Wrestling Promo Skills for Winning at Job Interviews

Grapple MAX Tokyo

The skills necessary to succeed at job interviews happen to be the same as the skills necessary to deliver great wrestling promos.

Let’s say you’re trying to land your dream career. You’re sitting in a fancy office. Across the table from you is a hiring manager. They’re assessing whether you deserve the role.

Think of this situation. The hiring manager is your audience. Your interview is your promo. And getting the job means they’re handing money over to you – kinda like a wrestling fan buying a ticket.

Unpopular opinion time. Wrestling promos on the indy circuit are generally useless. Why? Think about the job of a wrestling promo. It’s to sell tickets or T-shirts. Basically, to make money. Recall the last indy promo you sat through. Probably something awful. Was the promo what made you spend money? I’ll bet it wasn’t. You were going to anyway, because you like supporting wrestling, in spite of the shitty promos.

But in the real world, a shitty promo is self sabotage.

What Is a Wrestling Promo?

Okay let’s take a step back. What is a wrestling promo? It’s a speaking segment for wrestlers to promote an upcoming match or story angle. Used sparingly, they are very effective.

But in the age of social media, promos are becoming more redundant than ever, because every wrestler is able to convey their perspective in feeds and stories and timelines, without relying on a poorly-acted scheduled monologue.

Don’t believe me? Check out your nearest indy wrestling YouTube channel. Average views on promo videos are a small fraction of views on match videos.

What does that data say? Nobody fucking cares about stupid promos. The wrestlers who film wrestling promos are only doing it because they’re still playing pretend wrestler for each other to watch, instead of doing something meaningful with their time. Don’t be triggered. There are of course exceptions, but let’s not miss the forest for the trees.

Wrestling Promo Skills for Making Real Money

So does it mean the skill behind delivering a great wrestling promo is something you no longer need?

Absolutely not.

While the art of the wrestling promo is ironically increasingly useless in indy wrestling, you can apply it in the real world. We’re talking about job interviews, and public speaking. I talk for a living these days about blockchain and tech, and I wouldn’t do very well at it if not for all the Rock or Stone Cold or Jericho mic segments I watched 20 years ago.

What the Wrestling Promo is NOT

  • Talking loudly
  • Random swearing
  • Having a bad attitude
  • Being unlikable
  • Acting cool
  • Dumb catchphrases
  • Insulting the audience
  • Being a stupid ape

What the Wrestling Promo ACTUALLY IS

  • Communicating logically
  • Building rapport
  • Influencing action

Turns out those 3 points above are what you do when you’re at a job interview.

Doing Better at Job Interviews

You know wrestlers who like to cut shitty promos? They don’t prepare adequately, they love the sound of their own voice, and they enjoy the attention too much to give it up. That’s why they ramble on forever, incapable of realising how insufferably boring they are to the rest of the world.

That’s how you FAIL at an interview. Throughout my career in finance I’ve interviewed enough candidates to know what makes me dump someone’s CV in the trash the moment I prematurely end their session and show them out the door. Let’s help you avoid that.

Going back to the 3 points above of what a wrestling promo actually is.

Communicating Logically

Logical communication is about storytelling. Painting a compelling narrative that people can follow without Olympic mental leaps. It means everything you say has a point, that contributes to the direction you are taking the audience in. You are leading your interviewers on a journey and helping them understand how you overcame a problem and won. That’s why they should bet on you by hiring you. Remember Scott Steiner mathematics? That’s a brain disease. Avoid.

Building Rapport

Insulting the local sports team, calling the audience names, those are heel tactics in service of building connection with the audience. Use the same strategy but do the opposite. Building rapport means establishing a harmonious emotional connection. You must do this with your interviewer. At the work place, people want to hire people who are similar to them, in terms of motivations, philosophy, ambition, and culture. Read about neurolinguistic programming for rapport tips.

Influencing Action

What is the goal of a job interview? To chit chat about your skills and drink a free coffee? Of course not. You’re there to move forward in the hiring process. You must focus on that objective going into the room. Everything you do must help the interviewer make the decision to offer you an employment contract. Convince them you have the right skills, demonstrate your experience, show you’re worth the salary you’re asking for. You are sending a message and you need them to act on it.

Conclusion

Promos are largely unnecessary nowadays on the indy wrestling level. Nothing wrong with insisting on shooting promos though, in fact a good promo also aligns with your wrestling psychology. But more importantly you still need those wrestling promo skills in order to advance in your real, non-kayfabe life.

Covid has made it a tough time economically for many people, but you can employ these strategies at job interviews to increase your chances of winning and getting paid.

The Ladykiller is a 2-time international wrestling champion and co-founder of Southeast Asia’s #1 pro wrestling school, Grapple MAX. Based in Singapore.

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