Laughing Your Way to a Job

Of course, listening is only half the interview equation. On the night I attended Brady and Martin's class, students brushed up on their storytelling skills, too. Although their tales were of wood nymphs hooked on pickle sandwiches and cell phone-wielding, daiquiri-drinking salamanders, they learned to convey a conflict and a resolution -- quickly and credibly.

"Interviewers are not looking for resume bullet points," Brady said. "They want to hear about how you succeeded in different situations."

In other words, they want to hear you spin a really good yarn -- but they want it to have a discernible beginning, middle and end.

In a Job Interview, Forget About Looking Foolish

"The key to improv is making sure that you're willing to look like a total moron," Martin joked with the half-dozen students in attendance that night.

Clearly they took the message to heart. Within the hour, most of them were writhing on the floor like housecats in heat. But as ridiculous as they looked, they were also convincing.

"The more you perform in front of a group of people, the more you loosen up," Brady said. "It's a confidence builder."

But being bolder, braver and more upbeat in interviews aren't the only benefits students said they'd gained from the class. You can also come off looking like a star at work.

"Thinking quickly on my feet and speaking more fluidly when the spotlight's on me in meetings has been a big benefit," said Linda, a marketing manager in the class who's often asked to provide off-the-cuff project updates at her job.

Besides, she said, "If the worst happens and you lose your job and have to look for a new one, you want to be more resilient."

For Tony, a software program manager who's currently looking for work, the confidence boost and enhanced communication skills weren't the only perks of taking the class.

"Because I'm unemployed, I usually don't get to talk to people during the day," he said. "The nice thing about this class is it gets me out and interacting with others."

This work is the opinion of the columnist and in no way reflects the opinion of ABC News.

Michelle Goodman is a freelance journalist and former cubicle dweller. She is the author of "My So-Called Freelance Life: How to Survive and Thrive as a Creative Professional for Hire" and "The Anti 9-to-5 Guide: Practical Career Advice for Women Who Think Outside the Cube". For more information, see Anti9to5Guide.com.

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