Interview Tips

Discussion in 'Design and Graphics' started by design-is, Jul 16, 2009.

  1. macrumors 65816

    design-is

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2007
    Location:
    London / U.K.
    #1
    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
     
  2. macrumors 65816

    Genghis Khan

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2007
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    #2
    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
     
  3. thread starter macrumors 65816

    design-is

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2007
    Location:
    London / U.K.
    #3
    Thanks for the tips Genghis, much appreciated! Will bear them in mind, especially the posture bit. I'm a bit of a slumper.
     
  4. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2007
    #4
    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?
     
  5. macrumors 65816

    Genghis Khan

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2007
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    #5
    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.
     
  6. macrumors 65816

    MooneyFlyer

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2007
    Location:
    Boston
    #6
    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--
     
  7. macrumors 65816

    Genghis Khan

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2007
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    #7
    ^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
     
  8. macrumors 65816

    MooneyFlyer

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2007
    Location:
    Boston
    #8
    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...
     
  9. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2008
    #9
    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
     
  10. macrumors 6502a

    upinflames900

    Joined:
    May 20, 2009
    #10
    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?
     
  11. thread starter macrumors 65816

    design-is

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2007
    Location:
    London / U.K.
    #11
    Thanks for the advice guys, interview is today - wish me luck :)
     
  12. macrumors 68020

    spillproof

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2009
    Location:
    USA
    #12
    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.
     
  13. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2008
    #13
    Let us know how it goes!
     
  14. macrumors 68040

    decksnap

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2003
    #14
    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. ;)
     
  15. macrumors 6502a

    cgratti

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2004
    Location:
    Central Pennsylvania, USA
    #15
    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.
     
  16. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2008
    #16
    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.
     
  17. macrumors 65816

    Genghis Khan

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2007
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    #17
    absolute gold
     
  18. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2008
    Location:
    UK
  19. thread starter macrumors 65816

    design-is

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2007
    Location:
    London / U.K.
    #19
    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
     
  20. thread starter macrumors 65816

    design-is

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2007
    Location:
    London / U.K.
    #20
    Second stage is today and I got through!

    Wish me luck again :D
     
  21. macrumors 65816

    fluidedge

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2007
    #21
    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.
     
  22. macrumors 68040

    decksnap

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2003
    #22
    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.
     
  23. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2007
    #23
    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 :(
     
  24. macrumors 65816

    MooneyFlyer

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2007
    Location:
    Boston
    #24
    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.
     
  25. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #25
    Any luck? How'd it go
     

Share This Page