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Employment interview tips: Graphic designer artist
So.. you've found your way through the job search maze and come to the payoff. No, it's not a job, just the chance to be interviewed for a job. Interviews are especially nerve-wracking because they're unpredictable. You seldom know in advance who is going to be sitting on the other side of the table. Interviews with line managers are the most satisfying, as a rule. They get you up close and personal with the ultimate decision maker, the one who has the best understanding of the job and the team of people with whom you'd work.

Typical job interview questions and answers

Question: Tell me about yourself?
Answer Sample: I gained an honor Bachelor Degree from Academy of Arts in Fine and Digital Arts Studies. I have 5 years experience working in graphic arts, with the last 2 years as lead multimedia designer residing over a team of 4 colleagues. My achievements have gained me several promotions from my first position as junior graphic designer.

Question: What do you know about this company?
Answer Tip: When going to the interview it is a good idea to have as much backdrop knowledge of the company as you can. Knowing precisely what they do and other details will make an impression to the employer and show them that you take initiative and you have an interest in the company.

Question: Why do you want to work here?
Answer Sample: I would like to be a part of a company that is technologically driven and always looking towards the future. I would like to gain experience in an innovative business that has stayed ahead of the competition by foreseeing changes in the modern market.

Question: Do you prefer working in a team or alone?
Answer Sample: In my experience, joint efforts produce better results than an equal number of mutually exclusive staff. Though, I have worked alone and in a team and I enjoy both challenges. My preference is governed by which method provides the best solution to the task in hand.

Question: How would you deal with criticism?
Answer Sample: I find constructive criticism a way of objectively analyzing at my work. I try to look for the positive inside any criticism.

Question: What are your professional strengths?
Answer Sample: As a fine-art professional I see myself as having strong communication skills and the ability to communicate difficult design concepts in simple artistic terms. My training techniques in my previous job reduced the studying time for new graphic design software by 60%.

Question: What is your greatest weakness?
Answer Sample: My weakness used to be that I accepted too much work in an effort to please everybody. I soon discovered that I was loosing my focus and not performing, as I well as I should. I started schedule my projects on a timetable base and I did not accept more work than I could complete on time.

Question: List your skills that would benefit this company?
Answer Sample: In my previous job I replaced a lead designer who fell to manage a difficult art project. I pride myself in my ability to manage, focus and motivate staff. I set the staff goals and gave them a new focus and finished the project on time.

Question: Where do you see yourself five years from now?
Answer Sample: I envisage myself in an art director position working in a progressive company like this one. I hope I would have earned promotion by demonstrating myself to be asset to the company and proving I am worthy of such as position.

Question: Do you have any questions?
Answer Tip: The interview is not a one way conversation. Prepare the questions you are going to ask the hiring manager in your interview, as questions are expected;
but, stay away from these:

  • Salary: Never ask what the position pays. Until a hiring manager determines your fit and expertise they may be flexible with salary, don't give away your asking price or ask how much the job pays.
  • Vacation time/Benefits/sick days: Don't expect an offer if you are already suggesting you need time off.
  • Time in lieu/overtime: If you are on salary, expect you will be working 40 - 44 hours without extra compensation; the higher the salary, the more overtime is expected and not compensated for.
  • Health issues: You are under no obligation to disclose past illnesses or disabilities that do not pertain to the job responsibilities as outlined in the job description.
  • Past conflicts: Don't speak negatively of past positions or bosses. Keep the reason you left explanation as general as possible.
  • A higher up position: Don't interview for any other position than the one you applied for. If you have ambitions of moving up, great, but stay focused on what you can contribute NOW.
  • Personal stuff: The interviewer is NOT your friend; do not share any personal information no matter how well you think you are “bonding.” The answer to “tell me about yourself” is not how many children you have or your favorite holiday.

As a job seeker, your agenda can be simply stated: To present yourself, your background and skills in a targeted way to illustrate your suitability for the job under discussion; to be remembered favorably as a high interest job applicant. The employer's agenda can be clearly articulated as well: To examine, probe and assess your suitability for the job.

What to Bring to the job interview beside yourself

Resumes: One is for the employer, and the other is for yourself. It's nice to be able to offer the interviewer a nice fresh clean copy if they need or want one. The other copy is for yourself for your own reference. It just makes it easier to both be looking at the same resume and to refer to certain points and know what both parties are looking at.

Pen and Paper: Have this ready so you can take notes during the interview. The whole interview process is a learning experience for both sides. Write down important things like hours, what they expect, wages, and that kind of thing. It's silly to get an answer about something and then forget what they said about it and have to ask them again at a later time.

Portfolio and Business Card: Generally it's a good idea to have some sort of portfolio that you can mass distribute without asking for it back, and then one that is higher that you keep yourself. Often students will give away CDs to employers, and then bring in a nice print portfolio that shows things off in a clean and personal way.

Attire, Dress Code: Coming into an interview with sloppy attire will speak volumes to the employer. It tells them that you are not taking the interview, and therefore the job or company seriously. It's way better to be overdressed than underdressed.

Body Language: How you present yourself also includes body language. Generally the interviewer will offer a hand for a handshake. Sit up straight and sit square to the employer. Smiling is a good thing, and laugh at any jokes the employer throws at you. Eye contact is huge. Looking at the person shows that you are attentive and a good listener.

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You put hours and hours of hard work into your job search and the companies you've contacted never call. It's a story all too common in the fast-paced, highly competitive world of job hunting. Nothing is more discouraging than sending one resumé after another into the job-hunting void.

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