15 Improv Interview Questions and Answers

Prepare for the types of questions you are likely to be asked when interviewing for a position where Improv skills will be used.

Improv, or improvisational theatre, is a form of acting in which the actors create scenes without any prior preparation. Improv requires quick thinking, creativity, and the ability to think on your feet.

If you’re interested in pursuing a career in improv, you’ll likely need to go through an interview process. While traditional interviews focus on your experience and qualifications, an improv interview will be focused on your ability to think quickly and creatively.

In this guide, we’ll provide some sample improv interview questions and answers to help you prepare for your next audition.

1. What is improvisation?

This question is a great way to test your knowledge of the fundamentals of improv. It also allows you to show that you understand how it can be used in different situations and environments. When answering this question, try to define improvisation clearly and concisely. You may even want to give an example or two of when you have used improvisation skills in the past.

Example: “Improvisation is a form of acting where there are no pre-planned lines or scenes. Instead, actors use their creativity and problem-solving skills to create new dialogue on the spot. I’ve been involved with several improv groups over the years, including one at my college where we performed for local audiences.”

2. When did the concept of improv comedy first come into being?

This question is a basic knowledge test that the interviewer may ask to see if you have an understanding of the history of improv comedy. Your answer should include the name of the person who first developed the concept and when it happened.

Example: “The concept of improv comedy came into being in Chicago during the 1950s, where Viola Spolin created theater games for her acting classes. She later published these exercises as ‘Improvisation for the Theater’ in 1963. Later, Spolin’s son Paul Sills took over her theater games and formed The Second City theater company with his friends.”

3. Who were some of the early pioneers in the field of improv comedy?

This question is a great way to test your knowledge of the history of improv comedy. It also shows that you are passionate about the field and have done some research on it. When answering this question, try to name as many pioneers as possible while explaining who they were and what their contributions were.

Example: “Some of the early pioneers in the field of improv comedy include Viola Spolin, Paul Sills, Del Close and Jonathan Winters. These four individuals all contributed greatly to the development of improvisational theater by creating different techniques for performing. For example, Viola Spolin created Theater Games, which are games used to help actors develop characters and create scenes. Paul Sills developed The Compass, which is a system for teaching improvisation. Del Close was one of the first people to use improv comedy as a form of therapy. Finally, Jonathan Winters helped popularize improv comedy with his appearances on ‘The Tonight Show.'”

4. What are some of the most common techniques used to teach people how to do improv?

This question can help the interviewer understand your teaching skills and how you might approach a training session. Use examples from your experience to highlight your ability to teach others, as well as your improvisational skills.

Example: “I’ve found that there are two main ways people learn improv techniques. The first is through exercises where they practice different scenarios or games. These exercises allow them to get comfortable with the basics of improv and build their confidence in performing on stage. The second way is by watching other performers who have mastered the art of improv. Watching these professionals perform allows students to see what it looks like when someone does improv correctly.”

5. How does improv differ from other forms of comedy like standup or sketch comedy?

This question can help the interviewer understand your knowledge of different types of comedy and how you apply them to your work. Use examples from your experience to explain what makes improv unique, including its similarities to other forms of comedy.

Example: “Standup comedy is a solo performance where the comedian tells jokes or stories that they’ve prepared in advance. Sketch comedy involves creating short comedic scenes with characters and dialogue. Improv comedy is similar to sketch comedy because it’s also a form of live entertainment, but there are some key differences. In improv, performers create their content on the spot based on suggestions from the audience. There are no planned lines or actions, so everything we do onstage is spontaneous.”

6. What are some of the most popular improv games and activities?

Interviewers may ask this question to see if you have experience with a variety of games and activities. They want to know that you can adapt to different situations, so it’s important to mention some of the most popular games and explain why they’re popular.

Example: “Some of the most popular improv games are freeze tag, hot seat, group hug, yes-and and reverse psychology. These games are popular because they allow for quick thinking and creativity. Freeze tag is one of my favorite games because it allows me to use my communication skills and problem-solving abilities. In this game, I’m usually ‘it,’ which means I get to freeze other players by tagging them. This forces me to think quickly about how to approach each player without getting tagged myself.”

7. Can you describe what a long form improv scene looks like?

This question is a great way to test your knowledge of the fundamentals of improv. Long form scenes are typically longer than short form and involve more characters, locations and plot lines. You can use this question as an opportunity to show that you understand how long-form improv works and what it looks like on stage.

