Written by: Isabelle Santiago
Edited by: Sarah Gong
Every month, Fourthdraft features a unique user who showcases excellence through their work in their field and through their online portfolio. This February, we have the pleasure of presenting Isabelle Santiago and her insights as a creative professional (an Art Director at Dashboard, to be exact!) on how to get a job that suits you.
Finding the right “fit” when looking for a job is a big deal, because it’s often intangible and can be hard to pick up just by looking at a book or a company website. You’ve been invited to the office (or invited onto Skype) for an interview to tell more of your story, but you’re wondering if this company fits you. Here are some tips to make sure you land the job that’s right for you.
Know who you are
One of the first things an interviewer often asks you to do is to tell them about yourself. Because you’ve probably been really focused on the job itself, it’s way too easy to say something boring and unmemorable (“Design is my entire life, I just love it so much!”), or to be so nervous that you have to bust out your resume to remember what hobbies you have (may or may not be based on actual personal experience). Think about the key things that you want your interviewer to know about you and be ready to talk about them.
Keep some things in your back pocket
Have some pieces in your book that you don’t have on your website or emailed application. Showing your interviewer stuff they haven’t already seen will help to keep them engaged. Bonus points if the extra pieces are passion projects you did on your own. But because there will definitely be pieces in your book that your interviewer has had the chance to look at already, it’s important to make sure that you add value during your face-to-face time.
Tell a story
Give insight into your work beyond who the client was and what you made, because that stuff should be pretty obvious. How did you approach the problem? How did you compose that complex shot? This is an opportunity for you to speak to your technical skill and work process, but also to show some personality. Although you probably shouldn’t launch into a really long story about the weird thing that happened on shoot day, a well-placed anecdote will say a lot about you and help to make you more memorable.
Interview your interviewer
Asking thoughtful questions shows that you’ve put thought into the position beyond just cashing your paycheque. So when the interviewer asks if you have any questions for them, don’t shrug and say “nope, I’m good!” If you don’t have any specific questions in mind, here are some sample questions you could try:
- What’s your favourite/least favourite thing about working here?
- Where do you see this company going in the next 5 years?
- What’s the office culture like?
- What opportunities for advancement will I have?
Isabelle is an award-winning Art Director and Graphic Designer based in Toronto, Canada.
While working with MacLaren McCann, she was able to work with notable clients including MasterCard Canada and Wendy’s Canada, among other big names. She is now an Art Director at Dashboard, where she works on crafting visuals for select clients and developing software products like Octane, Bumper, and Glovebox. In her portfolio, you can see she has worked on clients such as MasterCard Canada, Wendy’s, and GM (album to be uploaded folks!)
Although her strengths are in branding, multimedia advertising, and web design, she enjoys working across disciplines and media. Outside of work, some of her hobbies include cooking and baking, watching science and nature documentaries, designing jewellery, trying to teach herself the ukulele, exploring the city, and compulsively making lists for things.