Make the most of your job interview: Interview tips for emerging creatives

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Posture and non verbal communication makes a big statement in job interviews. Photo: MorgueFile

 

If you’re searching for a creative summer job, with Mint Artists or elsewhere, get ready for job interviews. 

 These may be nerve wracking or thought provoking, frustrating or fruitful. And they are generally one key to landing a job. There’s plenty of research and advice available on job search and job interviews, some of it written by me for Fortune magazine or The Washington Post.

Most of that advice focuses on adults. This advice is aimed at young people, ages 14 to 21, who are seeking a meaningful summer job.

Prepare. Prepare. Prepare.   Read the organization’s website, blog and social media posts a day or two before your interview. Check LinkedIn and professional association websites too. This will help you ask good questions during the interview – and answer a likely question: Why do you want to work here?   Hint: Find something you like, and be honest. But don’t say you want to earn money, that’s not a great answer, according to The Balance Careers.  Choose your clothing ahead of time (and go more professional and net, even for creative jobs) and select a notebook to take with you.

Practice your answers.  Mock interviews or speed interviews are worthwhile, or ask your favorite aunt to ask some interview questions. Be prepared for some offbeat questions, especially if you’re going after a creative job in a creative organization. (I’ve been known to ask candidates about their super power or what fruit they most identify with.) Review and prepare for the most common interview questions, such as this list from job search giant Indeed. It’s especially helpful to know what you will say about your best skills and strengths and your weaknesses and to practice for those tell me about how you solved a problem or rescued a project inquires. 

Connect with the interviewer.  Find out who you will interview with, and read up on them, their causes and interests. See what they share on social media, and review their professional background on LinkedIn. Jot some notes in that notebook you’re bring. And prepare a question about their career or experiences that shows you did the homework.  

And a final piece:  Listen carefully during your interview and jot notes. Your body language shows you are attentive and engaged, so drink plenty of coffee or an energy drink ahead of time and don’t slouch or avert your eyes. Smile, for research shows it helps in getting hired, except if you are interviewing for a serious job. And follow these other listening tips from Job-hunt.org .

If you are interested in interviewing for a summer job with Mint Artists, you must live in Detroit and be ages 15 to 21. Our next interviews are scheduled for Saturday, April 28 at Marygrove College. Or contact us if you cannot attend that day.

© Vickie Elmer, 2019, for Mint Artists

Follow Vickie Elmer:

Writer, editor, creativity and careers coach. Co-founder of Mint Artists, love dessert and the arts! My writing appears in the Washington Post, Kiplinger, Crain's Detroit Business - and the Mint blog!