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Thoughts to keep in mind during the interview process

Editorial Comment:  At the end of a interns assignment with Counsilman – Hunsaker, Joe Hunsaker provided the following memo on their departure.  This document is dated May 24, 2006. 

  1. You only get one chance to make a first impression.
  2. The interview is not a one-on-one experience but rather a one-on-many, i.e. the interviewer is comparing your appearance, your comments and skills to the others he has seen and will see.
  3. Be early to the interview.
  4. Shake hands with a firm grip, smile and speak with confidence.
  5. Before the interview, consider how you might be able to make money for the company. Keep this in reserve and use only at the appropriate time, if at all. It could indicate that you are presumptuous and patronizing or it can show that you have some original thoughts as it relates to yourself and your prospective company.
  6. Think outside the bubble. This is not recess anymore.
  7. Before the interview, try to project what questions you would be asking yourself after the interview regarding “What could I have done better?”
  8. Be sure to research the company and determine what it does and how it does it so you can converse intelligently with the interviewer.  Oftentimes this can make an impression because other interviewees will probably not have made the effort. Remember that an interview is not show time for the person being interviewed.
  9. Rehearse an explanation of your experience at CHA. That it is a small design firm with 20 +/- employees and has a national and international clientele. It has high standards both in the university and education market as well as in Parks and Recreation with water parks and leisure pools. The latter can project working in a creative environment that is fun and unique.
  10. Ask technical questions about the company’s graphic design systems and techniques. Be able to converse on these topics.
  11. Present your portfolio in a professional manner. Consider developing a dream facility brochure for CH. The illustrations are present in our computer files as well as the logo has recently been developed, therefore, putting together a layout of the brochure and any enhancements would be all that would be required. Afterwards, you can say that you have done this work for our firm.
  12. A final idea. When you feel that you may be offered a position or at least that you have gone to the next level, you might consider inviting the interviewer and/or someone from the firm to lunch as your guests. This shows maturity, confidence and class. You’d have to be careful with this initiative, but even if the person declines, it certainly leaves an impression that no one else would have demonstrated.
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