Updated on August 30th, 2018 | Rachelle is a job search expert, career coach, and headhunter who helps everyone from students to fortune executives find success in their career.
Question 1 of 25
Why did you choose to pursue a career as a model?
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How to Answer
Your reason for chasing a modeling career does not need to be complicated. You can keep your answer personal, or tell a story if you would like. Perhaps you grew up in pageantry, your parent was a model, or you grew up watching modeling shows like America's Next Top Model. Fun! Whatever your reason, keep it concise and confident.
"I have always had a keen interest in fashion, but never felt I was the right size or shape for typical modeling work. I was approached in my late teens by a talent scout and soon realized this was something I could pursue, as a full figure model. Receiving positive feedback from the small campaigns I have worked on has inspired me to want to continue this as a full-time career."
Entry Level Example
"I grew up watching TV shows like ANTM, and it inspired me to practice my walk, my posing, and try new looks. I decided to try my hand at modeling recently and have done a few shoots with photographers. I have tried bridal, athletic wear, and lingerie shoots. I love them all!"
"I grew up involved in pageantry, so I got a taste of posing, wearing great clothes, dancing, and winning awards, at a young age. I love the thrill of internal competition."
Which personal strengths make you excellent at your job? Strengths can be skills or qualities that help you overcome difficult circumstances or kill it in challenging photo shoots. Talk to the interviewer about a couple of your strengths and why those will help you to be successful as a model.
"My greatest strength as a model is in the diversity I bring to my photo shoots. I do not want to give the same face all of the time and come across as a one trick pony. Diversity is what gets a model booked, these days!"
Entry Level Example
"My passion for clothing design and photography is what sets me apart as a model. I understand that modeling is not a one-dimensional career path. The more I know about production as a whole, the better I can perform as a model."
"My greatest strength, but far, is my unique and androgynous look. I can kill it, from high fashion shoots all the way to sneaker commercials, because of my unique look. I know how to work the sharper dimensions of my face while also letting my softer side come through."
What is your greatest weakness, as a model? What are you doing to improve on it?
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Entry Level Example
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Pick a weakness that is not a core skill as a model. You can be candid in your answer; recognizing that you aren't great at something and acknowledging your need to improve. Be sure to have an action plan in place for improving on this weakness.
"My greatest weakness, as a model, is my critical nature. I am a perfectionist and often require perfection from my shoots. I feel while this may not be considered a negative, personally, sometimes I struggle if I see flaws in a photograph that perhaps another person loves. This is sometimes difficult to adjust to, although I always tell myself that everyone has differing opinions that I can learn from."
Entry Level Example
"My greatest weakness at this point is the lack of diversity in my porfolio. I know I need to book more comp shoots with up and coming photographers. I have been making calls to make this happen."
"As a model, I am great with posing and understanding the positioning of my body. I could, however, work on my hand placement at times. I am working on this by looking through high fashion magazines and taking note of what the world's top models are doing."
The interviewer would like fuller details on your overall experience in the modeling industry. Bring your expertise to life for the interviewer. Highlight some of the photographers you have worked with, or some of the shows you have walked in. If you are a new model, and just starting your portfolio, discuss who you worked with to build your comp card or tell a story on how you were discovered.
"My interest in modeling started from a young age. I was involved in a Gap Kids fashion show at our local mall when I was just eight years old. I quickly decided modeling was the career for me. Entering into my teens, I was selected to be the face of a local clothing company. I am now in a position to further my portfolio past commercial print work and expand my knowledge of the industry."
Entry Level Example
"I was recently discovered by a local talent agent when shopping at the mall with some friends. I was invited to come into their studio for an initial shoot. From there, I have caught the bug! I want to learn everything that I can about this industry."
"I have been a signed model for four years now, and have been given the opportunity to shoot with some amazing local photographers such as A, B, and C. One of my biggest gigs was being flown out to Miami to shoot a music video for an up and coming hip-hop artist. I learned a great deal during that gig and met some incredible people in the industry. I look forward to further developing my portfolio with your agency."
Provide the interviewer an an idea of where you see your modeling career take you. Be specific but also realistic. If you are a fitness model, don't say that you want to become the next Kate Moss. If you are a high fashion model, don't focus on your desire to land more commercials.
"I see myself working the catwalk beside the best of the best! I have hired a walking coach and am practicing my go-see interview skills."
Entry Level Example
"I aspire to be a fitness model, on the cover of magazines like Shape, and Sports Illustrated. To reach this goal, I have hired a personal trainer, and I work out six days a week. I have my first fitness shoot, to build up my portfolio, booked for next week."
