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design-is
Jul 16, 2009, 03:26 AM
Hi all :)

I've got an interview for an in-house position similar to the one I'm in now, with similar salary, but a more interesting / fun subject matter. Strangely it's on Saturday.

I've had a couple of interviews that haven't gone any further so I'm thinking there could be an issue with my 'interviewee persona'. My work samples get me there, but maybe I'm too relaxed or not enthusiastic enough? I'm a laid back kinda guy...

Although it's also highly likely there was simply someone better suited to the jobs.

Regardless, I'd appreciate any advice, tips, views people may be able to share.

Thanks in advance!

/Doug



Genghis Khan
Jul 16, 2009, 05:43 AM
don't be too worried, usually it's about 1 in 10 or 20 interviews that are successful...

as for the interview itself...treat it like a first date ;)

seriously though, my advice is to know the reasons why you're suited to the job, and be mindful of those as you go into the interview. Also, be mindful of your posture (i.e. how you sit e.t.c.)

On a sneaky level, if it's just one dude giving the interview, when you go into his office...see if you can find things he loves (be it sport/family/beer) and then casually mention those throughout the interview...

*note: i've spoken all of this off of the top of my head

design-is
Jul 16, 2009, 07:09 AM
Thanks for the tips Genghis, much appreciated! Will bear them in mind, especially the posture bit. I'm a bit of a slumper.

remmy
Jul 16, 2009, 07:57 AM
I have worried about my interviews, I try to be talkative and enthusiastic about the work, but keep it short as they seem to be short of time. It does depend on the sort of person your meeting.

I do wonder what to wear, if to wear very smart casual or a suit?

Genghis Khan
Jul 16, 2009, 08:14 AM
I do wonder what to wear, if to wear very smart casual or a suit?

What to wear for an interview is easier for a design job as we're pretty casual anyway...
designers usually wear black semi-casual. So black pants of some sort, maybe a black jacket and something monotone underneath.

MooneyFlyer
Jul 16, 2009, 09:40 AM
On a sneaky level, if it's just one dude giving the interview, when you go into his office...see if you can find things he loves (be it sport/family/beer) and then casually mention those throughout the interview...

*note: i've spoken all of this off of the top of my head

I would recommend just the opposite -- NEVER try to pick something out and talk about it...

Imagine this situation -- you walk in and see a picture of his wife:

you comment: "Is this a picture of your wife? She's lovely."
he says: "Yes, that is her. Tragically she died 2 weeks ago in a freak frisbee accident."

How well will your interview go from there? Stick to the point of the interview.

There are hundreds of books on this topic -- here are a couple of very simple and easy to remember ideas

1) Go in with a plan
- pick 2-3 key attributes, accomplishments, etc. that you want the interviewer to know about you. Keep to your messages and your plan but be flexible enough to roll with the questions.

2) Ask questions and listen
- You are interviewing them too -- why are they good enough to get you? Ask to understand their business, what are their challenges, what keeps your new boss awake at night, what would he like to change most, etc. This will give you some idea of his issues and you can weave your accomplishments / skills into the story.

3) Be yourself
- More than 50% of the time when I am interviewing someone I am looking to see how well they will integrate with my team (personality, manner, etc.). If there is a culture or personality clash -- they are out -- regardless of their skills.

Good luck--

Genghis Khan
Jul 16, 2009, 10:15 AM
^those three points are solid

*however, i meant for my last point to be taken more subtly.
in your example...you're right, don't talk about his wife...rather, the picture existing there shows that he values his wife...so a point you could get in may be that you got engaged last month, or mention your wife in passing
if the guy has a picture of his favourite football team on the wall, it shows that he values sport...you could mention that you played football in college/uni e.t.c.
all in passing of course, and with no reference to the picture/object that made you mention it


that said, the above 3 points are much more important to the interview process...but 95% of people can be brought on-side with a little flattery

MooneyFlyer
Jul 17, 2009, 04:42 PM
fair enough -- there's something that works for everyone! If you are quick on your feet your approach can definitely give you and angle to break the ice with...

Slovak
Jul 18, 2009, 12:12 AM
Interview them as much as they interview you. Genuinely show that you are interested in the work and the environment. I've always brought a list of questions (in my mind), sometimes to the point of being accused of intimidating the interviewer (who was obviously not used to talking to a real person).

