How exciting! After the whole job application process, you’ve got an interview scheduled.
After perfecting your profile, making sure your resume and portfolios are on point to strategically get an employer's interest, and after applying to so many to find one job that (a) you are interested in, (b) in the right location, (c) pays well and (d) is a good fit — insert SpongeBob’s One Eternity Later meme — you’ve finally, finally got yourself an interview for a job you would really like.
What it feels like to wait for callbacks.
Ah, the creative interview. The natural next step of proving you’re the best creative for the position to the hiring manager. How do you prepare yourself? How do you impress the room? How do you, ultimately, nail the interview? You’ve got the questions, we’ve got the answers to help prep you for interview success.
Step 1: Learn about the company
It’s time to play Sherlock Holmes! Who are their clients? What are their current projects? Find out more about their company culture via their Cult Creative company profile, LinkedIn or good, ol’ Google as a good source of information to learn more about the company. Showing you know what the company is up to will look good to your interviewer.
Next, find out or figure out who will be interviewing you. Doing a little research about your hiring manager (a quick look over their LinkedIn profile will do) could help soothe your interview jitters.
Step 2: Practice some Q&A and prep questions
When they say “Practice makes perfect,” they weren’t lying. Prep the possible questions — and their answers.
List the possible questions you could be asked about your abilities and experience and make a note of what your answers would be, but don’t worry about memorising your responses word-for-word. Instead, memorise relevant details, career highlights, stories about your personal projects, or examples of hobbies or interests that might be of interest to the interviewer.
Step 3: Ask them the right questions
Being curious about the job shows you are interested and also willing to know more and grow with the role. Come prepared with a list of questions which answers you didn’t find on search engines — this may include a typical day at work, the KPIs in place for the role, opportunities for growth, and the team you will be working with.
If you bring good interview questions to the table, you’ll also demonstrate to the hiring manager that you are interested and prepared. Sounds like the best person for the position, if you ask us!
Step 4: Be on time -- Zoom or no Zoom!
The last thing you want is to arrive late to your interview and feel flustered. Showing up a few minutes early gives you a chance to freshen up, look around, and get acclimated.
The first few minutes of your interview can have a decisive impact on how well the rest of it goes. So, start strong — smile confidently, make eye contact, and look professional. Project an energetic and enthusiastic vibe and speak confidently.
The same goes for when you're doing online interviews, because too often, people are seemingly not ready when they show up to a video interview: The video isn't angled right, the lighting's off, the interviewee's audio is sketchy, people are walking around in the background... It just doesn't come across as though you're being serious.
Prep your Zoom room for success — make sure that it's quiet, audio/visual work fine, and you're ready to take on the call.
Step 5: Dress (appropriately, and) to show your personality
Here's a total bonus about being a creative: You don't have to show up in a suit. In fact, if you do show up in a suit for something pretty demanding creatively, you might send a weird wrong signal.
If you're expected to be a creative, it's totally fine to dress as yourself, showcase your personality, but obviously, don't go overboard with showing too much skin or clothing that may have sensitive slogans or material on them.
When preparing for an interview, think of your attire as the icing on the cake — the final detail that pulls all your efforts together. A general rule of thumb is you should look polished.
Step 6: Just be yourself
Really, because when you're feeling comfortable you will be able to shine and the employer will be able to see that you'll nail the job. And plus, if you're acting like someone else and get the job, you'll have to keep up that act for a long, long time.
If you're just you, at least you'll know whether you're the right cultural fit for the team or not. And that's really important for the long run.
Bumped into us for the first time? Cult Creative is a professional networking & job platform for ambitious creative individuals to find work, network and showcase their work.
Are you a creative looking for a thriving community to stay inspired and empowered? Or looking for opportunities to develop your career in the creative industry? join cult creative here.