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Interview Tips for Graphic Artists and Designers - Part I

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Job Interviews
If you are a student in graphic design, graphic arts or illustration, you've probably wondered about the interview process in applying for a job.

While job interviews can take on a variety of scenarios, you can still be prepared.

The tips presented in this series do not guarantee you a graphics job, but they can help you to organize, plan and possibly increase your chances for a successful job interview.
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guy-at-tableHow to Prepare Before the Interview
Preparation can play a significant role in the outcome of job interviews.

By doing your research and being aware of what is expected for the job position, you can enhance your credibility and professionalism in the eyes of the interviewer.

Prior to showing up for the job interview you can prepare yourself by going over the following suggestions and plans of action:
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    • Portfolio. Assemble your portfolio in a conscious effort to meet the needs of the company or firm you are applying at.  Keep it concise and to the point. You don't want to bore the interviewer with examples that don't represent your best work.
    • Background. Your interviewer will probably ask what you know about the company. Present a few detailed facts about the firm. This shows that you are interested in the company and have done your part to be informed.
    • Dress the Part. Try to find out what sort of dress code the office has for its workers. You want to dress appropriately in order to fit in. Being neat and casual sometimes works better than wearing a suit. Check or ask before your interview appointment.
    • Materials: In addition to your portfolio, bring along copies of your resume, a disc of your work examples, and a cover letter just in case the items were lost in processing. Also bring your driver's license, social security card, and three references.

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  • Groom. Personal hygiene should not be forgotten. Do all you can to appear fresh and clean.
  • Be Punctual. Plan to arrive early--at least 20 minutes or sooner. This will take into account any time that you may loose by getting lost or other tie-ups. Arriving early also gives you a chance to catch your breath, scope out the area, and relax.

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The Primary Interview Formats
There are usually two types of job interview formats that employers choose to use:

oil-painting-effect-interview

* Traditional - In this method, the interviewer asks candidates about their strengths and weaknesses, why they want to work for the company, what their goals are for the next 3 to 5 years, and other standard questions that are quite common to this style of interview.
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Employers use this method to determine the applicant's communication skills, experience, and suitability as a team player.

* Behavioral - More companies are adopting this interview approach because it probes the potential employee's past performance as an indication of how well the candidate may perform in the work firm's work environment.

Questions are asked about how the individual handled coworker conflicts, project challenges, ingenuity in problem solving and other questions related to on-the-job performance and actions.

Next Time...
In the following parts of this series, we'll delve into the aspects of what to do during the interview process, how to avoid pitfalls during the interview and more so stayed tuned.


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