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My Netflix Reality TV Interview

Have you ever wanted to do something totally different with your life but didn't really know how?

I have been on exactly that kind of journey since I left my finance career three years ago to start Social Musings by Austin, and I have made it my mission to explore the types of experiences I willfully gave up when I started on Wall Street over 20 years ago.

While I would have never dreamed of applying to star in a Netflix Reality TV series as an Investment Banking Analyst, when I received an email in August 2022 from the Netflix casting producers requesting candidates for the new game show Squid Game: The Challenge, I decided to go all in.

A person holds a professional video camera on the ground
Reality TV Camera

My reality TV quest first began during the pandemic when Netflix decided to host an open casting call for several reality shows at the Domain in Austin, Texas.

Initially I was reluctant to entertain the chance, since I am not a big reality TV person.

Furthermore, most of the Netflix shows being cast at the Austin event were romance-related (i.e. Love is Blind, etc) in which I had ZERO interest.

Thus, I did not make it to the in-person casting event, but on a last minute whim, I did submit my information online before the deadline.  

I never heard back from my COVID-era submission, but I was added to Netflix’s mailing list for the casting of new shows. 

That's when I received the email from the Netflix casting producers requesting candidates for the new game show Squid Game: The Challenge.

First off, I adored Netflix's 2021 blockbuster Squid Game, and I felt it would be an honor to extend the franchise.

However, the email stipulated the following:

  • You must have a passport valid to enter the UK

  • You must be able to speak English

  • You must be willing to spend up to 5 weeks away from home filming - with no cell phones

  • You will be living in a dorm (just like the original Squid Game) with all of the 456 contestants

Wow, I thought, I doubt there would be a lot of people willing or able to do the above.

After a few days of rumination, I decided to apply.


To be considered for the series, applicants needed to film a video describing their background, their desire to be in the production, and what they would do with the multi-million dollar grand prize.

I spent about a day thinking about what I would say, and here is the video that I submitted:

Amazingly, within two hours of my video upload, I received a call from the casting producers in Los Angeles!  

During this initial 10-minute interview discussing my candidacy for Netflix Reality TV, the showrunners wanted to make extra sure that I could basically leave my life for over a month and not have any career, marital or other important consequences.


At the end of the call, I then received a lengthy questionnaire (see below) to complete before a taped video interview with a casting producer that would then be shared with Netflix executives.  

I found the exercise to be incredibly introspective and insightful, and I think some of these behavioral interview questions can help you as you level up on your own personal quest.


Have you watched Squid Game? What did you think?

Why have you decided to apply?


Tell us a little about yourself?

Tell me about your family/relationship/previous relationships?

Do you have kids?

Who is the most important person in your life?

What do you do for a living? Do you like your job?

Austin Rosenthal plays a guitar sitting on a graffitied boulder with Austin's PennyBacker Bridge in the background
Me at the 360 Bridge Overlook

What was life like growing up?

How did your life compare to those around you?

Have you or anyone around you struggled for money?

What is your relationship like with money?

Are there any events in your life that you think have affected the person you are?

What is the most significant thing that has happened in your life?

Tell me about your interests?

Sports/hobbies etc. what do you do in your spare time?

What would you say is the most surprising thing about you?

Or what would people be surprised to learn about you?

What has been your greatest achievement to date? What are you proud of?

Is there anything you have done that you are not proud of?

What is the best thing that’s ever happened to you?

What is the worst thing that’s ever happened to you? How did you deal with it?

Tell me about your friends, how would they describe you?

How do you go about making friends?

Have you ever had to win people over? How did you do it?

Do you trust people easily?

Are you a good liar?

Can you keep a secret?

What is the hardest thing about keeping a secret?


Four individuals in black stand in front of a gaming screen
Gaming Team

How would you approach the game?

What would your strategy be?

Are you tactical?

Are you good at working out puzzles, clues? Do you have strategic thinking? Or do you find these tricky?

What are your strengths and weaknesses?

Do you identify with anyone that played on the real show?

Do you consider yourself athletic? Were you good at sports at School?

If so which ones?

If not, tell us about it.

Are you competitive?

How do you think you would do?

Are you a team player? Or do you like to play solo?

What would you do with a huge cash prize?

If you won, what is the first thing you would do?

How much would it mean to you to win?

a shiny gold trophy is held up high in a stadium
Victory Trophy

As you can see, the questions were extensive, and I was expected to provide written answers within two days.

After I submitted my completed questionnaire, I had a 15-minute taped video conference interview with one of the producers where they asked me additional information about my responses to their set of questions.

Afterwards, I was told that selections would be made over course of the next few months.

I waited week after week preparing myself for the best and working out hard in the gym to make sure I was physically ready for the challenge.

However, I received notice in late December 2022 that I was not chosen.

A Screenshot from the video game Pac-Man saying "Game Over"
Game Over Screen

That being said, it was a fun experience, and I will likely do it again soon!

In the meantime, I have been in the professional recording studio here in Austin working on a new song called "Fast Lane On The Road To Nowhere," and you can find a sneak preview of that tune below.

Have you ever tried out for a reality TV show?

If so, I would love to hear from you about your experience!

Please message me or comment below.

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