Scary Job Interviews

Scary interviewsSpiders, bats and tombstones are all pretty scary but for many of us they pale in comparison to an important job interview. With Halloween as a theme, we talk about how to deal with tricky interview moments and banish your interview fears for good.

Fancy Dress

Remember the fear of forgetting non-uniform day and turning up in school uniform? Turn up to an interview in the wrong outfit and that fear could be magnified a hundred times.

First impressions can make or break an interview, dressing too casually may make a potential employer think you’ve not made an effort or not really that interested in the job or dressing inappropriately would show you are not a good match for the company culture. Avoid this by researching the company or client’s brand and err on the style of smart. In the world of design, whatever you wear makes an important statement, but it’s also worth remembering that your clothes should also be clean, ironed and neat so that if your interview’s attention is drawn to your outfit, it’s for a good reason, not a bad one.

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Top Tips for Preparing Your Portfolio for an Interview

Design portfolioAt Careers in Design, we have helped hundreds of candidates find the design jobs that they’ve always wanted and thought that we should put this to good use and compile the following useful tips about creating your all-important portfolio.

Keep it brief

Think of your portfolio as your Greatest Hits album, and only include a handful of your very best work in there. If you want to let your potential new employer know exactly what you’ve done, you can also present a list or an appendix to the main body of your portfolio.

Keep it simple

This is a general tenet of the design industry, so it should pose you no problems. Think of it as a project brief: your job is to present your design abilities in the clearest, tightest, and most concise manner possible. Don’t forget, you’re dealing with design industry professionals here; they will be asking you questions so make sure the work is all yours and you are able to elaborate on your designs.

Keep it in order

Much like your CV, lead with your most recent design projects and work backwards. Nobody wants to work with a candidate who believes that their best work is behind them. Showing your interviewer the kind of work you are capable of in the here-and-now is key. Take along a sketch book if you have one as well, it is a good way to show how you come up with your ideas. Continue reading

Interview do’s and don’ts

Researching the company can help you to get your dream jobIt’s interview time. You’ve already taken our advice on what to wear for an interview and you’re dressed to kill. What else do you need to know?

Here are some important do’s and don’ts.

DO turn up early

How early should you arrive for an interview? We would say at least 15-20 minutes. From a practical perspective, it mitigates any potential delay caused by public transport or failing to find the office. In terms of impressing your potential employer, arriving early shows keenness, punctuality, and an ability to follow instructions. All this before you’ve even entered the interview room!

DON’T leave your phone on

Switch your phone off, as soon as you hit the interview building, don’t just leave it on silent when it might vibrate or distract you. There is no call, no email, and no text message more important than the next half hour or so. Few things give a worse impression than your phone going off mid-interview. Continue reading

What to Wear for an Interview

Buying clothes for an interviewAt Careers in Design, we are committed to helping you find the perfect position from the range of design jobs that we have on our books. After carefully going through your CV and pairing you with a vacancy that suits your experience and qualifications, the next step is the interview.  The look you choose can be difficult to decide as this is the design industry, but remember, what you will wear on a daily basis could be quite different from what you should wear at an interview.

Here are some of our top tips on what to wear:

Men

Keep it simple. Dark trousers (not jeans), shoes (not trainers) and a shirt is usually expected. A decorative or plain tie is a good idea although optional, but beware of a too comical or outrageous choice. A suit jacket or blazer will often add that extra air of professionalism, just as long as it matches your trousers.

Women

Women have more choice when it comes to business attire but simplicity remains the key. A simple, two-piece suit with a lighter blouse or top works well, or a dress (length not too short though) would work. Jewellery and other accessories are fine and will allow you to show your creative flair but remember they’re meant to accent, not distract! Continue reading

5 Common Interview Questions and How to Answer

preparing for an interviewHowever you feel about job interviews, certain questions are sure to crop up. To give you the best chance of success, here are some of the most common, and some tips on how to answer them.

What motivates you?

Keep answers concise and relevant to the job. Good answers include deadlines and targets, as they give you something specific to aim for, and a sense of achievement when you exceed them. For design jobs, a good motivation is using your creativity to solve problems put before you.

Why should we hire you?

This is your closing sales pitch, regardless of where it appears in the interview, and an opportunity to hit the interviewer with your main selling points. Concentrate on specific and verifiable skills, and your aptitude for the job, while avoiding cliché examples such as being a hard worker and team player.

What is your greatest weakness?

It’s important to be mindful of your shortcomings, but also that you take something positive from them. The best answers tend to mention weaknesses that don’t impact the job in question, or ones that you have taken steps to improve upon. Continue reading