So You Want a Job in Design…Part 2
Good news! You’re back and you’ve made it to the next step, an interview. We start by screening applicants because we want to get a little bit of a sense of who the applicants are beyond their work, and we want to get a better understanding of how that work was produced.
1. Concentrate on the tone when interviewing via the phone.
Remember to sound awake, excited, and invested in the conversation. Try to lead the conversation towards your work, and always have specific projects in mind that you want to talk about. The point of a phone interview is largely informational, as well as for the company to get a sense of your work and how you speak about it. The quality of the work may speak for itself, but you are there to explain the thinking that went into it, the problems that it solves, and why it was a good solution for those problems.
2. Always have questions for the interviewer. At the end, you will always get asked if you have any questions for the interviewer, and guess what: you should have questions for the interviewer. Show that you’ve read the job description and know about the company as well. Mention something you read in a blog post (like maybe this one). Here are some more generic example questions if you’re really in a rut:
- What is an average day for this position like?
- What projects/clients might I be working on/with?
- What do you feel makes your company unique?
- What can I expect out of this position?
- What is the hiring process like moving forward for this role?
3. Show excitement in emails while maintaining professionalism.
When we were asking around other designers what they look for in job applicants, ‘interested and excited’ candidates was a consistently high qualifier. Just be sure to err on the side of classy. This isn’t WWE Summer Slam.
And while we’re talking about emails, don’t use your email address from high school (firstname.lastname@example.org doesn’t send the best message, Weezer peaked at Pinkerton). Something clean and simple like email@example.com, or ideally firstname.lastname@example.org works perfectly.
Follow up. Keep following up. Follow up again. Send an email after every phase saying please and thank you, reminding the employer that you’re interested. It will be seen as interest, and appreciated.
If you do all that, dollars to donuts say you’ll make it onto the in-person interview.