May 30, 2018
It’s that time of year again. The time of bittersweet endings and new beginnings for college grads. The applications, the interviews, and the beginning of those coveted summer internships that help you get your foot in the door at the agency of your dreams.
It’s during this time that I tend to reflect on my own experiences and how much I’ve grown since being cast into the “real world” three years ago. No matter how prepared you feel, embarking on your career is daunting. It’s hard not to get caught up in all those career-advice articles on what to show in your portfolio or how to make a good impression. Having been on both sides of the table, and in the spirit of keeping it simple, here are three things I have found to be most important no matter where you go or who you interview with.
Talk About Your Concepts
Because design is a form of strategic problem-solving, the purpose and idea driving your work is critical. Designers tend to get caught up in just making sure they have beautiful projects to show. But it’s just as important to talk about your concepts and where your ideas came from. You’re being hired for your brain as much as your artistic talent. Make sure you share how you think.
Express Yourself Clearly
Having the ability to express your thoughts and discuss your process verbally and in writing is an underrated skill for designers. This will help in the interview and later when you work with non-designers on a project. And when it comes to writing, it’s essential that you do it well. Having a certain level of professionalism goes a long way. Remember, a first impression is made based on your resume, cover letter, and website.
Ask Thoughtful Questions
Ask questions that you have prepared or that pertain to a particular topic discussed during your interview. Not only will this help you appear interested and engaged, but it will help you determine if the place will be a good fit for you. Remember, you’re interviewing them as well. Be sure to find out if you will have the opportunity to be mentored and gain valuable experience. You deserve that.