In my previous article I’ve covered Designer Resume as the main attribute that helps you to get an Interview for Designer Role. While that topic is huge, I’ve tried to set the foundation of your mindset for it, so you could create your Resume in a way it’ll give you an ability to satisfy most of the employer’s criteria to invite you for an Interview and increase your chances in your Design Career.
In this article I’ll give you some valuable tips and tricks to keep in mind during your job Interview, that will increase your chances of landing your dream job.
IN A NUTSHELL
Interview is the last step of getting a job. If you did everything right while applying to a career opportunities in terms of your Portfolio and Resume – you’ll end up on an Interview with your potential employer. So preparing for this step and knowing the rules of the game is mandatory, if you want to get hired.
Also remember, you might not be successful during your first couple of interviews, and that’s OK. It must not discourage you of keep trying. The thing you really gotta do about it is to analyze what you’ve did wrong not to make same mistakes in your future interviews and eventually achieve success. Practice helps to overcome any difficulty.
Being confident during your interview is extremely important. Nobody is going to harm you other than yourself, so try to calm down and do your best to let people to get to know you better.
When you’re trying to get a job most likely you’ll going to be interviewed more than once. And those interviews require different approach to pass them.
On the first stage you’ll gonna be interviewed by a recruiter / HR specialist. This type of interviews is called screening. The format of the interview in most cases is a 5-10 minute phone conversation. During this call the person on the other end will try to understand whether you’re potentially good to be passed to a further interview with people that make the decision to hire you.
This interview is not the one with your potential employer.
Recruiters and HR specialists are the type of professionals that are sort of a filter that helps hiring managers not to waste time for not appropriate candidates. And unfortunately sometimes these professionals do not know what is actually important for a specific role in terms of skills and what is just a desired (optional) requirement. So even if you not an expert in something that they expect you to know, it doesn’t mean that you’ll be a bad fit for a certain role, that is why impress them enough to help them to send your resume to a hiring manager, and let him make that decision.
Second stage interviews are the interviews with your potential employer. It could be a hiring manager (such as team lead, department director, project manager, executive etc.) or a team member (the employee that has the same role as you’re applying to or the one that will be working with you in the same department or on a project).
During this type of interviews the company will make a decision whether they’ll gonna hire you or not. So here you have to be true to yourself, be honest and try to do your best to convince people to hire you.
Being confident about what you know and how you behave yourself determines your success in your interview process.
Appeal to emotions. The decision is made by human beings. Human beings got feelings. So your job is to call to their best feelings of satisfaction and joy. You’ve got to have smile, to have a solid handshake, express confidence about everything you say, don’t shy but be humble etc.
Being a strong professional, means that you believe in the value of the skills that you have. You’re sure about what you know and don’t afraid of what you don’t know. You’re OK with the fact that you have to study constantly to improve your skills and gain those that you don’t have. And you’re going to be a fast learner, because you’ve always been!
You are who you are. You’re true to yourself and don’t afraid to admit and show it. You don’t want to be someone who you’re not! You’re confident that the one you are right know is exactly who’s needed to this company.
And one more thing, remember the 70% match rule. Job descriptions with all of the requirements in them are often close to “science fiction”. When people compose those descriptions they describe a superhero candidate, but not the actual need of the skills for a certain role. If you match at least 50%-70% of that job description, don’t hesitate to apply to that position. And if the company invites you to an interview, most likely it means that you already fit that role in terms of start working right away, otherwise they will never invite you for an interview.
I hope this bullet will give you some extra confidence.
There’re tons of questions that might be asked during the interview and tons of information about how to answer those. So I don’t want to dive into this too much. However I’ll give you the basic principals that help you to answer those questions.
To questions like “tell me about yourself?”, “how do you see yourself in XX years?”, “what is your ideal job?”, “why should we hire you?” etc. you have to answer from a prospective of the job you’re applying to. You have to show them that your life path organically goes through their company and your goals are associated exactly with what this company is offering. Don’t tell people when you were born, what elementary schools you’ve attended, what hobbies you have etc. That’s not what they actually want to hear. Tell only thing that are relevant to that job and related to your skills and experience in term of your qualification as a professional.
To questions like “how do you do XYZ?”, “if we had XYZ a problem, how would you solve it?” etc. you have to answer straight to that question, based on your experience, workflow and ideas. Don’t say that you don’t know how you do it, if you don’t have an experience. Instead, say: “I’m not 100% sure, but I think I’d did that XYZ way”, and give an answer based on how you think it should be done. It’s not that important whether you know right answer or not. The more important your desire to find one. It’s impossible to know everything, but people want to hire those, that are active in finding the right information.
Don’t remain silent! If you don’t know something or you’re not sure, keep talking. People love to see your thought process, which means you’re not passive. Try to say: “I’m not sure, but I’d started from XYZ, and probably tried XYZ, because I know that XYZ worked for me in the past” or something like that. I hope you know what I mean.
Be ready to describe what you’ve did, where you’ve worked and how you’ve did it. Prepare a short story to any project in your portfolio and get ready to talk about them and answer the questions. If you can’t talk about your past work – it’s a bad sign for your hiring manager.
Be short. Don’t talk to much. Just an important information. And after you’ve finished your answer ask, if they want to hear more and if they will, they’ll tell you about it.
And don’t lie! Be honest. If you’re not good enough for the role, sooner or later it’ll become known and it’ll be extremely painful both for you and for the employer to solve this issue.
YOU GOTTA ASK!
I’m convinced that if you’re having an interview and don’t ask any questions – there’s no sense of you having that interview!
By asking questions you express your true interest to that position and company, you’re able to find out do you really need that job or not, and you help your potential employer to understand are you really a good fit for that role.
Find out more about the company, what it’s main goals, values, mission and culture, products and services, what are the competitors, what are the clients, what is the team you’ll be working with, what exactly you’ll be doing, what are the main problems to be solved etc.
Also there are two questions that are the top and, to my opinion, mandatory to be asked!
1) What is your ideal candidate to start working right away? By asking this question you remove any fantasy about the role and you’re able to find out what do they really expect from you today to know in terms of skills and experience.
2) What do you expect me to do in XX months to understand that I’m the right fit for the role? By asking this question you help them to determine what is the rating for you as the professional, so you’ll be able to understand what do you have exactly to do to express yourself enough during your test period to be successful in your career with this company.
So ask questions!
When the company is looking for someone to hire, it means that they had “pain” in the past, or they have “pain” currently, or they expect “pain” in the future. And your job is to become the cure from that “pain”!
Try to find out what problems the company is experiencing in terms of your role and become a solver of those problems. That is the most important ability employers are looking from a professional to express. That’s how people land that job!
In Design world and in technology in general companies are often expect you to do some test project or to work for some time as an intern, to determine your skills.
Though your work might be unpaid and maybe even used without hiring you (I had such an experience a couple of times), it’s a great chance for you to express yourself, cause if you do, you’ll probably get hired. Plus you have an additional way to fill your Portfolio, even if you won’t get that job.
ept a huge project that requires days and even weeks of work (if that is not an internship in an eligible company), cause they might use your talent without hiring you.
As always, thanks for reading. I highly appreciate your interest and support. Check out my blog for more articles.
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