Example: “Long form improv involves multiple scenes with different characters in different locations. The actors create these scenes by using their imaginations and responding to suggestions from the audience or other performers. In my last role, I was often asked to perform long-form improv scenes where I played multiple characters in a variety of settings.”

8. What are the main differences between short form and long form improv scenes?

This question is a great way to test your knowledge of the two main types of improv scenes. You can use it to show that you understand how each type differs from one another and what they’re used for.

Example: “Short form involves shorter scenes, usually between three and five minutes long. These are typically more structured than long form scenes because there’s less time to create an entire story. Long form scenes involve longer scenes with no set structure. They allow performers to develop characters and storylines over the course of several hours.”

9. What’s the difference between an improv troupe and an improv team?

This question is a great way to test your knowledge of the different types of improv groups. You can answer this question by defining each type and explaining how they differ from one another.

Example: “An improv troupe is a group of performers who work together on an ongoing basis, usually performing at least once per month. An improv team is a group of performers who may not perform as often or for as long but still have a strong connection with one another. I’ve been part of both in my career so far, and I find that being part of an improv troupe has helped me develop more advanced skills than being on an improv team.”

10. What’s the best way for someone new to improv to get started?

This question can give you the opportunity to talk about your experience helping others learn improv. Consider sharing a few tips for getting started with improv and how it helped you develop your skills as an improviser.

Example: “The best way to get started is by taking classes or workshops in improv. There are many different types of improv, so I recommend finding one that’s right for you. For example, if you’re looking for something more comedic, try out long-form improv. If you want to practice acting on stage, try short-form improv. You can also find improv classes online.”

11. Why should we learn to improvise better? What’s the value proposition?

This question is a great way to show your interviewer that you understand the importance of improvising and how it can benefit their organization. When answering this question, make sure to highlight the skills you’ve developed through improv and how they have helped you in your previous roles.

Example: “Improvisation is an important skill because it allows us to think on our feet and solve problems quickly. In my last role as a marketing manager, I had to come up with new ideas for campaigns every week. My team and I were able to use our improvisation skills to create unique content each week that was still relevant to our brand. This led to increased sales and more positive reviews.”

12. Is it possible to apply improv concepts outside of theater, such as at work or home? If yes, then how?

This question is a great way to show your interviewer that you understand the value of improv and how it can be applied in different settings. If you have experience applying improv concepts outside of theater, then share an example with your interviewer.

Example: “Yes, I’ve used improvisation skills at work before. At my previous job, we had a team-building exercise where we were split into groups and given a task to complete. My group was tasked with creating a skit about our company’s values. We decided to use some of the techniques from improv to create a skit that would entertain everyone while also showing what our company stood for.”

13. What are some of the mistakes that novice improvisers often make?

This question can help the interviewer determine how you might coach or mentor others in your field. Use examples from your own experience to highlight your ability to teach and instruct others.

Example: “One of the most common mistakes I see novice improvisers make is not listening carefully to their scene partner. This often leads to missing important details that could be used for a more interesting performance. Another mistake is when they don’t take advantage of all the resources available to them, such as watching videos or reading books about improv. Improv is an art form that takes time to master, so it’s important to learn everything you can.”

14. Are there any books about improv that you would recommend to a beginner?

This question can help the interviewer get a better sense of your improv knowledge and skills. You can answer this question by providing two or three books that you would recommend to someone who is just starting out with improv.

Example: “I would definitely recommend ‘The Complete Yes, And’ by Ryan Singer as well as ‘Truth in Comedy’ by Del Close. Both of these books are great for beginners because they provide valuable insight into how to improve your improv skills. I also think it’s important to read biographies about famous comedians and improvisers like Tina Fey and Amy Poehler.”

15. What are some of the benefits of doing improv on a regular basis?

This question can help the interviewer get to know you better and see if your personality matches with their company culture. It also helps them understand why you enjoy improv so much. When answering this question, try to focus on the personal benefits of doing improv rather than the professional ones.

Example: “I do improv regularly because it’s a great way to relieve stress and have fun. I find that when I’m onstage, all my worries disappear and I can just be myself. I’ve made some amazing friends through improv who are always there for me when I need support or advice. Improv has helped me become more confident in myself and my abilities.”


15 Self Esteem Interview Questions and Answers

Back to Interview

15 Positive Thinking Interview Questions and Answers