Is it possible to be your best by acting your worst?
The Public History students are busy searching out and securing internships in our field for the summer, and this week we are talking about selling ourselves to employers and granting bodies. World’s Worst is a game where players take turns coming up with and acting out the most awful scenarios possible. Since most of us will need to be interviewed before getting hired or our internship, this game is going to help us become the best interviewee by getting out in the open all the things that could go wrong if we did not play this hilarious game.
The object of World’s Worst Interview is two-fold: to continuously have individuals standing up and providing examples of bad things that an interviewee could say or do in an interview, and to brainstorm a list of examples that can be de-briefed afterwards.
Participants start by sitting in a circle. When somebody has an idea, she or he stands up, quickly acts out the scenario (no explanations allowed!), and sits back down so that another person can stand up. The facilitator should try to let the game go on long enough to create a good list of bad examples but keep it short enough so that people still want to play for longer. (This is a critical trick about running any activity: Always leave’em wanting more!) Afterwards, participants can look at the list of examples that would not get a job candidate hired and as a group come up with positive actions that would help a job candidate look his best or her best.
A good round of World’s Worst Interview and the subsequent debriefing will probably take at least 45 minutes, but hopefully this activity will help participants to come away with some effective interview tips and to feel a little less nervous about that first encounter with a future employer.