Many of these points are common sense. Some of them took me 10 years to learn.
The easiest way to get an interview, is to have someone that works at the studio recommend you. Studios promote their own staff first, because they already know them. Next studios like to hire people that someone on their staff knows. That person knows your personality and abilities. So get along with, impress them with your talent and make friends with classmates and teachers in school and with co-workers in studios. People want to work with people that they like. Attend animation conventions, join animation clubs and accept lunch invitations. Do anything that keeps you in contact with others in the animation industry. Introduce yourself to other artists, have friends introduce you and then talk about yourself. Maintain contact with industry friends and co-workers. People do not like to feel used, so don't expect them to recommend you if you have not spoken to them in 5 years.
|"If you do not get the job after being interviewed, the reason is that you failed the interview."|
If you get an interview, then the studio wants you. Studios do not waste their time interviewing people that they don't want. If you do not get the job after being interviewed, the reason is that you failed the interview.
Appearance is important. Don't wear a suit to an interview if you are applying for an artist position. Don't do the opposite and have holes in your clothes either. Just wear comfortable clothes that are not distracting with a silly saying or picture on them. Cover up tattoos with clothing, you can bare your arms later once you are working.
Bring 2 or 3 extra copies of your resume to an interview. Don't expect the studio to still have your resume. The first thing a studio does is put all the demos in a separate pile and all the resumes in (you guessed it) a separate pile, so yours is now temporarily misplaced. Often times there will be several people interviewing you and they will like the fact that they don't have to share 1 resume.
Shake your interviewer's hand before the interview. People judge your handshaking skill, weird but true. If you have a sweaty palm, then wipe it on your clothing, without being obvious, before this ritual. People want a firm good handshake, not bone crushing, or a limp three fingered grip.
|"Half the questions asked during an interview should come from you "|
Use your new knowledge of body language to sit properly in your chair. Sit back and upright, lean forward or sit on the edge of your chair to show your level of interest. Slouching, caving your torso in, or leaning back with your feet on their desk is not recommended.
Do your research on the studio's history, current projects and possibly future work. They will ask you questions to test your knowledge about them.
Half the questions asked during an interview should come from you. Let them ask their questions first. Have your questions prepared before the interview. Write them down on a small piece of paper in case you forget them. Don't ask about your wage, vacation time or how big your office is, until they bring it up.
Have a positive attitude, smile and maintain good eye contact. Not a freaky hard unblinking stare, that's scarey. Don't look away while answering questions, this means that you are lying, even if you are not.
Try to relax. Don't tap your fingers or feet. Don't chew bubblegum. Don't cross your arms, this means that you are blocking what they have to say.
At the end of the interview, ask them when they will inform you about their decision. Then thank them, shake their hand again and tell them that you really want this job.
I am a professional ex-Walt Disney Feature animation artist.
Have a look at my filmography at: http://www.imdb.com/name/