We asked Doug Thompson, Design Director of Space Matrix, what advice he would give to a Designer preparing for a job interview.
RESEARCH THE COMPANY
Research the company you are applying to and know its projects. Show interest by asking questions about the firm and projects.
UNDERSTAND THE ROLE
Understand the role that you are applying for and tailor your portfolio around it. For example, if the role is for a Senior Designer then demonstrate your understanding of workflow from concept to construction. Have answers for any budget questions ($/SF) and demonstrate portfolio projects designed to a budget. Address collaboration in the studio and how you work with others or manage junior designers. Highlight your understanding of timelines eg., how long it would take you to do a test fit or submit an RFP response etc.
SHOWCASE CREATIVE THINKING
Show a portfolio that demonstrates your creative thinking from start to finish – it should demonstrate how you navigate design rather than showcasing final 3d views generated by the team. Show hand sketches that demonstrate the design process. Work in progress sketches is a great way to explain your thought process.
TALK ABOUT YOUR VALUE
Talk about what value you add to the team or organization – this is an opportunity to talk about your value and why the firm should hire you.
BE AWARE OF CURRENT TRENDS
Demonstrate an awareness of current workplace trends and talk about how this is woven into the projects that you are showcasing.
TRY TO CONNECT
Be passionate and be yourself – the best interviews are the ones where the candidate and interviewer can connect. It helps an interviewer judge if they could work with you. Skills can be taught and worked on but if your passion for design and your passion about wanting to work for that company does not come through then that is negative.