Job Interview? Enjoy It!

What I learned from months of interviews as a young designer

Enjoy every interview… I feel more like chatting with them instead of being interviewed. No matter succeed or fail, no matter it is the first time or last time talking to someone, enjoy it!

I posted it on Facebook after an interview with a startup, my very true feelings from months of interviews as a young designer. I cannot remember when, but from then on I started to regard job interviews as not only job interviews, but something more. Before that, I cared too much about my performance, what I am saying and behaving, and yes, the results. Now, I can freely and truly enjoy it.

I must say, it’s like Dating. You both squeeze out a period of time from your busy schedules. During the interview, you both share with each other your backgrounds, passions, career goals, learnings, life stories, likes and dislikes, and working styles, etc. In my mind, the same as looking for a boyfriend/girlfriend, the most important of job hunting is Match. Don’t worry, if you think you are still very junior, without much experience and competitive skills. The goal is not to get the Best offer and land in the Best company, but to get the offer and land in the company that is the best for you.

I would like to share my learnings from my interviews. I am still in the very early stage of my career, I am still a very young designer, I cannot and will not say I have so much experience that can be reference and guidance to you. But my learnings and what I am doing at least make myself much happier. I enjoy the time being interviewed.

Choose Real Love

You should love each other. I understand some people is doing what they really don’t like, unfortunately. But if there is a chance, everyone will prefer what he/she likes. Moreover, as we all know and also has been proved in research, passion plays a huge role in motivation, especially intrinsic motivation, which is more valuable than extrinsic motivation. For intrinsic motivation, you not only work for the company, but more for yourself (your passions, goals, believes etc.). Your power is from the bottom of your heart, even, you can create the power by yourself. On the contrary, if you are out of power, you will be very hard to create enough power to support yourself on your own but need a lot input from outside, if most of your motivations are extrinsic.

Learn Real Thing

There should be something that attracts you at the first sight — either their big names like Google, Facebook, or promising projects they are working on like Virtual Reality, Self-Driving Car, or someone you know working at the company. Alright, that’s important, it attracts you, then? Then, google it, check out their official website, their latest news, the team, the office, the work— everything you are able to search out online, everything you care about, you don’t know and want to know. If you can find some real people offline, perfect. Anyhow, learn as much as you can, and examine for yourself — whether you like it, whether you will be potentially a good fit. If you like it, ask yourself what really attracts you, what you can contribute, what you want to learn; if you don’t think you are fit, also, why? It’s because you want to seek for mentorship but they don’t have someone senior than you? Or, you don’t want to commute for four hours a day. Think more and deeper, gradually, you will find out what you like, care and fit you the most as well.

Show Real You

Obviously, everyone wants to show the best in the interview, to impress the interviewer, to get the job eventually. Trying to market and sale yourself is good, but remember to show the real you. We human tend to exaggerate the strength while hide the weaknesses sometimes. It is necessary to show your strength for sure, but don’t pretend you can do something that actually you cannot at that moment. Say it sincerely — I cannot do it, but I am very interested in it, and I am trying my best to learn it. It is the Passion, Potential, Possibility and Learning Ability that are much more concerned than actual skills.

Show your passions, your fails and learnings, your thinkings and goals, your life stories — the real you.

Respect, Treasure, and Enjoy

Respect, no matter who you are talking to.

Everyone is busy, and everyone’ s time is precious. Respect everyone, respect the time, the answers and questions, the hellos and smiles.

Treasure each conversation.

I have talked to Recruiters, Founders, VPs, Designers, Engineers etc. No matter who, I always can learn a lot from. As a famous Chinese educator — Confucius said thousands of years ago:

Three persons walking ahead of me, there must be at least one person who can be my teacher.

Also, the person who interviews you is senior than you in most cases. Such a wonderful opportunity! Why not seize this opportunity to learn as much as you can from this short thirty minutes? I always ask this last question for the interviewer:

What are your biggest learnings from your previous experience? Anything you can share with me that you think will be helpful? Or, could you please give me some suggestions, as a young designer, as a girl in the very early stage of her career?

Frankly speaking, what I learned from those conversations, sometimes is more worth than an offer.

Smile, and Enjoy It.

Body language affects a lot to most types of communications. Imagine if you make your audience uncomfortable, it will be very hard to make them focus on you, listen to you, care about you, even if you are a genius. What is worse, you will feel the same way shortly. It doesn’t mean that you should try to please everyone, and make everyone like you, which is impossible and also unnecessary. While, it is of great importance to make yourself and your audience at least comfortable. Not only it can calm down yourself, but it will lead to a happy conversation. Smile, even it is a phone call, the person on the other side still can feel it. Enjoy the conversation, enjoy the time! Even if you fail in the end, at least you have a great time with someone who probably you will never talk with again in the future.

Life is too short, enjoy each moment, enjoy each interview.