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Interview with BAFTA Television Programme Manager, Kam Kandola Flynn

Joe SSprecher8 January 2019

First of all, what does BAFTA (British Academy of Film and Television Arts) do?

Our mission is to bring the very best work in film, games and television to public attention, and support the growth of creative talent in the UK and internationally. We do this by identifying and celebrating excellence, discovering, inspiring and nurturing new talent, and enabling learning and creative collaboration.

BAFTA Trophy

In addition to our Awards ceremonies, we have a year-round programme of learning events and initiatives that offers unique access to some of the world’s most inspiring talent through workshops, masterclasses, scholarships, lectures and mentoring schemes.

The UK boasts a wealth of talented people who could make a huge contribution to the continued excellence of British film, games and television. We want to ensure that this talent is nurtured and supported, so that talented individuals have the opportunity to succeed whatever their background, and – through accessing the expertise of their peers and established practitioners – reach their full potential.

And what do you do at BAFTA?

At BAFTA I work within the Learning and New Talent team who work with practitioners from the television, film and games community to discuss and define creative excellence in order to share the tools with wider audiences to make better film, games and television.

I manage and programme our television industry activity which ranges from industry focused debates and lectures addressing issues of the day, to craft-led masterclasses, panel events, Q&As, exclusive screenings and new talent initiatives. The aim is to share insights and expertise into the craft of programme making from BAFTA winners, nominees and the best minds in TV with a wider audience to develop knowledge, skills and talent. I also nurture BAFTA’s relationships with industry practitioners to ensure we are reflecting and supporting the work of the television industry, as well as working on our new talent initiatives which aim to discover, nurture and support the skills and development of the next generation of talent.

What did you do previously?

I studied media and cultural studies at Nottingham Trent University graduating in 2001, during which I did lots of work experience in media-related environments such as hospital radio and being a production runner for shows such as Big Brother. I also thought it would be useful to build up my administration/office skills, so I also pursued part-time work that would get these skills up to scratch. After I graduated, I moved to London and got a job as a runner in post-production then secured my first media job working for a company that programmed the in-flight entertainment for airlines. However, I knew that I wanted to work in television, so I applied for a role at Carlton TV (now ITV) working with a producer as an administration assistant – so putting those admin/office skills to good use! Then I moved on to Channel 4 as a commissioning assistant before joining BAFTA as a regional programmer, which eventually led into my current role (after a short stint working on the Edinburgh International Television Festival).

What do you enjoy about your role?

BAFTA rewards excellence in screen arts, and I love having the opportunity to not only work with practitioners at the top of their game but also supporting talent and skills development in TV, especially at a time where the industry is working so hard to try and level the playing field for anyone from any background or experience to be part of it.

What are the current challenges facing this sector?

The television workforce is not as representative of society in general as it could be. There has been a recent focus on diversifying the workforce and levelling the playing field across the sector in technical, production and editorial roles – so there are lots more opportunities around than there used to be not only to get into the industry but also to sustain a career.

With recent “Digital Disrupters” (as they are referred to in the business) such as online streaming services like Netflix, Amazon and Facebook, the challenge is to make shows that appeal to younger people. There is an eagerness to find stories that will engage and be relevant for this demographic.

What are common graduate routes into the industry?

As an industry we have many routes in but for graduates there are training schemes and apprenticeships – you can find out about some of these via ScreenSkills the industry-led skills body for the UK’s screen-based creative industries. All broadcasters like BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Sky and Channel 5 advertise their opportunities online, and places like the Unit List and Talent Manager promote jobs.  However, you can also get in via junior roles such as runners, researchers or production assistants. Everyone has their own routes.

What would be your top tips for getting into this industry?

  1. Build your network! As much as possible in your own relevant area of interest. This should include peer-to-peer relationships, as these may be your future collaborators.
  2. Get as much work experience as you can – including developing ‘soft skills’ (like teamwork and communication) as these are important. Be hardworking, nice and talented (or at least two of those!)
  3. Make content – e.g. short films, interview led pieces – as this shows passion and your creative eye.
  4. Think about your own unique selling points – e.g. if you have an interest in cooking or medieval art or can speak Italian then hone that knowledge, be passionate – this knowledge will come into use.
  5. Don’t be afraid of stepping sideways in job roles – take your time to develop skills and knowledge
  6. Be flexible if you can – it is largely a freelance industry. See everything as an opportunity.
  7. Although London has been traditionally been the place to be, content hubs are expanding and growing all over the UK in places like Salford, Bristol, Leeds and Glasgow. These will be great places to start your career and build up your skills.
  8. Think outside of editorial roles, and into craft areas where there are particular skills gaps such as visual effects or editing. E.g. see BAFTA’s Television Craft Awards for a range of potential roles.
  9. Check our BAFTA Guru for insights from industry professionals at.
  10. Be you – that’s the best quality you have.