"My biggest goal, as a model, is to land a big campaign with a designer such as Jean Paul Gaultier or Tom Ford. I practice my walk on a regular basis, keep my body in shape, and work on my posing every day. I have booked small gigs with local designers and have now set my sights higher."
6. Let's discuss your availability. Are you able to travel? Can you work any hours, on any day? The interviewer would like to know if you have flexibility in your schedule. Are you willing to do what it takes to be a successful model? If you do have restrictions, be sure to express those. You will want to keep your schedule as open as possible, to show your willingness to sacrifice for your dream of becoming a model. Here is an answer example: "I am happy to work day, and night, to make my dream of becoming a model happen. I am diligent and will do what it takes to succeed. Consider my schedule open!" Here is an entry level answer example: "I have a fresh passport, and nowhere to go! I am open to working any days or hours, and can travel as needed." Here is an experienced answer example: "I do have a part-time job, asides from modeling; however, they allow me a great deal of flexibility with some notice. I am happy to travel for work, and have a valid passport ready."7. Have you ever been fired from a modeling job? Being terminated does not have to be an embarrassing or shameful thing. Be open and honest with the interviewer regarding your dismissal. Be sure to let the interviewer know that you can provide positive references despite a previous termination. Here is an answer example: "I was terminated from a contract earlier in my career due to my inability to travel. It was unfortunate but, I was too young to travel on my own, and my parent could not come with me. Despite that termination, I can provide you with strong work references." Here is an entry level answer example: "I have not experienced being fired from a modeling job, or any job, for that matter. I have an incredible work ethic and could not imagine what circumstances that would happen. Rest assured, I will bring my all to every client your agency sends me to." Here is an experienced answer example: "No, I have not. As they say in the modeling world, 'You are only as good as your last job.' This means that I need to bring it, 100%, each time. My work ethic is strong, and I value every job that comes my way."8. Do people see you as a trustworthy and honest individual? It is easy to say that you are trustworthy and honest, but it's best if you can back it up with a review or words from a previous client or manager. Here is an answer example: "I am told quite often that I am an honest and trustworthy individual and you will be able to hear that directly from my clients when you call for a reference. I hold honesty and trustworthiness as fundamental virtues." Here is an entry level answer example: "Yes. People who know me, and have worked with me, always know that they can rely on me, to tell the truth, and be a person of integrity." Here is an experienced answer example: "My clients rely on me because I am trustworthy and honest. They can count on me to be straightforward with them and depend on me to be there when it matters the most."9. As a model, have you ever broken a contract, NDA, or confidentiality agreement? Clients and agencies may have confidentiality agreements for a variety of reasons. These could be to protect their trade secrets or to ensure that you do not bring existing contracts over on the occasion that you leave their agency.Talk to the interviewer about your thoughts on respecting these agreements. Here is an answer example: "I never have, to my knowledge, broken a confidentiality agreement. I would never choose to hurt a client, or my agency, in any way." Here is an entry level answer example: "No. I have only once had a confidentiality agreement and had no problem adhering to it." Here is an experienced answer example: "Confidentiality agreements are necessary and important to protect an organization. I understand the need for confidentiality and take those factors very seriously. I have never broken the trust of my agency, or a valued client."10. Would you consider yourself a creative person? Talk to the interviewer about any creative interests that you and how you have implemented that into your modeling career. Even if you do not consider yourself to be a 'creative person,' there is a significant chance that you have made creative minded decisions in your modeling career. Here is an answer example: "I do consider myself to be a creative individual. One example of this would be the way that I tweak my outfits on set, to make them a bit more 'me.' I offer a lively and creative presence, even in my wardrobe." Here is an entry level answer example: "I am someone who alternates back and forth with the right/left brain, but I will always consider myself a very creative person. I admire the creativity and unconventional thinking that goes into print and commercial work." Here is an experienced answer example: "I am 100% a creative individual. From modeling to music, to singing and dance, I have been immersed in the creative fields most of my life. I look forward to bringing this level of creativity to work for your agency."11. How do you deal in uncomfortable situations? Often, a modeling environment holds the possibility for awkward or tense situations. It can be challenging to know how to respond when you have a director who is moody, or when a fellow model lacks social skills and continually asks inappropriate questions. The interviewer wants to know that you can keep your cool in situations like these. Here is an answer example: "I have had my share of awkward situations in my modeling career! If an uncomfortable situation arises, I tend to face the issue head-on but in a tactful way. Sweeping things under the rug rarely helps. I have no problem being open with my grievances if I am not feeling comfortable in a particular situation." Here is an entry level answer example: "Uncomfortable situations do not weigh on me. I have learned how to face my problems and persevere, and I never take my feelings home with me." Here is an experienced answer example: "It takes a lot to make me