Monday, 17 October 2011

Illustration 101 - The Interview

All the work on your portfolio has paid off, and now you have a job interview - it's game day. Time to make a great impression! So... how do you do that?

Erica - I always prep/conduct for interviews thusly (whether on the phone, or in person):
1.) Look nice. I spend extra time making sure I look as nice as I can for an interview. Pretend it's a date. You want them to like you, a lot, and you want to feel your best. Well, you won't look or feel your best if your hair is messy and you haven't combed your hair in a day. People will pick up on how nice you look, not only because they feel it, but because you have more confidence when you know you look good. The extra time is worth it. 
2.) Smile. Be happy. Smile a lot.
3.) Make sure you don't have any strays. Clean up any pet hair, papers, buttons, threads, lint, off of everything.  Your portfolio is impeccable, and so are you!
4.) Be early. If the interview is in person, show up a few minutes early. Accept a glass of water if they offer it, and be really nice to the receptionist. 
5.) Bring a clean, working pen and a notebook. Even if you don't need to write anything down you will be ready, and they may take notice.
6.) Breath mints. Coffee breath sucks.
7.) Make sure you are organized. Don't waste time (yours or theirs fiddling through stuff).
8.) Make sure your answers are practiced. Don't run on, but don't have closed answers (yes or no). Short, sweet, to the point, and happy.
9.) Be honest.
10.) Thank them for their time, and the opportunity. Close with confidence. Say something like "I look forward to speaking with you again soon." This exudes confidence while still being very polite.

Every interview will be different. Some go really well and some tank. Don't lose sight.

Jo- I like to do everything the night before because I hate leaving everything to the last minute. Some people can work  under pressure and pull it off. But me, erm, no! From past experience you learn to do things in your own way.

1. Double check your portfolio is looking good; no stains and certainly no spelling mistakes! And Google map where you're going and plan out the journey, give yourself plenty of time as public transport can be unreliable (well for me it usually is!) Trust me I have a smart phone but I still plan ahead because you never know your phone might break down on you!
2. What you wear is your own personal choice obviously so be yourself. There's no point trying to pretend to be someone you're not, choose something you'll be comfortable in (as long as you don't look like you've been on the lash!)
3. Try and think what they'll ask you and perhaps make a short list of answers. But try and balance it out so it doesn't sound too scripted or else you'll come across like a robot. You are talking about yourself so go ahead and impress them!
4. Have an early night.
5. Turning up early/ on time is always a plus.
6. Be friendly and shake hands! If you feel nervous try and relax and not worry too much about it, it's only natural to be like that.
    This is also an important time for you to ask them questions which shows you're interested in working with them and that you've done some background research into the company/ agency etc.

Thank them for their time and leave a promotional pack for them to keep (or even a business card will do.)

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