When the chips are down…

When the chips are down, sometimes the stars are not quite as aligned as you may desire. You are hoping for your big break and your feeling of apprehension is not unlike what it feels like to be an actress. Actors and actresses must face an endless and repetitive process of going to casting calls and standing in front of complete strangers just to act out and perform a vocal piece for a part. Performing to a room of unknown viewers with different content and materials, over and over again, must be an extremely nerve racking process! Each time you may experience different faces and responses to what you are delivering and expectations differ depending on needs and personality traits.

As a designer applying for a position, some of the initial interviews only require you to talk to a person over the phone. On a phone interview, you never have to see the interviewers face and never find yourself standing in front of an audience. A video conference would be closer to an in person audition but those are very rare occurrences and not likely an interview you will have to experience.

If you really think about it, being an actor or actress in many cases follows the same path as we do in our line of work. We have to present to the stakeholders and if they are pleased with what they see and hear, we will return again for a second or third round of interviewing. Actors and actresses, most often, only have one shot to make the best impression or it is all over. Competition for a single role is usually quite fierce. As designers, we are able to give our presentation and make course corrections to our flows to improve the interview process. This gives us an edge in that we are able to streamline and improve our message for the next round or the next company.

No matter what the case may be, if you feel that you have not prepared enough or you have stumbled across that “ONE” question with no apparent answer. Don’t worry, this will happen from time to time and is expected. In that moment of confusion and awkwardness when you can’t seem to conjure up an answer, remember to write the question down and take it home with you. Later, when your thoughts are clear, return to the question and research all possible answers and solutions. The next time you are faced with the same or similar question you will be ready to answer anything that comes your way. With enough of the “ONE” questions answered, you will have an arsenal of knowledge to face any interview.

Remember if you are interviewing, you are interviewing them as well. Most often at the end they will ask you, “Do you have anything you would like to ask us?” This question is the magic door for you to ask them the hard questions and show that you are engaged and interested in what they have to offer. Don’t be afraid to interview them as well and learn as much as you can about what to expect if you work there and what benefits the company provides its employees.

Hard questions you say? You just completed a 30 min interview of them asking you a multitude of questions like, “Tell me the time when you?…. How do you handle such and such situation?”. You, in turn, ask those same hard questions back to them as well. For example, “Can you tell me why you like to work at (company name)?” I am sure you can think of many more questions to ask.

For now, I will stick to being a designer and not an actress. I will never get call backs with movie directors. A CEO might want to talk to me some day or I may even be the CEO interviewing someone else. Who knows.