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Interview Tips for Becoming a Brand Designer

Shape April 2022 HR 7
Updated on 04 Oct 2022

Whether you’ve applied to work at a brand design agency, or to join an in-house design team, interviews for brand design jobs can be daunting. It's important to remember that the interviewer is looking for someone who is creative, articulate and has a strong portfolio. Here are 12 tips to help you perform well at your interview and land the job.

If you want to know what you need to show to secure the interview, read our article What Qualifications Do You Need to Be a Brand Designer?

1. Prepare an elevator pitch about yourself

An elevator pitch is a quick and concise way to introduce yourself to someone. When interviewing for a brand design job, you'll want to be sure to have one prepared. Your elevator pitch should include your name, what you do, and a brief overview of your skills and experience. It's important to ensure your pitch is tailored to the job you're interviewing for.

The interviewer will likely ask you to tell them about yourself, so preparing an elevator pitch will help you hit all the key points you want to make early on without waffling.

Pro tip: Practice your elevator pitch out loud before the interview so it sounds natural and you remember all your key points.

2. Get ready to talk through your portfolio

The interviewer will ask to see your portfolio, so it's essential to be prepared to talk about your work. When you're presenting your portfolio, be sure to talk about your process, the thought that went into each project, your inspiration, and the tools or brand design software you used.

Be prepared to answer questions about your favourite project, what you learned from a challenging project, and how you see your work evolving in the future.

Pro tip: Practice talking through your portfolio with a friend or family member before the interview, so you're comfortable and confident discussing your work.

3. Do your research about the company

One of the best ways to show interest in a company is to do your research before the interview. By knowing about the company's history, products, and services, you'll be able to ask informed questions and demonstrate your interest in the business.

You can find this information on the company's website, social media pages, and even in annual reports. The deeper you delve, the more impressive your knowledge of the company may be. Take care to tread the line between thorough and psychotic, though. They might not want to hear about their 2016 award nomination.

Pro tip: Use the company's website and social media pages to get a feel for their brand voice and tone. This will come in handy when crafting your responses during the interview.

4. Prepare to talk about the value you can bring to the company

You must sell yourself and your skills when interviewing for a brand design job. One way to do this is to talk about the value you can bring to the company.

Some ways to demonstrate the value you could contribute:

  • Talk about your previous work experiences and how you were able to contribute to the success of the companies you've worked for. Try to use tangible evidence like increases in sales or client wins.

  • Highlight the unique skills and perspective that you can bring to the company.

  • Discuss how you see yourself fitting into the company's culture and values using your research about the business.

Pro tip: Consider specific examples of times when you've added value to a company. Having these stories ready to share will help illustrate your point.

5. Think of your strengths and weaknesses beforehand, ready to be asked

When preparing for an interview, it's important to know the types of strengths and weaknesses you should and shouldn’t discuss.

When discussing your strengths, focus on qualities relevant to the job you're interviewing for, both the role and the company. For example, if you're interviewing for a brand design job, you may want to focus on your creativity, problem-solving skills, and attention to detail. If the interview is for a branding agency, you might want to talk about your skills working with marketing teams or client-facing abilities.

When it comes to weaknesses, try to focus on qualities that are not essential for the job you're interviewing for. For example, if you're interviewing for a design job, you may want to focus on a weakness like being a perfectionist or being shy when presenting your work. Otherwise, choose a weakness you’re actively working on improving.

For example, “I find it difficult to say no to people, but I’ve been trying to make a point of saying when my workload is getting high, and that lower priority tasks may need to be rescheduled for later in my working week.”

Pro tip: Prepare two or three examples of each ahead of time so you're ready to discuss them in the interview.

6. Bring your passion and inspiration with you

When you go for a job interview as a brand designer, it is important to show your passion and inspiration. This will demonstrate to the interviewer that you are excited about the job and willing to put in the effort to do well. Plus, this will help set you apart from other candidates who may not have as much enthusiasm for the position. No matter if you’ll be working in a large or small brand design agency, passion is a must.

Pro tip: Use your portfolio as a jumping-off point to discuss your passions and things that inspired you when creating the work. It'll be easier to remember and articulate these when you have something in front of you.

