Tuesday, May 26, 2015

The Truth About Job Interviews

If you are a graphic designer looking for full-time employment you might get your share of interviews. One question that frequently comes up is, "Why do you want to work with us?" Some designers get caught off-guard on this, and think the best approach is to wax eloquent about the virtues of working for the company, shared values, and so on. But everyone knows you probably are applying because they have an opening. That's about it. But to be fair, there are occasions when designers really apply because they like the organization, how they do business, the industry, or like the company goals. But most of the time designers just want the job because it's a better location, is a promotion, better salary, or just need the job.

In those situations, what's the best thing to say?

First of all you must be familiar with the organization. You can't speak intelligently without knowing something about the company. You want to be able to speak to their successes, core values, mission, or vision, and see how you may relate to them.

  1. Check out their website, usually in their About section.
  2. Check out their company blogs. You can find a lot of information about how they think and what they value there.
  3. If you can't find much on their website, you can look up company financial, historical, or growth data at your local library. Sometimes they have online tools you can use.
  4. Check them out on social media. Maybe try to connect with people who may be part of the company or know of someone who is. This can be touchy, but if you are there to give more than to receive they my be receptive to your inquiries.

After you find out information about the company you need to make a table. Write in one column the business attributes that seem to resonate with you. And in another column give reasons why each resonates with you. If you can't find anything, just list general facts about the company in one column, and how they can resonate with you if you were to rewrite them. In other words, fill in details that might be missing that may impact your view of them. This can become touch-points you can use in your interview, if the question of why you want to work there comes up.

You don't need to specify that you would really want to work with them if they agree with you on certain points. Just state your assumptions by saying something to the effect, "If this is what is meant, I really relate to this because..."

The point is not to make something up. It's about seriously considering whether the job is a good fit ahead of time. And articulating why it this works well for you and for them. Even if you just need the job, you can find reasons why you want to work there that go beyond just getting hired. You are a designer for a reason.

However, if you are hoping to get into design, but don't really care for it, you will have a very hard time regardless of the question.

Photo courtesy picjumbo

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