Become an Artist >> Browse Articles >> Art Careers


Step Eight: Interviewing

Step Eight: Interviewing

Valerie Atkisson | ArtBistro

Preparing for the Interview

When someone is interested in your work, set up an appointment to show them your portfolio. This could be a formal interview for a job or more informaltional, to ask them for design advice and opportunities.

If the appointment is more than a week away call (or email) them the week of the appointment to confirm. If the appointment is within a week, call (or email) them the day before and confirm. Give them clear directions to the meeting location and your contact information in case of last minute changes. Arrive early or on time. Tardiness isn’t only unprofessional, it’s rude to the client who has taken time out of their busy schedule to come see you.

Preparation Will Help You Relax

Remember that this interview is not just a review of your work, but an assessment to see if you are easy to work with and/or would fit in with their team or gallery. Be yourself, but be prepared. Before talking about your work, the interviewer/curator will want to know about you. Prepare a short statement noting some background information and highlighting a recent accomplishment.

Ask the interviewer/curator a get-to-know-you question or two to see if you have anything in common. Relax, and enjoy this opportunity to get to know someone new, but be prepared for the conversation to turn to your work and your abilities. Know beforehand what you want to get across about your abilities and work.

Don’t just answer questions with a direct answer; take control of the conversation! Politicians do this and they aren’t much smarter than you, are they? Do this by making short statements about achievement or abilities that you possess then provide a specific example to illustrate that statement.

For example: I meet deadlines. In college I worked at the student newspaper in layout design. We had strict deadlines for our work to be done and I was able to meet these deadlines even with a heavy course load.

This may sound canned but it is an effective way to communicate what you want about your work and highlight your abilities. After practice, this will come naturally. Write down beforehand what you want to get across and practice this. You can slightly adjust your answers to their questions.

Wrapping up

Stick to the schedule. Do not take up more time than the interviewer has allotted for. On the other hand, if you hit it off and you are having a great time talking, don’t cut the conversation short. Leave a good impression and be sure to thank them for their time and consideration. Most importantly, express your interest and enthusiasm for the opportunity. Ask when you might meet again or hear from them.

Step 9: Follow Up >>

Find the right campus or online art or design program for you!