7. Decide how you are different from everybody else

It's crucial to stand out from the other candidates in your interview. One way to do this is to find your unique selling point (USP).

Your USP makes you different from everyone else and should be highly relevant to the job you're interviewing for. When thinking about your USP, try to focus on qualities that are unique to you and would be valuable to the company. For example, your USP could be that you have skills working with a new design tool and experience in the company’s market niche.

Pro tip: Once you've identified your USP, highlight it during the interview, both at the beginning and the end so your interviewer remembers it. This will help you stand out from the other candidates and increase your chances of getting the job.

8. Prepare to discuss salary professionally

According to Glassdoor, the average brand designer salary is £34k, and the starting salary is around £24.

When interviewing for a brand design job, you should be prepared to discuss salary. This may not come up at your first interview, but you should always be prepared so you don't have to think on your feet when it comes up. Salary can be a tricky topic to navigate, but with a bit of preparation, you can do it confidently.

Some tips for discussing salary include:

  • Doing your research ahead of time so you have an idea of what the market rate is for the position you're interviewing for.

  • Being open to negotiation but also knowing your bottom line.

  • Framing the discussion in terms of value, rather than just salary, so you can highlight the benefits you would bring to the company.

Pro tip: Practice talking about salary with a friend or family member and get them to challenge you with questions, so you feel more prepared and confident when the time comes.

9. Think of a mistake you learned from

In an interview, the interviewer will often ask you to discuss a mistake you made in the professional setting and how you dealt with it. This question may or may not come up, but you want to be prepared to answer it in a way that shows that you learned from the experience.

Think of one or two times when you made a mistake but were able to learn from it and grow as a result. Focus on how you were accountable and corrected the situation and how you avoided it happening again. This shows that you are someone who is always learning and growing, which is an important quality for any designer.

Try to focus on a time when you made a mistake but were able to turn it into a positive by finding a creative solution, showing that you are resourceful and able to think on your feet as a designer.

Pro tip: if you're unsure, ask previous colleagues or friends you trust if they can remember any examples.

10. Rehearse talking about your work process

When preparing for a job interview as a brand designer, you should also consider how you will explain your work process. There are several things you can do to prepare for this. Think about what examples you will use to illustrate your work process. Go over these by yourself beforehand to ensure that you are familiar with all the steps and can explain them clearly and concisely.

Use this as an opportunity to talk about other elements you could add to your work process, such as feedback from the rest of your team or briefings with the client. This will help you convey how you would work to the best of your ability in the role.

Pro tip: You can also ask a friend or family member to listen to you explain your work process. This will help you gauge how well you can communicate your ideas and give you some practice before the interview.

11. Have lots of questions ready at the end

One of the most important things you can do during a job interview is to ask questions. This shows the interviewer that you are interested in the position and want to learn more about it, and demonstrates that you are thinking pragmatically about whether you are suited to the position. It also helps you gauge whether the job is a good fit for you, which is equally important.

There are a few questions you should always ask during a job interview. These include questions about the company culture, the team you will be working with, and the position's specific responsibilities.

Pro tip: Make sure you prepare a list of questions so that, even if some get answered during the interview, you still have a few for the end when you're asked.

12. Follow up after the interview

After your interview, send a thank you email to the interviewer. This professional courtesy will show your appreciation for their time and may also help you stay top of mind as they make their decision. In your thank you email, you can also mention anything you may have forgotten to during the interview.

You can also follow up with the interviewer after they have made their decision. If you don't get the job, you can use this as an opportunity to ask for feedback and find out what you could do differently next time. If you get the job, this is a great opportunity to ask any questions about the next steps.

Pro tip: Attach your CV and a copy of your brand design portfolio website to your thank you email so your interviewer can easily access them when reviewing interviews and applications.

These are great tips for performing well at a brand design job interview and landing a start to your rewarding and fulfilling brand design career. However, don't forget that the most important thing is to be yourself and let your personality shine through. By following these tips, you will be sure to ace your interview and land the job you want.

Hello, I'm Natasia, and I'm a content writer for Shape.