So, you’ve secured that coveted job interview in your dream company. You’re nervous but want to pass the interview with flying colours. While there is no shortcut to guarantee the job, you can follow a few tips to ensure you give it your very best.
Be prepared mentally
To prepare for a design job interview, you have to be prepared. Sounds confusing? Preparing for an interview is as much a mental task as a physical one. You have to invest time and resources to prepare for that coveted position you’ve always dreamt of having. Practice body language, speech, answers, and other important facets that will come up during the interview. While it is always good to stay positive and hope for a similar result, you should also prepare yourself for the opposite. Visualize both best and worst case scenarios and how you’ll conduct yourself during each. This will ease your nerves and help you keep a clear head during the interview.
Lay out your portfolio
Unlike technical jobs, design is one where you have to showcase your work visually. For this, you need to list all your projects, the timelines, your inputs, and the final delivered design. Highlight your strongest and most successful projects. Show how you took decisions that made the project successful. Explain how you were an integral part of their success. Do not play down your achievements. You should be proud of your work and present it as such. Conversely, do not highlight projects that you’ve had little or no input in. Anything that does not add weight to your achievements can take a backseat.
Be up-to-date with trends
Ideas and trends on design keep changing by the minute these days. What was current and trendy during your most recent project may be outdated by the time you sit for the interview. Designers are required to keep an eye out for the latest trends sweeping the market. This way, clients are ensured they receive the best of service and are current with their designs. Even if you think you have all the trends memorized like the back of your hand, go through them once again. Try to apply these trends to any of your designs and showcase it to the interviewer. This is a great way to demonstrate the versatility of your designs and show them your knowledge of the latest design trends.
Diligent research is key
Besides keeping up with the hottest design trends and everything current about them, you should thoroughly research the company. Knowing what the company is about will not only help you during the interview, it will also give you a fair idea of the kind of place you’ll be working for. This way, you can choose to continue your job pursuits with the company or otherwise. The interviewer too will be interested in your portfolio now that you’ve taken your time to assess your employment opportunity with the company.
Display your strengths appropriately
You’ve worked hard to get where you are, so ensure you showcase this in your work. Don’t undersell yourself to the company. Studios want people who will add to and expand their portfolio. Mention any additional skills you have only if they come across as an asset to the company. For example, your ability to speak in multiple languages is a plus as the studio may be dealing with clients from different regions or nationalities. Try to lead with similar skills and highlight how you successfully used them in your previous projects.
Dress like you deserve the job
It goes without saying that first impressions last forever. However, interview attire varies from country to country, culture to culture, and even company to company. You can wear something formal and professional looking if a full-fledged suit is not your thing. Make sure it reflects the professional in you and adheres to the company’s culture. Do not rummage through your closet right before the interview for your clothes. Lay them out the day before. Maybe even try it on and practice your answers in it. This will give you more confidence in acing the interview.
Let your enthusiasm shine through
A career in design in India or anywhere in the world requires you to have great networking and people skills. You should be able to show that you are able to imbibe these qualities and are genuinely passionate about the job. One way to do this would be to mention scenarios where you took initiative and went above and beyond your regular call of duty to provide your clients the best you had to offer.
Ask questions to the interviewer(s)
This is one area where many falter. After the interview, some, if not all, interviewers ask if you have any questions. This is another opportunity for you to showcase your skills and knowledge about the company. It is also your chance to get more details about the position, the company, its culture, and an overall perspective of the environment you’ll be working in. It does not mean you ask questions about vacations, commute, and other trivial questions that are unrelated to the big picture i.e. your career. Ask questions about the company’s goals, their 5-year plan, challenges of the job role, how you can contribute positively to the company’s growth, etc.
Proper preparation is the key to cracking any interview. It’s only when you prepare for the best (and worst) case scenarios that you will be able to crack the interview without any major hiccups.