Tag: Working In The Media Industry

What do you mean, you do voices?

What do you mean, you do voices?

Our final task for Working in the Media Industry – interviewing our two candidates.

The interviewing process was informal and lighthearted, but our discussions and constructive criticisms were serious.

The questions we asked were related to linking the skills or previous jobs listed on their CVs to our job position.

George and I had been interviewed by another group the week before and from that experience we wanted to implement the criticism given to them into our interview. Namely, to welcome the interviewee and discover a little bit about them before beginning the main questions. When George and I were interviewed, we were not greeted and were thrown straight into technical questions of “have you used X before…How good are you with dealing with X?”

Our first question to ask the interviewee was what interested them to apply for this role and what interests them in media.

Later questions would revolve around dealing with the public or difficult situations with people and how they would deal with them. To our delight, both candidates provided past examples of these situations and how they dealt with them.

Peppered through the interview I would ask questions relating directly to their CV. For example, when scrolling though Grace’s CV, it states she is fully trained in First Aid – so I questioned Grace about how she came about obtaining the certificate and how it would be beneficial to our job vacancy. Likewise, Emily had noted she was a 1st AD on a short film to which I enquired how the responsibilities of the 1st AD can be transferable to a Location Marshal.

We did play one trick on both candidates which they saw right through. We moved the chair they would sit in to the very back of the wall – hoping them not to take the initiative and bring it closer to the desk. When they both came in, we all laughed as they knew why we had done it.

The interviews were really good. And we all learnt from the experience. It was strange interviewing our friends and keeping a professional attitude, but we were very supportive when it came to feedback and it was a much nicer environment to be in rather than an actual corporate interview.

This unit has been incredibly valuable to me and I hope to take what I have learnt into securing a placement.

Eeny, Meeny, Miny, Moe…

Eeny, Meeny, Miny, Moe…

Shortlisting the applicants for our fake job description.

Even though we knew the people applying for our job, we had to remain impartial and treat this task seriously. That being said, one person from the group did not send us a CV, and the other sent us a three paged CV with the third page listing what cakes they had made in the previous week. So our only real candidates were our friends, Grace and Emily.

Grace and Emily met our criteria very well. One of the qualities we were after was ‘Stamina’ due to the long hours of standing and waiting someone would be doing as a location marshal and both candidates proved they would cope – with Grace giving examples of being a Stage Manager’s Runner for an Annual Dance Production, and demonstrating how those skills would be transferable to the job requirements. Emily too wrote her athletic achievements of ten years gymnastic experience as an example of physical stamina and discipline.

Where could the candidates improve their CV and cover letter? We unanimously agreed that both their cover letters could be improved upon. Grace wrote hers in the email, where preferably it would be a separate document which can be saved and retrieved at a later date, and Emily’s came across too informal.

Both their CVs were very strong and we decided that we would interview the two of them.

It seems you feel our work is not a benefit to the public

It seems you feel our work is not a benefit to the public

We’ve made and tailored CVs, but to really get an understand of what media companies are looking for, our next task is to make a fake media-related job description and request other members in our class apply to it. This task challenges us to think ‘like an employer’.

Job Descriptions – A list of tasks and responsibilities associated with the post

Personal Profile – Qualities in a person an employer is after

As a group of four, Ollie, Chris, George, and I created a company with an entry level job we’re familiar in. As a play on words, and a reference to our nerdy behaviour, we named our company Good Robot Productions.

The role we created was for one that was recently advertised for real in the Bournemouth area, and students on our course, including George, had actually been a part of. It was for a Locations Assistant – a form of marshalling to keep pedestrians away from live shooting.

We came up with things the role would entail and what we would write in the description. These went from pretty simplistic criteria like ‘talking to the public’ to ‘working long hours’ and ‘knowing first aid’.

Ollie was designated Human Resources Manager for our company and emailed the job descriptions to a group in our class.

Good Robot Productions – Application Form

I see by your curriculum vitae that you’re a Sagittarius.

I see by your curriculum vitae that you’re a Sagittarius.

Here’s where Working in the Media Industry gets juicy. We actually discuss what should go on a media tailored CV and craft one which would be good enough to send to potential employers.

This CV would not be one of fiction.

