Amanda Williams & I first met over Instagram & she immediately sparked my curiosity because she’s a Senior Entertainment Reporter for E! News.
So, basically, she has the dream job that every girl in the world went to college for. I knew I had to pick her brain for you. Actually, she was recently the reporter on an article featuring all of my tips for coping in quarantine, so be sure to check it out. Tips like: accepting help if you need it, focussing on positivity, & not getting bogged down by the small stuff that doesn’t really matter.
Amanda is a total hustler & such an example of someone living life on her own terms, while embracing the madness. She’s beautiful, smart, an amazing writer, & I couldn’t be more excited to welcome her to The Skinny Confidential.
♡ Introduce yourself to The Skinny Confidential audience. The more the better!
Amanda Williams: Hi there TSC fans! My name is Amanda Williams. I am a 28 year-old Las Vegas native pursuing my dreams in Los Angeles! I’ve been in LA for about 10 years now & am currently an influencer & Senior Reporter for E! News & E! Online. As basic as it sounds, I love the typical LA activities in my spare time such as hiking, working out, brunching with friends & having a nice glass of wine at dinner. I am a low-key graphic design nerd & appreciate anything with a chic aesthetic or cute packaging. Oh, & did I mention I am obsessed with my dog?
♡ Tell us about your journey to landing your dream job at E!.
AW: It was quite a journey. Even to this day, I look back & think “how did this happen”?
While finishing college in Santa Barbara & then Long Beach State, I was an intern at Entertainment Tonight. A family friend who is in the business helped my 18 year-old self get that internship, & from there I made as many connections as I could. I spent countless unpaid hours in the ET vault room alphabetizing tapes & transcribing show clips. I went on to intern at In Touch Weekly and Life & Style weekly while still finishing school & they hired me once I graduated.
I was the West Coast Reporter there for three years before seeing a job opening at E!. The magazines truly gave me a foundation for my career & taught me many valuable skills by throwing me out in the wild & allowing me to do things on my own. I was covering events, doing interviews & sort of winging it. I learned a lot during this time & it worked out in my favor. Once I saw a job opening at E!, I remembered I had met someone who works there while out an event, & reached out. I was connected to the hiring managers & after 7 interviews, I got the job & have been there for 3 years now!
♡ What are some tangible steps that readers can take to land their dream gig?
AW: If you are still in college, try & get as many internships as you can. The more experience the better, even if it is unpaid. I know that it sounds easier said than done when trying to land something, but be sure to be constantly looking online for openings & try to connect with people who work for the company you want to work for.
LinkedIn & Instagram are great tools. Reach out & see if you can connect & ask for advice on how to be connected to the hiring managers. I truly believe the entertainment industry is about connections & networking. Go to as many events as you can to meet people. Reach out to get coffee with someone who you look up to or try to schedule a quick phone interview with them.
People love to talk about themselves & we’ve all been in your place before! Whether you are still in college or not, or just looking for a new job, you should be trying to connect with people who are in the field you are looking to be in & ask for advice. I personally have DM’d a lot of various people on instagram asking for an interview, & it’s resulted in a many articles on E! Online.
You can use that tip in real life. DM people, tweet people, ask for what you want. If you don’t ask, the answer is always no. If you don’t know what you want to do in life yet, I am all about making a tangible list of possibilities. Make a list of things you are interested in & potential jobs that you can see yourself doing. Do your research, find people who are also working in those fields & read up on their journeys. Reach out & get advice. I’m sure by doing this you can formulate a plan for yourself or at least cross a few jobs off the list that you are no longer interested in.
♡ What are 3 tips on how to hustle like a badass?
AW: Make lists every day & get clear on what needs to be done for the day. It always motivates me when I start checking things off the list & see things get accomplished.
Do something every single day that will help your future self. Whether that be a phone call to your mentor ( or a potential mentor ), doing a workout ( helps the mind, ya know! ), listening to an informative podcast ( Lauryn’s faves here ), or taking an actual rest day so you can be back the next day in full force.
Make sure you are always sharpening up on your skills. Once you figure out what you want to do in life, try & be your best at it. Take classes, read books, always be learning & advancing yourself & shifting with the current times.
Constantly network & maintain your connections! I know, this sounds exhausting but it is important to maintain valuable connections & to maintain relationships with people.
♡ Success is usually found in morning routines. What is yours?
