Music Industry Interview Tips
There’s a lot of competition when it comes to finding jobs in the recording industry, so if you’ve secured an interview or an audition it means you really have something to offer. Your resume, cover letter and/or demo reel did their job and now it’s time for you to seal the deal.
If you’ve been getting a lot of interviews that means you have the skills many people are looking for in the industry—at least on paper. But if you haven’t been getting any callbacks or second interviews, there could be something amiss.
Getting an interview is one thing, but getting the job is what you’re really after. Maybe you’re just now beginning the process of finding employment and aren’t familiar with the interview process. If that’s the case, work on your interview skills the same way you worked on your other skills: practice, practice, and practice!
How to Prepare for a Music Industry Interview?
There’s only so much practice you can do for an interview, however. Talking in front of a mirror will only take you so far because it’s difficult to replicate the type of stress you’re under during a real interview. That being said, you can improve the way you prepare for an interview, even up to the point when the interview begins.
How to Prepare Before the Interview?
Learn as much as you can about your potential employer. Are they a startup or have they been around for decades? What are they known for? Read the “About Us” page on their website. If you can get a feel for the culture you can begin to tailor your responses.
This goes for the job you’re applying for too. Obviously, your skills match up nicely with the job description because you’ve earned an interview. Be ready to answer any questions about the job and how you’re the one to fill the position. Look up a list of most commonly asked interview questions and be ready to answer each and every one.
2. Mock Interview
If possible, have someone go through those interview questions with you. We’re sure plenty of time, work, and practice went into gaining your current skillset. The same can be said for acing the interview. By working on your interview skills in a low-stress situation you prepare yourself for when it really counts.
This isn’t a trip to the store or hanging out with friends – this is potentially the first step you take on starting a career. As you prepare to leave for the interview, get into “character.” Take what you’ve learned during your research and apply that to your demeanor. Be professional and respectful, but don’t forget your personality.
4. Dress for The Job
If you’re applying to work at a recording studio, a production company, or other media outfit, chances are they aren’t going to check the label of your three-piece suit. Unless you’re going in for a front-facing sales position or will be in front of the camera, your Sunday best isn’t required but definitely leave the flip-flops and cargo shorts behind.
5. Be On Time
We can’t stress this enough. Make sure you’re where you need to be at least five minutes early, even earlier if you can. This will show them you’re punctual, but will also give you a chance to take some deep breaths and relax a bit. Don’t show up an hour beforehand though—all of that sitting around may allow worry and doubt to creep in.
What are the Top Tips for During the Interview?
1. Be Confident
But not cocky. An interview is just as much about how you hold yourself as it is talking about your skills and what you bring to the table. You’ve done your research, you know the job, and you have the skills. Answer questions with confidence and respect for the interviewer.
2. Be Honest
They say everyone inflates their resume, and it makes sense to polish up your list of experience and accomplishments. The interview is not the time to make stuff up, however. There’s nothing wrong with saying “I don’t know,” but say it sparingly and assure them you’ll have an answer the next time you meet.
3. Ask Questions
If you’re unsure of a question, ask for clarity. When they ask if you have any questions, have a few ready to go. Of course, don’t be aggressive or confrontational with your questions – think of them as doing more research. And don’t ask how much money you’ll be making. Those kinds of questions will be answered when they offer you the job.
4. Think of We, Not Me
Yes, this interview is about you and at times you’ll have no other choice, but do your best to keep the “I” out of your answers. Chances are you’ll be working with other people, so position yourself as a team player.
What to do After the Interview?
As the interview winds down, thank them for the opportunity and make sure they have all of your contact information. If something personal came up in the interview, like if one of their kids has an upcoming game, maybe throw out a “good luck.” Let them lead the way when it comes to a handshake, a fist bump, or a simple wave. Make sure they know your availability for a follow-up call or second interview.
Basically, leave on a high note. Later in the day, send an email thanking them again for the opportunity and address any other issues that came up during the interview (those “I don’t know” questions). Make it professional yet personable.
You’ve put in a lot of hard work to build your skillset and now is the time to put it to work for you. By approaching an interview like a new piece of recording gear, song, or aspect of your life that you’re passionate about, you’ll prepare yourself for success.
Are you interested in learning more about how to build connections in the music industry? Check out Recording Connection’s wide range of music courses including our audio engineering school, hip hop music school, DJ school, and more. If you are looking to find a Recording Connection music production school near you visit our school location page to find the recording studio to take your music skills to the next level.