People sometimes ask, “So how did you get on Jeopardy / Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?” You have to pass a test, then audition. All game shows that I know of have auditions. Here are some tips I’ve compiled over the years. Some of them might work for job interviews or life in general.
Back to theological stuff on Monday.
1. BE YOURSELF, ONLY BIGGER! This is not original with me, but it’s the best advice I ever heard.
2. Be familiar with the show. Know how it works and be aware of what they are looking for in “typical” contestants (for example, the energy level of a Jeopardy! contestant is very different than that of a Wheel of Fortune player).
3. Dress as you would for the show, BUT make sure you wear comfortable shoes – you’ll probably be standing a lot.
5. As in #4, have fun and show it! Remember, the shows are ENTERTAINMENT!
6. Remember that you should be “on” from the time you arrive at the audition site – Contestant Coordinators may be watching at any time.
7. Try to tell a story with your application and your interview – if you can sum up your story in one line, try to stick to that. (For Millionaire, I was “The Stay-Home Dad,” for Jeopardy, I was “The Late-in-Life Career Changer”)
8. Remember things about yourself and your life that will stand out – interesting experiences, encounters with famous folks, embarrassing incidents.
9. You will probably be asked what you will do with any money you win – DON’T say “Pay Bills” even if that’s what you will do – BORING! Travel/home improvements are also too-common answers. For my successful Jeopardy audition, I said, “You know how anniversaries have different types of gifts – first is paper, etc.? If I win a lot I’m going to convince my wife that the next anniversary is the Plasma Anniversary” (this was when big-screen TVs were more rare and expensive than they are now.) The best answer I heard at an audition was “Cash the check in small bills, dump it out on my bed and roll around in it nude.”
10. Speak up!!! Even if you are normally soft-spoken, bump it up a notch (or two, or three) for the audition – if they can’t hear you then neither will the TV viewers.
11. Get any information that you can about the process from web sites, message boards, etc. The more familiar you are with the drill, the more relaxed you will be.
And finally, if you don’t make it the first time KEEP TRYING! Before I got on, I auditioned four times for Who Wants to Be a Millionaire and three times for Jeopardy!.
Other game show veterans, I hope you’ll add your own . . .