A killer portfolio speaks volumes for you during a job interview. But how you present it – and yourself – to potential clients and employers also helps determine whether you get the work. Following are five interview moves that can give you an edge over the competition.
You snooze, you lose. In today’s fast-paced market, the deadline for most creative projects is yesterday. So make yourself available for an interview without delay. Believe it or not, you strengthen your chances of landing the job simply by being first through the door.
Show you’re up for a challenge. Mention an obstacle you had to overcome with a previous project, and explain the steps you took to successfully produce the finished product. Provide samples demonstrating how the project evolved to meet the firm’s specifications.
One freelance graphic designer, for example, had updated a former client’s corporate brochure to make the business appear more modern. The challenge had been creating a fresher, edgier design that would still appeal to the firm’s more traditional consumer base. During an interview with a prospective client, the freelancer explained the obstacle she had faced with the piece and described specifically the design elements and techniques used to overcome it. Impressed by the designer’s ability to provide a workable solution to a creative challenge, the client offered her the job.
Wow them with results. So you produced a great piece – what were its effects? Did a website you redesigned increase traffic by 20 percent? Did a press release you wrote get heavy newspaper pickup? Did a print ad you created increase sales? Don’t keep this information to yourself. Not only are results impressive – they also show you understand the big picture.
Leave a reminder of your talent. In a survey of advertising executives commissioned by The Creative Group, nearly two-thirds of respondents (64%) said it’s important to leave behind a work sample when completing a job interview. As you’re about to leave, present your prospective employer a copy of your best piece. This demonstrates your interest and serves as a reminder of your abilities. If you have your own website, you’ll also want to leave the interviewer a business card listing the site’s URL.
Send a creative thank you. In a separate survey of business executives by our firm, 76 percent reported that sending a thank-you note following an interview was of value when considering a candidate for a position. But don’t even think of heading to your nearest greeting card store. This is your chance to showcase your creative talent. If you’re a graphic artist, design a personalized card. If you’re a copywriter, create a unique message. Remember, this is one more opportunity to emphasize your talent, so use it!