Sunday, September 15, 2019

A Writer's Guide to Job Interviews

Welcome back to my 2-part miniseries! Last month, I wrote about A Writer’s Guide to Job Applications, and today I’m here to post about the interview portion. Points one and two are all about preparation while the third is about the interview itself.

While actual interviews may come more often than manuscript requests, they’re still going to be fewer than the number of applications you send out. So when you finally make it to the interview stage, it can be exciting and nerve-wracking all at once. Here are a few tips I’ve employed for interview preparation.

1) Do Your Research

Come on, writers. You know you like this step. Or even if you don’t, it has to be done. But unlike writing a story, you can’t stop the middle of an interview to look up information on the company you’re applying to. You have to do that beforehand. And it helps a lot!

When I had my first ever job interview, I had no idea what I was doing. Even though I researched the company I was applying for, I failed to research confidence. So when the questions came up, I froze.
Some key information to know:

  • The company’s name and mission
  • The job position and salary estimate
  • Your mission

2) Have a Motivational Theme Song

You know how some writers like to pick certain songs for scenes or for their books? I know I do. I wrote Last of the Memory Keepers to the first How to Train Your Dragon soundtrack. Origami Swan shared the Doctor Strange soundtrack and Vivaldi’s Four Seasons. You get the picture.

When it comes to interview prep, you too can have a theme song (sung in your head during the interview, not aloud). I personally like “This is Me” from The Greatest Showman and this Marvel-themed adaptation of “We Will Rock You”:

Credit: Trailer Blend

3) Don’t Fall Your Face

Most how-to’s in of this type will teach you to have a firm handshake (important!) or proper posture (also important!), but I’m here to tell you that you can go into an interview without faceplanting. In all honesty, this is an actual concern I’ve had when trying something new. Fencing? Didn’t fall on my face. Job interviews? I’ve got this. Walking the dog on snow? Okay, that time I did faceplant, but that one’s on the dog.

Some tips to achieve proper upright position:

  •  Get a good night’s sleep the night before.
  • Exercise and stretch beforehand. Or if you don’t want to or don’t have time to shower, just stretch. It’s easier to have a clearer mind when you have a body that feels good.
  • Take a deep breath. Or two. Or three. Whatever it takes.
  • Stand tall. You made it this far. You deserve this interview. Remember, you are a writer! You are a (insert job position you’re interviewing for)!

It’s okay to make mistakes. If you do end up tripping, get back up again. If you forget which way you came from when you walk out of the office and walk down the wrong hallway, let your interviewer take the lead. (Yes, this happened to me. Yes, I still got the job.) If you stutter, don’t apologize. Just keep going.


Let’s chat! What are some of your tips for job interviews? Any fellow writers out there with a separate day job? Anybody have any tips for balancing work and writing? Tell me all!

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