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View Full Version : Graphic Designer Position: What to expect from a second interview




macaddict23
Oct 19, 2006, 07:12 PM
Hi folks. I interviewed for this position (Marketing Dept.) a few days ago, which I felt went pretty well. This initial interview with the Marketing Mgr. and one designer took about 30 minutes. Now they want to bring me in for a second interview, which I was told would be 11.5 hrs long, and a possibility that the Office Manager and the President/CEO will be part of the committe. This is a technology product company in which all of their products were conceived by the ideas of the CEO. He works closely with the Marketing department. What kind of questions can I expect from these guys? Thanks for the help.



Swarmlord
Oct 19, 2006, 07:19 PM
Well, for this type of position they'll probably focus on the extent of work that you've done that applies to what they expect you to do whether you did it for another employer or independently. A portfolio of work helps.

macaddict23
Oct 19, 2006, 07:32 PM
We already went through my portfolio during my first interview. I showed them a variety of marketing pieces, all of which they really like. If I recall, some of the questions were:

1) Why did you apply for this job?

2) How do you react to criticism?

3) Can you multi-task?

4) What programs do you know?

5) Do you have any experience in product photography?

6) Where do you see yourself 5 years from now.

shecky
Oct 19, 2006, 08:35 PM
my experience with second interviews is that they are much more of a conversation about who you are and who they are and if we can both get along together than it is about answering questions specifically. the first interview is usually a screen to see if you are competent, can do the work, are reasonably intelligent and are not full of poo-poo based on what your CV says. the second interview is more of a back-and-forth where you get to learn as much about what they are doing as well as them learning more about you other than just what is on the CV

i had a 2nd interview once that went for close to three hours with (what would have been*) my boss and other people coming in and out of the conversation. we discussed everything related and unrelated to design, as well as what they do on a day-to-day, and at the end, salary and benefit requirements from me.

do not forget that at the end of the day, you need to not only be a good designer, but you need to be a good PERSON for people to want to hire you. the second interview address the person part a lot more than the first one does.


*i liked them a lot but they were not offering the $ i wanted, so i had to turn them down :)

ATD
Oct 19, 2006, 08:56 PM
do not forget that at the end of the day, you need to not only be a good designer, but you need to be a good PERSON for people to want to hire you.


I agree. The 2nd most important part of an interview behind how good of a designer you are is seeing how good of a person you are.

I would start asking them questions on this 2nd go around. After all, you are making a commitment too. One thing you might try in your questions is to see what areas they need help with. If you can problem solve on the spot they may see you as a team player and someone they would want to hire.

macaddict23
Oct 19, 2006, 09:10 PM
Thanks for the help guys. Sorry shecky, but what's a CV?

shecky
Oct 19, 2006, 09:19 PM
Thanks for the help guys. Sorry shecky, but what's a CV?

CV stands for "curriculum vitae" which means "course of life" in Latin. its basically a resumé that expands beyond just work, school and skills; it lists (in my case at least) exhibitions, publications, teaching experience, awards, tangential skills, etc.

i feel it gives a much fuller view of what a person is all about than a resumé does, and makes a nice companion to the portoflio.

i think in Europe, CV and resumé are pretty much interchangeable in terms of meaning.

decksnap
Oct 19, 2006, 09:38 PM
my experience with second interviews is that they are much more of a conversation about who you are and who they are and if we can both get along together than it is about answering questions specifically. the first interview is usually a screen to see if you are competent, can do the work, are reasonably intelligent and are not full of poo-poo based on what your CV says. the second interview is more of a back-and-forth where you get to learn as much about what they are doing as well as them learning more about you other than just what is on the CV

i had a 2nd interview once that went for close to three hours with (what would have been*) my boss and other people coming in and out of the conversation. we discussed everything related and unrelated to design, as well as what they do on a day-to-day, and at the end, salary and benefit requirements from me.


Yes. This is probably what it will be. Are you a good fit... do the other employees get a good vibe from you...etc.

Bring your personality.

iGav
Oct 20, 2006, 07:39 AM
Never had a second interview, so I don't have a foggiest.

MacBoobsPro
Oct 20, 2006, 07:42 AM
Never had a second interview, so I don't have a foggiest.

