Interview Tips for Designers
Our Head of Design, Emily, recently spent an evening in Edinburgh reviewing portfolios as part of a Whitespace Women event, an initiative to help tackle the gender imbalance and get women into the creative industries.
It was great to see so many talented young women studying design and UX, some as their first degree and others as a career change from something else. Part of the evening involved talking about interview and portfolio tips for getting a foot in the door at an agency. Here are some of ours.
Research the company you’re applying for
Find a person who works at the company and write them an email, address it to their name rather than a generic hello there. If you don’t get a response from a managing director or creative director, try a senior or even junior designer. They may have more time to respond. If you can’t find an email address online, call the company and ask who the best person would be to send your portfolio to.
Be organised and on time
Don’t be late and make eye contact throughout your interview. Have everything you need ready so you’re not spending ages trying to find designs hidden deep In folders on your computer. If you get a chance, print something you can leave behind, be it a business card or something with some work examples on it, that’s always a nice touch and shows you’ve made the extra effort.
Be friendly and enthusiastic
Ultimately we’re looking for someone who is easy to get on with and who would fit into our team. But don't try and be something you’re not. Be yourself and don’t worry about being nervous, everyone gets nervous - even after years of experience. Use your nerves to focus your concentration.
Believe in yourself
Be passionate about your work. Don’t just describe the designs you're showing us in your portfolio, talk us through your process, the problems you solved, reflect on what went well and what went wrong on a project and what you’ve learned from it.
If you’re a designer we’d ask you to talk us through your design process, we like to know how you think as well as how you design. We’ll probably ask how you would approach working with other team members and why you want to work for us. Another good reason to do your research beforehand!