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Improv to Impress at your Next Job Interview – ABC News

11/10/2009

Improv Comedy Classes May Help Job Seekers Impress at Interviews – ABC News.

Taproot Theatre Company (Seattle) offers a six-week improv course “Improve Your Business Skills.” This column (11.05.09) from ABC journalist Michelle Goodman records her personal experience of taking the course and the creative skills it taught her for improvising and developing flexibility that will make a difference in any interview.

Goodman’s own experience draws from Improv in the Business World,  an interview with David Jahns (10.01.09) of Groundlings.

He talks particularly to the importance of:

  • Gaining and maintaining eye contact with your interviewer or colleagues in a meeting. Eye contact helps build and maintain trust and respect. The value of eye contact is even more important when so much communication takes place online.
  • Listening to the speaker. It’s hard to realize how rare this talent is until you’ve encountered an individual who really listens. More often than not, the person confirms what you’ve said, not simply taking your words and running with them.

Why that’s interesting for creatives, is that you learn to be creative (i.e., improvisational, flexible, versatile, adaptable) in all you do in  a business setting. Creativity doesn’t begin in the brainstorming session. It’s something you bring to work and take with you on every Starbucks break, or breathe in every yoga class.

For creatives as business executives, it also provides a healthy reminder to hone your communication and presentation skills beyond what gets posted to your online portfolio or burned on a CD. Clients need to see in person the talent and professional integrity that drives creative ideas. This need cranks up with every zero of ad spending that drives your account list.

On a deeper note, the course demonstrates the importance of personal empowerment both for the creative workforce and business professionals in general.

This is no time to not be flexible.*
*(Double negative for emphasis!)

Waiting in the wings Originally uploaded by krobbie

What experience or advice do you have to share? Do you recall an interview when improvising saved the day (or could have?) Look forward to your comments.

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