In studying the creative arts, you may not have thought much about formal interviews. However, if you want to earn a living creating and working in your field, you'll need to be just as prepared as you would for any other career.
Know what common questions to expect and how best to answer them so that your personality and talent shines through. With a bit of preparation, you can look like a superstar in any interview and find the right organization for your artistic career goals.
1. Tell us about yourself.
With this likely being the most common interview question, your answer isn't the time for a full recounting of your life history. Focus on your craft, as that’s what the interviewer is interested in learning about. Briefly explain how long you’ve been an artist and share any artistic achievements relevant to the position.
2. What do you know about us?
This question is checking to see how much you prepared for the interview. You aren't expected to know every detail about the company or organization, but a basic understanding is necessary.
3. Why do you want to work here?
Answering "because I need a job" isn't what the interviewer is looking for. This question often follows the previous question. Convey your genuine interest in the company and explain why you believe your artistic skills would be a great fit for the organization. Explain your excitement at the thought of putting your creative talents to work for a company you truly believe in.
4. What are your strengths?
The interviewer wants to know your work-related strengths and weaknesses. Be prepared to back up your strengths. If you call yourself a problem-solver, make sure you have an example in mind of a time you solved a important problem and how this impacted your project.
5. What are your weaknesses?
Be honest with your weaknesses, but also explain how you overcome them. If you explain that you're a perfectionist, explain how you don't let that keep you from meeting deadlines or performing your job.
6. Describe your creative process.
This behavioral interview question allows the interviewer to gain an understanding of your work style and to determine whether you would be a good fit for the company culture. Practice articulating your creative process so you can describe it in a brief, easy-to-understand manner. Remember, the company isn’t just interviewing you - you’re interviewing them to see if you would want to work there. Be honest about your true creative process, rather than saying what you think they want to hear, because you want a job where you have the freedom to express yourself.
7. What media or methodologies have you used or do you use?
You may be asked as a general question: What methodologies do you prefer to use? Or, you may be asked while looking at a piece from your portfolio: What medium did you use? Either way, keep your explanation simple and refrain from using technical jargon unless the person interviewing you is using it. This is often a way to assess your skills and understanding of specific techniques.
8. Describe your creative inspiration.
This is another commonly asked question that allows the interviewer to gain a deeper sense of your personal values, personality traits, and genuine passion for the job. You’ll make a great impression if you can explain with confidence exactly what inspires you to do your best work. However, if you appear stuck when trying to identify a solid reason you enjoy your craft, the interviewer may question your dedication.
9. What type of work have you done in the past?
An interviewer wants to know that you have the creative skills needed to produce top-quality work for the organization. For this line of work, it’s not enough to simply discuss your past achievements - you need to showcase your talents by bringing your portfolio along. If possible, include pieces in your portfolio that are relevant to the specific job, to prove you have what it takes to shine in the position.