A singing, dancing interview

I’m paralyzed with fear! How can I pass this interview? Our elder says: Take a deep breath, smile, and look ‘em in the eye. You’ve got this.

CraigJ replies

Hi. I’m applying for this volunteering community organization at my school, and there’s 80 people left in the tryout process and the interview will eliminate 30 of those people. In my high school career, I kept getting rejected after the interview round, and I really want to be accepted because I think I’ll have a lot to offer to this organization. Out of five interviews I’ve done in high school, only two have been successful. I just always suffer and struggle with interviews. I made it past the first round for this organization, but now comes the interview, which is gonna make me fail, I think. I heard today that there’s eight interviewers, and now I’m paralyzed with fear. My interview is in two days – how should I prepare??? Also, you apparently have to sing and dance in the interview. Any ways to prepare/calm my nerves?? What questions might they ask?? Any advice is welcome!! For more information, the organization is basically a volunteering organization for only the grade level I will be next year. Basically, you have to be super outgoing and willing to help whenever necessary. You serve the community in a ton of ways, and people who are accepted are expected to be super cheerful, kind, and willing to serve the community.

Elder Response

I’ve been on both sides of this and here are a few things learned:

  1. Everyone is nervous, not just you. You can do certain things to get over this, the most practical being to keep your breath (breathe deeply) and take your time so you don’t get too quick and just start rattling things off. After you get through the first few moments, you’ll be fine. 
  2. Go into it with one main thought – be yourself. Don’t try to act a certain way to please the interviewers; it’s too hard and you have to think too much. You can’t go over the top here and get goofy, but don’t be afraid to let your personality shine; that is commonly what they’re looking for. 
  3. Smile and enjoy it. This is tough, I know, but the point is to use this nervous opportunity to show them your best qualities, one of which always comes through when you smile and mean it. Usually, the people interviewing you are people too. 
  4. Look ’em in the eyes. Another simple idea, but very key; don’t be intimidated, but make eye contact, smile and address exactly the questions they ask. In other words, just try to connect, just as you would with your close friends. Note one thing here; people always notice when the people they are talking to are preoccupied or deep inside themselves; maintaining eye contact keeps you in touch.
  5. Answer questions in a way that demonstrates how you can help them, not just what you have to offer. Of course, you are there to talk about yourself, but when they ask a question, their real goal is to gauge how you can help them in the work they do, not just to hear the same things about qualifications they hear from everyone else, so address that. As an example, if they ask about some work to be done, a possible better answer could be:  “The goal is to really help the students/participants and through my studies and experience, what I’ve learned is…” Or, “I know your organization is built around being positive and optimistic, and that is how I try to approach this work.” In other words, don’t just make it all about you, but about how you can help them meet their goals. Speak from the perspective of the listener.
  6. Listen. Just pay attention to what they ask, and ask questions if you’re unsure what they’re looking for. Interact with them; don’t be afraid. They’re just a bunch of older people, probably. That’s a joke. 

As for singing or dancing, I have no idea. Maybe use the idea that karaoke is popular mainly because the people who do it aren’t afraid of putting themselves out there. It sure isn’t because they’re talented. In other words, just go for it. 


These are just some quick notes I always tried to remember. The hardest part is just to breathe deep, relax and remember that you’re prepared for this with everything you’ve done. You don’t have to remember 1,000 things at once. You just must be you. 


I hope this helps a bit and wish you all the best. If we can help in any other way, just let us know. 


Good luck and be well. 

Article #: 487004
Category: School

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