Welcome to The Soundtrack, a column where we plumb the depths of our musical knowledge to bring you the best* (subjective) music to listen to for very specific life situations. Initially, this feature was designed to discuss and dissect particular albums that we think fit the bill for various sitches. But it soon became clear that adhering to such strict guidelines could never work. Multiple genres, styles, vibes fit the bill for any given scenario, you know? Hardcore house and pub rock could easily both populate a playlist designed for the same thing. So we decided to be a little more flexible, and curate playlists instead – unpacking them song by song.
Chances are that you’ve dealt with a job/internship interview or three in your life. They’re always nerve-wracking, no matter how prepared you are. But they’re unavoidable, and in order to nail it, you really, really need to bring you A+ game. It’s not always easy to motivate yourself to get up and show someone your best side, while convincing them to invest money and time into you, but we’ve picked a few songs to help you get there.
Kendrick Lamar – i
As the old saying goes, we accept the love we think we deserve. And if you don’t accept your own love, why would a couple of random people who thought your resume was okay enough to call you in for an interview? Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying to walk in there too cocky (very bad idea), but confidence is definitely key here. Start primping for the interview while you get down to this. Chuck on your best threads (use your judgement – giant artsy earrings are perfect for a creative job, but not so much for food service or a more conservative profession), brush your hair, use that hairbrush as a microphone while you put on a little pre-show for the mirror before the Main Event. Say it with me now: I love myself!
Wrongkong – Dear Euphoria
This is the one you wanna chuck on immediately as you leave your house. Hear that quirky blend of acoustic guitar and warping synths? Oh yeah. This song is infectious as hell and I’m relatively certain that if it doesn’t put a whopper of a grin on your face you may be dead inside. Like all good pump-up pop songs, it has an irrepressibly charming shout-along chorus that you’re not gonna be able to shake for the rest of the
day week month. I can’t remember how this song made it into my library but it’s turned many a boring commute into a private dance party. That’s exactly the kick-off point you need to get these suckers to beg you to work for them.
Flight of the Conchords – Business Time
As funny as this song is, this selection is no joke. It’s all well and good to walk in feeling self-confident, well-groomed and like you’re such hot shit you might as well be interviewing them, but it’s important to retain a sense of humility and – more importantly – humour. That’s not to say you should be cracking jokes in your interview from start to finish, necessarily, but you’re not just there to rattle off a laundry list of job requirements: great team worker, highly organised and punctual, fast learner. You’re there to showcase your personality, too – to hammer it home that you, specifically, fit into this workplace’s culture better than anyone else. How can you possibly do that if you come across as a tightly-wound egotistical bundle of nerves? You need to shake out any remaining traces of stress, and this much-beloved NZ comedy duo are the ones to help you do just that.
Eminem – Lose Yourself
This one is a no-brainer. That tension-building riff is so perfect for the those final ten minutes you have to get through in the waiting room before you’re called it (because you rocked up early like a good interviewee). The lyrics – well, at the start, anyway – are such a pitch-perfect reflection of how you’re likely feeling at this point that it’s almost on the nose. The remainder of the verses can serve as a cautionary tale of what not to do, while you focus on Losing Yourself in the moment, you want it, you better never let it go. One of the ultimate pump-up songs before any big event, if this doesn’t rile you up, I don’t know what will.
Just don’t eat any spaghetti before the interview.
Flume – On Top ft. T-Shirt
I speak completely from personal experience when I say that listening to this song right before you walk in the doors will guarantee you the job/internship. I have made three interviews my bitch after smashing out this bad boy. It, like the previous entry on this list, has sorta-cheesy lyrics (I advance every minute, boy I live it/Why start shit you don’t finish), but that’s all part of its charm. It will inject you with so much bravado that you will feel like you are literally Flume and the entire world is at your feet. Those atmospheric synths will pump the blood in your ears around like a dishwasher. Adrenaline is your friend. They say to dress for the job you want, not the job you have – well, this is listening to the music for the job you damn well know you deserve someday. And that closing line? Damn.