You’ve finished school and you have a fancy (and expensive) piece of paper to show for it, as you start looking for a role as an industrial design consultancy, you finally land an interview. Are you prepared? Whether or not you’re new to the industry or a seasoned veteran on the job hunt, many designers can relate to the nerve-wracking feeling they get leading up to an interview and knowing they’ll have to present their work. These tips will help you step into an interview with more confidence and hopefully, land the job at the industrial design consultancy of your dreams.
So, you want to work for an industrial design consultancy? Here’s what to do.
Prepare & practice
The best way to prepare for an interview is to practice, just because you studied industrial design, doesn’t mean you’re going to be able to nail an interview at an industrial design consultancy. A good way to practice is to share your portfolio or a project with someone who knows absolutely nothing about design. Then ask them to be honest with you and if they understand what you’re communicating. Yes, the people interviewing you will have a design background and can understand jargon but practicing communicating your design to someone else will help you better communicate and understand your project and work.
Self-edit your portfolio
Your portfolio is built up of the work you are most proud of, which can make it difficult to decide what you should showcase and what you shouldn’t. Every piece of work to you is likely important, however, take a look and pick only your best work. Less is more in this case and you’ll make more of an impact if you showcase just the best of the best, versus a bunch of mediocre work. To figure out what makes the most sense to showcase, review your portfolio page-by-page and ask why each piece of work is in there. If it doesn’t showcase your skills, and you can’t describe how it does, remove it. Note that the work you showcase for each different interview you have may differ.
Show the process
We all have had ugly prototypes that somehow turned into a polished project or product, and even though this may not look like the prettiest thing to show off in an interview, sometimes these can tell the best stories and really show an interviewer your thinking and design process. It takes a lot of guts to show the ugly stuff, and when you can communicate how it led to a solution, it can be almost as rewarding, if not more, than showing off a polished finished product.
Interviews don’t need to be intimidating, with the right preparation, you’ll feel confident when you step foot into that dream industrial design consultancy.
About: MAKO Design + Invent is the original firm providing world-class consumer product development services tailored to startups, small manufacturers, and inventors. Simply put, we are the leading one-stop-shop for developing your physical product from idea to store shelves, all in a high-quality, cost-effective, and timely manner. We operate as one powerhouse 30-person product design team spread across 4 offices to serve you (Austin, Miami, San Francisco, & Toronto). We have full-stack in-house industrial design, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, patent referral, prototyping, and manufacturing services. To assist our startup and inventor clients, in addition to above, we help with business strategy, product strategy, marketing, and sales/distribution for all consumer product categories. Also, our founder Kevin Mako hosts The Product Startup Podcast, the industry's leading hardware podcast. Check it out for tips, interviews, and best practices for hardware startups, inventors, and product developers. Click HERE to learn more about MAKO Design + Invent!