Making sure you are prepared for your interview

You have wowed and impressed them with your CV and application, maybe even a showreel too, but the next big test before you get that job is the interview. Here are some top tips on how to make sure you are fully prepared, together with an important checklist at the end.

CV and Documents

Print off copies of your CV for the interviewers, who are normally very busy and may not have had the chance to print your CV. This way you help them and gain points immediately. Underline the most relevant skills and experience in your own CV copy. Take a copy of the job advertisement and your application letter in order to cross check the key points. Take copies of your reference letters.

Research

You most likely did your research on the company before applying because you got this far. Now it’s time to show that you have researched the company even more. Ask questions about their competitors, where the company is going etc. Take a printout of the company website’s landing page and make your notes there. This shows that you are interested and it makes it easier for you to remember things like last production, the type of production the company is specialised in etc.

Dress Code

Be tidy and smart. Make sure that you are comfortable in your outfit. Ladies, remember that a skirt should reach your knees and no cleavage/bra straps should be seen. Rather smart than sexy for an interview.

Nutrition

Make sure that you have a bottle of water, snack to avoid low sugar and mints for fresh breath. Avoid eating anything messy on the way to the interview. If you are a smoker, try not to smoke just before the interview.

Mobile Phone

When entering the building turn you mobile silent and turn it off completely before the interview. If your mobile rings or buzzes during the interview, express you deepest apologies and whatever you do, do not even look who is phoning/messaging but turn the phone off and hope for the best. Having your mobile making any noise just before/during the interview is as bad as being late. Do not risk it!

Get there on time

You can borrow a pen, the documents can be sent afterwards and you can improvise some questions. What you can’t make up nor be forgiven for is being late. So don’t do it! Don’t be late! Make sure you get your route sorted in plenty of time. We all love the help of different apps from GPS to timetables in our smartphones. Make sure that yours is fully charged and that you have a back up plan: map, timetable, contact detail printouts, booking reference numbers for your train tickets etc. If you use public transport, do pick the tickets up in advance. Drivers please make a note of the nearest parking and make sure you that you have enough coins on you. Always plan for an extra half hour for traffic and delays.

First impression

You only have three seconds to impress. Remember that one of the interviewers may be the person walking up the steps in front of you, do not use your phone before or after the interview near the interview room, let alone in the building. Remember that many interviewers ask the receptionist or a cleaner for their opinion on you. Be nice to everyone and look confident. Memorising the name of the person you are going to meet helps.

Strengths and weaknesses

Be prepared to list not only your strengths but also your weaknesses. You can try to get away with giving weaknesses such as coffee and chocolate but you must come up with at least two weaknesses, that can be turned into strengths such as: being hard on yourself, being very precise.

How to answer questions

Keep it simple. Answer the question and do not go off on a tangent telling stories. Listen! If the interviewer mentions that the production company uses Panasonic cameras and you are applying for a camera assistant role, remember to underline your experience using Panasonic cameras rather than the JVC ones. If you are applying for an assistant producer role and you have previous experience, you don’t have to talk about your runner experience anymore.

Transferable skills

Transferable skills are the ones that you have gained in other type of work or in life in general. If you apply for a junior researcher position in an international production company, any experience using your language skills is useful as well as any type of research experience.

Your questions

Be prepared to ask questions. Who do you report to? Who are the people in my team? What is the future direction of the company? What would be expected of you in the first few months? Etc

Good luck, relax and smile!

Check list for the day before:

  • CV copies
  • Copy of the job advert
  • Copy of your application letter
  • Copy of the company website landing page
  • Pen (pay attention to which pen…if you go for an interview with the BBC, a C4 pen may not be the best choice)
  • Notepad (make sure your notes from a previous interview with another company are not visible)
  • Folder (organised people don’t waste other peoples time and have more time to do their job)
  • Tickets/parking coins/map/route plan
  • Contact details
  • Do not drink/eat anything that might smell the next day
  • Hair, nails, outfit, accessories
  • Good night’s sleep

Top Tip on Gaining Subject Experience for TV

Producers are looking for runners with as understanding of TV production and their specific programme area. One way of gaining experience is either contributing to programs or joining the audience and isa good way getting an understanding how a live show works.

Idea #1

Would you like to contribute into a documentary programme? Do you need to say sorry or thank you to someone you can’t get hold of? Would you like to contribute to a new inspirational programme?

The Gift and let their team find the person you want to say sorry or thank you to? The Gift is produced for the BBC by Wall to Wall Television.

Find out more about taking part…

Opportunity just opened: BBC Trainee Tech Operator Scheme

Another BBC trainee scheme has just opened up, but hurry: the closing date is 3rd July!

The Trainee Technical Operator Scheme is the perfect opportunity for technically minded individuals who are passionate about a career with the BBC. You be presented with the unique opportunity of being in full time employment as well as benefiting from a fixed training scheme designed to equip you with the range of knowledge and skills you need to work as a Technical Operator in the BBC.

Check out the website and details here:

http://careerssearch.bbc.co.uk/jobs/job/Trainee-Technical-Operator/4522

Apprenticeship opportunities at BBC close soon!

Apprenticeships are not easy to come by, especially in the TV and film industry, but the BBC have a fantastic range of opportunities across the country. And they close on the 28th May!

StartinTV founder and director, David Wheeler, says, “These are fantastic opportunities.  I started my career with BBC Wales as a cameraman. They have a huge range of productions in Cardiff and its a really friendly place.”

Creative and Digital Media – Wales

This is 12 months of paid work at a creative and digital company gaining practical ‘hands-on’ training and experience.

  • Post Production Apprentice x2 – BBC Cymru Wales
  • Art Department Apprentice x2 – BBC Cymru Wales
  • Camera Apprentice x2 – BBC Cymru Wales
  • Costume Apprentice x2 – BBC Cymru Wales
  • Junior Presentation Scheduler Apprentice – Horse & Country TV
  • Assistant Editor Apprentice – Horse & Country TV
  • Production Assistant Apprentice – It’s My Shout Productions
  • Special Effects Trainee Apprentice – Real SFX
  • Production Apprentice – Real SFX
  • Edit Assistant Apprentice – Wales & Co
  • Junior Production Secretary/Runner Apprentice – Wales & Co
  • Junior Researcher Apprentice – Wales & Co

Find out more at BBC Careers…

BBC Apprentice Broadcast Engineer

For the first time, the BBC is offering the right candidates a three year contract to work and train in technology teams with the BBC and our industry partners. This is a higher level apprenticeship which supports you studying towards an honours bachelor’s degree while you gain industry experience.

Find out more at the BBC job advert…

BBC Production / Production Management Apprentices - Salford and London

Fantastic opps in Salford and London – for both graduates and non graduates, creative and supporting roles in production! These high quality apprenticeships based in London and Salford will give you all the skills and knowledge you need to be highly employable across the broadcasting industry.

Find out more at the BBC website…

Technical Operative – Yorkshire

Working within a small multi-skilled team on a shift system basis, you will work across a range of technical areas including bulletin directing, PSC, satellite truck operation, studio camera work, studio sound and editing at base and in the field. You will be expected to carry out further training to enhance your skill set and progress within the team.

Camera, sound, editing etc in Yorkshire. A great opportunity!

Find out more at BBC Careers…

Technical Assistant – Glasgow

Working at the sharp end of production, Technical Assistants and Technical Coordinators ensure that equipment is maintained and available for use, allocated to programme teams as required and monitored and tracked to ensure maximum utilisation of assets. 

Find out more…