Interviews. Damn them!

I recently had an interview for an internship at a well known european design house. I didnt get the job. I know that the role offered was basically perfect for me.

The problem is that during Uni we always worked toward pre written briefs so my projects are based mainly on creating an end product. This set me up well for the ‘real world’. My final project was one which i created my own brief for, it was to do with relationships and challenging peoples perceptions of products. It also became a social comment on Product Design as a whole. This is what i like to do, create argumentative pieces that make people talk and discuss the subjects behind the piece. This is also what the job involved. Working in a research based role, with other designers, creating pieces that challenged conventional mass market design.

My problem is, why do i put so much emphasis on interviews. If i was much more composed and didnt worry as much i would have been able to clearly state which projects i enjoyed and what i hoped to learn as an intern, instead i became overwhelmed with the situation. I love the work that the studio does and i was in awe of their whole design set up. I just wish i could have held it together.

Is this one of your first interviews? Do you normally get stressed out?

Interviews are stressful by nature, it’s important that you kind of think ahead of time of what they will throw at you and what you’re answers would be.

A lot of people go into interviews and don’t have a lot of experience with public speaking.

Sometimes it just takes practice. I interestingly enough have gotten all the jobs I’ve interviewed for in person, and gotten none of the jobs that I’ve only been allowed to interview over the phone or via email. My old roommate was the opposite. He was very quiet and nervous and never got any of the jobs he interviewed for in person, but landed all of his jobs which just involved them seeing a resume.

I agree with what was said. I think interviews are like first dates, just go with it. and SMILE, not too much and don’t be corny, also watch your body language.

please say you did not do sex toys.

heh, nah i didnt do sex toys.

though it would have made for an interesting project.

my portfolio is in the portfolio section if you want a look


Rather than regarding interviews as some kind of trial, try to look at it as a two way dialogue- turn the tables a bit by asking lots of questions. It might make you feel more in control, and give you insights into what might have been a hell hole.

There’s also no harm in a follow up asking what they feel might be your areas of improvement, and what recommendations they might have. It does no harm, and keeps the doors open.

If you like discussion about products than why don’t youstart that in an interview. Go with what you know, when you do that you sound confident and relaxed. When you are relaxed people will be able to connect with you much more easily.

My recent strategy for interviews is to forget that I’m applying for a job. I try to think of it as just getting together with colleagues to discuss good design. It reduces the stress on me, and from the feedback I’ve had, it seems that I come across as being very dedicated and passionate about the profession. It does mean I stick my foot in my mouth from time to time though. Oh well.