Hire Me: 101
Today, the modern creative has to be a Jack/Jill of all trades in order to be successful. With these expectations comes a lot of pressure to stand out when interviewing for new a position. But no sweat, we’re here to help! Here are our top six tips to nail your next interview for a creative position:
1. Expect the unexpected
Creative “higher-ups” vary. Some are traditional, professional, and no-nonsense. Others are more free-spirited, expressive, and work outside of the box. Of course, before you interview for a job you not only want to research the company you may be working for, but also its creative leaders. A friend of mine once had an interview for a graphic designer position and was asked by a more eclectic creative director, “You have $100. How would you create a successful hot dog stand in New York City?” This clearly doesn’t have to do with design and there is no correct answer either. Rather, creative questions like these allow you to show your interviewer that you can think quickly on your feet, respond with something creative in a limited time setting, and let your individuality shine. For creative interviews, expect the unexpected when it comes to the q’s and a’s.
2. Ask questions
According to Element Three (a marketing agency in Indianapolis), during an interview a creative applicant should also be prepared to ask questions at the end. The agency suggests you ask something like, “What is an example of a client challenge you have recently faced?” or “I was looking at your social media presence and see that your brand has been more active over the past few months. Has your strategy changed? (Clearly you have done your research and are already thinking about marketing and branding.)” Questions like these demonstrate your interest and professionalism.
3. Polish that portfolio
A creative’s portfolio is arguably more important for a job interview than the interview itself. With this in mind, you want to have your best work displayed. Show off your accomplishments not by the number of projects you’ve completed, but rather through the quality of your selected work. Your professional portfolio should just show your most important work while you can create another medium, say a blog, to house all of your projects, completed or in progress. Furthermore, you want to ensure that your portfolio demonstrates a variety of different works, industries, and projects to show off your versatility.
4. Maintain your social media presence
Social media presence is more important than ever. Give yours a makeover for when the company you’re interested in offers you an interview. Make sure a link to your portfolio is in your bio. Additionally, you could start following the company’s platforms and interacting with their pages and posts. The more you do this (in addition to researching the company beforehand), the more you’ll engage with the company (which will make you feel more comfortable during your interview, too).
5. Wear your creativity on your sleeve (literally)
Unfortunately, appearances do matter when it comes to first in-person impressions. How do you want your clothes to reflect you and your work? You’re applying for a job in a creative field and you can display your creativity in your attire. We’re not suggesting over-the-top outfits; rather, you could dress in colors over black, wear a bold pattern, or sport a tactful accessory. If bold, patterned clothes aren’t your thing, make sure your outfit demonstrates your personality. Be yourself.
6. Offer your skills regardless
Rejections from interviews can be crushing. Before an interview, you should definitely be confident in your prospects. However, if you do not land the position, don’t dwell in the negativity. Sometimes interview processes are subjective and/or arbitrary. Plus, if you do get rejected, you can still find ways to get involved at a company. According to CreativeBloq, if there is no job available at a prospective company or the company you interviewed for turned you down in an encouraging way, you can still offer your assistance. The site states, “Added value cannot be underestimated. Creative agencies are busy places, so if your details hit the right screen at the right time, you could make someone’s life easier.” As a result, you may be offered a position when the time is right or you can add this freelance/volunteer work to your resume.