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Nail that design interview

Landing a dream role is never easy. It can be a challenge to balance working while finding time to squeeze in interviews, polish your portfolio, update your CV and write a unique cover letter. It’s a lot.

And it can be even harder when you don’t know how to fully sell yourself in the application process (talking about how great you are doesn’t always come naturally!).

So, to make the interview process a little less daunting, here’s a few tips on how to level-up your interview and stand out from the crowd.

Know who you’re talking to

One of the best ways to ace the interview is to research the company you’re applying to – you want to join the team after all. Knowing what’s going on at xDesign is key to asking pertinent questions and understanding the culture and dynamics of the team. This shows hiring managers that you’ve done your homework and have a genuine interest in the company.

A CV that matches

Make sure you’re applying for a role that matches your skills and capabilities. We all want to move up the career ladder, push ourselves onwards and test our abilities – but keep it within reach.

Most hiring managers will scrutinise experience – not just in years in industry – but in tangible examples of what you have accomplished. You should know your CV like the back of your hand and, most importantly, be honest. You may not have all the experience required, but it’s better to acknowledge that rather than trying to masquerade experience you don’t necessarily have yet!

Letting your work speak for itself

There is no stronger representation of you as a designer than your portfolio, and the effort you demonstrate here will play a huge role in your progression through the hiring process. Hiring managers need to be able to see rationalised examples of creative problem solving, design theory and ability.

A narrative goes a long way: tell us what the goals were, what your process was, how you validated it. Our design team works closely to a user-centred design methodology, it is the core of what we do. Demonstrating your understanding of this approach would be a key identifier to our hiring team alongside your ability for critical thinking and digesting direct client feedback.

We want to be able to dive into your work and understand your methods - a good, well thought out case study, tackled the same way you would for client work, is the most effective way to get this message across.

Come prepared

Every interview is different. Each company has its own methods, whether it’s a workshop, a portfolio deep dive or an interrogation of your design knowledge. Each and every one can vary – so be prepared to react and adapt accordingly. Be sure to ask the recruiter about what’s expected at interview.

In most cases you will be able to adapt one format into another seamlessly. Don’t be afraid to take the time to compose yourself and understand what is being asked of you, ask questions if you aren’t sure, take the lead and own the conversation. Finally, be authentic and you’ll emit the positive energy you’ll need to ace your job interview.

Hopefully these tips will help you on your journey to a new role, and whilst you are at it, why not have a look at our careers page.