BAFTA offers internships as well as permanent and freelance roles in administration and event production – to see what currently is being offered, they advertise on the BAFTA Jobs website and on Twitter and Facebook

Written by Sally Brown – Careers Consultant at UCL Careers

This blog was written as a follow up to our Media Themed Week. Find out more about upcoming Themed Week events on our website.

How to close an interview

Weronika ZBenning26 July 2016

Question sign

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

‘So, have you got any questions for us?’

If you’ve had an interview any time in the last century, you know this question is inevitable.  Ironically, having made it through all the questions fired at you, many people find this section the most challenging part of the interview to prepare for.

How do I prepare for this?

First piece of advice: be sure to ask a question.  This is extremely important.  Interviewers want the chance to talk. They’ve just listened to you for 45 minutes, give them a break!

What can I ask?

This is your chance to get some real insight into the organisation, so don’t blow it by asking something that can be found easily on the website.  Also, try to avoid questions best directed at HR, such as how much holiday you’re entitled to, what the normal working hours are, etc.  You can always ask this over email, in advance of the interview.

Can I ask about the salary?

You can, although it might be a safer bet to raise the question of salary either in advance of applying (for example emailing HR for an idea of the salary range on offer), or once they’ve been offered the role as part of the negotiation phase.

Some winners:

‘Can you share insight into what you see as the key priorities of this role, particularly in the first 3-6 months of the job?’

‘I’m curious about the ways of working in this role – is it primarily independent, or does it interact with other teams within the organisation?’

‘What does a typical week in post look like?’

Feeling bold?

If you feel there has been a strong rapport created, you could try: ‘I’m curious about your own experience in this organisation.  Can you talk through what you find as the most rewarding aspects of working for xxx?’, or even, ‘can you tell me something of your own career and how you’ve come to be in your current role?’

Final tip:

While it is good to ask questions, be sure not to overstay your welcome.  If the panel are cutting their answers short, looking at the clock, it’s time to move on.  Usually 2 questions is a safe bet, and if they are warm and invitign you could stretch it to three.

And finally, feel free to close the interview thanking them for their time, and re-iterating your interest in the role and the organisation.  A firm handshake and eye contact should leave them with a good impression of you.

For more tips on preparing for interviews visit our website here…..

By Katie Bisaro, Careers Consultant

The ultimate guide to video interviews

ManpreetDhesi30 November 2015

This post originally appeared on the TARGETjobs Bloggers site

We all want to get  that brilliant job, but knowing how to present yourself to employers can be challenging, especially on video. We have chatted to Inspiring Interns about their tips to acing video interviews. Whether you’re a graduate or making a career change, this is the guide for you.

What is a video interview?

In today’s ever-changing world, video interviews are becoming more and more common. Depending on which survey you read, at least 60% of companies are now using video interviews at some stage in their hiring process. There are many books for graduates on how to excel in an interview – but what if all you have is a screen? This can actually be to your advantage. This guide will teach you how to excel in your video interview, so that you can land your dream job.

There are two different types of video interviews; Live, and One-way. A ‘live’ interview is when you and your employer talk in real time, as you would in an in-person interview. The benefit of a live interview is that you can build rapport with the interviewer, and gain an immediate sense of the company’s culture. A one-way interview is when you are sent the pre-set questions, and given a time-frame in which to respond with a video recording of yourself answering them. The benefit of a one-way interview is that you have time to think through your answers.

How to prepare for a video interview

When preparing for a video interview, the lighting is essential. You may answer the questions well, but if the interviewer is struggling to make you out you will leave a bad impression. Using lamps in your room, make sure your face is clear and well lit – open up your webcam and check how you look from the cameras perspective.

What you sit in front of when you do the video interview is very important. Your background needs to be clean, neat, and uncluttered. Remover everything you can, so that there is nothing to distract the interviewer from your answers. If you can find a plain white or cream wall, that is best.

