14 Tips to Help You with Your Interior Design Job Search

tips to help you with your interior design job search - group of 2019 DI grads

This group of 2019 DI grads shows off their creativity. Graduation is always a transition, but this year, it comes at a time of cultural change as well. Here are some tips on how to transition into your ideal career in the age of COVID-19.

Job Search Advice from DI’s Career Advisor

As the pandemic continues, work processes are rapidly evolving. We all need to continue to be flexible to new changes while still planning our future careers.  These are difficult times, but DI is here to assist and guide you. Whether you are a recent grad or looking for a new job for the first time in years, Rick Hess, DI’s Career & Externship Advisor is here with some advice on how to get your dream job.  Use the tips below to get a jump start!

Tips To Help You With Your Interior Design Job Search

1 – Spend time updating your portfolios, resumes, and cover letters. 

Grab a free resume template here and be ready when those interviews start rolling in.  Look at portfolio examples on Issuu and get inspired! Make sure to have at least one person proofread them before submitting. 

2 – Create a professional presence.

Use LinkedIn and other online sources to create a professional presence. Research shows that doing this can lead to many job opportunities either through a connection or a recruiter. 

3 – Use a professional voicemail.

Update and record a professional voicemail and make sure your voicemail is not full! Also, try to answer all incoming calls during the time frame of your interviews as the call could be a potential job opportunity.

4 – Practice using Zoom, as it might be your next platform for interviewing.

Here is a step by step guide on how to use it. Make sure you have a strong internet connection, speakers, and a mic.  Test everything before the interview!

5 – Practice your interview skills.

Practice your virtual interviewing skills with a friend or your career advisor. Also, be sure to dress professionally for the interview.  Try to practice rather than just memorize answers, and research the company before the interview to demonstrate initiative and be fully prepared.

6 – Ask for a callback number.

While on the interview be sure to ask for a good callback number in case you are somehow disconnected. Have a backup plan and be prepared if there is a problem.  

7 – Don’t be late.

Be in front of your computer and be ready at least 30 minutes prior to the interview time.

8 – Line up your questions for the interviewer.

Have plenty of questions for the employer and ask questions about the role you are applying for. Also, be prepared to answer questions like “Why are you interested in this position?” or “Talk about your conflict resolution strategies.”

Tie your experience with what you already know about the company based on your pre-interview research. This demonstrates to the employer that you’re committed to a mutually beneficial relationship.

9 – Be yourself.

Try to establish a connection with the firm. Study the firm’s work and ask related questions so the company knows you have done your research.

yellow cat

10 – Avoid distractions.

When interviewing virtually you want to make sure there are no distractions (pets or family) and be sure to pick a quiet area in your home to conduct the interview. It is charming when a cat or child wanders into a more relaxed video call, but an interview should be formal. Keep the distractions – whether kitty or clutter – away.

11 – Follow up after an interview.

Do not be afraid to follow up within 24 hours after the virtual interview and do not forget to send a thank you email directly after the interview.

12 –  Apply for the NCIDQ exam.

Start studying for the NCIDQ exam to give yourself an edge. You can find general information here or visit NCIDQ’s website

13 – Join the ASID community.

The American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) is one professional organization that should be on your radar. As part of their COVID-19 response, ASID is extending free access to the ASID Academy for members through May 31, 2020. 

14 – If you have been laid off, file for unemployment.

It’s easy to do so. Visit the EDD website here for more information.

Design Institute of San Diego's student

A degree from Design Institute of San Diego can help you meet your goals.

Looking for more?

Thinking of going back to school? Design Institute of San Diego offers an unparalleled education in Interior Design in a destination location. This WASC- and CIDA- accredited program is devoted to Interior Design, so you can surround yourself with like-minded individuals. At DI, access to individualized attention does not stop after graduation.

DI offers personal assistance to students and alumni, whether you’re looking for a Librarian to review your cover letter or leads from a Career Advisor. Contact the Admissions Director for more information on how DI can help you achieve your dream career.