Applying for Jobs in Product Design

CVs / Portfolios

Graphic Design graduates will be expected to produce a well-designed CV. However, it is important to strike a balance between creativity and professionalism. The primary purpose of a CV is to demonstrate how your skills, knowledge and experience match the qualities that the potential employer is looking for. This can be best achieved by giving clear examples (using the STAR framework) of how your skills and experience make you the ideal candidate. 

Please note: the general rule for CVs is that it should be no more two pages long, but the majority of employers in the creative / media industry prefer a one page CV. Employers will be more interested in your portfolio as a means of deciding whether to invite you for interview or not. 

For more information and advice, see Creative CVs.

Portfolio Advice (hard or digital copy) 

They showcase your work and demonstrate your innovative and creative skills.  See the section on Portfolio Advice.

Speculative applications

A speculative application involves approaching an organisation about the possibility of working for them rather than applying to an advertised vacancy. Employers from the creative media/arts industry receive so many speculative applications that it makes advertising vacancies in the conventional manner almost unnecessary.


There is no such thing as a standard interview. All companies will have developed their own interviewing techniques which best meet their criteria for recruitment. For some, interviews will take the form of a one-to-one informal chat with the main focus being placed on your portfolio. Others will involve a more formal panel interview and a requirement for you the interviewee, to deliver a presentation. However, whatever style of interviewing is adopted it is likely that you will be asked a mixture of generic and job specific questions all tailored to examine your suitability for the position for which you are applying. It is also likely that you will be asked to explain the context for your portfolio: your ideas and influences, and how you see your work developing in the future.  For general information on interviews, see the Interview pages.

Typical interview questions may include:


  • What do you know about this company?
  • What are you looking for in a company?
  • Why are you interested in this post?
  • Why do you want to work for us?
  • Can you give an example of when you have dealt successfully with a conflict of interests?
  • How well are you able to prioritise tasks – can you provide an example?
  • What personal qualities can you bring to this role and the wider company?

Creative industry specific

  • Can you provide an example of when you have successfully followed through a creative/innovative idea from its original concept until its successful launch/exhibition?
  • Give an example when you have presented your work to others and have had to deal with critical questioning from your audience. How did you approach your responses, and how successful were you in arguing your case?
  • How is your work influenced? / What are the main influences in your work?
  • How do you measure your own creative/design success?
  • What major issues are currently affecting the creative industry?

Last modified: 
Monday, November 2, 2015 - 10:31