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You're Hired! How to Not Screw Up a 
Job Interview


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There’s nothing more important than the job interview.  Screw this one up and you’re not getting in.  In this class you’ll learn how to avoid devastating mistakes and get the edge.  The class is taught by Rich Harrington, who’s both run a full service production company and been a hiring interviewer for 20 years.  This class is essential to help you land that first 
(or next) job.

Published in: Business
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You're Hired! How to Not Screw Up a 
Job Interview

  1. 1. You're Hired! How to Not Screw Up a 
 Job Interview Richard Harrington | RHED Pixel
 richardharrington rhedpixel
  2. 2. Session Overview There’s nothing more important than the job interview.  Screw this one up and you’re not getting in.  In this class you’ll learn how to avoid devastating mistakes and get the edge.  The class is taught by Rich Harrington, who’s both run a full service production company and been a hiring interviewer for 20 years.  This class is essential to help you land that first 
 (or next) job.
  3. 3. Objectives ๏ How to standout from the rest and get more job interviews ๏ What to prepare before the interview ๏ How to behave during the interview to be memorable ๏ Follow steps for after the interview to land the job
  4. 4. My Background
  5. 5. Vital Statistics Founder ThinkTAPLearn Publisher of Conference Speaker Business Owner Director Photographer
  6. 6. Subject Matter Expert ๏ Focussed on the fusion of photography and video for past 15 years ๏ Evangelize that design and strategic communication can work for most professionals ๏ Book author of more than 40 books ๏ Author of more than 100 Video Courses ๏ Past professor at Art Institute of Washington & American University
  7. 7. Industry Speaker ๏ Industry speaker for 15 years ๏ Address both the photo and video industry ๏ Chair the National Association of Broadcaster’s PostProduction World Conference ๏ Co-Chair Adobe Video World
  8. 8. The Logical Side ๏ Project Management Professional ๏ Business Owner – RHED Pixel & Media Factory ๏ Technical Consultant ๏ Instructor And Lecturer ๏ Book Publisher ๏ Website Publisher
  9. 9. Past Projects ๏ Adobe ๏ America Online ๏ American Diabetes Association ๏ American Israel Public Affairs Committee ๏ American Red Cross ๏ Apple ๏ Children's National Medical Center ๏ CNN ๏ Department of Veterans Administration ๏ Drobo ๏ Federal Communications Commission ๏ Google ๏ ๏ Major League Baseball ๏ Microsoft ๏ Smithsonian Institute ๏ Under Armour ๏ US Air Force
  10. 10. The Creative Side ๏ Director And Executive Producer ๏ Photographer ๏ Film & Video Editor ๏ Motion Graphics Designer ๏ Journalist ๏ Podcaster
  11. 11. Getting In Touch RichHarringtonStuff +RichardHarrington/ richardharrington
  12. 12. – A L B E R T E I N S T E I N “Education is what remains after one has forgotten 
 what one has learned in school.”
