I have gone to a few interviews now for Job Agencies and University Courses for roles relating to Graphic Design and I thought this blog post will help any of you who are interested in pursuing a career in the design industry.
1. HAVE A PORTFOLIO
When it comes to interviews a portfolio is essential. It can be either online or print based. I choose to present my portfolio in print as I think its nice to look through the work and take time to really observe it. I also have an online version so if it is requested, they can take time to look at the portfolio in their own time. This is also handy when sending off a resume or applying for a job online.
With your portfolio it is recommended to show your best work at the very start, in the middle and at the very end. So you can impress the interviewers and they will be left with a good first and last impression of your work. It is never about quantity rather the quality of the work produced and whether it is of a high standard. Another tip with this is getting your work out there, nowadays social media plays a huge role in becoming discovered and it is so important to market yourself so people can easily find you. Behance is a great website for displaying your portfolio online and means you can upload your work which is then able to reach hundreds of people not just potential employers. You can find my Behance here as an example of what work looks like when uploaded to the site.
2. BECOME FAMILIAR WITH THE SOFTWARE
A lot of work that is completed in the design industry primarily uses the Adobe Creative Cloud ranging from Photoshop to InDesign. Be sure to become familiar with these softwares. If you don’t have access to them you could always watch YouTube videos. There are so many educational videos which can teach you things from the very basics to more complex tasks.
Also find out what hardware and software your chosen industry uses. A lot of designers choose to work on Mac OS which is a totally different experience to Windows so just make sure you are aware of that before you go for your interview and you are familiar in how to use both.
3. DO YOUR RESEARCH
Before you go to an interview make sure to take time to research the company you are hoping to work for. This is important for all interviews really and it is a good habit to get into, so you can be fully prepared when they ask you questions such as; ‘Why do you want to work here?’ or ‘Tell us what you know about our company‘. Even if they don’t ask you this it is always best to do your research so you know whether it is a company you want to work for.
Don’t just do your research on the company though, find out about existing designers and movements you like and make sure you learn more about the work and what inspiration you can take from it. Also find out about popular design trends, to make sure you stay up to date with current styles. Additionally, it is reccomended to do a few online searches for questions that they might ask you. I have found a few good sites that you can use to help you out.
4. REMEMBER YOUR INTERVIEW ETIQUETTE
This step will leave a lasting impression and it determines whether the company can see you working for them or not. It is always better to overdress than underdress. You want to look the part and present a positive, well put together image of yourself, not one that is scruffy and unkept. Once that is sorted remember to smile during the interview and give them a firm but not overbearing handshake. It needs to be professional and timed just right. Maybe practise with a friend or family member until you are confident in your hand shake.
One last piece of advice is, don’t forget to smile. A friendly face is always nice to see and always leaves a positive impression. I wish you luck in any interviews you may have and I hope this has helped in some way.