Sunday, June 7, 2009

More on job interviews, and the search

Sasha asked in a comment a long time ago (sorry - I'm better at answering emails than comments):

What's normal dress for a Hollywood interview? Do you send a thank-you after? Are the questions about the job directly, or are they more about your personality?

It really varies. I'm actually job hunting myself right now. Some of you might remember me talking about the "year at the agency" that is standard. Mine was up in February, and sadly I'm still looking. Feb. was sort of a lull period in looking for writer's asst/EP asst/showrunner asst/writer's PA jobs, since most current shows already had people, and it was too early for any of the new shows for fall '09 to be staffing up. I had a couple of interviews, but nothing panned out. Now I'm finding more opportunities at least to interview...but there is just SO much competition. Many of my close friends are looking for these same jobs - and twice I've run into people I know at the interviews because they were interviewing for the same thing!

Another obstacle: Why would people hire me when they can hire someone who has 4 years showrunner assistant experience? Agency experience is great, but it's more the usual path for someone who wants to work in development, or produce. When it comes to the writer-focused asst jobs that I'm looking for, some people are impressed by agency experience (one showrunner told me he was sure his desk wouldn't be as intense as an agency one), and some people aren't because they'd rather have someone who really knows the inner workings of how to put a television show on the air. Anyway, it's a numbers thing. A spaghetti thing. If I throw enough of it against the wall, something's gotta stick, right? I don't know. Maybe I'm not the person to be giving advice since I'm still hunting...but if someone learns something, great. That's the whole point of this blog.

(And maybe this is shameless...but if you read this blog and think I'm cool and know of any writer's asst/showrunner asst/EP asst/writer's PA jobs, please let me know!)

As for the dress - at an agency, you'll want to wear a suit. Management companies...not sure...usually a little more casual, I think (feel free to comment if you know otherwise). Everywhere else is business casual. At networks and studios you probably still want to wear dress pants and a nice shirt (for girls, dresses and skirts are often safest since they can be considered dressy, or casual). At most production companies, people wear jeans...though I know of a couple exceptions, so you might want to do dress pants for the interview. And if you're working directly on a show, definitely jeans.

The questions will be about both you and the job. Some people might ask you about specific things like Excel or multi-line phone systems or your ability to write coverage, while other people will assume you are capable of the job (especially if you already have some assistant experience) and just want to get to know you as a person. A personality match is important to many execs/agents/writers/etc., since they're going to be dealing with you all day, every day. Be prepared to talk about shows you like, your career path so far, what you hope to do eventually, etc. It's also good to do a little research on the person and the show, and read any scripts you can so you can talk about those as well.

As for sending a thank you: yes, definitely!

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1 comment:

vishnuprasath said...

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