Tuesday, February 16, 2010

What I Should Have Brought to My Interview

Last week I met with Bruce Yano at Ziba. We had a pretty good interview, but to be honest, I didn't feel like it was my strongest interview. He asked me to email him today with 3 take-aways from our conversation. All I've been thinking about since our meeting is what I should have brought to my interview.

I've been reading an incredible book by Seth Godin called, Linchpin. It's an invaluable call to action- I've recommended it to everyone and I'm not even finished, it's that good. I bring it up because after digging into it, Seth is helping me to realize why my interview didn't go as well as it could have.

Ziba is an innovative design firm that runs on authenticity. So why did I bring my resume? Resumes aren't innovative or authentic. And that's not me; I am not my resume. I will actually retract part of this statement. My resume could be me and it could be authentic, it just isn't right now. I saw a fantastic resume the other day, the kind of resume that makes you wish you would have thought of it. It belongs to Jelly Helm's new design assistant Aaron Rayburn:
This inspires me to rethink the resume process completely. Not to mention, I'm a complete sucker for cartography.

As for my interview with Bruce, in retrospect, here's what I should have brought:

- Ziba is a design firm. I should have been more prepared to talk about design. First thing I should have done is left my inhibitions at the door. I was too afraid that I would say something wrong and step on toes. The truth is that I admire design, I absorb it constantly... I need to learn how to talk about it and with confidence. People have different definitions of design and to some, I may not be a designer. But to me, I am. I am a designer of processes, research and ideas.

- I could have also talked about designers I admire. Like Stefan Sagmeister because he experiments with the unconventional, whether that be etching into his chest to make a statement that you can't ignore, or taking his retirement in yearly increments throughout his life.

Or Deborah Alder, a graphic designer who redesigned the prescription bottle for Target.

The design came from an assignment she was given from Brian Collins while she was at SVU. Collins is another designer who I respect. I first heard about this assignment while in NYC for the One Show where I got to see Collins speak. Alder was given the assignment to bring in a picture of meaning and to write a story about the image. She brought in a picture of her grandparents and told the story of how her grandmother accidentally took her grandfather's prescription and was hospitalized. The next part of the assignment was to take a picture of something within that story. She took a picture of her grandparents' medicine cabinet. The rest is a really smart solution that she sold to Target. Target's pharmacy is better because of it and so are their customers. Design is about solving problems, and that is deeply inspiring to me. It begins with curiosity.

- I should have brought my idea book. I should have had something tangible that shows how I think and express ideas.

- I should have brought a way to share my portfolio.
That could have been as simple as bringing my computer.

- If I were to do this all over again, I'd have a hardcopy leave behind. It would serve as a talking point, it could include pieces of my portfolio, maybe a few of my favorite blog posts, and projects I'm currently working on. I'm working on the idea of my resume and I'm going to come up with a good solution to the leave behind piece.

And as for my 3 main take-aways from Bruce:

1. Be ready. Be ready to talk about Design. Be ready to show. Have confidence.
2. Design and research is about understanding different perspectives. To be good at research, you have to be a designer yourself.
3. Ziba is a family. It's a place to work with talented, smart people who all share a respect for design, meaning and purpose.

A big thanks to Bruce. This experience taught me a lot and I'll be ready for the next interview.


ohpleasefelix said...
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Workin' I.T. said...

Keep pushing yourself- it's so amazing to be your friend and watch while you grow!

I want a new, kick-ass resume too. Let's brainstorm about that and kick something into action instead of like last time I wanted to do that and thought of it the day before I submitted the resume and had no time to do anything :/

kimkaralekas.com said...

FYI, I was just perusing through your blog and it reminded me of why I miss you...full of so much inspiration. I think I am going to pull out my idea books tonight and make something. We'll see how it goes.