We recently published a How To article about writing and designing a CV for designers. We received a pretty valuable feedback. Therefore, here’s another post that can be considered a sequel to the one I just mentioned. We ran into a problem that how to properly make a CV that would get you an interview call, here you’ll learn how to nail an interview.
This article is also categorized in three sections, “The Approach” “The Basics” and “Interview Questions”. Let’s begin…
Duties of a Designer
Designers are supposed to communicate their company’s messages to the audience in a graphical way. If you are a designer and want to hold a prominent position in your company, you will need some communication skills and imagination, not just your portfolio.
Some say that it’s a portfolio that will get you a job, that’s not correct. If it’s just the portfolio, there’s no need for the interview. It’s only a good interview that will guarantee a job. A designer needs to observe the company’s policies and work accordingly, for instance, if company is trying to make a sober image, don’t design something “flashy” for them.
You will never get a job, which you believe you won’t. Being casual and confident is something that you’ll have to pull off, if you don’t, you are just going to be too nervous in front of a big interviewer and loose all your senses. A firm handshake and always keeping the eye-to-eye contact with the interviewer reflects confidence. And a minor smile never misses to charm, I think our female readers already know this fact.
When you get a call from a company, gather all the information you can about that organization. At least open their website, even that could be enough. Surf around the website and get a complete idea of what the company does and observe the company motives.
Some people do show up in interviews who don’t even know what this company does, these kind of guys are the reason why the Boss gets a high blood pressure.
The more you know about the company, the less time your interview will take, hence the interviewer will like you – not to mention your time will also be saved. It is great to discuss your observations about the company during the interview, it shows your professionalism. On the other hand, if you have any negative thoughts, be diplomatic.
Let’s be honest and accept that techies don’t usually have a dress sense and we are almost never properly dressed, but in an interview you MUST seem professional. Back till the 80’s people used to have an ‘interview suit’, these days companies don’t usually ask for formal suiting, still our routine mediocre T-Shirts or Shorts could bring a disaster in an interview. A dress pant and an Oxford shirt would be most suitable.
Be On Time
When I was starting as a professional, I heard a quote “the reason with being punctual is that there’s no one to appreciate”. One of the reasons I am successful is, that I did not follow this quote. Being on time is necessary, and especially for the first meeting.
In an interview, keep your mind completely clear and focused to the position you are in, no distractions. But also don’t try to keep your mind empty, according to a Punjabi saying an empty mind is devil’s den.
Topics to Discuss in Interview
From your side, you should only talk about the milestones that you achieved in your career. Never talk about a flaw in yourself in the interview. A light joke or a humorous quote could be nice enlighten the mood, but never do something that would create a big laughter, it might make your impression of a non-serious person.
Apart from the routine formal questions, there are some that good interviewers ask which designers are not ready for. So here are five of those questions, and a general idea to answer them.
What are your favorite tools to work with?
Rather than just giving the names of the programs, also tell about the good and bad parts of it. It would sound like a brief review. Nothing could set a better impression than your grasp over the subject.
What related blogs and websites do you like?
Just tell them about all the blogs you read and their focused industry, and why do you like them. If you have a blog of your own, say its name first.
What makes you unique?
This is a moderate version for the question such as What makes you special? or Why should we hire you? Actually, this question is a blessing in disguise. This kind of question always comes up and if you have done your homework, you will give them a great answer.
Team or Alone?
I would say give the unconventional answer here. Be clear and tell them your priority. If you actually happen to have no problems in both modes of work, only then say that you are comfortable in either of the scenarios.
Fix this issue
If you are web designer, they might give you a broken code to fix. Be ready for this kind of situation and don’t get too nervous. It would only be something that you have done a million times before.
I would say diplomacy is the best policy. Don’t mix your personal likes and dislikes with your work, but if you are forced to answer, don’t ever lie, That Will Get You in Trouble.
Be professional and throw out the fears in you. You might not perform at your best at the first time, but if you are afraid of losing, you will never compete, and never succeed.