How to Interview Your Interviewers during Design Job Searches

When searching for employment, many design newbies focus solely on presenting a desirable interviewee image to potential employers. While this is certainly an important job search aspect, many fail to also interview their interviewers to determine how compatible each potential employer is to their desired workplace environment.

While you certainly can’t afford to be too picky with your first design job, you must ensure you aren’t seeking employment with a business where you’ll be miserable. This should be avoided because it’ll drain your creative and could lead to a negative design career outlook. 

The first opportunity to ask questions of a potential employer is during your initial interview. While you shouldn’t be too aggressive with your questions during this first interview, you can get a basic idea of what life will be like as an employee there. A few questions to ask during this initial interview include:

  • What benefits do you offer?
  • Which design software programs do you use?
  • Do you offer flexible work schedules?
  • Can you explain a typical project assigning and editing process?
  • Do you encourage more of a team or individualized designing environment?

These are just a few of the many initial interview questions you may decide to ask. However, remember to not ask too forward of questions at this point since this may scare the interviewer from inviting you back for an additional interview.

If invited back for a second interview, ask for a tour of the workplace and assess the following details:

  • Assess the Technology – While you may have already asked the interviewer about the software you’ll be using, now is the time to view the actual equipment that’s provided. During the tour, inquire on the frequency of software upgrades and how technology issues are addressed when they arise. These are important questions to ask as a designer because you want to ensure you’re provided the best environment that’s unhindered by unresolved technology issues.
  • Greet the Employees – Your future co-workers will make or break a job. While your initial greetings during the tour won’t provide much information, you can get a basic sense of their personalities. If possible, take note of their names and look them up online for additional necessary details. While this may seem a little sneaky, you can be sure they’ll be doing the same to you!
  • Review the Setup – Often, designers need an inspiring workplace to put forth their best creative efforts. If the potential workplace is dark and dreary, you likely won’t feel inspired to create your best designs. Also, assess how the workspaces are arranged and whether you’ll receive an enclosed area or will be constantly surrounded by co-workers.

Remember, it’s equally as important to ensure a potential employer is compatible with your needs as it is for the employer to assess whether you’ll be a good match for them. By interviewing your design job interviewers, you’ll accept a design job that comes as close as possible to your ideal workplace. This can help you remain loyal to one company longer and will greatly enhance your job satisfaction as you develop your design skills.

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