Describe the Ideal Candidate in three words
POLITE / ATTENTIVE / INTERESTED
What’s the best way to get noticed at application stage?
In many ways, it’s to not try and get noticed. By that I mean that it’s important to not tell people exactly why they should hire you. Rather, you should present them with enough information to arrive to the decision themselves. This seems like an obvious thing to point out but a little humility can go a long way, especially considering that an employer is looking for a personality that they would be happy to spend their day around.
How important is it for you to see commercial work?
Although proof of commercial work can provide a sense of a candidate’s ability to time, budget and personality manage, there’s really no reason why a portfolio made entirely of personal projects shouldn’t be enough. The work has to be good, whichever way you look at it.
What’s more important, experience or enthusiasm?
Enthusiasm. An enthusiastic and enquiring individual will develop at a rate of knots and fast leave behind someone believing/who believes they are the finished article.
What's the worst thing that you can do in an interview?
Look bored. To come across as aloof, complacent, or to have failed to plan in any way will mean you’re going to have a very hard time convincing someone of your merits. As an interviewer, it is essential that you can detect a spark behind the eyes and get a sense of it being just a bit more than a job to the interviewee.
Is it possible to do too many internships?
Perhaps. I think it really depends on the personality of the individual but speaking personally, I don’t think my constitution would support a succession of people allowing me to walk out of the door! That said, you can never underestimate the power of putting yourself in and around the industry. Making contacts is such an invaluable endeavour and will always lead to new opportunities.
I previously worked in-house at Penguin Books — as typographer and later, cover designer — before leaving to set up my own studio in 2007. I now work largely as a sole trader but employ illustrators, photographers and lettering artists on a job-by-job basis. Current clients include: Cormac McCarthy, Nigel Slater, Alain de Botton and William Shakespeare.