Day Job: Interview Advice

Occasionally, people ask me for a small bit of advice. It’s not because I’m an authority on anything, nor do I really have any special words of wisdom. Usually they seek my advice simply because I’ve already done something they’re trying to do. Experience seems to count for something.

Congrats You Got An Interview

All writers need day jobs when they’re first starting out. There’s always rent to be paid. I personally think any job in the entertainment business is best for an aspiring screenwriter. As I’ve talked about before, production jobs can be especially insightful.

Recently, a friend landed an interview for a script coordinator job, and he wanted to know if I had any thoughts on the situation. Here’s the email response I wrote:

Well… more than anything it will come down to being personable. They want to know that after a long, long day you will still be somebody they can be cool having in the office to get the last few things done. They need a team player.

Focus on wanting the script coordinator job. Don’t treat this as simply an ‘in’ to a writing career. They may ask your long-term goals. I’m not sure what the best answer is to this one. I’ve been a bit too forward about pursing a writing career before, and I guess sometimes that can come across in the wrong way. I’ve messed up interviews when I did this. So, maybe talk about an interest in writing… but don’t over highlight it? I’m not sure. Maybe try to play it by ear. Just know they’ll likely ask.

Aside from that, I would just highlight your organizational abilities. The job involves a lot of details and keeping track of many things. They need to know you can keep things in order for them. They don’t have time to do it themselves, that’s why they have a script coordinator.

I think you’d be great for a coordinator job. So just relax, have a little faith in yourself, and have a good time. At the very least, you’ll get to meet some cool people.

Of course if they’re not cool people… there will be other jobs.

Hope that’s at least mildly helpful.

I have no idea if my friend landed the job or not. I do wish him the best of luck.

I also think it’s an important thing to note that when you interview for any job that is not your ultimate career goal, you still must show the interviewer that you want the job for which you applied. Aspirations are a good thing, but nobody will want to hire you if you only plan to use them as a stepping stone.

That is unless your potential future boss is actually a rock. In that case, I have no experience.


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