Consider some of the strategies listed in this short e-book (YMMV):
http://charliehoehn.files.wordpress.com/2009/07/recession-proof-graduate1.pdf

upinflames900
Jul 18, 2009, 12:22 AM
You might want to have someone grill you with interview questions in advance just so that you have your thoughts flowing and have some idea of what you might have to say in advance. Be ready for: tell me about yourself?

design-is
Jul 18, 2009, 04:53 AM
Thanks for the advice guys, interview is today - wish me luck :)

spillproof
Jul 18, 2009, 05:13 AM
Good tips. My main one - fresh breath. Its a pet peeve of mine. Mints or gum work, but have it finished at least 10 minutes before your interview and only drink water till your interview is over. Foul and minty breath are bad. I made that mistake and encountered a bad breathed interviewee once.

Slovak
Jul 18, 2009, 02:12 PM
Thanks for the advice guys, interview is today - wish me luck :)

Let us know how it goes!

decksnap
Jul 18, 2009, 08:02 PM
As someone who has interviewed six or seven designers in the last two weeks, I can say this....

DON'T show me more than ten pieces of work. You are essentially saying:
1. I can't tell which of my work is best
2. I have no regard for your time
3. I may be a little full of myself

DON'T act like you are interviewing me. I understand the concept, but with the market being what it is, I don't need you. There are ten more like you standing outside my door.

DO have a good personality. I am looking for somebody I can collaborate with and work with on a daily basis.

DO show me that you learn and evolve quickly. I don't care how you convey that.... but I would rather hire somebody with less experience if they appear to have more growth potential.

DON'T show up to a design interview in a suit. This may just be my taste, but to me you're not being real. Are you planning to wear that suit ever if you actually get the job? I didn't think so. ;)

cgratti
Jul 19, 2009, 02:53 AM
One little tidbit of advice I can offer... Research the company your interviewing with. Look at the type of work they want and try to bring your pieces that suits their style. Try and casually slip in that you have visited their website or have seen their work. This may give them the idea that your not only interested but thorough. Don't force it or overdue it, but it helps if done in a subtle way.

suburbia
Jul 19, 2009, 12:03 PM
One little tidbit of advice I can offer... Research the company your interviewing with. Look at the type of work they want and try to bring your pieces that suits their style. Try and casually slip in that you have visited their website or have seen their work. This may give them the idea that your not only interested but thorough. Don't force it or overdue it, but it helps if done in a subtle way.

Be prepared. Always good to research the agency and people you may be working with. Truth is, you're being hired as much for how they like you as much as for your stills and experience.

decksnap may not like or hire someone wearing a suit, but another agency may not like someone that shows up for an interview dressed casually. Do your research. Check out the agency's site to get a general idea of the type of clientele they cater to. Presentation of your work, as well as yourself, is extremely important. (Don't show up wearing your $5,000 Tom Ford suit-- but don't walk in wearing an American Apparel hoodie either...)

Promote yourself as a competent, reliable,responsible and professional candidate, whichever position you're applying for. And never turn it around and interview your potential employer-- that would be such a turn-off.

Genghis Khan
Jul 20, 2009, 08:08 PM
As someone who has interviewed six or seven designers in the last two weeks, I can say this....

DON'T show me more than ten pieces of work. You are essentially saying:
1. I can't tell which of my work is best
2. I have no regard for your time
3. I may be a little full of myself

DON'T act like you are interviewing me. I understand the concept, but with the market being what it is, I don't need you. There are ten more like you standing outside my door.

DO have a good personality. I am looking for somebody I can collaborate with and work with on a daily basis.

DO show me that you learn and evolve quickly. I don't care how you convey that.... but I would rather hire somebody with less experience if they appear to have more growth potential.

DON'T show up to a design interview in a suit. This may just be my taste, but to me you're not being real. Are you planning to wear that suit ever if you actually get the job? I didn't think so.

absolute gold

LERsince1991
Jul 21, 2009, 04:06 PM
Hope it went well for you Doug!

design-is
Jul 23, 2009, 04:13 AM
Thanks for your support and interest everyone :)

I think it went really well! The interviewer strangely shared my birthday...

I'll find out in a week or so if I've gotten through to the 2nd interview/test phase.

/Doug

design-is
Aug 2, 2009, 05:01 AM
Second stage is today and I got through!

Wish me luck again :D

fluidedge
Aug 2, 2009, 05:25 AM
As someone who has interviewed six or seven designers in the last two weeks, I can say this....

