10 tips to help you nail that interview

You've upgraded yourself and you're more employable – all you need to do now is prove it at an interview. Here's how...

So your design portfolio is to die for and you've got the interview for that dream job, but there are still plenty of opportunities to blow it. Don't fall at the last hurdle; follow these tips instead.

01. Impress with attention

In the run-up to the interview, keep an eye on the agency's Twitter account and blog. Make a note of any new clients or business stories.

02. Dress right

Smart-casual is the uniform for creative industry interviews, even at senior level. Suits are a no-no for designers, but so are shorts and a vest.

03. Don't forget your resumé

Or any notes or presentation documents, especially if it's a senior role. You need to prove you know the design business, not just design.

04. Tell your story

You should be able to point to examples of your work and explain what problems you solved, business you won and the revenue it generated – give them proof your work is successful.

05. Additional skills

Listen out for opportunities to talk about your additional skill sets – does the agency have a gap you can fill or additional areas of expertise that are good for the business?

06. Be punctual

Don't just turn up on time. If you're asked to provide information or further folio samples before or after the interview, make it a priority.

07. Don't be modest

You need to talk about your skills in terms of achievements, and that means adding a little bravado to the mix. Don't let it spill over into cockiness, though.

08. Know your folio…

Be prepared to talk through each piece you present. For senior positions, equate these to hard performance indicators – you drove site traffic; converted x more sales; generated x-million Facebook shares, and so on.

09. …and your resumé

You no doubt tailored your resumé for a particular position in a particular agency. Make sure you know it inside out and can trace your development as a creative (and manager) through your achievements.

10. Follow up

There's a lot to be said for a thank-you note. There's more to be said for one that sends ideas across for new clients or a particular area of the business you think you could help expand.

Words: Tom Dennis Illustration: Luke Brookes

This article originally appeared in Computer Arts issue 229.