First Impressions – You get one chance
The old saying goes, “You only get one chance to make a first impression”. This is true in almost every situation and modeling is no exception. When you finally get that model interview that you’ve been hoping and working for, bring the very best of everything you have to the meeting. Don’t hold back; you may not have a second interview!
I’m going to mention a few tips to help stack the deck in your favor. When I say this, don’t believe for a minute that this will guarantee you a signing with the model agency. It won’t. There is generally going to be fierce competition out there and it may come down to you and several other models. If this is the case, you’ll want your presence to shine through giving you that oh so minor edge over the others.
First, let’s talk about preparation for the interview.
Should I wear makeup or not?
Agents don’t want to see your face made up like a Barbie doll. They (or their clients) can make you look the way they require after you are signed. The agent at the first interview wants to see the real you so that he or she knows the material available to work with.
So, you have two choices; Either wear no makeup at all to the model interview or just a little. The latter being my suggestion.
By a “little” I’m talking very little such as …
Some concealer to hide major blemishes
Mascara and just a touch of natural-looking eye shadow
A hint of blush to bring out the cheeks
And remember, be sure not to overdo any of this. The agent should barely be able to tell you’re wearing any makeup at all so just enough to look natural “on purpose”.
What to wear to the agency interview
I would suggest wearing clothing that accents your body without being overbearing. You don’t want to look like a prude or “easy prey”.
Don’t wear excessively tight clothing or a blouse with a plunging neckline. You want the agent to first look at your face. Just a good, sensible casual outfit should work fine especially since you’ll be wearing very light makeup to the interview.
From a photographer’s point of view I would also suggest a button-up shirt with long sleeves. This always looks nice and gives a down-to-earth appearance. Use good judgment when dressing.
Photos or Portfolio
As I stated in the portfolio section of this book, you don’t absolutely need a portfolio to take with you to the model agency interview. However, you do want to take the very best photos you have to make a good impression.
How many photos? Again, you’re better off carrying only three or four of your very best shots than a portfolio book of 50 mediocre images. So, as a rule of thumb, I’d say to take from three to five good snaps including one headshot and one full body shot to the agency interview. If the agent needs to see more she’ll ask for them.
Let your personality shine through
If there’s one thing I’ve learned about professional models, they are definitely not shy!! So, one step in becoming a professional model is to look and act the part. I’m not saying to have a cocky or arrogant way about you. Just show a pleasant confidence. Here are a couple of pointers.
Let the agent put his hand out first and then give a good, firm handshake
Look the agent in the eye
Smile, Smile, Smile (Let your natural smile show, not a head bowed, nervous smile). Practice in the mirror ’til you have the right effect
Lean a bit forward when the agent is speaking (this shows you’re interested and listening)
Copy the agent’s body language (Be subtle about this but if the agent has his legs crossed or hand to the chin, easily follow and do the same)
When asked, describe yourself in concise terms, don’t ramble
You have two ears and one mouth; use them in that order.
Never argue (even if you disagree with what the agent is saying just smile and go on with the interview. You don’t have to work with him if the disagreement is unsolvable)
Get the agent to talk about the model agency; You’ll learn more and develop rapport with her because people love to talk about themselves or their business
I know this is a lot to remember so a good way to make this information your own is to get a family member or a friend to conduct a rehearsal interview with you so that you can practice these skills. After a while you will be performing them naturally. If you know a working model, even better to let her help you.
No matter what, don’t get defensive
OK, so you’ve made it through those awkward first moments and the interview is going great. All of a sudden the agent mentions that he would like to talk with you on another date; after you’ve lost 10 pounds!!
What do you do now?
I know, I know, weight is a sensitive issue with women, especially models, but you should take this in context. First I would thank the agent for his advice because he knows what his clients (and your future employers) want. If you decided never to talk to that agent again, I would suggest following that advice and lose the ten pounds before setting up an interview with a different model agency.
Losing weight, getting a haircut, or staying out of the tanning bed is not an unusual request in the modeling business so listen to the advice. They are not always right but they are the ones who hire you (or not!).
Secondly, if you really listened, the agent said she wanted another interview with you which means she has enough interest in you to pursue your relationship further. Isn’t that terrific? You may have scored with this agent!!
So, let the other model (the one who wasn’t listening) storm out of the room in indignant embarrassment but you keep your head and maybe get the job!
So, remember these tips during your model interview and present yourself in the very best light. I feel that you will have a definite head start on those models who just walk in with no idea of what to do. Most success is learned. If you don’t have it, fake it! Pretty soon you’ll find it!
Professional model photographer gives tips for beginners on how to become a model . Check out the modeling website at www.bobpardue.com
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