DON'T show me more than ten pieces of work. You are essentially saying:
1. I can't tell which of my work is best
2. I have no regard for your time
3. I may be a little full of myself

DON'T act like you are interviewing me. I understand the concept, but with the market being what it is, I don't need you. There are ten more like you standing outside my door.

DO have a good personality. I am looking for somebody I can collaborate with and work with on a daily basis.

DO show me that you learn and evolve quickly. I don't care how you convey that.... but I would rather hire somebody with less experience if they appear to have more growth potential.

DON'T show up to a design interview in a suit. This may just be my taste, but to me you're not being real. Are you planning to wear that suit ever if you actually get the job? I didn't think so. ;)

With all due respect i think this is a really bad attitude to have when interviewing. The idea that there are 10 others waiting outside the door shows a complete lack of respect for the person sitting in front of you and while it may be true that there are 10 people outside you're interviewing the one inside and they might be the greatest thing since sliced bread. You should try to get into the mindset that everyone you interview could be amazing.

decksnap
Aug 2, 2009, 07:57 AM
With all due respect i think this is a really bad attitude to have when interviewing. The idea that there are 10 others waiting outside the door shows a complete lack of respect for the person sitting in front of you and while it may be true that there are 10 people outside you're interviewing the one inside and they might be the greatest thing since sliced bread. You should try to get into the mindset that everyone you interview could be amazing.

I think maybe that one came out wrong. I totally agree with you. I would rather the first one was amazing so I didn't have to interview ten more. The point was with the market the way it is now, it's a turn off when the applicant acts like there's ten other jobs waiting for him and they could take us or leave us.

JustLikeYou
Aug 2, 2009, 09:34 AM
I think maybe that one came out wrong. I totally agree with you. I would rather the first one was amazing so I didn't have to interview ten more. The point was with the market the way it is now, it's a turn off when the applicant acts like there's ten other jobs waiting for him and they could take us or leave us.

I just hope that when I graduate next May, there are ten other jobs available...


... or at least something better thank Kinko's or Sir Speedy :(

MooneyFlyer
Aug 2, 2009, 10:34 AM
I think maybe that one came out wrong. I totally agree with you. I would rather the first one was amazing so I didn't have to interview ten more. The point was with the market the way it is now, it's a turn off when the applicant acts like there's ten other jobs waiting for him and they could take us or leave us.

My impression:
For the candidates that you REALLY want it is probably the case that they can get 10 other jobs. Outstanding people, more often than not, can find work. Clearly there are exceptions but it is not the rule.

Outstanding people will come in and ask questions because they want to work for an outstanding company. Simply "taking what they are fed" shows me that they are not outstanding. I want someone to come in and challenge me on my company's business plan, messages, etc... That way I know that they have done their homework and they care about where they work.

Ultimately my job is to get the best people in the company including my successor. Too many people are afraid of that.

LERsince1991
Aug 15, 2009, 05:51 PM
Second stage is today and I got through!

Wish me luck again :D

Any luck? How'd it go

GoCubsGo
Aug 15, 2009, 05:53 PM
Don't fart and good luck.

design-is
Aug 24, 2009, 04:20 AM
Hi all :) Sorry for the delay - I'm pleased to announce that I've been offered the job!

:D:cool:;):rolleyes:

/Doug

Slovak
Aug 24, 2009, 09:37 AM
Congrats!!! Now, are you going to accept?

spillproof
Aug 24, 2009, 02:54 PM
Hey, that great! Congrats!

tabasco70
Aug 24, 2009, 07:49 PM
Get the idea across to them that you are truly interested in the job.

Ask questions. Helps reinforce the previous idea.

Smile.

Act yourself. Don't exaggerate, don't be cocky.

whitebook
Aug 25, 2009, 07:21 AM
Get the idea across to them that you are truly interested in the job.

Ask questions. Helps reinforce the previous idea.

Smile.

Act yourself. Don't exaggerate, don't be cocky.

um.....yeh... HE GOT THE JOB

oh and congratulations!!!!!

Tomorrow
Aug 25, 2009, 12:30 PM
Don't fart and good luck.

Best advice ever!!! :D

design-is
Aug 26, 2009, 03:53 AM
Thanks everyone :)

Congrats!!! Now, are you going to accept?

Yes. Yes I am :cool:

/Doug

MooneyFlyer
Aug 26, 2009, 04:03 AM
Thanks everyone :)



Yes. Yes I am :cool:

/Doug

Congrats. Hopefully some of the advice worked. However, in the end, you had to do it yourself. Nice job.