We had a tremendous lecture by guest Gary Farrell who works for Frame 25, a broadcast recruitment agency. He gave us great insider knowledge for what media companies want from prospective employees and how they sift through hundreds of CVs and Cover Letters.

The first piece of insightful knowledge was the idea of writing the CV from the employers perspective. They have a problem that needs solving and you have to either satisfy their needs or solve their problem. They’ve opened up a vacancy for a reason, so make it easy to spot on your CV.

Employers are looking for the essential criteria needed to work in their industry. If they need a camera operator, what equipment have you used?

However, with these skills or even attributes of your character, they want this supported with evidence. They want the abilities in some form of context. How did you use these certain skills? What was your process for making this content?

Gary said something I wasn’t quite expecting, and that was “as an employer, why are you telling me this?” This put me in a state of mind that all employers are robots, that they do not care about the human behind the CV, just the tactical empirical evidence of the skills and knowledge they know. But I realised that the influx of applications may to be grand to allow for any time to make an emotional response, nor should they create one in case they cannot detach themselves from one CV to the next. But lastly, it also made me understand how important the information you put on this form is and how much you just need to sell yourself. Unimportant or irrelevant information should not crowd what little space and time you have for them to read. “When in doubt, leave it out”

The formatting of your media CV is also crucial. Flashy fonts and outlandish colours will be seen as gimmicks and an excuse for the employer to throw away your CV. Your CV needs to be easy to read, clean of clutter, and preferably two pages maximum.

Whatever role you’re applying for, focus your CV and skill set to that. Graduating Media Production will provide you with a plethora of skills, but you, and your CV need to be focused on the job you are applying for.

But what I do have are a very particular set of skills…

But what I do have are a very particular set of skills…

Working in the Media Industry continues with the second task of thinking about the personal skills you have and the skills that particular future destinations might require of you.

The first thing to identify is the difference between ‘soft skills’ and ‘hard skills’.

Hard skills are those technical, and teachable, abilities that can be tested. For working in media, these might be the knowledge and ability to operate certain cameras or use specific editing software. Contrasting to soft skills which are harder to quantify like creativity, dedication, and passion.

This was a really interesting task set to us, to really define what skills we have, and how we might prove them, and ultimately what information is it that companies want to know when they interview you.

When first starting, we didn’t think of technical skills to promote in an interview situation. Instead, we thought of those human skills, like being an all-round nice person to work with.

When it came to self evaluation it was easier to list the hard technical skills over the soft human skills. I know how to use editing software and I know basic composition and camera terminology. And this can be supported by shadowing me edit, or watching a video I have previously made. However, self-doubt would be a large factor when identifying certain skills I had. Am I actually passionate about X? Am I really that humble? And so on…



Out there, there’s a world outside of Yonkers

Out there, there’s a world outside of Yonkers

Working in the Media Industry is our final ‘theory’ unit for second year Media Production at Bournemouth University. This unit is designed to help us get out into the real world and discover what opportunities there are when we graduate.

The unit will cover how to write and tailor a CV towards a prospective job in the media, interviewing skills and techniques, and the challenges workers face in specific departments and sectors in the media industry. There’s a lot of excitement for this unit as it teaches us the preparation needed before entering the media industry.

Our first task is discussing what is waiting for us when we finish third year.

What opportunities are there for us when the class of 2015 graduate Bournemouth University?

Our course is like a buffet – it offers a nice range of different practices such as script writing, website coding, radio production, filmmaking, and theory. And as the course progresses, you begin to narrow down and focus on the discipline you like and want to work in. Therefore, the course offers you many skills vital for going into such a changing environment – the media industry.

As such, opportunities that may be available would be working with sound, and from that could stem Foley, Sound Design, ADR, Boom Operation, Mixer, Live Audio, Studio Audio, audio for fiction, audio for factual just to name a few. The point is, we will be both versatile and flexible when it comes to working.

For this task, our group listed many jobs that someone could do by starting with a broad term, like audio, and branching out to the specific disciplines that are in that sector.

It did raise a few concerns. Namely, that our course does not focus on such disciplines but only gives you a taster. Like script writing; we have one unit covering how to write a script, while there is an entire three year course devoted to writing for film and television. I point I made though, if you are really passionate and really peruse the area you want to work in, then it will pay off.