Job searching can often feel daunting, arduous and endless… and with creative roles such as interior design it seems like there is boundless competition and it can be tricky to stand out from the crowd. Here I have listed 5 ways to prepare and grab that interior job you are waiting and wishing for:
CREATE A PORTFOLIO
One of the best ways to showcase your creativity, hard work and unique designs is to build a portfolio. It can be a physical folder or an online one – personally I prefer an actual physical A3 or A4 portfolio that can be handled and easily flicked through for more of a personal touch. Your portfolio should include some of your best ideas, sketches and projects and make sure there is as much variety in the designs as possible. Include drawings, floorplans, lighting proposals, photos of sample boards, any magazine clippings and before and after pictures of previous ventures. The portfolio should be structured in a clear, concise manner, very neat and tidy and should also be proofread (multiple times by multiple people) as you don’t want any potential clients picking up on silly mistakes!
HOW TO JOB SEARCH
It can be tough to nail down your perfect job role, and it sometimes takes a little trial and error in order to work out the position for you in the interior design world. I recommend embracing as much work experience as you can in the early days of your interior career, whether it be paid (if you are lucky enough) or unpaid (if you are lucky enough to be able to do this). Gaining a lot of diverse experience can not only boost your skill set and CV, but also help narrow down exactly what it is you are accomplished at and most importantly what you enjoy.
There are a few different ways you can search for an interior design job:
- Contact and join job agencies that specify in the design field
- Talk to suppliers about any job roles they may have heard of?
- Make sure to utilise resources such as RIBA and BIID for job roles or internships
- Check your local council for any upcoming plans and make note of architectural companies to contact
- Make a list of companies and contacts that you can regularly reach out to either by email or over the phone, checking if there are any job roles available
- Take on short contracts, such as maternity leave roles – you never know where this can lead
Not always the easiest method but definitely a great way to try and get your foot in the door, networking can introduce you to all sorts of companies and individuals that may be able to assist in finding your ideal job role. Join associations such as RIBA and BIID, visit trade shows and start chatting, get to know staff members in any supplier showrooms you visit and contact local estate agents and architects to see what potential is out there.
Once you have an interview in the diary make sure you are as equipped and organised as you possible can be. Research as much as you can on the company you are interviewing for, find out if they have been featured in design press, work out who their competitors are and school up and finally, discover their signature style and try to tailor your portfolio or presentation accordingly.
QUESTIONS QUESTIONS QUESTIONS
One of the toughest parts of an interview can sometimes be asking some of your own questions, in the moment nerves and a blank mind can take over so it is very good to be primed ahead of time with some questions to ask your interviewer. Enquire about the staff, how many people work there? Who specially would you be working with? Make sure you question the specifics of your potential job role and the responsibilities that you would have? Don’t be afraid to enquire about the growth of your job role or even the company’s plans for potential expansion? This shows you are forward thinking and potentially looking for longevity in your job role!
Make sure you have set for all imaginable questions such as:
- Tell me about yourself?
- What are your ambitions?
- Why do you want to work for us?
- What could you add to the company?
- What are your strengths/ weaknesses?
- What salary are you expecting?
It is always good form to follow up an interview with an email thanking them for their time and reiterating why you wish to work for their company. The research and time it can take to find a job role and prepare for an interview can seem like a huge commitment however it is worth it when looking for your perfect place in the interior design world! I’ll leave you with this…
“Successful people are not gifted, they work hard and succeed on purpose”