If you’ve ever been stumped during a job interview or had an awkward moment of silence, you’re not alone.
So if you want to turn those lengthy moments into gems, the founders of Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre suggest relying on some basic improv techniques to boost your game.
On Friday we conducted exclusive interviews with two of the four founders, Ian Roberts and Matt Besser, at the annual UCB Del Close Marathon. Not surprisingly, the marathon’s press conference kicked off with a ton of energy and excitement and moments after it concluded, Roberts and Besser talked about thepower of “yes, and.”
Roberts explained, “I think a lot of a job interview is convincing the people that they would personally enjoy hanging out with you. ‘Yes, and’ what they say.”
“When they bring up something, go ahead and go in whatever tangent they’re interested in. I use that all the time when I pitch in the industry because this guy likes boats, whatever little you know about boats, ‘Hey, yeah, I did this’ – even if it’s one experience, that can help.”
Besser concurred. Rather than focus on yourself the entire time, build upon what the hiring team is saying.
“Before the interview even starts try to find something in the conversation about something like today could be the World Cup or something that most people have an opinion on. Then you have something to go back to if you feel like you’re faltering in your interview somehow.”
And the more you rely on this technique, even during pitch meetings, business meetings, the works, the more it can help you succeed. It’s like a muscle: you’ll get stronger and better at incorporating it into meetings to find common ground and build upon business conversations.