uncomfortable, and I just roll with whatever awkward thing is happening. If needed, I will change the conversation, or address the root of the awkwardness. It's all part of the gig."12. When have you worked among a diverse group of people? Are you accustomed to working with a very large or diverse team of individuals? Assure the interviewer that you can handle an environment that offers diversity. As a model, you will work with a vast range of personalities, and backgrounds. Some people will be incredibly professional, some may be arrogant, and others may be disengaged completely. Can you handle it all? Here is an answer example: "I have worked with diverse groups of people most of my modeling career. In creative environments, you must be able to handle an extensive range of personalities. I am most comfortable, and happy, in this type of environment because it offers a great learning opportunity." Here is an entry level answer example: "Diversity is part of any industry, but modeling it seems offers an even greater range. I embrace diversity because I have a lot of people to learn from, and shape my modeling career after." Here is an experienced answer example: "I would say that pretty much every modeling job I have worked, has valued and presented diversity. Working with people from all walks of life and levels of creativity has helped shed different perspectives for me."13. When entering a new modeling gig, describe how you build relationships with the creative team or your fellow models. Due to a wide variety of personalities, relationships can take time to form. How do you ensure that you have a strong line of communication with your fellow models, or creative team, right from the start? Here is an answer example: "I understand that some relationships come quickly and others take time to nurture. When starting a new modeling gig, all that I can do is be my true self and let my personality, integrity, and reliability speak for themselves." Here is an entry level answer example: "I understand that people like to talk about themselves. The best way that I can create new relationships with others is by asking them about themselves. Hopefully, we find common ground and make a quick connection!" Here is an experienced answer example: "First impressions are everything, and I make a strong attempt to build relationships with all of my peers right up front when starting a new job. I am first to make an introduction and ask discovery questions to learn how I can best support them when working together."14. How do you handle a situation where a photographer does not properly direct you? You cannot force others to communicate with you in a way that you would always prefer. Talk to the interviewer about a time that you have handled a situation of miscommunication with a photographer. Here is an answer example: "Whenever I have had a photographer who does not properly communicate with me, I try to learn their style of communication and emulate it. Sometimes you simply have to relate to others in their style to be understood." Here is an entry level answer example: "I have worked for a photographer previously who was incredibly brief in his communication. Many times, I would have to put the pieces together for myself. I managed through it, and it taught me independent thought." Here is an experienced answer example: "There are times in the creative field when this happens. I make sure to regroup with the photographer to explain the strain a gap in communication causes for the overall shoot. Then, I continue to kill it on set! I want to have a great working relationship with all photographers, to maximize my opportunities."15. Models need to be clear communicators. Rate your communication skills from 1-10. On a scale of 1-10, how skilled are you in communication? Why did you choose that particular rating for yourself? Here is an answer example: "I rate my communication skills as a 9/10 as I will, on occasion, have times when I am not as clear as I would like to be. The photographers and other professionals I have worked with in the past will attest to my clear and concise communication skills." Here is an entry level answer example: "I will rate myself an 8.5 because I consider myself a strong communicator. It is the foundation of all success in all modeling jobs. I am always striving to be a better communicator, so I leave the rest of the scale as an aspirational measure." Here is an experienced answer example: "I will rate myself an eight because I value communication but, just like most people, I have things to learn. Some ways that I ensure clear communication are by freely asking questions if I am not sure of the direction I need to take on set."16. Being a reliable model is of utmost importance. How would you describe your work ethic? When the interviewer asks about your work ethic, they are looking for specific examples or keywords they can relate to. When you read the agency's mission statement, do they refer to particular company ethics? Talk about their values and how those align well with your work values. Here is an answer example: "I am a very dedicated and loyal model. I saw on your website that you describe your agency as honest, transparent and you go the extra mile for your clients and models. My work ethic is the same. I am honest, flexible, and come ready to work hard for every client." Here is an entry level answer example: "Some characteristics you may want to use are:
