Interviews & Offers
Practice and preparation makes a big difference when interviewing. You’ll want to be prepared to address qualifications sought in the job description, demonstrate knowledge about the employer and their projects, ask sincere questions about the opportunity, speak about your experiences and qualifications, and present your portfolio. If you would like to schedule a mock interview, please contact Design Career Services.
Sample interview questions
- General questions (PDF)
- Architecture (PDF)
- Community and Regional Planning (PDF)
- Graphic Design (PDF)
- Interior Design (PDF)
- Landscape Architecture (PDF)
What to wear
A suit or dress pants and a shirt is appropriate. Avoid heavy fragrances, transparent or revealing clothing, and heavy makeup. When in doubt, overdress and dress conservatively.
During the interview
Arrive 15 minutes early. Enter the interviewing room with a smile, self-confidence and a firm handshake.
Let the interviewer offer the lead. Listen to questions and remember that the interviewer is not interested in yes or no answers. It’s fine to ask that a question be repeated, and it’s perfectly acceptable to think before responding. The interviewer is appraising your thinking ability, how you solve problems and your communication skills. They want to determine if you are a good fit for their organization and if you have the necessary qualifications for the position. When responding to questions, refer to your experience, knowledge or portfolio when possible.
Use your communication skills. Listening, verbal skills and body language are all important. Avoid using slang or trendy speech patterns, speaking negatively about past team members or supervisors, and do not chew gum.
After the interview, make notes about the questions and your responses. Immediately send a thank-you note to everyone that interviewed you.
There are multiple factors to consider when evaluating job or internship offers. What is important to you? You may want to consider geographic location of office, access to public transportation, health insurance benefits, personal time off (vacation, sick leave, etc), company specialty, company culture (its “feel” – values, practices, attitudes, customs, etc), size of organization, promotion opportunities or career path options, travel opportunities, and salary offered.
Online resources for salary research:
- AIA Compensation Salary Survey Calculator
- AIGA Survey of Design Salaries
- Coroflot Design Salary Guide
- ISU College of Design employment statistics
- NACE Salary Calculator (a web-based salary calculator)
- CNN Money (compare cost of living between two cities)
Please note that ISU Career Services has a university-wide Interview Cancellation and Late Notice/No Show Policy.