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What Can RuPaul’s Drag Race Teach Us About Interviews?

(As usual, this blog was written by Char who sometimes has silly ideas for blogs that do not necessarily reflect on all of the personal beliefs held at CVTC. But we can’t all think alike or believe the same way, can we? As long as no harm is done to others, you do you, boo. But if you strongly disagree with Drag Queens, time to click away and come back next week. Also, I did warn everyone this was coming, lol).

As I write this, I’m watching RuPaul’s Drag Race.

I don’t generally watch ‘trashy tv’ or reality tv shows. They are cliché, heavily scripted (despite what they claim), and usually have way too much drama to the point of being… well, boring. But Drag Race is fun to watch because of the neat costuming and clothing, many of the challenges are fun, and ok, I admit it, some of the Queens are amazing. (Conversely, some drive me up a wall).

What does any of this have to do with job interviews though? At first blush, probably very little. But dig a little more and you can find some good connections between something like Drag Race, which is basically one giant interview competition for a job (ie, the prize of headlining around the US and other perks) and your more typical job interview. So, what can we learn from RuPaul about the job interview?

The Tagline

In pretty well every episode, RuPaul tells the contestants that they will need to show their charisma, uniqueness, nerve and talent (walk on by, I know what else is being said, so never mind that). The idea here is that they should showcase their personality, their bravery, and their skills and talents.

Doesn’t that sound like something we should also strive for in the interview?

Remember that employers hire people for fit as well as skills and knowledge. Employers want to make sure that the people they hire are going to fit in with the team and be able to work well with everyone around them. The best way to ensure that is through the interview where the interviewer(s) get a better feel for the person behind the resume. This means that you need to show your likeability, what you bring that no one else does, bravery and ability to cope with change, and your skills and knowledge.

Couple of tips for this:

  • Make sure to research the company so that you know what they do, how they do it, and how you can best fit in
  • Be ready with a couple of sensible questions to ask of your own when it comes your time.
  • Be friendly with the other members of the staff that you meet with, not just the interviewer(s)

Audacity

Most of the really memorable winners in Drag Race are memorable because they do something audacious – Celebrity mimicry, really unique costume design, pulling off amazing skits, and so on. The best ones are also something of a risk to do and could blow up in their face.

Professional audacity is important as well. Professional audacity means going for jobs that challenge you to go beyond your comfort zone, asking for raises or promotions when they are warranted, and being ready to take on work that will let you learn new things. Audacity does not mean being rude, obnoxious or pushy – it means trying new things, learning from the times you fall on your face, and taking on challenges. These are the things that set employees apart and make you a stronger candidate at the interview.

Own Who You Are

A final important piece of Drag Race is owning who you are as an entertainer, but also as a person and letting that shine through. And would-be employees would be wise to embrace who they are as well and go for jobs and companies that fit in with that person. But you can’t fit in if you don’t embrace who you are and own it. This should be a part of your resume, in talking about the roles you were in and what things you were proud of, and of course in the interview where you can answer questions honestly and let who you are shine out.

Employers hire for fit!

Confidence, preparation, and some audacity are important keys for would be Drag Race winners and they are important for would be employees as well. So strut your stuff and Shantay, you Stay!

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