Ever find yourself at a loss for words in an interview? If you’re a writer, this is an especially embarrassing occurrence as we are supposed to be great communicators. The following are a few tips on how to carry an organic conversation appropriate for the interview setting. As you read each suggestion, remember that the film business is all about connections, and making connections is all about being open and honest. The simplest way to go about presenting yourself in a way that will attract others, and entice them to connect with you is to learn the art of conversation. Just think “topics.” Start with where you grew up, where you went to school, what you studied, your hobbies, etc. etc. These are great icebreakers for a first conversation. If the conversation goes well, say with a producer or an agent, and they ask you more about yourself, do yourself a favor and tell an anecdote or two. As a writer you should have a few dozen anecdotes readily available in your mind’s back pocket. Here’s a list of the Top 10 Interview Anecdote Topics.
10. Tell ’em one thing that you have done or accomplished that most people haven’t. Have several accomplishments in mind, and pick the one you feel most appropriate to share based on context.
9. Tell ’em something about yourself that might surprise them (in a good way).
8. Tell ’em the story about how you got into writing in the first place.
7. Tell ’em one thing you’ll bring to the table that other cannot or will not.
6. Tell ’em what the most satisfying compliment you ever received was.
5. Tell ’em one specific passion that drives you.
4. Tell ’em one way in which you distinguish yourself in the marketplace.
3. Tell ’em about your experience – slash – credibility; what you’ve done and with whom.
2. Tell ’em how you think someone who really admired you would introduce you to a stranger at a networking event.
1. Tell ’em who you’re going to thank most of all when you win your first Oscar.
There’s no denying it. If you get through all these topic points and you’ve still got their interest, you’re probably a shoo-in. If I were you, I would copy these prompts and jot down a sentence or two for each one, or key words and phrases to help you come up with and remember your anecdotes, or “talking points” as we like to say in the parlance of our times.
Happy connection making!