Beginners Design Guide: Preparing For The Interview
Before their intership ended. I gave them a few tips on preparing for their interviews. I'm sharing the same tips here, in hopes, it may be helpful to other designers just starting out.
I would like to also thank Emily Lewis, owner of A Blog Not Limited, with additions to my list; Any Questions? and Thank You Letter, along with her suggestions.
+ Be Prepared For The Interview - Wear your best clothes: dress, dress shirt, tie, shoes, etc. Be confident, if not, act like you're. Do research on the company before the interview, Google (what they specialize in, what they are about).
+ Brand Yourself - Let employers see you as a brand/product, a total package. Everything should look similar: resume, business cards, leave behind and your portfolio pages.
+ Resume - Don't clutter your resume. It should be designed but not overly designed. Make sure it's simple and easy to access your information.
+ Any Questions? - In most, if not all interviews. You will be asked if you have any questions for them. Be prepared with a few thoughtful questions that show your interest in the job, but also your commitment to your career. Such as: "Can you give me an example of how the team/department works in terms of division of tasks?" Or: "What are the growth opportunities for this position in terms of either job growth, continuing education or both?"
+ Thank You Letter - Never forget to follow-up with a thank you letter (or email, though letter gives a personal touch). Make sure to, obviously, thank the interviewer for the opportunity. But also to reiterate how you can benefit the organization and, conversely, how the organization can benefit you
+ Portfolio - Your portfolio should have between 8-10 pieces of your best work, too many pieces will bore the interviewer. Don't put pieces in you don't like. Make sure you have nice quality printouts. Try to include a wide range of design projects in your portfolio. You can also tailor your portfolio to specific design positions like logo design or web design, only show those pieces.
+ Leave Behind - You may want to create a leave behind promotional piece; postcard or a folder with 3-4 samples of your work, resume and business card. This will keep you in their minds and give an impression that you're willing to take that extra step.
+ Website - Make sure you have a website or a place to display your work with all your information. Also make sure to have different file formats of your resume for potential employers, so they can download: pdf, Microsoft Word document, text file.
If you're not comfortable with building a website yourself. There are many free online web galleries you can upload to, below are a few.
+ Carbon Made
+ Design Related
+ Designer ID
+ Design Hide
+ Logo Pond