  13. 13. Getting the Interview
  14. 14. Real-world Networking rhedpixel
  15. 15. Real-world Networking ๏ Ask your mentors ๏ Professional organizations matter ๏ Go to industry events ๏ Connect with a few people, not whole room ๏ Exchange business cards ๏ Don’t act desperate
  16. 16. Virtual Networking rhedpixel
  17. 17. Virtual Networking ๏ It’s a small industry ๏ Look for connections of connections ๏ Join professional Facebook & LinkedIn groups as well as industry forums ๏ Remember your online manners
  18. 18. Using LinkedIn rhedpixel
  19. 19. LinkedIn’s Roots ๏ LinkedIn is a social media site that’s all about business ๏ Began in 2003 and has seen steady growth ๏ As of September 2009, LinkedIn had more than 46 million registered users from over 200 countries globally ๏ A new member joins LinkedIn approximately every second ๏ The members of LinkedIn work in 170 different industries, including Biotechnology, Pharmaceuticals, and Research
  20. 20. LinkedIn’s Purpose ๏ Search for qualified employees or subcontractors ๏ Best known as business networking site ๏ Goes well beyond simply job hunting ๏ Build a list of business contacts of people you know and trust ๏ This network drives all the features on the site ๏ Your network has important real-world results
  21. 21. LinkedIn’s Purpose ๏ You can access the connections of all in your network 
 (termed second degree connections) ๏ Way to make a business introduction to a professional colleague ๏ Search for business opportunities ๏ Invitations to speak at an event ๏ Media interviews ๏ Online Publication Contributions
  22. 22. LinkedIn’s Purpose ๏ Join groups that match your professional interests ๏ Groups are a great way to reconnect with individuals by joining alumni, professional, and other relevant groups ๏ Participate in LinkedIn Answers ๏ Ask questions for the community to answer ๏ Join in the discussion ๏ Stay up on the latest at the LinkedIn blog (
  23. 23. Title Text
  24. 24. Interview Types
  25. 25. Internship Interview ๏ Paid Guidelines ๏ Credit Guidelines ๏ Check for duration of position ๏ Check company’s reputation
  26. 26. Informational Interview ๏ Difficult to get ๏ Very worthwhile ๏ Learn more about a company or a position ๏ Can often be combined with an externship
  27. 27. Freelance Interview ๏ Easiest way in to company ๏ Know your rates or ranges ๏ Be open to company setting payment ๏ Organization is essential ๏ Certifications and work samples matter
  28. 28. Part-time Interview ๏ Be open to part-time work ๏ Quickest path to full-time job ๏ Variability in schedule ๏ May be temporary or seasonal ๏ Hourly requires accurate record-keeping
  29. 29. Full-time Interview ๏ Usually an open position ๏ Sometimes used for surveying industry or building up candidate pool ๏ Ask if the position is new or replacing an exiting employee ๏ Be prepared for a trial period
  30. 30. Making a Resumé Work rhedpixel
  31. 31. Making a Resumé Work ๏ Know the purpose of your resume ๏ Make sure to use keywords ๏ Use effective job titles ๏ Proofread it at least twice ๏ Use bullet points ๏ Put the most important information up front
  32. 32. Making a Resumé Work ๏ Pay attention to typography ๏ Explain the benefits of your skills ๏ Avoid a sense of negativity ๏ Avoid Being an Expert in Everything ๏ Promote achievements instead of responsibilities ๏ Do not use pictures
  33. 33. Making a Resumé Work ๏ Make one resume for each employer ๏ Avoid discrimination ๏ Don’t include irrelevant information ๏ No lying or embellishments ๏ Analyze the available job ๏ Get someone else to review your resume
  34. 34. Making a Resumé Work ๏ One or two pages resumés ๏ Update your resumé regularly ๏ Make the design flow ๏ Remove old work experiences
  35. 35. Cover Letter Advice rhedpixel
  36. 36. Cover Letter Advice ๏ Customize for each position ๏ Be careful with copy and paste ๏ Be careful with search and replace ๏ Be specific and to the point ๏ Express enthusiasm
  37. 37. Website Advice rhedpixel
  38. 38. Website Advice ๏ Keep it clean ๏ Make sure its mobile-friendly ๏ Keep it focussed ๏ Be careful with a blog ๏ Don’t mix personal and professional
  39. 39. What Goes Into a Portfolio rhedpixel
  40. 40. Why a Portfolio? ๏ If you want a job, you need a portfolio. ๏ Sure a good-looking résumé with excellent credentials and references will seal the deal, but employers or clients want proof. ๏ No one is going to hire a creative professional solely on word of mouth (but that helps).
  41. 41. The Essential Portfolio ๏ A good portfolio is a personal statement about a designer, editor, or artist. ๏ There are no one-size fits all approach that will work for each individual. ๏ The best advice is to look at other people’s portfolios.
  42. 42. The Essential Portfolio ๏ There is a wealth of online portfolios you can find on the Internet. ๏ The key is to start looking well before you need a portfolio so you can create one you like.
  43. 43. Why Use the Web? ๏ Can showcase both work samples and contact information. ๏ This method is ideal for those who create in multiple mediums. ๏ Many services will adapt automatically based on platform or hardware used to access your portfolio.
