As with most jobs, before I was hired at VoiceAmerica, I had to have an interview to make sure that the company and I would be a good fit for each other. But I also knew that they were looking for other graphic designers, so I had to do something to give me an edge in the interview process. Of course I dressed up, arrived early, was friendly and amiable, polite, and had a few questions of my own ready to go.
From a previous telephone conversation, I knew that most of the job would be creating banners for talk radio and podcast shows on their website and various podcast aggregators (Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify, iHeart Radio, etc). I figured a good way to show that I would be able to do this work would be to include examples of that very thing in my portfolio.
I took a look at their website to get some ideas of what I’d be creating, grabbed some stock images from Google, and created these two banners. If you recognize the host names on the banners, it’s because I flat-out just used a couple of random names because the idea wasn’t to show how creative I was in coming up with names, but to show that I could do the job I was being hired to do.
In the middle of the interview, the guys who ended up hiring me told me that in the nearly two decades that they’d been interviewing people, not a single person had thought to include a sample of what they’d be doing in their portfolio. That blew my mind, because it seemed like such a simple idea to me.
Of course, I ended up getting the job, otherwise I wouldn’t have even bothered with this post. These two quick designs weren’t the only things about my interview that ended up getting me hired, but I know that they made me stand out amongst the other candidates.
So next time you’re going on a job interview, especially one in any sort of visual field, consider possibly doing a bit of free sample work like this. It took me maybe an hour to put these together and add them to the portfolio. Very little extra effort turned into years of employment.