Making it through a K-Pop audition isn’t just about singing, dancing, or rapping well. Those who hope to score a trainee contract with their chosen agency need to answer several questions to impress the casting agents too. In a new interview with AYO on YouTube, two idol trainers revealed all.
Previously a member of the third-generation girl group Playback, Lee Yun Ji is now the principal of idol training school Making Academy. Kim Se Yeon, meanwhile, has been training aspiring idols in vocals for 10 years to date. So, who better to reveal the questions casting agents ask during K-Pop auditions?
What questions do you get in auditions? Self-introduction, singing, and what else?
— AYO commenter
First off, Lee Yun Ji says that during the first round of auditions, there are almost no questions. In fact, there’s barely any time for questioning to begin with. The trainer and former idol says auditions tend to finish in just 30 seconds, giving hopefuls barely any time to show their skills at all.
Sometimes, she went on to say, audition judges may notice a spark in one of the auditionees and decide to do a camera test. As the name suggests, a camera test involves talking and performing in front of a camera to see how auditionees appear on screen. During camera tests, Lee Yun Ji says the aspiring trainees may be asked simple questions. But other than that, early auditions are mostly focused on performance skills.
Those who make it through to the final round of auditions, however, must undergo intense scrutiny. “You’d get deep questions,” Lee Yun Ji explained, going on to detail some of the things casting agents expect auditionees to talk about. For starters, they like to hear about your favorite music, singers or role models you aspire to be like, and your dream for the future—all questions that will shape the idol an auditionee could become.
On top of that, Kim Se Yeon revealed that these days, she’s heard casting agents also ask about school violence—perhaps in light of the rise in allegations from netizens who claim some of the biggest idols bullied them in the past.
[They ask], “Have you been a good person?”
— Kim Se Yeon
That said, Lee Yun Ji says its not the answers themselves that auditionees need to worry about. Instead, she believes the most important thing is “talking naturally and confidently” in front of the judges. If an aspiring trainee prepares too much in advance, the casting agents can usually tell.