How you dress is also important. If you are applying for an internship at a start-up that advertises a fun company culture on their website, don’t wear a suit and tie. If you are applying to a law firm, a suit and tie is best. Here is a link with a list of roles and the best way to dress appropriately to help you get hired.

Rehearsing your answers is the most essential preparation you can do to be recruited. There’s a reason actors rehearse scenes, and sport professionals train for the big race. On the day, when the spot-light is on you and it’s your turn to shine – you need to be prepared. Have a look at this list of general interview questions to practice answering. As well as rehearsing these, brainstorm other questions you could be asked, and practice your answers to those too.

TIP: It is important you sit in the chair you will be interviewed in, in your interview clothes, with the lighting on, looking directly into the camera while you rehearse. Actors rehearse their lines on set so their mind and body learn how to perform together. You need to rehearse your lines on set, so that in the interview you look natural, feel confident, and know exactly what you are going to say.

I experienced a video interview when going through the application process to get my job here at Inspiring Interns. I was surprised how well it worked! The interview went really well, and through video I got a very clear idea of Inspiring Interns, the people and the great company culture. A video interview made more sense than a standard interview as it saved a lot of time in travel. I lived in the North of England, so travelling to London would have been very time consuming. My number one tip is treat it exactly like a face-to face-interview; dress to impress, use positive body language and make sure you’re in a quiet environment.‘ – Tyler Milner Marketing Executive

Technology needed for video interviews

To conduct a video interview, you will need a webcam, headphones, and microphone – all of good quality. Most laptops come with these, but not all are good. Test the quality of yours with friends (on a skype call or google hangout). If the image or sound isn’t good enough, it is worth investing in buying a webcam or headphones with a microphone. This link compares the best webcams, and this one compares the best headphone/microphone combinations.

Ideally, be connected to the router physically rather than using Wi-Fi. If you only have access to Wi-Fi, make sure you’re not more than a few meters away from the router to ensure a strong internet connection. We recommend troubleshooting your internet connection so that you can be assured the call won’t disconnect or lag during your interview. If you have a Mac, click here for the steps to troubleshoot. If you are using windows software, click here. Also, make sure no one else will be using the Wi-Fi at the same time as your video interview. To check the speed of your internet, use Ookla Speedtest.

Based on seven years’ experience arranging interviews, some of which have been online, we often hear from employers how much they love video interviews. They save them time, while still giving a clear impression of the candidate and a sense that it’s a real interview – as opposed to a phone call.’ – Benedict Hazan, Head of Innovation

Tips and tricks for the interview 

When choosing your outfit, avoid wearing anything white. It can come across as distractingly bright. Body language speaks louder than words – if you say you are confident while slouching and shifting your gaze, the interviewer will not believe you. Posture – sit up straight, shoulders relaxed, and back. Look directly at the webcam (make sure you rehearse this while practicing your answers). Check out this link which shows poses to do before your interview to increase your confidence.

Before the interview, remind yourself how amazing you are. We live in a culture which doesn’t encourage us to feel proud of ourselves – forget about that for the moment. Who cares what society thinks. You are amazing. You’ve achieved things, felt nervous and done them anyway, and produced good work. Be proud of who you are.

Be proud of the value you can add to a company. Many graduates go into an interview hoping to get the internship, and hoping to get paid well, while feeling on a lower level than the interviewer. Realize that they are interviewing you because of the potential value you can add their company. And they’re not the only ones interviewing – you should be interviewing them as well. Ask questions to find out whether it’s a company you would actually enjoy working for. This will impress them, and give you the information you need to know whether you would want to accept the job or not.

As an internship recruitment agency we love graduates who come in passionate, confident, and asking questions to make sure the job is the right fit for them long-term. Here is Nicole’s success story to show you the internship possibilities that are waiting for you around the corner.

Checklists


Setting up the space:

  • Lighting
  • Comfortable chair
  • Appropriate clothes
  • Clean uncluttered background

Equipment checklist:

  • Camera
  • Headphones and mic
  • The program you will be interviewed through (likely to be skype or google hangout)

Preparation:

  • Rehearse your answers
  • Do the powerful postures
  • Remember you are interviewing them too

List of Links

For more information, contact Catherine from Inspiring Interns at catherine@inspiringinterns.com