Is that because you are so good or so bad? :D

iGav
Oct 20, 2006, 07:52 AM
Is that because you are so good or so bad? :D

I do sometimes wonder myself.

MagicWok
Oct 20, 2006, 07:36 PM
At 2nd interviews, and this doesn't apply just to graphic designers, they sometimes set you a task to do. If you were interviewing for a teaching position, 2nd interviews require you to teach a lesson - allowing your potential employers to see you skill at teaching and handling situations.

When it comes to graphic designers, tasks could range from various, such as sitting down with other designers and speaking about a project, to a quick response to a imaginary brief. This could happen, it may not - just don't discount it from happening.

Myself, I am preparing for a 2nd interview coming up this tuesday by answering a brief they emailed to me earlier in the week, for a Junior Designer position. They have already talked to me, and seen my portfolio - so they now want to see how I would fit into their area of design.

One question I do have, whilst we are on the subject of job employments. I have this 2nd interview lined up this coming tuesday. As most of you know, being a fresh grad, you're constantly applying, even when you get back from the first interview, you are searching for jobs and firing of portfolios and CV's :rolleyes:

Anyway, it so happened, that the week while I was waiting for a repsonse to see if I had got the 2nd intervew, I was contacted by a headhunter who wanted me for an Architectural company. Anyway, they're an impressive company, with an outstanding portfolio, and they want a designer to come in (who will be their first graphics guy in their studio) to come in and unify their brand. And medium to long term, set up shop and start bringing in the outsources projects and completing them inhouse. Since I would be the first designer they have employed, I see this as a great - almost perfect - possibility to grow into the job.

Anyway, cut a long story short I found out yesterday that they want me in for an interview this coming wednesday, a day after the 2nd interview. I'm not saying that I'm that good that this will happen, but what happens if the first job offer me the role on the spot following the second interview? Do I tell them I made a commitment before I got their confirmation of a second interview? The only reason is, I would really love a chance at this Architectural company as well! So, just wondering what I should really do, so that I show respect to them, but not seem that I am not committed to them, should I work for them. :confused: :rolleyes:

I also understand: beggars can't be choosy, but it's a wonder how you send of loads of applications and then interviews all come at the same time! lol Oh and the architectural company know I have the 2nd interview, but still want to see me - gawsh I feel so wanted.

Hmmm, I seem to have rambled on alot for one post! :D

SmurfBoxMasta
Oct 21, 2006, 05:17 AM
but what happens if the first job offer me the role on the spot following the second interview? Do I tell them I made a commitment before I got their confirmation of a second interview? :confused: :rolleyes:

If the first offer meets your needs and you would feel comfortable at that company, accept their offer and be happy!

Then go to the Architectural company interview and see what they are offering. If their offer is similiar or better and you feel you want this job instead of the first one, dont hesitate to take it!

Botton line: do what is right for YOU!

Then just call the first company and let them know that you have accepted a position with another company. Be sincere and tell them you appreciate their interest in you, and thank them for their time & consideration.

I recently did this, and I took the job that was best for me, even though I had 3 other offers on the table, 2 of which I had already accepted prior to accepting the 4th one.....

And dont think for a minute that I lost any sleep over it either :D
I look out for ME above all else!

Also, I agree with the other posters, 2nd interviews are almost always about 2 things:

A) the company wants to get to know YOU better, to be certain that you & they will be a good match, and

B) to make you an offer and/or negotiate a starting salary !

MagicWok
Oct 21, 2006, 06:15 AM
True, true...

I was thinking of doing that, but me being me, I just feel a little uncomfortable pissing off the guys that offered me the second interview. Like the theme of the thread, the 2nd interview is about the person I am - and I guess I am too nice in the end to be so ruthless. lol

Anyway, fretting over what if's - I will play it as it goes I suppose. Fingers crossed I get a choice! :)

shecky
Oct 21, 2006, 12:27 PM
you should never accept an offer at the moment they make it, always say "let me look at the numbers and i will get back to you in 48 hours" or something to that effect; then come back with a higher counter-offer. i have gotten large leaps in pay doing exactly this. this way you also give yourself a window to make sure you actually want to take their offer.

