Hi! Back again for another new and exciting topic of conversation. This week is all about job interviews and the questions we might be asked. So what do you do when you finally get an interview for that job you’ve always wanted? Here’s a few things you need to do:
- Research the company
- Be on time
- Dress appropriately
- Know your strengths and weaknesses – don’t be modest, sell your skills
- Have your resume and portfolio with you
- Stay calm
There was a section in this week’s lecture that caught me a little bit off guard, mostly because I’ve only ever had one interview and it was for a job at Target. I don’t know if you know this, but these days, interviewers ask a number of “sneaky questions” to find out more about the candidate’s personality, skillset, and uniqueness. I’d never heard of this before and after seeing some of them, they really make you think. Glassdoor (2015) composes a list of oddball interview questions to help people prepare for anything. Bose once asked the question “if you were asked to unload a 747 full of jelly beans, what would you do?” If I was asked that question in an interview (or something similar), I’m not sure what would happen. Would my mind go blank, would I ask for more information, short response, long response, stumble over a response or hopefully, take a few minutes to come up with a well-crafted response. While I can’t ever know what question I might be asked, now that I’m aware of the possibility I can find similar types of questions and practice responding to them.
For graphic design specifically, there are a number of common questions it would be good to know how to answer before you go for your interview. These include:
- What are the qualities of a good graphic designer?
- What kind of design projects are you interested in?
- Tell me about a time you worked under pressure?
- Which software do you prefer to work with and why?
- What is your design process?
- Can I see your portfolio?
Next in an interview for a graphic design position and in terms of the sneaky question, they may be more practical. It could be a question like “how would you improve on this design?” or “what type of feedback would you give when presented with this layout?” It could also be similar to Microsoft Design Tests where they want you to design a remote control with two buttons or design a communication device for park rangers. The key here is being prepared for these possibilities.
One of the biggest things I’ve taken from this week’s lecture is probably passion and how to express it – being excited about what you’re talking about, becoming animated, talking quicker, keeping eye contact and sometimes even forgetting that you are in an interview. This stood out for me because I think it’s something I need to work on – learning to express my passion of graphic design as well as my other interests. I might be able to do this when I’m talking with friends or family and when it relates to a topic we have in common, but put me in a new situation with new people and I don’t think the results will be the same. For example, we did an exercise in class this week where the teacher asked us to tell him about our proudest moment. What did I learn from this exercise? My teacher can tell my own story much more passionately than I could. That’s not really a good thing. Baer (2013) believes that an emerging theme among companies looking for new employees is that they want to hear our stories. He found that one of the secret weapons to branding is storytelling – seeing the honesty and emotions behind the brand. Therefore, it is important to find the stories in my life that will:
- Highlight my skills
- Show my experience relevant to the job
- Illustrate a time when I learnt from a mistake.
There are two main points I’m going to take away from this week’s lecture. Firstly, I need to work on expressing my passion in response to interview questions. In order to do this I can find the questions like “what is your proudest moment”, write out the answer in a way that demonstrates your personality or your skillset and then say it out loud, whether it be to me or to family and friends. Secondly, I need to be prepared to answer out-of-the-box questions like “what is your spirit animal?” or “if you had a superpower what would it be?” For these types of questions I think it is important to think about what an interviewer might be looking for in the response. Why do you think you are that animal specifically? In another article by Baer (2013), a CEO asked his executive assistant what animal she would be and her response was “a duck – since while the birds are calm above the surface, their webbed feet don’t stop hustling.” Her response was actually a great description of what an executive assistant role is.
Finally, I found this video about being too honest in your job interviews which is probably something we don’t want to be doing. It’s good to be honest, just not this honest.
Thanks for reading. Hope you learnt something new.
Baer, D. (2013). What’s Your Spirit Animal? And 3 Other Curveball Job-Interview Questions. Retrieved from: http://www.fastcompany.com/3006866/whats-your-spirit-animal-and-3-other-curveball-job-interview-questions
Baer, D. (2013). Want The Job? Learn To Tell Great Stories, Starting With Your Interview. Retrieved from: http://www.fastcompany.com/3014435/leadership-now/want-the-job-learn-to-tell-a-great-story-starting-with-your-interview
Berger, M. (2014). 5 of the Best Things to Say in an Interview. Retrieved from: http://www.bluetechrecruitment.com.au/inside-recruitment/blog-post-heading-title-4
Creative Bloq. (2014). 20 Tips For Design Interview Success. Retrieved from: http://www.creativebloq.com/career/design-interview-success-812255
Edwards, T. (2014). Graphic Design Interview Questions That Will Help You Prepare. Retrieved from: https://blog.udemy.com/graphic-design-interview-questions/
Glassdoor. (2015). Top 10 Oddball Interview Questions for 2015. Retrieved from: http://www.glassdoor.com.au/Oddball-Interview-Questions-LST_KQ0,27.htm