  44. 44. Contents of a Portfolio? rhedpixel
  45. 45. What is a Portfolio? ๏ A collection of your work samples to show prospective employers or clients. ๏ It should represent your diversity, but not try to show everything. ๏ Be sure to consider all of the scenarios in which you’ll need to present your work to those who want to hire you.
  46. 46. What Goes in a Portfolio? ๏ Show your diversity with your portfolio. ๏ Even if you only work on certain types of projects at your current job, be sure you have variety. ๏ For example, you might work for a manufacturing company, but don’t only fill it with work samples from your current job.
  47. 47. What Goes in a Portfolio? ๏ You want several samples of work, ideally done for real-world clients. ๏ You may think that’s impossible to land ‘real’ clients, but it is not. ๏ Offer to do internship or externship work, in exchange for copies of the completed piece and a letter of recommendation for your portfolio.
  48. 48. What Stays Out? ๏ There is such a thing as “too much.” ๏ It is important to screen out the less then stellar examples from your portfolio. ๏ This can be accomplished through peer review or professional insight. ๏ Ask a friend or colleague to look at your work samples.
  49. 49. What Stays Out? ๏ It’s a bad idea to fill a portfolio with spec projects. ๏ Unless you happen to work for a particular agency, no one wants to see your ‘spec’ Apple ad. ๏ It is far better to have projects where you played a significant role in the execution.
  50. 50. How Often Should You Update? rhedpixel
  51. 51. How Often Should You Update a Portfolio? ๏ No job or client is 100% secure. ๏ You always need to be ready for that next interview or proposal. ๏ Be sure to update your portfolio a minimum of every 6 months. ๏ Certain mediums (like a website) are even easier to update regularly.
  52. 52. How Often Should You Update a Portfolio? ๏ Always save copies of your latest work. Archiving all of your work to disc. ๏ Some jobs require you to get permission before keeping work samples. ๏ Be sure to credit the company that you did the work for.
  53. 53. What Should Go Into a Reel rhedpixel
  54. 54. Why you need a great demo reel ๏ You need a great demo reel to show clients what you can do. ๏ Demo reels are your primary sales tool for landing good work that pays well. ๏ The best demo reels not only show what you can do but also WHO you are. ๏ By displaying a bit of your personality, demo reels convey to your audience why you are the person they want to hire and work with on important projects.
  55. 55. Are ready for a demo reel? ๏ Is the work you’re showing the result of your creative efforts or those of a lesson in class or an online tutorial? ๏ Assets and tutorial content from learning sites like or Video Copilot are easily recognized by professionals in the industry.
  56. 56. Are ready for a demo reel? ๏ Are you proud of the work you’ve done? ๏ Every clip and every frame that you include in your demo reel must present your very best work. ๏ Do you have enough different, short clips to last 60 seconds?
  57. 57. Are ready for a demo reel? ๏ If you answered "yes" to all of these questions, then you’re ready to build your reel. ๏ If not, don’t worry. Take the time to build a body of work that you’d be proud to show to strangers — not just your friends and family. ๏ Many pros will tell you that it’s better to not have a demo reel than to present an amateurish one.
  58. 58. Making a Great Demo Reel rhedpixel
  59. 59. Keep it Short ๏ A successful demo reel does not show all your work but rather highlights your best work. ๏ Most employers agree that one to two minutes is enough for them to determine whether your reel is what they’re looking for. ๏ Indeed, many professional editors feel that 90 seconds is the sweet spot for a great demo reel.
  60. 60. Keep it Short ๏ Rarely have I heard an audience complain that a video was too short. ๏ There is a reason to edit and it becomes increasingly clear when you actually watch people as they watch your reel. ๏ Do your best to strip a reel down to its essence and only add what is needed. ๏ When in doubt… cut it out.
  61. 61. Keep it Short ๏ Grab the viewer’s attention from the start. ๏ Sometimes a first impression is all you get with potential clients or employers. ๏ Because of the number of submissions they review, you may have their full attention only for the first 20 seconds.
