How to prepare for a Creative Interview
Congratulations - you have secured an interview and your Gloss consultant has sent you all of the details required to get you fully prepared. Make sure you speak to your consultant for more details on the job and what to expect at the interview. This is best done on the phone (0870 3219788) and remember that the more information and preparation you do, the better you will be perform.
If this role is of great interest to you then you will need to convince the interviewer that you are the best possible person for the job and stand out for any other possibilities they may have. So, stay calm, think clearly and don’t let the pressure of the situation, along with some tricky questions, put you off your stride – hopefully these tips will stand you in good stead:
Before the Interview
Prepare, prepare, prepare! Preparation is the first fundamental step towards conducting a successful interview.
• Make sure you know the exact time and where the interview will take place, and the name and position of the person you are going to meet (your gloss consultant will provide you with this info);
• Have the telephone number of the company/person you are meeting, and phone ahead if you are delayed. This is generally forgiven where as unannounced lateness isn’t;
• Plan your journey in advance, ensure you have clear directions and that you know your route. Allow plenty of time in case you encounter any delays, and don’t forget to allow time for traffic and parking;
• Find out how long the interview is likely to take so you can arrange other engagements accordingly;
• CV – ensure you have two good quality copies in case they are needed;
• For creative positions – make sure your portfolio is well presented and you can talk your way through the content. Working drawings and detailing, as well as final visuals are even better. Start and end your portfolio with the strongest, most relevant work and show some diversity in the middle (12 pages should be enough so don’t be tempted to do too much).
Practice presenting your portfolio and remember that the client will most likely have seen your work before via ourselves so prepare for questions!
Finding out about the Company and what they do helps you present a good impression at interview and also helps you decide whether you would like to work for them.
1) Speak to your Gloss consultant who will brief you on the company and help you to understand what they do;
2) Aside from the information that we may provide you with, we would always advise that you do some more in-depth research on any company that you are interviewing at. This will help you confidence levels when in the interview;
3) Check out the company’s website, social media and Google for information such as:
• When the company was established
• The Company’s brand story (what they are about)
• Products, services and clients
• Business growth and plans for future
• The company’s presence in the market in which it operates;
• Their competitiors, any recent press releases, brochures or annual reports;
• Key job requirements and responsibilities;
• Key areas of interest for you and why you want to join the company; The interviewer will be impressed if you have gone to the trouble of finding out about the company and it can also be useful for questions you can ask if you couldn’t find some of the above info.
Know Your CV
• Read your CV and be prepared to talk about your previous roles in detail; you will be expected to provide facts and figures of previous roles/jobs;
• Be sure that you can account for any gaps on your CV, and that you can give positive reasons for leaving previous roles (sometimes you might get asked for 2 reasons as the first answer is likely to be the PC version and the second the real reason)!
• Consider what you will bring to the company and the role, based on the skills outlined on your CV.
Play the scenario out for yourself in your head or within someone else. Visualise the interview, be positive and see yourself being successful. Do this again and again and all this prep will mean you just have to work on the delivery – not the content. Practice the answers to common interview questions such as:
• Why did you choose a career in the creative / digital sector?
• What kind of job are you looking for?
• What is your technical experience?
• Tell me about your current role.
• What are the most satisfying/frustrating things about your current employment? • What style of management gets the best from you?
• What are your strengths/weaknesses?
• What have you learnt from previous roles?
• Which job did you enjoy the most and why?
• What makes you particularly suited to this company/ role?
• What attracted you to this company/role and why do you think you would be good for it?
• What have you done that shows initiative in your career?
• What do you think determines a person’s progress in a good company?
• What does ‘teamwork’ mean to you?
• Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?
• When was your last salary review?
• Are you willing to relocate?
• What are your hobbies?
Be prepared for more technical questions directed more towards the job you are interviewing for and ALWAYS ANSWER WITH EXAMPLES!!!
