, err on the side of smart.

What to bring

  • Always bring a copy of your CV just in case they don’t have it to hand, want a spare one or have printed out the wrong one. This will demonstrate that you’re organised.
  • Write down your availability – it won’t make a good impression if you don’t know your own schedule.
  • Write down your contact details. This should be on your CV but if you have a business card it’s worth handing over.

What to prepare

  • Thoughts on their recent work – only if they ask!
    • Depending on the role you’re going for, this could be the editorial content of episodes to the way lighting was used.
    • Be honest but be humble, you don’t want to come across like you think you know better than them.
    • Don’t be afraid to say you disliked something so long as you can explain why and what you’d do differently.
    • Bonus points if you can research the specific role your interviewer had and what you liked about their work in particular.
  • If it’s a role within a development or creative team, it’s a good idea to bring along some idea pitches. They may also specify this before the interview.
    • Although you want to show you’re creative, don’t try and be too quirky or you’ll seem difficult to work with. Remember they’re looking for business sense and compatibility as well as creativity.
  • Be prepared to answer questions about what you wrote in your application.
    • Can you talk in detail about the experience you listed on your CV?
  • Have some questions in mind to ask at the end of the interview.
    • This is another opportunity to show how well you’ve researched the company so don’t ask them anything that you can Google, make it smart.
    • Don’t start by asking how much you’ll get paid!

Basic interview questions:

  • Why do you want to work here?
  • What would you bring to the team?
  • What are you hoping to get out of it?
  • Which programmes of ours did you like/ dislike and why? What would you do differently with the ones you dislike?

Possible interview questions:

  • What’s your most creative achievement?
  • When have you made a mistake and how did you correct it?
  • How do you prioritise your workload and give examples of how you’ve done this.

Remember television is all about working in a team so show that you’re pleasant, interesting and fun. One of the most important questions the interviewer will want to answer for themselves is “do I want to work with this person all day every day?”

If you don’t get the job don’t take it personally, view it as a learning experience and an opportunity to improve.

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See also