But, could you be about to make one of these classic creative job-interview blunders? We asked some of New York City’s top creative recruiters the biggest interview mistakes recent graduates are prone to make. Let’s count them down.
8. Your computer is about to die.
Did you forget your power cord? Is your battery low? Is your laptop crashing left and right? Make sure that Mac is in proper working order before you sit down with a creative director or recruiter.
7. Don’t walk in with a sense of entitlement.
You’re competing with a lot of talented people. You might get your dream job, at that hot agency you’ve been professionally lusting after, right out school. But, then again, maybe other you’ll get other opportunities which will start your career and put you on the road to where you want to be. Keep your options open.
6. You won’t consider working for any place other than a mainstream ad agency or design firm.
Number six goes with number seven and it’s a biggie. Once upon a time, starting your career anywhere other than a standard agency or design firm was, well, less than ideal. Those days are long gone. Excellent opportunities abound today in specialized agencies serving the pharmaceutical and financial industries, or design firms that work in specific markets such as restaurant design. There are in-house opportunities at brands like Target and Coke, as well as, work at media companies and social platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Vimeo. The breadth and depth of places to practice your craft grows every day.
5. You present yourself as a copywriter/art director/designer “hybrid” creative.
Sure, you have many talents. You can shoot pictures, write, paint, play the banjo and cook a mean goulash. But, if you’re a copywriter, position yourself as a copywriter. You may also be an excellent art director with the typographic sensibilities of a Herb Lubalin or a Louise Fili—that’s awesome, definitely show some of that ability off. But, remember that potential employers have specific positions to fill.
4. You didn’t sufficiently practice how to present your work.
You may have great “thinking on your feet” skills, but don’t leave something this important to chance. Sit down with a friend or a teacher and go through presenting your work. Make sure you explain the creative brief, and don’t go too fast or ramble on for too long. Decide what order to present your work in—determine what project to close or open with. Practice this as many times as you need to so you can do it confidently, every time, when it counts.
3.You’re more eager to find a job than showing your great work.
Recruiters really don’t like this. Lead with your work, put your best foot forward and the job offers will follow. Otherwise you come off as desperate, and no one likes that.
2. You don’t seem curious or interested in, the company that is interviewing you.
If a recruiter gets the impression that you don’t care about the firm that’s expressing an interest in you, that alone may sink the interview. The chances are you’re probably really interested. Just make sure you come off that way. Have a list of questions of your own and engage the interviewer.
… and the biggest interview blunder is [INSERT CHEESY DRUM ROLL HERE]:
1. You come off as a nervous wreck.
Part of the job you’re interviewing for is presenting and selling work to colleagues and clients. Not being able to present your work due to a bad case of the shakes or an epic episode of “flop sweat” isn’t confidence-inspiring. Just keep this in mind; your interviewer is a human being who has been in your position. They understand how stressful sitting for a job interview can be. They’re rooting for you—they want to be impressed with your work. So, just chill. Drink herbal tea if coffee makes you jittery. Our advice for avoiding blunder number four goes a long way here too.
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