Prepare Your Own Questions
The interviewer, whilst questioning you, will be trying to determine whether or not you are the right person for the job. However, you must also take this opportunity to determine, through your own questions, whether this potential employer will provide you with the role and career development that you are looking for too.
Intelligent questions will also give an insight into the type of employee you will be. Questions you might want to ask include:
• How does the department fit in with the rest of the company?
• Can you give me a detailed description of the position?
• Why has the position become available?
• How long was the last person in this role?
• What is the culture of the company?
• Is there an induction or training programme?
• What plans do the Company have for future development?
• Why is it a good company to work for?
Discussing the salary isn’t frowned upon so much nowadays and you might get asked about this directly. We advise you to be honest – at all times – as this will ensure a good mutual fit.
Now is also a good chance to ask about the benefits package but don’t go into too much detail as the priority should be on the role and enthusiasm – not how many days off you get a year!
Perception is vital and you will want to look positive, hungry and a hard worker….this should hopefully come across naturally if we have found you a good role!
During the Interview
Good personal presentation is the key to success. With in the first 5 minutes of meeting you, your interviewer will have formed an impression of you and may well have already decided the outcome of the interview. Always remember ‘First impressions do count’.
Ask your Gloss consultant what sort of dress code would be appropriate for the Company you are interviewing at but dress smartly even if you know the company allows a less formal dress code – its better to be over dressed than underdressed…you can even make a joke about it but it shows you are serious about the role.
• During the initial exchange of pleasantries, show you are confident by giving a firm handshake when you meet people and when you leave;
• Smile! This shows you are enthusiastic and friendly;
• Sit up straight and maintain regular eye contact, this conveys honesty as well as confidence; • Relax and remain confident / alert; they will want to see the real you in the interview and it’s their job to get the best out of you relax (after all you have done all the prep)!
• Listen carefully to the interviewer’s questions and don’t be afraid to ask again.
• Take time to think before you answer the question, and speak slowly and clearly;
• Try not to fidget, use humour / humility where appropriate and try to enjoy the experience.
Closing the Interview
Try and ask a few intelligent questions at the end such as:
How soon would you expect the new candidate to be up and running?
Have you seen any other candidates and how long do you expect the interview process to take?
Is there any other information that you would like me to explain further? If you are interested in the position, ask what the next stage of the interview process will be.
If the interviewer offers you the job on the spot and you want it, accept on the spot. If you wish for some time to think it over, be courteous and tactful in asking for that time (state you are very interested but will need to speak to a loved one first). Set a definite date on which you can provide an answer.
Don’t be discouraged if no definite offer is made nor salary discussed. The interviewer may have other candidates to see and would also probably want to disucss a potential offer with his/her colleagues before making a decision; If you feel that the interview is not going well, don’t let your discouragement show. Some interviewers who are interested in you may deliberately discourage you in order to test your reaction;
Finally, always remember your basic Ps and Qs and thank the interviewer for their time.
After the interview:
Once the interview is over then make sure you telephone / email your Gloss consultant with feedback as soon as possible. The consultant will want to speak to you before the interviewer calls and will mostly want to know if you like the company / role. It is also possible to follow up with a thank-you email to keep you high up in their list of interviewees but its not a necessity in this day and age.
• Be confident and make sure you sell yourself without being boastful;
• Have a positive attitude and go in with the intention of securing a job offer;
• Thank the interviewer and express your interest in the role.
• Turn negatives into positives; don’t put yourself down but discuss your weaknesses as points you have recognised and strived to overcome, give examples eg. Bad time management – but now prioritise first thing in the morning
• Be late, 10-15 mins early is acceptable;
• Exaggerate your experience or qualifications;
• Answer questions with a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’. Explain yourself wherever possible;
• Display an overbearing or aggressive ‘know it all’ attitude;
• Criticise or speak negatively of current/previous employers;
• Appear unfocused or demotivated;
• Leave your mobile telephone switched on.
If you have any queries at all then call one of our consultants and we shall be more than happy to give you more information!