Interviews: we’ve all had them. But is there anything we can learn from the big screen about how to face them?
In most cases, interviews are a far cry from what we expect. Because more often than not, they’re not as truly horrific as we initially think they’ll be. But sometimes, the reality of an interview isn’t all that different from the disastrous goings-on that we see in the movies.
The question is, are there any lessons to be learnt here that could ensure you see better results at your next big interview?
Interviews can be nerve-racking, daunting, exciting and liberating all at the same time. Some film Directors have even managed to recreate these instances of embarrassment and horror for our own entertainment. When an interview goes badly, it can feel like the whole world has come crashing down. But when it goes well, it’s life changing.
We’ve put together a list of films that we believe have a lot of worthwhile lessons to be learnt when it comes to interviews. Let us know if you think we’ve missed any!
Daniel Hillard – Mrs Doubtfire
Whilst regarded as one of the greatest comedies of all time, Mrs Doubtfire isn’t just about a father dressed as an old Irish lady in an attempt to babysit his kids and get approval from his estranged wife. In fact, the underlying moral of the plot regards a man struggling massively with his career path, and discovering what his true vocation in life is.
For Daniel Hillard – and many of us who might be in the same boat – this isn’t easy. And one particular interview that he tries his luck in goes horribly wrong. We might laugh at the entertainment side of it, but trying to showcase your skills to someone who is showing limited interest is pretty challenging.
The lesson to be learnt here is the art of being appropriate when suitable. Most candidates will attempt to answer every question they are asked and do whatever an interviewer tells them to do. But some talents are best kept to yourself in an interview situation. For instance, it probably isn’t the best idea to do your hot dog impression if you want to to get good reactions.
Dale Doback and Brennan Huff – Step Brothers
As obvious as it might be; do not bring anyone with you to an interview under any circumstances! It might have been a well-done tool for some hilarious comedy in Step Brothers, but it won’t wash in the real world.
Any interviewer who saw you turn up with a family member or a friend to hold your hand would immediately dismiss you and shun you away. You wouldn’t be taken seriously the moment you stepped through the door – and rightly so.
Another lesson Step Brothers teaches us, is to know when it’s the right moment to crack a joke. In most interviews, light-hearted small talk is about as far as it goes when it comes to colloquialisms. But don’t let that put you off. Prepare for every question you might be asked and have a blinder of an answer ready for each one. It shows you’ve done your research, it shows you know yourself and it shows you’re the real deal.
Chris Gardner – The Pursuit Of Happiness
Ahhh, The Pursuit Of Happiness – or Happyness if we’re going for movie accuracy – the film that shows us all just how ambitious we can be when it comes to our career. Based on a true story, a penniless single father living in and out of homeless shelters goes for gold when he interviews for a huge stockbroker firm.
Chris Gardner’s chances look slim at first, but he proves that motivation, dedication and never giving up can go an awfully long way. When he finally gets the job at the end of the gruelling interview process, his life changes forever.
So what can you take from this?
Not only is it true that sticking with something can ensure that it works out in the end, but this is also a typical case of proving yourself to be worthy of a job position above everyone else. Chris doesn’t even turn up to his interview in a suit, yet he still gets hired. Why? Because they knew he was the right man for the job down to his attitude alone. If you’ve got what it takes, don’t shy away. Have the confidence to go for what you want.
Facebook Developers – The Social Network
In what is possibly one of the most intense-driven interviews that’s ever occurred, aspiring developers applying to work for Mark Zuckerberg’s brainchild – Facebook – are asked to do a series of tasks in the fastest time. The task involves writing code, hacking web servers and taking shots every ten seconds – all whilst racing against the clock and each other.
With a bit of luck, your interview won’t be as extreme – or illegal. But there is still something to be learnt here.
It’s massively important that you fit in with the culture of a business. Zuckerberg was clearly on the hunt for ruthlessly focused, insanely dedicated employees who could hack the testing environment. Similarly, you should always make sure that you’re a good fit for a company. So do some research beforehand and find out exactly what it’s like to work for them – or even ask in your interview! It pays to be bold.
Billy McMahon and Nick Campbell – The Internship
Google are renowned for their strange interview questions and techniques; and The Internship is a film that can certainly back these claims up.
Considering that characters Billy and Nick are applying to work for a global enterprise like Google, it’s pretty obvious to see that technology isn’t really their strong point. But against all the odds, they somehow manage to out-wit their interviewer who is attempting to catch them out.
A worthwhile lesson to learn here, is that it really is okay to be completely unique and different, granted that your answers to questions are still relevant and smart.
If you’re looking for a job and could do with some support and interview preparation or guidance, Uniting Ambition can help you out.
We recruit for many recognised businesses and we can provide you with some huge opportunities. Take a look here to see what roles we currently have on offer and contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to see what we can do for you.