Author Topic: dressing/prepping for SM interviews  (Read 5388 times)

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Scott (formerly Digga)

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dressing/prepping for SM interviews
« on: Aug 04, 2005, 09:02 am »
Wasn't sure where to put this but I've got an interview coming up.  I haven't been on an interview for an SM position in a long time and I've never interviewed for an AEA SM position (promoted from within a company each time).  My question is this: what is appropriate attire for an interview in theatre these days?  Would a suit be beneficial or just look silly?  It hadn't occured to me until someone asked me if I had a suit.  Before then, I had just been planning on a button down, tie, and slacks.  For those of you running interviews, what do you suggest?  For those that have been on interviews, what do you wear?  Thanks.

Mac Calder

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« Reply #1 on: Aug 04, 2005, 10:06 am »
You have to look neat and presentable. I would go with the shirt, tie and slacks, maybe with a ?sports? jacket... You need to present yourself as proud and confident. Confidence relies on how you are dressed. Are you comfortable in a suit? Will a suit make you nervous? How professional is the environment? A small theatre, in a bogan town you could walk in wearing a dressing gown and moccasin boots and get the job, for a large, in-demand job in a professionaly environment, it may well be worth it. My main suggestion. Don't go dressed as a penguin - ie use grey sports coat and pants, with white shirt, or use black coat and slacks with a coloured shirt... just make sure it is not fluro orange...

Interviews are largely psychological. Any boss worth his salt looks at everything. Are their shoes polished? Do they shine? What does their posture say? Did they bring a pen and pad with any of their questions? Do they write the answers down? Do they look me in the eye? Did they have a firm dry handshake? Do they ramble on needlessly, or do they know what they want to say, and say it? Do they take control of the room when they enter? Do they remain respectful? When asked to answer a question, do they hesitate?

There are millions of small things that your seasoned employer knows to look out for, if you face one of them, that little 'I am confident, I look professional' mask you are wearing for the interview will not fool them. If you are facing Mr Smith who is a librarian who also runs the local lyric theatre, you can get away with a clip on tie and a flanalette shirt.

Final piece of advice. Own the room.

SDShelly

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« Reply #2 on: Aug 04, 2005, 02:29 pm »
The last 4/6 jobs I've gotten have been through phone interviews, so I didn't have to worry about how I was dressed, and the focus was more on the conversation itself. However, for the other two interviews I dressed nicely, but not to the point where it overshadowed everything else.  I wore something like nice pants and a nice polo shirt.  I think it has to do with your own personality, though.  If you normally like to be more dressed up, then you can show that.  However, I'd say my style is very casual, so I dressed dressy casual. Show them you took some extra time to get ready for the interview.  Comb your hair nice, tuck in your shirt, etc.  It really does matter what type of environment you'll be in.  For example, I once interviewed for an opera company, and I knew that I would have to be more dressed up, since their crew there wears dressy blacks, so I actually wore a skirt and heels. It really does matter on the situation.In a lot of cases though, a button down shirt and slacks I think would be good.

Aerial

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« Reply #3 on: Aug 04, 2005, 05:21 pm »
I remember the first time I showed up for an interview really dressed up(very nice slacks, dress top, and nice shoes), and was interviewed by a woman in a T shirt and ripped jeans, I was terrified that I was dressed incorrectly.  Now, normally I wear nice slacks and a nice polo shirt.

Just this week I had an interview that perplexed me on how to dress for it.  It was with a woman I've worked for before(which makes the interview harder for other reasons), who I knew would be wearing a T shirt, shorts and sandals.  I made a choice to dress neatly, but was by no means "dressed up".  I had on my nice jeans, and a button down tank top.  I was dressed up looking in comparison, and ended up pleased with my choice.  It's all about the circumstances.

Scott (formerly Digga)

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« Reply #4 on: Aug 05, 2005, 12:45 am »
To clarify, I'm applying for an ASM position in a major market area.  

I like the idea of nice slacks and shirt with a possible tie.  Like Shelly, most of my interviews have been over the phone.  The last in person interviews I did were during SETC coming out of my Senior year of College.  Suits I can do, but it's never part of the job to wear a suit so it doesn't fit me.  That and I don't own a suit, I'd have to go out and buy one.  

Thanks for the input though.  It helps.

Debo123

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« Reply #5 on: Aug 09, 2005, 01:13 am »
So, once one is dressed properly, of equal importance (i would imagine) is the interview itself. For those of you out there who conduct them, what are some of the questions you ask? What do you look for most in responses and in the person you're interviewing? What less tangible qualities do you try to ascertain when interviewing? How does this vary (if at all) for an ASM or PA or intern? Do you usually ask to see an intern's paperwork (I know there is a slough of posts on this topic) or just have an interview? What can make or break the interview?
For those of you who interview a lot, what questions do you find most consistently asked and/or challenging to answer? How do you prep for interviews?
Any other advice from either group of people?
(I realize nobody can tell you how to give the perfect interview, but I figured it might be an interesting natural progression to the dress chain)

Mac Calder

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« Reply #6 on: Aug 09, 2005, 09:58 am »
Quote from: "Debo123"
So, once one is dressed properly, of equal importance (i would imagine) is the interview itself. For those of you out there who conduct them, what are some of the questions you ask? What do you look for most in responses and in the person you're interviewing? What less tangible qualities do you try to ascertain when interviewing? How does this vary (if at all) for an ASM or PA or intern? Do you usually ask to see an intern's paperwork (I know there is a slough of posts on this topic) or just have an interview? What can make or break the interview?
For those of you who interview a lot, what questions do you find most consistently asked and/or challenging to answer? How do you prep for interviews?
Any other advice from either group of people?
(I realize nobody can tell you how to give the perfect interview, but I figured it might be an interesting natural progression to the dress chain)


I listed a few points above, but here are some that I have (and have been) asked... both in the Amdram and Pro arenas.

Quote

Q: What would you say is your worst habbit?
A: If it is something overly positive and answer immediatly, chances are they are being dishonest, -1 in my book

Q: If you won a million dollars tomorrow, what would you do?
A: If the answer is industry or skill related, +1, if the answer is "Give up work" -1, if it is something mundane like "Buy a new car", 0.

Q: In three words, describe yourself.
A: For this Q to work, you need to be able to read people fairly well to figure out if they are saying what you need to hear, or what you want to hear.

Q: In one word, describe how your teacher see's you.
A: See above.

Q: In one word, describe how someone working under your guidence sees you.
A: See above.

Q: What do you know about xxxx? (ie director, company)
A: If they give you entirely positive answers, chances are, unless they are really passionate about said director or company that they are saying what you want to hear.

Q: I see you have worked on.... What were some of the problems you encountered, and how did you get arround them?
A: If they say "There were no real problems", tune out and don't listen to them any longer ;-P~ God knows they are lying through their teeth.

Q: Do you know the story of ...? (if yes) describe it for me please?
A: Here, you do not want a coloured description of the show, you really want a basic outline, otherwise chances are you may end up with a second director instead of a stage manager (ie I am working on JC at the moment and the whole thing has been given this really odd, almost post modern twist (ie mary in a corset, judas dressed as a samurie/communist/nazi... it really is a worry). Although I do have pre-concieved notions about JC, I had to step away. The director commented on how he had done a show like JC (a popular musical) before with a different SM, and he had quit because the SM was a traditionalist)


I have a couple of pages of questions for interviews filed away somewhere in my office, but I have no idea where it would be.

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