Alice project – week 3: job interviews “Sure Thing”-style


“Ding!” – Please start over again! Maybe you shouldn’t have slapped the interviewer on the back?

Have you ever been in a job interview, said something stupid and wished you could start all over again? Do you know David Ives’ brilliant short play “Sure Thing”? Do you know what the first two sentences have to do with each other? In week 3 we improvised some job interviews à la “Sure Thing”!

For those who don’t know Ives’ play: “Sure Thing” tells the story of Bill and Betty, who meet in a café and get acquainted – but not without complications… For whenever one of them says something embarrasing/uninteresting/inappropriate etc. a bell rings in the background and they have to start over again (from the point that went wrong). It’s not that  easy to describe but really hilarious! So on our third meeting we talked a little about job interviews (any experiences? what have you heard or read?). Then came the theatrical part: in small groups the participants prepared a (funny) job interview simulation where, whenever something goes wrong, a bell rings and the interview is reset. As inspiration we then used  a list of job interview questions –  you can find the link in “The Dogme Diaries”  and it’s really a comprehensive list: 100 questions! We had some nice results. One group concentrated more on textual clues like: “What can you do for us that other candidates can’t?” “I can make great coffee!” (bell rings).  Another group concentrated more on the non-verbal aspects: Candidate enters. Two people at a desk look up, look at each other, confused, clearly not expecting this person. Candidate mumbles something like “Sorry, wrong room,” and hurries out. Bell rings. At a further advanced stage their candidate actually managed to enter the room and then by way of greeting slapped the interviewers on the back, as if they were old friends – which of course earned him a bell-chime as well.
The focus with this task was on looking for inspiration for a scene in our yet-to-be-written “Alice”-play but I think this could also be a fun way of practising job interviews, showing “do’s” and the “dont’s” :-)