They're not fun per se—but they are one of life's necessities. They don't have to be as stressful as we make them, however. With adequate preparation and a toolbox of proven tactics on your side, you can nail any interview that comes your way.
Let's dive into some tips for designers and Strategists, as well as general tips for the process as a whole.
- Perfect your portfolio—less is more. When you come into an interview with a cleanly curated portfolio, it shows the interviewers that you know how to self-critique, and identify your strengths and weaknesses as a designer. So, while you may have a large breadth of work, your future employers don't need to see your oil paintings from college or darkroom photos from high school. Come in strong with 5–10 of your best pieces of work and if prospective employers want to see more from you, they can always ask.
- Design your resume. This is going to be the first impression an employer has of you as a designer. It should be a neat 1-page PDF, not a word document or a pre-made template. Make it unique, with your own design flare, but be sure to remain cognizant of resume trends in the industry.
- Don't have spelling/grammatical errors in your resume or your writing sample. It sounds silly to even suggest it, right? Proofread, proofread, proofread. We know mistakes happen when writing, but they shouldn't make it into a final piece.
- Be prepared to write a sample piece. For most companies, a writing sample isn't enough. You may get an assignment to write a blog or post for one of their clients, and it might be in a subject you're unfamiliar in, but don't let that stress you out. Do your research as best as you can and if the writing is clean, but the content is off, it's okay. No one is expecting expertise in an industry overnight.
- Research the company. Learn about their mission, their culture, the work they do, etc. Every company is different, so it's hard to B.S. your way through a 'what do you know about our company' question. (It doesn't hurt to read their blogs and listen to their in-house podcast. 😉)
- Come prepared with extra resumes. We know, paper, soOo analog. Printed resumes are another necessary evil of the interview process. You can't guarantee everyone in the meeting has had the time to review your resume in full, and it's also nice to have notes for yourself if you get tripped up. No need to go over the top with printing; just make sure they're legible and presentable.
- Be on time, or a little early... but not too early. This is another tip that's so simple you'd think it wouldn't need telling. Alas, things happen and people are late. Employers may be understanding or they may not. It's hard to erase the first impression of being late. If you're worried about getting there, try a practice run a day before to make sure everything goes smoothly.
- Don't bash your former employer during the interview—even if it was a terrible job. You know it was a terrible job, but we don't, and from our angle it makes us question whether or not you'd treat us like that when/if you move on. Even at the worst job, everyone learns something. Tie all the things you learned into a nice package, and present them in a thoughtful way.
- Prepare stories and situations. As trite as they may be, questions about your strengths, weaknesses, past projects, etc. can tell us a lot about who you are as a person. It's easy to have a few classic situational stories in the bag, should they come up.
- Be original, and truthful. At Morey Creative, and many other companies as well, we do a pre-interview phone call, where we learn the basics about you, and you about us/the industry. If we tell you on the call that, 'here at Morey our passions are x, y and z,' don't come into the interview telling us that those are your passions, verbatim. There will be individuals out there who are exactly aligned with what we do, and we can't wait to meet them, but if our passions aren't your passions, we'll be able to tell. That said, don't get discouraged if our passions aren't your passions! We're not exclusive, and we'd love to learn what your passions are.
- Have certifications. This goes for Morey Creative, as well as many other agencies out there. If you're looking to work at a HubSpot Partner Agency, it looks great to have obtained a certification or two, or at the very least, learned about Inbound and HubSpot.
Well, that's the long and short of it. If this all sounds doable, and our agency sounds like the right fit, check out our open positions! We look forward to hearing from you.
Key Takeaways From This Episode:
- Overall, first impressions matter. All of the above tips fit into the category of 'make a good impression.' So, be yourself, but be prepared and professional. The rest will come naturally.
- Create an awesome design portfolio with these 20 pro tips
- Best Resume Formats for 2020
- Tips for Editing and Proofreading Your Resume
- 6 Types of Stories You Should Have on Hand for Job Interviews
- HubSpot Academy
Did we miss your favorite interview tip? Comment below, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
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