Recent work by (clockwise from top left) BMW Group DesignWorks USA, Philips, Lunar and Teague—four of the nine firms we'll be interviewing in this series
The beginning of the New Year is generally a time for taking stock, making resolutions and pushing oneself toward new achievements—and, for many of us, that means polishing our resumes and launching the search for a new job. Here at Core77, we wanted to kick off 2014 with some concrete advice for designers trying to score their next gig. And we thought, who better to talk to than the people who actually do the hiring at major design firms? If anyone can tell you how to put together a good portfolio, talk intelligently about your own work and avoid major interviewing blunders, it's them.
So we asked Bryn Smith—a designer and writer living in Brooklyn, who previously conducted our Design Gatekeepers interview series—to call up key hiring personnel at nine prominent I.D. firms and see what insider knowledge they could share with Core77's readers. Specifically, she asked each design-HR expert the following questions:
Can you walk us through your process for hiring a new designer?
What makes good candidates stand out? And what are some red flags that might disqualify a potential hire?
Once candidates make it to the interview stage, what are the big dos and don'ts?
What is the craziest thing someone has done to try to land a job—and was it effective?
What other advice can you offer to designers hoping to work at your firm?
Our interviewees come from IDEO, frog, LUNAR, Smart Design, Ziba, Teague, Philips, BMW Group DesignWorks USA, and Google's semi-secret "moonshot factory"—but their tips and advice should prove useful for designers looking to score a sweet new gig at virtually any firm. (And even if you're not looking to change jobs, their answers to the "craziest thing" question are pretty entertaining.)
Starting today, we will be posting one interview each weekday morning for the next two weeks. And at the end of the series, we'll present our shortlist of the most important skills and strategies for the I.D. job-seeker. So check back—and good luck!