The Second Step: The Job Interview
The job interview will most likely be a 2-day Hiring Session with the Principal’s representatives from Miami. It doesn’t happen often – maybe just once a year in each of the countries where they are hiring.
The Agency’s role is to screen the applicants. Once you’ve passed the Agency’s not-too-high standards, they’ll put you on the list of scheduled interviewees.
How shall you prepare for the interview?
Check with the Agency if the Hiring Company expects you to bring anything extra.
Unimportant but perhaps useful anecdote: For our batch’s interview, the Agency advised us to bring our cameras. We didn’t actually use our cameras but, being a photographer (hobbyist or otherwise), it would be bad to show up for a photo job interview without the most important tool of your trade.
A little piece of unsolicited advice: If you are required to bring a camera, don’t feel like you must show up with a high-end DSLR. If you have one, then bring it. But if all you have and what you’ve been using is a film SLR or a low-end for-hobbyist DSLR, then bring that. In my opinion, it is better to show up with the actual camera that you used for the photos in your portfolio. That way, if they want you to prove on the spot that you are able to take photos like the ones in your portfolio, you’ll be familiar with your tool.
FYI: The gear I brought to the Hiring Session was my Canon 300v (a.k.a. Rebel Ti) film SLR camera with its 28-90mm kit lens.
How shall you dress for the interview?
This is the time to be in business wear. The Agency will advise you on how to dress properly, if you didn’t know it yet. They’ll probably tell female interviewees to show up in a skirt and 2-inch heels.
If you ask me, 2-inch heels are overkill. You will not be judged by the height of the shoes that you wear, but it’s a fact that the right shoes complete the look. And it can’t be denied that looks do matter. Bear in mind though, ladies, that you’ll be wearing those shoes all day. I say, pick comfy yet presentable footwear.
How shall you speak at the Hiring Session?
Whatever you do, do not bore them and do not waste their time.
If you are asked to introduce yourself in 1 minute, do it in 1 minute.
If you are asked to introduce yourself by giving your name, photography experience, reason for applying… do just that!
- do not start with a story or with how happy you are to be there (it’s not the time to get chummy)
- do not add your age, sex, location to the list of things to say (it’s an interview, not a chatroom)
- do not talk about your accomplishments and what a great person you are (unless asked to do so)
In other words,
- follow instructions
- stick to the topic
- get to the point
Don’t worry. If you pass the first day, you will be asked to come back for the second day and will have plenty of time to talk.
All this is common sense and applies to other job interviews as well. The Agency will probably tell you these things when they orient you about the HIRE Session.
And also, you’re not there to beat each other. Outshine each other, maybe. But don’t be a crab by stepping on your fellow interviewees or making them look bad. Crab mentality is not a plus factor.
So that was Step 2. Now, click here for Step 3. 🙂