  62. 62. Keep it Short ๏ Show your most recent work first. ๏ No one wants to see what you worked on five years ago. Show them what you’re working on now. ๏ Include only your best current work. ๏ Replace clips that show an older style or are not as strong as your later efforts. ๏ Include only those clips that showcase a modern style and make a strong, professional impression.
  63. 63. Keep it Short ๏ Express your personality. ๏ Whether you are serious or a joking, laid back or hyperactive, let it show through in your reel. ๏ You may have just the personality the client or employer is looking for.
  64. 64. Show Some Emotion ๏ Let people see what you’re passionate about. ๏ Add a musical soundtrack. ๏ Pick music that complements your professional, or personal, brand and then cut your reel to that beat. ๏ Show a variety of work. The more the merrier — and the better chance you’ll have of showing something that interests others.
  65. 65. Show Some Emotion ๏ Focus your reel on the type of work you’d most like to be doing. ๏ If you’re really excited about editing music videos, cut a reel that focuses primarily on that type of editing. ๏ If you don’t have much content of that type, then go out and create it!
  66. 66. Structuring Your Reel rhedpixel
  67. 67. Structuring Your Reel ๏ Open with your name or company logo. ๏ Let people know who you are up front. ๏ A cool intro with your name or company logo is a great way to grab the viewer’s attention.
  68. 68. Structuring Your Reel ๏ Highlight work you’ve done for recognizable brands. ๏ If relevant, give a little extra screen time to logos that people will recognize. ๏ The more people who recognize the companies you’ve done work for, the better. ๏ Give on-screen credits
  69. 69. Structuring Your Reel ๏ Show "before" and "after" clips. This is especially true if you are a colorist, audio engineer, or similar specialist. ๏ Show sequence shots. ๏ This is particularly important if you build visuals in stages, like 3D modelers or compositors do.
  70. 70. Structuring Your Reel ๏ Close with your contact information. ๏ This is your call to action. ๏ Include your full name, phone number, website, and professional e-mail address. ๏ Your reel is worthless if people don’t know how to contact you.
  71. 71. Demo Reel Mistakes rhedpixel
  72. 72. Demo Reel Mistakes ๏ Mistakes will happen, but you only get one chance to make a first impression. ๏ Take time to review (& re-review) your reel so that errors don’t slip in; they will be noticed.
  73. 73. Demo Reel Mistakes ๏ Don’t take credit for work you didn’t do. ๏ Clearly label any clips in your reel for which you only did part of the work. ๏ Adding a text overlay to the clip that simply says "Premiere Pro editor," "3D modeler," or "responsible for motion tracking" goes a long way toward clearing up any confusion and speaks volumes of your character.
  74. 74. Demo Reel Mistakes ๏ Don’t repeat any footage. ๏ It gives the impression that you haven’t done enough work to fill a reel. ๏ Make your demo shorter instead. ๏ Don’t include errors! ๏ You would be amazed at how many demo reels contain spelling errors, audio glitches, clips with squeezed-looking aspect ratios, and so on.
  75. 75. Social Media Cleanup rhedpixel
  76. 76. Social Media Cleanup ๏ Employers will look ๏ Have a profile ๏ Keep it family-friendly ๏ Show your personality ๏ Don’t show your flaws ๏ Don’t pad it
  77. 77. Social Media Outlets ๏ Twitter ๏ Facebook ๏ Google+ ๏ LinkedIn
  78. 78. Creator’s Networks ๏ Instagram ๏ Pinterest ๏ Flickr ๏ Vimeo ๏ YouTube ๏ Vine
  79. 79. – N E I L L A B U T E “We live in a disposable society. It's easier to throw things out than to fix them. We even give it a name - we call it recycling.”
  80. 80. Before the Interview
  81. 81. Check Your References rhedpixel
  82. 82. Check Your References ๏ Make sure your references know they may be called on to speak about you ๏ Ask each reference what your strengths and weaknesses are ๏ Ask them which type of job they think you’d be best at performing ๏ Make sure a reference is worth listing
  83. 83. Check Your Network rhedpixel
  84. 84. Check Your Network ๏ What do you connections know about the company? ๏ Who do they know inside the company? ๏ Can anyone speak on your behalf? ๏ Can anyone offer advice?
