graphicpush

Thoughts on branding, design, writing and life by Kevin Potts. Established 2003.

Interview Tips for Designers

Why should the designers be the worst dressed group in a company? Is their “natural artistic nature” and “need for personal expression” doing anything other than reinforcing a negative stereotype?

Christopher Gee of Cube Interactive recently published an article on Creative Latitude called “Nailing That Next Big Interview.” It’s a pertinent list of interviewing tips specifically geared toward designers, and he touches on more than a few areas where designers fall short.

One point he brings up is “dressing to impress.” Christopher notes that most companies, even ones in more conservative industries, have let their dress codes slip to business casual. But increasingly, I see designers falling short of even this lowly bar of expectation, wearing jeans and t-shirts, shorts, gaudy jewelry and sometimes inappropriate clothing altogether.

Why do designers feel the need to push this envelope? The creative department is already considered a commodity, a necessary evil, the neglected little brother of marketing. Why should the designers be the worst dressed group in a company? Is their “natural artistic nature” and “need for personal expression” doing anything other than reinforcing a negative stereotype?

When you go on the interview, dress to impress. But when you start the job, continue to impress!

A project manager at an ad agency recently made the observation that people who are promoted, recognized or otherwise succeed in the business world dress above their position. Aspiring to be an Art Director? Stop piercing every orifice of your head. Want to be a Creative Director? Try wearing something other than last week’s laundry. Content to remain on a junior designer’s salary for the next ten years? Then please, continue to dye your hair flamingo pink. Just don’t bitch when I get promoted to Creative Director and you’re still making the coffee runs.