- Creative" Here is an experienced answer example: "I'd describe myself as really driven and goal-oriented. I love competition and am driven by it. Nonetheless, I am a team player. I never want to disappoint and will always go the extra mile both for my own goals and the agency's goals as well."17. Tell me something I wouldn't know about you, from looking at your portfolio. When an interviewer asks an open-ended question like this, it can be difficult to know where to begin...and end! This question haunts many individuals who may accidentally go a little too in-depth into their personal lives. It happens. Keep your reply light, and work relevant. Share how you became interested in becoming a model, and what you enjoy about it. This is an excellent opportunity to describe yourself by discussing the strengths and qualities that you bring. Here is an answer example: "I am a competitive individual who is driven and likes to win. In addition to my successful modeling career, I also spend time playing competitive sports. I give back by volunteering at the local animal shelter and working for a variety of annual fundraisers in our community." Here is an entry level answer example: "I am a very active individual who loves to workout and go to the mountains on the weekend. I feel that my level of activity on my off time greatly improves my delivery as a model. I have a high amount of energy to offer!" Here is an experienced answer example: "I'm pretty sure you can tell, but I'm super excited and passionate about my job as a fitness model! I feel so privileged to have a job that I leap out of bed for every morning. I am a mom of boys, and I am a fitness enthusiast: as their soccer coach, the high school soccer coach for freshman girls, and a runner in my spare time, I truly live a life immersed in fitness."18. When you suffer a setback during a shoot, how do you recover? Everyone handles the stress and disappointment of setbacks differently. As a model, you may not be able to control these setbacks. Wardrobe malfunction, a director who is running late, an unexpected cold, or a makeup artist who is disorganized and causing everyone stress. Discuss with the interviewer how you typically cope with setbacks during a gig. Here is an answer example: "Experiencing a setback is always disappointing, and can be a bit disheartening, but I understand that it happens from time to time. If I experience a major setback, I will take a few moments to debrief and discuss with the director or photographer what I could have done differently. Then, I try again until I nail it!" Here is an entry level answer example: "Setbacks can be trying, but I find that you have to learn how to lose before you learn how to win. While I never enjoy a setback, I use them as a stepping off point to deliver an even better product the next time around." Here is an experienced answer example: "I tend to take things personally and get frustrated when my goal isn't met, or I feel that I didn't deliver my best work. I will go through a mental rundown of what I did wrong or what I could have done differently. It can certainly be emotionally taxing, but I also learn a ton from these inevitable setbacks."19. Tell me about your education and training related to modeling. You may have formal training when it comes to modeling, or you may not. This is a straightforward answer. Bring your education and training to life for the interviewer! Here is an answer example: "I have a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Hartford. This degree helped me to expand my knowledge when it comes to design, structure, space, color, and movement. This education has helped me tremendously when it comes to my career as a model." Here is an entry level answer example: "I have not attended any specific modeling related courses. However, I have a genuine passion for the industry and would welcome the opportunity to study further to expand my knowledge and skills." Here is an experienced answer example: "I welcome any new training and mentorship that will compliment my existing training. I was a signed model at a young age, so my parents ensured that I took multiple courses in dance, acting, runway, and fashion. I feel that my education has been well rounded; however, I am always open to opportunities that elevate my education and training."20. Do you work well under pressure? As a model, you will be under constant pressure, on and off the set. Demonstrate to the interviewer that you can remain calm with high volumes of work or during tough photo shoots. Here is an answer example: "I thrive working under pressure. It keeps me motivated and I would much rather be busy than quiet. I enjoy working to time constraints and having direction and goals so, a pressurized environment is second nature to me." Here is an entry level answer example: "I understand that I will be under a great deal of pressure as a model, especially when shoots and campaigns will need to be completed quickly. There will also be pressure on me to keep my body, hair, and skin looking a particular way. Pressure is what drives me to be my best, and it often tips me into that fierce competitive edge needed to succeed in this industry." Here is an experienced answer example: "Modeling is a cutthroat business and is not for the faint of heart. I take stress, and pressure, and make it work for me rather than against me. Bring it on!"21. Who do you look up to in the modeling industry? Your industry hero could be a model from the past, the present, or even an amazing and talented photographer, choreographer, stylist, or shoot director. Keep your answer concise and show off your knowledge of the industry's trailblazers. Here is an answer example: "I look up to a supermodel, Ashley Graham. Not only is she a model but she is a body-positive activist. I admire her drive to break past the stereotypes of a typical model. She's amazing!" Here is an entry level answer example: "I look up to Tyra Banks. Who doesn't! Not only is she an incredible model, but she is also a businesswoman who has turned her name into a major brand. She's untouchable." Here is an experienced answer example: "In the modeling industry, I admire the individuals who work like crazy to make the final product happen. I have been watching the career of Director X. He has created an incredible brand for himself with a distinctive look to his music videos. In addition to this, he has worked with some of the biggest names in the business including Usher, Rihanna, and Nicki Minaj. It's important, as a model, to have a well rounded idea of the industry's movers and shakers."22. What do you know about our agency? It is essential that you research the agency before you meet. You need to know how long they have been in business, who the owner is, who their most popular models are, what type of clients they book, and some of the most significant successes that the agency has seen. Highlight some of your research and be sure to let the interviewer know that having you