Design Career Series: 8 Tips for Preparing for a Design Interview

It’s that moment we all anticipate. It can happen within a few days, or it can take months. Either way, waiting for the invitation to an interview is a true test of our patience. Once it comes, and it will come, it is important to be prepared! There are more than enough articles out there to help you prepare for an interview in general, so I wanted to briefly touch upon design-specific tips:

ONE. Represent the brand you have created for yourself.
Bring along the application package that you have carefully crafted. Not only will the original design of your resume and portfolio show a cohesive brand, but the way they are transported and the way you present yourself should reflect that brand as well. Do not forget that you are marketing yourself as a unique and creative professional.

TWO. Strategize clear communication of your portfolio.
Create a discussion surrounding an introduction, the full process, and a conclusion for the entire portfolio and each individual project.

THREE. A strong introduction will help avoid future confusion.
Right from the beginning consider communicating things like:
The title
Project partners
Significance – Why you included the project in your portfolio
The idea
The context

FOUR. When introducing a project, state the idea in one clear sentence.
Don’t worry, you can expand upon the one sentence in further discussion, but the initial statement will provide the interviewer with the project’s focus right from the start.

FIVE. Revolve your presentation around project ideas.
One of the most important parts of presenting your portfolio is exhibiting how well you formulate, communicate, and discuss ideas. Focus on the idea, do not get hung up on minor details.

SIX. Avoid negative talk.
Don’t speak negatively about yourself, your work, or anyone involved. However, also know that sharing process, including learning experiences, is perfectly fine. Just always be sure it is done in a confident and positive context.

SEVEN. Practice presenting your portfolio.
Recruit friends or family to act as a practice audience, ensuring they provide critical feedback and speak up when they feel concepts are unclear.

EIGHT. Seek out design-specific interview questions.
Do a web search to see if you can find sample design-specific interview questions that you can practice answering. I will be posting some sample questions for this purpose in the near future.

A fundamental part of interview success is exhibiting confidence in yourself. Preparing for your interview beforehand plays a huge roll in instilling that confidence.

What things do you do to prepare for your interviews?

Email questions or insights to or comment below.


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