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Communications Design Industry Discussion, Inspiration, & Tutorials

Jul 22, 2011

Interview Question: Describe your Experience...

For a recent grad or someone early in their career as a designer, you may need to rely on your internship, in-class, and freelance experience. Don’t think that work you’ve taken your time to complete doesn’t count; it counts!

First be very familiar with text and terms used in the posted job description. In a DC job description posted today one requirement for the position is “Familiarity with information architecture principles desired; basic understanding of HTML and CSS also desired.”

This means, can you put a site together logically; with important and relevant links in the main and secondary navigations. Also, do you know the basics of building a Web page? The answer to both questions is “Yes!”

So how do you convey to an interviewer that you have this experience? Here goes...

When talking about your internships: Realistically, your experience should cover 90% of the position requirements from the original posting. You could begin like this, “I recently completed an internship with Company Ecks where my primary tasks were to maintain the website and update social media." You follow up with a short description of the actual work, especially coding specific aspects of the job.

When talking about experience through coursework: Even if your experience is limited, begin with an affirmative statement. You want to be sure that you present a well-rounded and skilled designer. “I’ve had several courses in HTML/CSS and have built a few different sites from scratch: from planning and building out the site architecture and wireframes, to creating web graphics, and optimizing photography, and creating text content. With my personal website I took the opportunity to experiment with jQuery and lightbox design in order to increase my coding skills.” You want to be sure that you present a well-rounded and skilled designer.

Finally, when talking about your freelance work: Having a diverse body of work is ideal. Give the employer a brief list of your client projects and highlight items that are relevant to the type of work you’re applying for. I interviewed for an internship my first semester in grad school, the position was for a graphic designer to create posters and signage at a museum—nothing I’d really done before. I told the interviewer about my experience creating identity packages for my (only) 3 freelance clients and then followed up with a synopsis of my relevant college coursework. Apparently my ability to work with hierarchy, typography, and visual balance was enough to get me the position.

Link to more Interview Questions for Graphic Designers.


Andrew B. Brandon said...

Nice post.

Andrew B. Brandon said...

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