If you are out looking for a job right now, you are probably sweating the thought of upcoming interviews. Are you ready? It’s a little scary thinking about it. What should you wear? What kind of questions will they ask? What if your mind goes blank?
We’ve put together a few tips to help you.
Prepare your website, portfolio, resume, and LinkedIn profile
Before you even start your job search, you should get all your ducks in a row. Make sure you update your portfolio site—weed out all the old stuff that makes it look dated. Show only your best work—and images that are relevant to the kind of work you are looking for. Check to see that all your contact info is current, your resume is updated, and that your LinkedIn profile is looking good.
What to wear
First impressions are lasting, and could mean the difference between getting the job or not. You should be dressing one notch up from what you would normally wear to work. Yes, you are a creative—but don’t go overboard on expressing your artistic flair when you dress for the interview. Go with clean, well-fitting clothing that is relatively conservative in color and style.
Do your homework
Research the company you are interviewing with. We talked to Senior Talent Acquisitions Manager Viviane Veraguth about her recommendations.
“I like to prep my candidates for each interview. I introduce the company to them, what they do, the work, etc. I also ask them to do additional searches to understand what the company has been doing lately (anything in the news, awards, new products, new key players, etc.) So yes, lots of homework can prepare a candidate. It helps them to appear interested and prepared. It can also get people excited for the work they might be doing!”
What to bring on your interview
Here are some recommendations from Viviane on what to bring when you meet the potential client.
“I always ask our contractor’s to bring a few copies of their resume so that, if needed, they can refer back to a job or work they did. Some clients like to ask things related to their resumes, and having a copy of the resume handy can be helpful. There is nothing more confusing than referring to the wrong company or job title while talking to a client.”
As for anything else to bring, Viviane recommends that you bring a laptop and/or tablet. “Just in case of spotty WIFI (yes, that still can happen, especially within big companies. (Due to lots of WIFI security.) I like them to have a few samples on their desktop so they can access their portfolio without WIFI. The importance of tailoring a presentation (your work) to every interview is key. Even a small Powerpoint (it does not have to be PPT) presentation of work, and examples of process and solutions can be great. Oftentimes this is better received than clicking around the portfolio.
Calm your nerves
Nerves make you talk faster and maybe even make your voice shake. While you are waiting for your interview, take some deep breaths through your nose. This will help bring your heart rate to a normal speed, and keep your tongue from tripping over itself.
Talk and listen
Viviane had some tips about engaging with the client. “Make sure you understand what you are interviewing for. If you don’t have a job description, ask what the client is looking for. Tell them a little about yourself: what you’ve been doing lately, what inspires you, and what you think makes you a good designer (developer, PM, etc.). Tell a hiring manager you are interested in the job and why. Make sure you ask lots of questions that haven’t been answered yet. Interview them as much as they interview you. An interview should really be a great conversation that gets both parties excited! A firm handshake and a clean shirt goes a long way, but being aware of body language will too. If someone leans forward and is very engaged, give them some space to look at your work and talk about your process. If nobody speaks, ask what else the interviewer(s) want to see.”
During the interview, let your personality shine through. Enjoy the interview and meeting new people. The more you relax and have fun, the more favorable an impression you will create with your interviewer.
© MARTINA DALTON, Designer, Allovus Design