Help! I’m Interviewing for a Job…
I received an email today from a young, rising star in radio who left an unsatisfying radio gig where he was the do-everything-guy for a boorish boss at a directionless station. He’s getting ready to interview for on-air hosting roles and was seeking advice. I was happy to help. Here were my suggestions based on my experiences at both the interviewer and the interviewee.
Be yourself. Don’t try to be who you think they want you to be. Be as authentic and real as you can be while being professional.
Speak clearly. It’s amazing how people, even hosts, tend to clam up and quiet down in an interview. The interviewer is looking for a little showmanship if they’re hiring for an on-air position. Don’t shrivel up.
Tell stories. Have a couple of well thought out stories to share that answer a question you know will be asked. Stories are important for talent to share to exemplify your ability to capture and hold the attention of the interviewer, exemplify your personality and show the certainty you have in your talent.
Role-play. Anytime I go in for an interview for a job I always role-play the interview in advance. I think of all the possible questions I could be asked including some ridiculous ones and I write out my answers.
Some to consider for on-air folk in addition to the 10 listed above:
- Why do you want this job?
- Why should I hire you?
- What do you think of the station?
- What makes your show special/different/successful?
- How would you describe your show? What makes it unique?
- How do you work with sales?
- How do you like to be managed?
Show prep. I would have some concrete ideas on benchmarks or regular segments that you can share.
Dress up. Dress a little nicer for the interview than you expect you’ll need to if you get the gig.
Be curious. Have at least three questions prepared to ask the interviewer at the end of the meeting.
- What’s your time line?
- How do you define success for this role?
- What happened to the person who was in this position (if you don’t know)?
- What’s the mission or vision for this station?
- What else can I supply to make your decision easier?
Be gracious. Even if you know you’re not qualified for the job, you’re not going to get it or you don’t want it — express your gratitude for the time your interviewer took to meet with you. They could be the link to another job down the line.
Be patient. Waiting is the hardest part. However, it’s important to realize that the hiring manager wants it to happen fast too. EOE regulations, corporate HR requirements and other hurdles exist making it near impossible for hiring people to be a nimble process. A word of thumb — if a station is looking to hire someone “immediately,” the process will likely take 4 to 6 weeks.