  85. 85. Research the Company rhedpixel
  86. 86. Research the Company ๏ Their website ๏ Their social media profiles ๏ Key employees ๏ Awards they’ve won ๏ Management
  87. 87. Research the Position rhedpixel
  88. 88. Research the Position ๏ What does the job entail? ๏ What skills do you have that meet the requirements? ๏ Are the gaps critical or solvable? ๏ Who depends on this position? ๏ Have you filled this role before?
  89. 89. Physically Visit the Location rhedpixel
  90. 90. Physically Visit the Location ๏ Don’t get lost the day of the interview ๏ Figure out the commute time (the double it) ๏ Evaluate the size of the company ๏ Ensure your commute is feasible (or movable)
  91. 91. Mock Interviews rhedpixel
  92. 92. Mock Interviews ๏ This is training ๏ Helps you to prepare ๏ Ask a mentor ๏ If needed, go outside of industry ๏ Reach out to past internships
  93. 93. Multiple Copies rhedpixel
  94. 94. Multiple Copies ๏ No single point of failure ๏ Multiple copies of resumé ๏ Demo reel on 2 formats ๏ Extra business cards ๏ Electronic versions accessible
  95. 95. Backup Technology rhedpixel
  96. 96. Backup Technology ๏ Be prepared ๏ Offline access ๏ Fully charged battery ๏ Physical Media ๏ USB3, Not DVD
  97. 97. Understand Copyright rhedpixel
  98. 98. ๏ Don’t be a liability ๏ Don’t steal music ๏ Don’t use work sample without permission ๏ Attribute your sources ๏ Be wary of issues and able to respond appropriately
  99. 99. Online Resources on Copyright ๏ Copyright Tutorial ๏ Copyright and the New Economy ๏ Copyright Basics from U.S. Copyright Office ๏ Taking the Mystery Out of Copyright from the Library of Congress ๏ The World Intellectual Property Organization
  100. 100. – I N D I R A G A N D H I “There are two kinds of people, those who do the work and those who take the credit. Try to be in the first group; there is less competition there.”
  101. 101. At the Interview
  102. 102. How to Dress rhedpixel
  103. 103. How to Dress ๏ Research company ๏ Take a look around ๏ Slightly over-dressed is better than under-dressed ๏ Favor clean, but not flashy ๏ Show small amounts of personality ๏ Minimize art and piercings
  104. 104. When to Arrive rhedpixel
  105. 105. When to Arrive ๏ On-time = Late ๏ 15-minutes early to parking lot ๏ 5-minutes early for appointment ๏ Call ahead if you’re running late ๏ Drive the route the day before at the same time
  106. 106. How Long to Stay rhedpixel
  107. 107. How Long to Stay ๏ Don’t double-book ๏ Be prepared to stay all-day ๏ Be prepared for multiple interviews ๏ Arrive with a (slightly) full stomach ๏ Don’t seem rushed
  108. 108. What to Bring rhedpixel
  109. 109. What to Bring ๏ Note-taking materials ๏ An electronic portfolio ๏ Backup portofolio ๏ Multiple copies of resumé and references ๏ A list of prepared questions ๏ A briefcase or portfolio
  110. 110. What Not to Bring ๏ Games ๏ Social media ๏ A visible phone ๏ Gifts
  111. 111. Eye Contact rhedpixel
  112. 112. Eye Contact ๏ Maintain eye contact during the interview ๏ Address all in room ๏ Don’t stare, but be alert
  113. 113. Have Questions Ready rhedpixel
  114. 114. Have Questions Ready ๏ People like to talk about themselves ๏ Ask intelligent questions, not generic ๏ Customize based on your research ๏ Ask about tenure and growth ๏ Ask about business practices
  115. 115. Have Questions Ready ๏ What motivates you to work each day? ๏ Which recent project was your favorite? ๏ What skills help someone succeed here? ๏ Does the company promote from within? ๏ What’s gotten in the way of someone succeeding?
