More and more people are cutting the cord and finding TV through streaming options these days. That’s great for your bank account, but it could make applying for jobs in Hollywood a bit trickier. Why? With less access to cable content, you're going to have to do a little extra work to get through an interview successfully.
First, in any interview, you're inevitably going to be asked about the shows you're currently watching. This question is intentionally deceptively easy; a lot of job candidates stumble on this one, not realizing that it's as much about personal taste as it is about your qualifications for the job at hand. The interviewer is trying to assess whether you're able to work on the kind of content the company creates and that you've got your pulse on the industry as a whole. Cord cutters are especially prone to fumbling here -- without access to a full cable subscription, they tend to watch shows later or get sucked in by reruns ofFriends and The Office. But you don't want to sound behind the times in a job interview and talk about your newfound love for I'm Sorry when season two is nearing its finale on TruTV, and you're still catching up on season one on Netflix. The other issue cord cutters run into with the current shows question is only listing shows on the platform of their choice. This is especially important if you're interviewing at a company that relies on an old school linear model -- if you tell an interviewer that the only thing you watch is Netflix, well...let's hope you're interviewing for a job at Netflix. Try to have some go-to options from other sources. If this is your dream industry, you’d think you’d find a way to consume as much current content as possible!
Secondly, you should always make sure to watch relevant content before a job interview. For cord cutters, you might have to go out of your way to do this. How can you say you’re passionate about the open development assistant position at Lifetime when you don't have access to Lifetime’s current shows? You'll have to find a way to do a binge session and make it seem as though you've been watching the company's content for years. For a production company, network, or studio position, you should watch the company’s latest shows, and for a job on a show, of course you should watch past episodes (and/or the showrunner’s previous work). If you’re going to cut cable, you need to find an acceptable alternative that will allow you speak intelligently to a hiring manager.
A lot of cable companies offer free trials or let you watch a handful of episodes on their apps for free, or you can purchase episodes online. That said, we don't condone watching content illegally (and we certainly don’t advocate talking about it in an interview -- companies don’t want to know that you're stealing their content). Between Hulu, YouTube TV, Sling, DirecTV Now, CBS All Access, Prime Video, and Netflix, you should be able to find the combination of services that are right for you. Consider it an investment in your career and enjoy peak TV!
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