Auditions are Everywhere in Business and at Work


We Bests traveled to a middle school in another district on a bright and crisp early fall morning so our 12 year-old son Noah could audition for the Capital District Youth Choir.

Noah was accepted into the choir as a baritone, singing bass with the high school boys; not surprising, given the fact that his father Joel has a deep bass voice more than suitable to DJ classical music radio.

While Noah was anxious about the audition (as any typical 12 year-old would be), a few factors were certain:  that Noah loves to sing; that he has a strong and clear voice, evidenced by positive prior performance feedback and our last triple-digit water bill resulting from his long rehearsal showers: and that he voluntarily donned his dress pants, shoes, shirt and tie as part of his preparation for the audition.

My business-dress presentation as a parent, whether as an employee or a business owner, appears to have had an impact on Noah. As we walked into the audition together, Noah was the only student who dressed up for the audition. I think we both fleetingly thought he might be teased for over-dressing for the occasion.  However, my business and parenting sense over-ruled that fleeting doubt.  “It’s good that you dressed up for the audition,” I remarked as we approached the audition table.  “It’s good practice to wear your best business-dress outfit for an audition or an interview for a job.  It demonstrates respect for the organization and the process.”  Noah nodded.  The adults at the registration table proceeded to compliment Noah on his audition outfit.

Of course, Noah was accepted because of his musical ability, and not because of the purple tie that he wore.  However, to learn at the age of 12 how to dress professionally (e.g., whatever the definition of “professional” is for any given organization:  in the case of CDYC, business dress is the definition of their professional presentation)  in order to forward your career interests is, bottom-line, a good lesson to learn at a young age.  I did not learn that lesson completely until I was more than double Noah’s age.

Because while I got the professional presentation message for the formal interview (audition) process while I was still in college, it’s the informal auditions (interviews) that took me longer to integrate.  Every meeting, formal and informal, is a potential audition for your next gig.  In Noah’s case, he learned about CDYC because he was accepted to participate in a 10-district choral concert earlier this year.  During the rehearsals for that concert, Noah’s skill and enthusiasm was abundantly clear to the conductor, who subsequently recommended that he audition to join CDYC.

How will you prepare for your auditions this week – formal and informal, planned and unplanned – in business and at work?

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