When I started GMing for my group I thought, “This is going to really help my interpersonal skills.” Well I am happy to say I was right. I recently used the improvisational skills I have honed running Dungeons & Dragons into the most successful job interview of my life.
Full disclosure: This interview was for a lateral transfer. One of the interviewers was a friend of mine. and I had interviewed with many of these people many times… But when interviewers come up to you later and say things like “Wow you did really well at that interview! That is how it is done”, it makes me think I might be on to something.
Preparation: prepare yourself before the interview. I have hundreds of interview questions I have gotten off the internet and from job interviews. Find some questions and write them on notebook cards. Think about how you would answer them, make notes. When you are ready try having a friend quiz you on them. Feel free to answer the questions as your favorite D&D character to break the tension!
In this day and age, most interview questions want you to answer in the form of a story. You want to pick out a handful of experiences from your work life that can work for a number of situations. If push comes to shove, answer in the form of how you would deal with the situation. Try to keep it positive, focus on what the employer is looking for, and how you will benefit the organization. Just like planning out a social encounter!
Role playing: Also try to figure out before hand, what the employer wants and how you satisfy that want. Figure out in your mind why you are the best candidate for the position and speak from that place. This is something I have always had difficulties with, because I am a pretty humble person and it feels weird to gush on about how great I am… but this is a JOB INTERVIEW, not real life. if you don’t tell the interviewer how great you are, no one else will.
Positive Energy: There came a time in running games where I did not have a lot of energy and enthusiasm. I could feel it in my group and the sessions. I did not like it. I vowed to try to bring a lot of energy the next time. It works… even if you have to phone it in a bit. people respond positively to people being positive and excited and full of energy. Seems simple, but it WORKS.
I am not an expert in this subject matter, but I did notice a dramatic change in my interviewing. The above are the areas I think made a difference to me. I sincerely hope someone out there finds this helpful. Good luck and good gaming!