Getting called in for an interview is always nerve wracking, but some jobs are so perfect, the interview can be a real struggle. If you want the job really, really badly, making the right impression becomes crucial.
How do you set foot in the door for your dream creative job feeing confident and serene? The answer’s in the preparation.
Follow these tips and you’ll have a much better chance of success.
Why Does the Job Matter to You?
The first way to tackle a tough interview is to figure out why it feels so impossible. Clearly the job’s important to you or you wouldn’t be so worried. Now it’s time to harness that anxiety and flip it around so it’s a force for good.
Use your passion for the job to drive some intensive research about the company, its ethos and the role you’ll be taking on. Use the company website, LinkedIn page and Facebook profile to build a picture of the business in your mind. You don’t need to know all the facts and figures, but being able to answer basic questions will help.
Being Unconventional Is OK – Sometimes
As a creative professional, you’re not expected to play by the rules all the time. A little bit of individuality goes a long way. However, don’t use that as an excuse to show up looking scruffy, and never roll up late just because you assume the company’s laid back.
Creative job interviews still require a certain amount of conformity. You need to look smart, and you should show up with a couple of copies of your CV or resume just in case. You may not need to wear a suit or formal business attire, depending on the company culture, but if you’re unsure of the culture it’s best to overdress just in case.
You can show off your creativity in other ways, though. Try varying the format of your CV or resume so it reflects your taste and flair, and think about bringing along some multimedia or a specially printed portfolio showcasing your best work.
If All Else Fails…
Getting a creative job is slightly different to getting a regular 9 to 5; sometimes you’ll have been earmarked as a favorite before you set foot through the door, simply because your graphic desk skills match the company brief. But don’t forget: every employer that advertises a job is being swamped with applications in this tough economic climate, and a little extra effort could give you that vital edge.
Practice your interview technique and use every basic interview skill you learned at school or college. Make sure you speak slowly, process questions before answering and ask the interviewer to repeat things if you need more thinking time. Don’t make any promises if you don’t have the skills; honesty goes a long way, even if it’s not what the interviewer was hoping to hear. And don’t be drawn in to criticizing your current job, since you never know what your interviewer’s motives are.
Most people take time to understand the dynamics of interviews, and creative job interviews come with their own quirks. But in time, you’ll be cool and confident, and you’ll have all the skills you need to ace it.
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Mark Montoya has been working in personal branding for more than a decade for hundreds of online and offline companies, small businesses and individual service professionals. His focus has been toward improving the way jobseekers find employment on the Internet. He has synthesized his expertise by helping job seekers obtain their ideal choice of employment over the Internet on his sites MyOnlineCareerSpace.com and MyOnlineCareerCoach.com, and through his books 101 Tips Every Job Seeker Should Know and The Ultimate Online Job Search eBook.
"It is the responsibility of the individual to reject the prospect of mediocrity and to strive for the betterment of society as a whole" ~ Mark Montoya