There’s been much discussion of negative design interview experiences. Now let’s share your best interview experiences. This could be very encouraging, and provide observations of common conditions present in successful interviews. Remember, a great interview doesn’t automatically equate to having landing the job, although it does help…
I haven’t actually applied for my first internship yet, but I do have a story to share. It’s about my interview to get into NCSU School of Design. After finishing an Associates degree in Architectural Technology, I decided to apply to NCSU School of Design. As I have a natural love for design, I’d been working on several projects in my spare time. Before the interview, I was previously notified by mail not to show drafting work as an example of design potential. However, I felt it important to show all aspects of my abilites, so I brought my drafting examples as well (opps). The interview was conducted by an instructor and student. I was nervous yet oddly calm.
I began the interview with drafting examples and immediately noticed a slight frown on the instructors face. I stated that I was aware of the policy regarding drafting, but that I felt it was important to show many aspects of my experience. Needless to say, I kept the drafting section brief and moved quickly onward. The middle to ending portion of the interview focused on design based projects. I had quite a variety of projects to show. The instructor and I engaged in conversations regarding design elements. She asked questions, and really seemed impressed with a few of my polymer clay designs. After the interview I humorously asked…“So, did I make it?” While keeping a poker face, she said, " I can’t tell you that, but have a look around campus before you leave."
Thinking back even before the interview, there were numerous situations regarding paper work and things that could’ve gone wrong. Instead, I held fast and focused on what I wanted. By believing and expecting, I avoided the pitfalls and everything fell into place. I found out later that only 1 out of 4 get accepted. Those aren’t outrageous odds, but I still felt pretty good about it. I think being unaware of the competition factor can sometimes help create a relaxed and naturally confident interview. There’s more to getting your way than brute skill or force, but helps to have the basic skills.
How about Best Interview where I didn’t get the job.
This is one of the most recent interviews. We actually hit it off on the phone. When we did meet in person the “good vibes” continued. We both had respect for each other and each others work. She even spoke of some personal stuff (not inappropriate)
Did I get the job, no. The pay was way too low. She didn’t want to insult me nor did she feel comfortable paying someone with my experience/skill/talent that low. She did give me another really great lead. I have a feeling that some day we will be working together.
Came in the door and the director said he was really sorry but a big project just came in the door and he would only have about 15-20minutes. Determined not to let it get me down I started presenting my work. After 2 hours of discussing design philosophy and moving through my work he asked if I could meet with the president of the firm. We clicked and chatted for about 20 minutes. The director comes back and asks me if I could hang out with the design team for awhile, so I BS with the guys about stuff for about 45 minutes. The director comes back out and asks me to come back to the office. He asks me if I have any other offers. Bluffing, I say I got some stuff in the hopper. He asks how much I think I could get at those places. He offers me 15% more and asks when can I start. It was my first full time job, I was there almost 5 years.
I was flown in for an interview at a large company’s headquarters. There was a large digital Welcome sign that had my name on it. Of course there was other names on it too but I still thought that was the coolest thing ever.
I interviewed with a large multi-billion dollar corporation a few years ago. I aced the interview and they said I was going to get an offer after I passed a few tests. I figured that included pissing in a bottle (which it did), but it also included a 3 hour IQ test (mini-SAT test) and a 2 hour personality profile test. No pressure…
The good news was I passed all of the tests with flying colors (I hadn’t torched a doobie in years…) and got the offer a day later.
After about a year I became a hiring manager and learned exactly how valuable those tests were. Most people gauge how well a person will handle a job based on talking to them for an hour. Do you realize how absurd that is? When you can look at recent (last few days) data on their math and English skills, as well as how they would handle stress and management styles it’s extremely helpful in making a decision! Of course we also looked at portfolio work and checked references - but people lie, scores don’t (unless you are really bad at taking tests).
Side story: A few years ago I received a resume and samples from a guy that worked at one of my past companies after I worked there. He was actually sending out MY WORK with his portfolio samples!! I called and confronted him about the renderings. At first he claimed the work was his, but after I told him they were mine he backed down and said “they were meant to show the style he works in”. Can you believe that? There is nothing lower than a designer ripping off someone else’s work!!
a music personality test? i guess what kind of music you listen to can show something about your personality (deathspeedcopkillagangstarap tunes probably dont score so well), but really? i cant see much relevance or how it could show something that isnt obvious in meeting a candidate…
my interview for my current job went very well. apparently they had been looking for someone just like me.
it started with the hr director on the phone, then the hr and design director.
i knew they were serious about pitching me the job when they flew my wife out with me for the interview.
i had a wicked case of the flu the day of the interview, i had serious fishbowl head from the medicine i took to control the symptoms.
anyways, 20 minutes into the inteview i knew i had the job. the deisgn director was so excited, he was having difficulty holding his cards close to his chest. the hr manager looked like she wanted to dope-slap him. i hadn’t even presented my entire portfolio yet.
the interview lasted 3 hours. after those first 20 minutes, i knew i had it and was in complete control.
when i returned to the hotel, i told my wife i got the job. 30 minutes later they called and pitched it to me with the salary and benefits i wanted. we spent the remainder of the weekend enjoying the weather and enjoying the moment.