Luckily for me no one else in my group turned up so it was a good chance to have a chat with Grant who gave me some invaluable advice. I presented my portfolio to him and he raised some main points, which I should consider if I’m to improve my approach to a more professional standard.
- Conversation – It’s good practise not presenting your portfolio with a script in mind, but to spark a conversation when discussing projects because it helps to interviewer understand your way of thinking and is a general more pleasant and friendlier atmosphere.
- Presentation of portfolio – Presenting my work in an A3 portrait portfolio made my presentation very ‘linear,’ Grant showed me the company’s work presented on separate landscape sheets in sleeves which suddenly the work in a sense felt much more approachable to look closely, compare projects and the desk covered in work sheets definitely looks more interesting than a two page spread in my portfolio.
- Be remembered – A key point when applying for a job you know will have lots of applicants, somehow you need to be remembered, if it’s by the interviewer keeping a page of your portfolio, telling them something interesting they didn’t know or creating something bespoke for them. Grant then explained their company’s slogan which is ‘useful beauty,’ a piece of work should not look attractive purely for the sake of it, there needs to be solid reasoning and it needs to be fit for purpose.
- A human being who is a designer - This was an uplifting piece of advice from Grant; he understands people as human beings, not design robots, he explained how it’s better to be honest about your strengths, weaknesses and difficulties you may have. One example was if you yawn and you have a reason, say it; say you were up all night stressing over the presentation of your portfolio or it may be misjudged as boredom, it could spark a conversation, because ultimately an interview is for both the interviewer and interviewee to weigh each other up considering if they could have a strong working relationship.
- Wants to see a brain – This was something Grant raised which at first I thought “Obviously” but then thinking about it more I remember Ian Anderson saying he employed people he considered smarter and more talented than himself, which scares me. I need to work on my confidence in myself, portraying myself as design competent and work on my communication skills, because being part of a graphic designer is being able to communicate.
Being a ‘real-life’ situation, I found this crit extremely helpful and it taught me to put 100% commitment into every opportunity with the real world because ultimately this situation could have been a situation where I am considered for employment and if not, put in a review file for possible employment in the future.