All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players… At least, that's how the line from Shakespeare puts it.
One part of the world we're pretty sure he's right about in many ways is the job interview. So whether you've 'played many parts' on the theatre stage in your time, or have never learned a single line of am-dram script, you might find this look at the whole interview process from an actorly point of view insightful…
Learn your lines
You don't want to be relying on pre-learned sentences in your interview. A natural conversation is the order of the day. But just as an actor spends time looking at his or her text, you'll want to make sure you're head is filled with the right information to make your performance shine.
We all know the sort of thing: you'll want to know exactly what you've said on your CV, and have extra information ready to add to it. You'll want to know exactly what the company and industry you're about to step onto the stage of is all about. You'll want to consider how you'll answer the questions you're pretty sure might come up.
It's not unusual for someone to have practice interviews at one point or another, just to boost their skills.
Doing a dry run ahead of a big interview could really help you see where you need to improve things in your 'performance'. Just as in the theatre, preparing for what you're about to do will help you feel more confident that you're going to pull it off!
Get that costume on
When an actor puts on his costume, he obviously looks the part – just as you should when you get your interview outfit on.
But it's more than that. Often, an actor's costume actually helps him or her feel even more like the character he or she is meant to be.
When you get your interview outfit on, look in the mirror and spend a moment reminding yourself who the character you're about the play is.
They're not someone totally different. They're the version of you who is definitely going to get this job. Focus on the personality traits you want to project. Just as an actor playing Hamlet will want to convey sadness, it's up to you to show that you're professional, for example, and charming.
Step onto the stage
When an actor walks onto the stage, we get a sense of who he is without any need for words. The body language of his performance is as important as the speech.
Make sure that you're making the right impression with how you present yourself physically in your interview – there's plenty of good advice on this out there. When it comes time for you to say your 'lines' take a leaf from the actor's book and remember a strong voice and articulate manner is a winning combination.
Of course we often hear about stage fright and this is certainly something a lot of us can relate to in an interview! If you're really nervous before you step into the room, think about how an actor tackles nerves pre-performance. Find a quiet space to think about what you need to do if possible. Learn some breathing exercises for calming purposes.