I recently listened to an interview about how to use acting techniques in a job interview. I was interested because I know that many job seekers struggle with how to be most effective in an interview. I strongly urge all of my clients to uber-prepare for their interviews, yet many are challenged with having their prepared interview responses sound overly rehearsed vs. authentic and conversational. So, while I was intrigued with the topic of using acting techniques, the more I thought about it, the more skeptical I became.
I use visualizations with my clients because I believe they are useful in working through issues and to promote relaxation. The reason this technique works is because our brains don’t know the difference between a real event or an imagined one. So in that sense we can ‘trick’ our brains which in turn produces an actual change in our physiology.
I think that’s where my skepticism comes from in using an acting technique during a job interview: When you’re using an acting technique, you know you’re using it vs. experiencing an actual emotion. I admit that I have some bias against the word ‘acting’ because I believe most of us interpret it to mean ‘not real’ or ‘fake’. But now that I think about, that’s exactly what I advise my clients to do: practice and prepare your interview answers and then ‘act’ as if it is authentic and not rehearsed.
Hmmmm….I may need to rethink this.
OK, here’s my compromise: what you’re preparing, the words you use, the message must be authentic. You can’t answer interview questions with untruths or make up a background and experience that are false. To deliver that really would be acting. However,how you deliver your message you’ve prepared can be considered acting since the words are prepared in advance and your goal is to deliver them in a fresh manner.
Here’s the trick: You really do have to uber-prepare your interview responses so they sound authentic, fresh and conversational. If you’ve ever prepared any type of presentation, you know that there’s a tipping point in your preparation process when you feel comfortable with the material AND you can make it sound unrehearsed.
So go and prepare your accurate and truthful interview answers and then put in the effort until your delivery sounds relaxed and casual, i.e. …not acted.
Job Search and Career Strategist who hopes I have written something you'll find useful.