regardless of what the posts on this thread say, while i agree you should do what is best for you, accepting offers and then turning them down a day or two later is extremely poor and unprofessional behavior, and considering what a small community design really is, it may come back to bite you in the ass later. i would avoid doing this. if you need a week to decide, tell them you need a week to decide. there is nothing wrong with saying "i am waiting on a couple of other offers, but i will get back to you within a week." if thats true.

macaddict23
Oct 21, 2006, 07:20 PM
Here's another question. Shortly after my first interview, I asked for a few of their product brochures to take home. I was thinking of redesigning just the cover of one of their brochures to show during my second interview. Maybe deconstruct "The Before" and justify the design decisions that I made on "The After." Will they take this as an insult, or will it be a good way for them to see my design approach?

shecky
Oct 21, 2006, 07:30 PM
incorrect use of the word "deconstruct" but thats just a pet peeve of mine. :)

others may have a different opinion on this but i think the redesign idea is kind of contrived and not really needed. its also very presumptuous of you to say you can take something they did and do it better (which is not what you are saying, but thats what it may subtly look like - bad idea.) lastly, to me at least, it looks like you are trying too hard.

just go in there are be prepared to talk, you will be fine :)

ATD
Oct 21, 2006, 09:39 PM
others may have a different opinion on this but i think the redesign idea is kind of contrived and not really needed. its also very presumptuous of you to say you can take something they did and do it better (which is not what you are saying, but thats what it may subtly look like - bad idea.) lastly, to me at least, it looks like you are trying too hard.

just go in there are be prepared to talk, you will be fine :)


I agree, you are assuming they are not proud of what they have done. Chances are that someone in the office invested time into it. You already passed the portfolio part. Go in, be relaxed, yourself and you will do fine.

macaddict23
Oct 22, 2006, 03:00 AM
Sounds good. Thanks for the great advice!

MagicWok
Oct 31, 2006, 11:43 AM
Woohoo!

Got the job from the first company! :) They set me a brief for the second interview and they loved what I came up with, and have offered me the job :D

Really excited and happy, I have told them I'd like a day or two just to collect my thoughts etc. I'm also waiting on the second company to come back and see if they will make me an offerd - I'd rather work there tbh - better prospectives all round I think. A bit cheeky and selfish I know, but after around 20 years of education leading up to this one point, I think I'm allowed to be!

Anyway, can't believe my luck. 1st job after graduating, and it's doing graphics. Lucky, but I put in the work for it - I sent out at least 150 applications in the end. I knew I would have to do that though. It's easy for others who get given jobs at degree shows, but at least I can say down the years, that I did it all off my own back! :)

Cheers everyone, drinks (alcoholic and non) are on me!!

Squonk
Oct 31, 2006, 12:05 PM
6) Where do you see yourself 5 years from now.

Don't you just hate this one? It's sooo open ended. I know the reason for it is to see if you have your feet on the ground or not. My favorite joke answer is "I'll be YOUR boss." :D :D

tobefirst
Oct 31, 2006, 12:35 PM
Woohoo!

Got the job from the first company! :) They set me a brief for the second interview and they loved what I came up with, and have offered me the job :D

Congratulations! Way to go! You're an adult now. (:

A bit cheeky and selfish I know, but after around 20 years of education leading up to this one point, I think I'm allowed to be!

Not at all cheeky, actually. It's to be expected. You're perfectly right in doing so.

lazyboy922
Nov 21, 2006, 07:26 PM
do not forget that at the end of the day, you need to not only be a good designer, but you need to be a good PERSON for people to want to hire you. the second interview address the person part a lot more than the first one does.




I couldn't agree more. Be confident, personable, and be passionate about your work. You'll be surprised how far that will get you in life. I have interviewed many designers, and that is one of the things I look for most. Almost as much as I consider their work.

MagicWok
Nov 22, 2006, 02:59 PM
Hmm, seemed to be bumped up to date.

Oh well, I got offers from both jobs in the end. And I took the second offer. It was a better offer all round really, and that's not including the pay. As they were identical. The job offer was too good to turn down.

Anyways, been about 2 weeks since I started, and I'm loving it! Though I'm getting an 'orrible cold, which is getting on my nerves more than anything. Just thought you'd all like to know that :P

LOL, me hi-jacking this thread! OP, how did it pan out for you? :D