  116. 116. Prepare for the Unexpected rhedpixel
  117. 117. Prepare for the Unexpected ๏ The employer may cancel ๏ Things may be running behind ๏ You can’t access the Internet ๏ They may know a lot about you ๏ Explain short tenures ๏ Explain employment gaps
  118. 118. Know Your Longterm Goals rhedpixel
  119. 119. Know Your Longterm Goals ๏ Most employees last 3-5 years ๏ Make sure you want this job, not just a job ๏ Be specific in your search ๏ Be able to describe your 5-10-15 year plan
  120. 120. Avoid Delusions of Grandeur rhedpixel
  121. 121. Avoid Delusions of Grandeur ๏ You are not an expert… you have core skills ๏ You are not a director or a DP… you have been a crew member ๏ Do not boast, but show work you’re proud of ๏ Clearly identify your role in a project
  122. 122. Avoid Delusions of Grandeur ๏ There are no stock options ๏ Don’t ask what the schedule is ๏ Don’t ask about vacation time, do ask if any benefits are included with job ๏ Be prepared for low-end work
 “If I can’t trust you with the small stuff…
 how can I trust you with the big stuff?”
  123. 123. LOTS OF CHOICES
  125. 125. HUMILITY
  126. 126. OUTGOING
  127. 127. TRUTHFUL
  128. 128. TEAM PLAYER
  129. 129. Ask About Next Steps rhedpixel
  130. 130. Ask About Next Steps ๏ What’s the timeline to hire? ๏ Anything to send afterwards? ๏ When can I expect to hear from you? ๏ Is there anything you need me to do?
  131. 131. – A L B E R T E I N S T E I N “It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has exceeded our humanity.”
  132. 132. After the Interview
  133. 133. Electronic Followup rhedpixel
  134. 134. Electronic Followup ๏ That evening, follow up ๏ Send an individual message to each person you met with on the team ๏ Thank them for the meeting and express your interest in the position ๏ Write a unique message to each 
 (zero copy and paste here)
  135. 135. Written Followup rhedpixel
  136. 136. Written Followup ๏ Send a handwritten note the next morning ๏ Thank them for the opportunity ๏ Express interest in the position (if you have interest) ๏ Express desire to continue in the application process and assist with any next steps
  137. 137. No Gifts rhedpixel
  138. 138. No Gifts ๏ Keep all followups professional ๏ Avoid any perception of impropriety ๏ Do not send any gifts to the office or individuals
  139. 139. Check References rhedpixel
  140. 140. Check References ๏ Alert any listed references that they may be contacted by prospective employer ๏ Confirm if they know the employer ๏ Contact any other references discovered during the job application process
  141. 141. Stay Off Social Media rhedpixel
  142. 142. Stay Off Social Media ๏ Do not discuss the job interview on social media ๏ Do not complain about the company ๏ Do not attempt to engage or friend the company through social platforms ๏ Do not connect with people that you interviewed with via social media
  143. 143. – B R U C E L E E “The less effort, the faster and more powerful you will be.”
  144. 144. The Path to Enlightenment
  145. 145. There’s always somebody willing to work for less than you.
  146. 146. There’s always somebody with more talent than you.
  147. 147. There’s always somebody who’s smarter than you.
  148. 148. There’s nobody out there who is exactly like you.
  149. 149. When they can, people choose to do business with people
 they like and respect.
  150. 150. Be real… Be nice… Be you...
  151. 151. Getting In Touch RichHarringtonStuff +RichardHarrington/ richardharrington
  152. 152.
  153. 153. Bookstore
  154. 154.
  155. 155.
  156. 156. Bookstore
  157. 157. Win a Copy of 
 Perfectly Clear Complete for Photoshop and Lightroom
  158. 158. Win a Drobo 5D or 5N Follow Tweet I want to win a @Drobo from 
 @rhedpixel at #NABSHOW
  159. 159. You're Hired! How to Not Screw Up a 
 Job Interview Richard Harrington | RHED Pixel
 richardharrington rhedpixel