Whether it’s an in-person meeting for a full-time position at an agency or a video call for a freelance opportunity, interviews are an extremely important part of being a web designer. If you want to be successful in your career, then you’ll need to begin mastering the art of the interview. And part of this involves avoiding common mistakes. Let’s take a look at a few and how you can prevent them from sabotaging your opportunities.
Being Shy and Impersonal
While introverts may get a bad rap from time to time, there’s nothing wrong with quiet qualities. In fact, being reserved can sometimes work to your advantage, since it enables you to prioritize listening and focus less on self-promotion. However, a job interview is not the place to be quiet or shy. You want to show as much personality as you possibly can, since companies typically make hiring decisions based on a wide array of factors – personality being one of them.
Not Giving Appropriate Responses
Michael Watkins, who has worked in multiple positions that require him to interview applicants, is big on quality responses. When asked about interview faux pas, he frequently revisits a humorous story where he asked an interviewee a question and was returned with a long, blank stare. After a few moments of silence, the individual got up and left. Watkins was shocked. This is an example of what not to do. Take time to formulate a proper response – but always give a response.
Criticizing Former Employers/Clients
In an interview, especially for a full-time position, most interviewers will ask why you’re looking to leave your current employer. Even if you’re frustrated with your current job, make sure you put a positive spin on things.
“Instead of venting, take the time to briefly note what you learned, what you accomplished and how this opportunity is the logical progression of your career,” says Tim Toterhi, an executive coach and author. “If pressed for why similar growth is not available in your current company, stay positive and offer a logical reason such as company size, newness of next level management or your desire to broaden your experience by switching industries.”
Not Preparing for Common Questions
Every interview is different, and it’s impossible to prepare for everything that could be thrown your way, but you should have answers to the basic questions that are frequently asked. These include:
Name your greatest strength and biggest weakness.
What’s your favorite piece in your portfolio?
What value would you bring to our company?
Name a few of the reasons why you’re interested in our company.
These are what some call “softball” questions. You should nail these with very little effort and then turn your attention to the ones that require more creativity.
Not Having Your Portfolio on Hand
As a designer, your portfolio is what will often land you a job opportunity or earn you a client. Unfortunately, it’s all too common for designers to show up to an interview without a portfolio in hand. Sure, you can direct them to your website, but having a print portfolio can help facilitate good conversation and provide supporting evidence for interview answers.
Ace the Interview by Avoiding Mistakes
There are obviously a ton of different aspects and strategies to consider when interviewing for a position as a web designer, but you need to start by avoiding these five mistakes. Companies are looking for individuals who are talented, creative, calculated, and cool under pressure. Show them that you meet all of their needs by acing the interview and wowing them with the right responses.