on their roster will be a massive benefit to them as well. Here is an answer example: "I have combed through your agency website and researched the history, fully. I know you have been established since 2010 and specialize in models for high fashion tutorials. You have many established models on your books including A, B, and C, and your most recent campaign with Client X gave you even stronger footing in this competitive industry. I am competitive as well, and believe we will be a strong fit for each other." Here is an entry level answer example: "I know that your agency is the most established agency in the state and that you currently have models traveling all over the world. This type of opportunity excites me, and I would be a proud model on your roster, ensuring to represent you in a positive light to every job I book." Here is an experienced answer example: "I have a few model friends who have been signed to your agency. I have heard tremendous things about your agency and my first impression here today has not disappointed. Your models are well supported and well-paid. I look forward to developing a strong relationship with you and your team."23. Why are you the best model for us? The interviewer would like to know what sets you apart from your competition! This is not the time to be humble! A successful booking needs to feel like the right fit by both parties. Express to the interviewer that you think this gig is a strong fit for your experience and your career goals as a model. Emphasize why hiring you will make their job easier. Here is an answer example: "I am versatile and happy to try my hand to anything. I am incredibly professional and adaptable at all times. I will try and try again, and am uninhibited in front of the camera." Here is an entry level answer example: "Although I am newer to my modeling career, I have spent a lot of time behind the camera, as a photographer. This gives me a unique edge over other models because I understand posing, lighting, and how to follow direction." Here is an experienced answer example: "I am the best choice for this modeling gig because I am excellent with accepting and implementing feedback. I do this quickly to assure I waste no time with my clients. I am also an excellent spokesperson as I have taken multiple lessons in public speaking and public relations. I am a very well rounded professional."24. How would you react if asked to do a shoot you were not comfortable with? What are your limitations? Many models make their career by holding nothing back and jumping entirely into every job. Other models have set rules for themselves such as no nudity. Talk to the interviewer about any boundaries that you have for yourself. Here is an answer example: "As a professional, I come to every job prepared to do the work necessary. If I were asked to participate in something that tested my morals, I would ask for some flexibility in the shoot or a small modification." Here is an entry level answer example: "My professional reputation is important to me, and if I felt that the shoot would compromise my reputation, I would not participate. I would not participate in any campaign that promotes violence against women, or the harming of animals." Here is an experienced answer example: "I am willing to work in a multitude of ways, including nude shoots. I am not shy about my body and do not feel that shooting in the nude is wrong in any way. I will not participate in shoots that promote drugs or illegal activity. That's where I draw the line, professionally."25. Tell me about your most difficult photo shoot. This question requires you to think back to a time when you were challenged and tested as a model. When you answer this question, be sure to show the interviewer a shot from that particular shoot. Bring the experience to life for the interviewer.
"My most difficult photo shoot was for a print ad, where I had to have a dog in my lap. I am deathly allergic to dogs, so the biggest challenge was to be engaged, and not allow my watery eyes or sneezes to get in the way of the shoot. Benadryl was my friend that day! The client was very pleased with my work and dedication." Here is an answer example: "My most difficult photo shoot was for a print ad, where I had to have a dog in my lap. I am deathly allergic to dogs, so the biggest challenge was to be engaged, and not allow my watery eyes or sneezes to get in the way of the shoot. Benadryl was my friend that day! The client was very pleased with my work and dedication." Here is an entry level answer example: "The most difficult photo shoot was my very first one! I was a touch overwhelmed by the lights, all of the people involved, and the fast direction that was coming my way. Some poses felt weird and awkward, but I taught myself to get out of my head and trust the process." Here is an experienced answer example: "My most difficult photo shoot I have done was an athletic wear campaign. I was in constant motion. Jumping on a trampoline, running, and lifting free weights. It's a challenge to keep your face strong while managing the range of motion at the same time. Here are some shots from this campaign."
Author of Model Answers and Questions
Rachelle Enns is a job search expert, executive headhunter, career catalyst, and interview coach. Utilized by top talent from Fortune companies like Microsoft, General Electric, and Nestle, she helps professionals position themselves in today's competitive digital marketplace.
Rachelle founded Renovate My Resume and Executive Resume Solutions, two companies focused on helping job seekers get their edge back. She helps everyone from new graduates looking for their first placement, to CEO's who want more out of their career.
Rachelle coaches students to executives on how to master the toughest interview questions and how to handle the most bizarre interview situations; all with confidence and poise.
Rachelle trains other career coaches, recruiters, and resume writers, globally. A big part of her job is also spent coaching HR professionals on how to bring the human touch back into their interview and hiring process.
First written on: 09/20/2010 Last modified on: 08/30/2018
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