I would certainly agree with everything that Spaceman Spiff, BADuBois and Robert K S said at both the specific and generalized levels. There are lots of little things that make up the process and TPTB's decision -- hence the ongoing discussions on the subject and why I thought that having a webinar devoted to it would be a good idea -- that can be summarized and generalized:Stanislaus Jacob wrote:I had been meaning to start a thread on this subject for a few days now but waited until I had a large block of free time to do it. In the meantime, Randy G. and Dr. J announced their webinar, which sounds like a wonderful idea. I wondered if that made this thread redundant, but I decided to post anyway. Also, although I did sign up for the webinar, my audition for this year has already come and gone, so my questions are somewhat different.
I guess my number one question (probably everyone's number one question) is: What exactly do they want in the personality interview? What sorts of things stand out, and is there a certain threshold of boringness under which you have no chance? Is it a good or a bad sign if they ignore your written personal anecdotes during the interview? How is it weighted compared to the test or the buzzer practice?
My other major thought is more unusual - why do they still take a break and grade the test onsite? It seems like a relic of the days when those who failed the test were actually dismissed on the spot. It makes me wonder if there is actually some seeding being done during the mock games. Do they put three 46s together to see which one has the best buzzer speed? Or would they pair a 46 with a 38 to see if the guy weaker on paper (literally) actually has the better reflexes?
- Be yourself.... the best of yourself
- It's a one-shot, short interview for a rather specialized job. Take it seriously.
- Small improvements in both your strengths and your deficiencies when added up can really make a difference. There's a lot of luck involved throughout the process of trying to get on, and then hopefully, being on the show. Tilting the odds just slightly in your favor on those things you have some control over should be at the center of your strategy. I'm not an Oprah fan, but I really like this quote: "For me, luck is preparation meeting the moment of opportunity.'"
- They want people who are ready to step out onto the Jeopardy! stage, which means demonstrating far more than just a passing familiarity with the mechanics of the show (fluidity with the buzzer, speaking up, keeping things moving, not arbitrarily ringing in, etc.), the purpose of the show (it's fundamentally entertainment, so be as interesting and entertaining as you can be, while still being yourself. Once you get to the interview, the knowledge part is immaterial, even though that's an inherent component of what makes Jeopardy! Jeopardy!) and the look and feel of the show (dress very presentably, as you would on the show; be enthusiastic, but not "Let's Make a Deal" enthusiastic; show confidence, professionalism and politeness.)
- Don't wing it. There are lots of things you can think about, practice and plan for prior to the audition, many of which will benefit you in life, not just at a Jeopardy! audition. For example, scour your memory for interesting and different things about yourself, and don't be afraid to step into embarrassing, though not distasteful, moments. Volunteering embarrassing moments shows great confidence and has great entertainment value, two things they're looking for. If you conclude that you're just not particularly interesting or different, then make the effort to start doing interesting and different things.
- If it doesn't work out this year, there's next year. Evaluate what you did well and didn't do well, and what you learned from the process and can improve upon. I failed miserably twice before I did this evaluation and the next time I was actually well-prepared and knew that I absolutely nailed the audition. As I've come to learn later in life, failure shouldn't be avoided; it's a necessary component on the road to success.
So good fortune for the results of this year's audition, and if it isn't to be now, then keep trying.
Happy to have you signed up for the webinar -- 19 have signed up so far -- and note that if you'd like to have any specific questions addressed then please submit them in advance, either directly to me here or on the webinar page that was linked to in your confirmation email.