AW: My morning routine now that we are working from home is a lot different than before the pandemic. Currently, I wake up around 7:50 & start immediately answering emails around 8am. I work from 8am-4pm but when you work in news, the work doesn’t really have a definitive time schedule.
I will answer emails & make my to-do list for the day from 8am-10am while sipping my first coffee in bed. I also sip a morning drink every morning while drinking coffee which is lemon water, cayenne, cinnamon & apple cider vinegar. 10am, I will get up & wash my face, brush my teeth & put my workout clothes on. I am to do a workout at home by 12pm every day. I am intermittent fasting so I will eat breakfast between 12pm-1pm every day. The day is always different. Some days I have calls or interviews all day & can’t get a workout in until later.
♥ 7:50 wake up
♥ 8am check emails and make to-do list while sipping morning elixir and coffee in bed
♥ 8am-10am respond to emails that need most attention
♥ 10am- wash face and brush teeth, put workout clothes on
♥ 11am-12am workout if I can!
♡ What are the top 3 surprises that you’ve found since working in Hollywood?
AW: It’s not as glamorous as you think! It looks like it’s all glitz & glamour, but there is a lot going into it behind the scenes. You don’t see me making phone calls to the cops to confirm someone’s arrest or taking hours to research & formulate interview questions or transcribe an interview. There is a lot of work that goes into everything & it’s not just a red carpet event.
Also, not every celebrity is nice. I won’t name names, but there are many who are unfriendly or difficult! At the same time, more people are willing to help you than you think. Hollywood seems intimidating but people are willing to help if you ask for it.
♡ Red carpet ready! How do we pose? Give us all the tips.
AW: We all know that lighting & the right angle is key. There have been so many times I have been on a red carpet & the lighting is so bad that I delete the photos immediately. Try to find good lighting ( or use a good filter ) & hold your phone at the exact height & angle when asking someone to take a photo of you. Personally, I like taking photos of my body at an angle with one foot slightly in front of the other. This is most flattering for me. I prefer candid photos but love a good hand on your hip situation here & there.
♡ Who has been the most surprisingly nice person to interview?
AW: Kim Kardashian & Cardi B. Cardi is always hilarious. One time I got her to drop it low & show me her iconic dance moves while interviewing her on a red carpet. Kim was also lovely. She is professional & will always maintain eye contact & give you clear answers. She makes you feel like she truly cares about being there & answering your questions.
♡ What makes a good interview?
AW: Do your research beforehand & try to formulate conversational questions. I try to write my questions exactly how I would ask them if we were out at a brunch or dinner party casually chatting. Try to be personable but maintain professionalism. Make sure your questions flow together so it doesn’t sound like you are scattered or off topic, or reading a boring script.
It’s important to make eye contact & be very engaging. You can glance at your note card to help guide you to the next topic, but don’t stare & read from it. Really make sure you are prepared. A good interviewer listens to what the person is saying & uses that information to guide them to the next questions. I always try to ask follow-up questions to what their response is, even if it is unplanned. Listen to what they are saying!
♡ Share with us your resume tips for someone looking to break into the television broadcasting world.
AW: Always customize & tailor your resume for the job you are seeking. Only use the most relevant job experience & make sure that it’s seen at the top. If you are looking for a broadcast job, maybe don’t add that retail job you did in college. Look at other people with similar jobs & what their skillset is on Linkedin. Make sure you have similar skills & list those. I remember making my resume more creative with a custom template I bought from Etsy ( very inexpensive ) & that really set me apart. It looked clean & was an attention grabber.
♡ What are some resources, podcasts or books you recommend?
AW: Working with a hosting coach ( Suzanne Sena ) was a great investment. I took her classes & then privately trained with her. She taught me a lot about broadcasting, reading a teleprompter & gaining confidence in my voice.
The more podcasts you listen to, the better you can become at interviewing. Listen to interviews & take notes on how people transition conversations & what types of questions they ask. I love the way The Skinny Confidential asks very conversational questions. Another podcast that is my favorite is The Lady Gang, with Keltie Knight, who is a journalist- and you can learn from her as well.
Another classic is the book How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie. He outlines basic human functions for successful interactions & relationships.
♡ Where can everyone find you? Pimp yourself out!
List of recent articles: https://muckrack.com/amanda-williams-8/articles
And of course check out the article on E! Online with so many tips from Lauryn about how to cope in quarantine!