Have you ever been interviewed by a highschool aged student who thinks they want to do what you do when they grow up? I've done this interview countless times myself. Lots of girls seem to think it would be wonderful to be an interior designer. I'm not saying it isn't....but I'm also saying that it isn't all fun and games either. Want a closer look at what it is that I "technically do" all the time at work?
Here's the scoop...and the interview:
1. What is your job title? Technically I'm a Residential Interior Designer, but at Grandiflora I'm the Main Buyer & a Visual Merchandiser (plus a business owner/partner).
2. What are your responsibilities? I am a trend forcaster, buyer, visual merchandiser, consultant, photographer, advertiser, & I take on all manner of business responsibilities.
3. What is a typical day like for you? I arrive at work grab my coffee & check my messages. Most of my day is spent on the computer dealing with mundane office duties. However, sometimes I get to chat with folks at Decor Magazines or Blogs who are interested in either featuring one of our items, our shop, or working up an ad for our online shop Grandiflora HOME. I handle all the photography for our photo shoots, and I do all the ads for both shops. I also spend a fair amount of time surfing the internet for new items to purchase. However... some days I am lucky enough to work with the actual product that comes in via shippers like Fed Ex or UPS. I honestly don't have a "Typical Day"...but what I can tell you is that I never have enough time in the day to get all my duties done! :)
4.What do you like most about your job? & why? I love to do the photoshoots of our product out doors with lots of either vintage product and/or live models. The reason is that I get to be outside working to "style" the photos to exactly the way I like them. It's like creating perfection in my mind. I work on the side as a photo stylist (which is basically an interior designer for photoshoots) I've been blessed enough to have my work featured accross the web. It's truly what I dreamed of doing back in High School! :)
5. What do you like least about your job? & why? Absolutely dislike looking at finacial reports....but....I truly dislike having to help angry customers just as much. :(
6. What level of education do you need for this job? Well, it depends on what you are going to do with your Residential Interior Design degree. I could've used a 4 year college education in business for what I ultimately ended up doing here at Grandiflora. I didn't get that degree however, because most of my knowledge comes from past experience or family members who are happy to help with advise. I did get a two year degree from the Art Intstitute of Seattle....I took it in one year....totally insane to have done....I don't recommend it.
7. Was there a specific degree or job training that you needed to complete to get this job? If so, what? It would've been insane for me to enter into this particular job without having worked from the bottom up in retail which was centered around the home decor business. I truly do use my Res. Int. Des. Degree on a daily basis....so not having it would be a huge dissadvantage for me.
8. What types of reading do you use on the job? Every Home and Fashion design magazine both online and in print that I can get my hands on. Trade publications are great for trend forcasting. I read blog after blog after blog (and even write two blogs myself!). I read home decor books & also books on crafting, cooking, and entertaining as well.
9. How do you use writing on the job? As I said before, I write two blogs (one for the shop, and one for my personal business use). I also type numerous emails everyday to all my contacts. Every order I write is done in longhand first, and then typed for ease in emailing. I've also had to write a number of stories and conduct many interviews for magazines and trade publications.
10. How is math important to your job? What type of math skills do you use? Obviously in visuals/display/design, measuring & fractions are super important. I also use alot of percentages, addition, and subtraction for all the business work I do. Multiplication is important for orders as well.
11. Why is it important to have good listening skills in this job? When a person is telling you what they want to accomplish in their home, you'd better be listening! A person's home is their "sacred" place to be themselves....messing that one up will land you jobless with not a single reference to speak of.
12. Do you ever work in teams on your job? How so? Yes, I place orders with my partner and our store manager. I complete many business decisions with our bookeeper and accountant. I also work as a team with any clients I might have.
13. What kind of computer skills do you need to perform your job? Super fast typing skills are a must! I need to know how to use all forms of social media ( as I'm in charge of that for all my businesses). I need to know how to photo upload, edit, and enhance. I need to upload large quantities of product information for our online shop. The list truly goes on and on!!!! I am glued to a computer most of my day!
14. What kinds of problems do you solve on the job? How to help customers find just the right look for their home. How to deal with shipping misshaps. Computer tech questions when dealing with online design issues.
15. What skills do you need to solve these problems? Basic understanding of good design. Communication skills. Basic uploading skills with Photoshop style editing systems etc...
16. What is the proper dress and etiquette for this position? Oh my! It truly depends on what I'm doing from day to day....but most days I'm "smart casual". If I worked in a bigger city where fashion actually played a role in day to day work....it would be more important! ;) As an artist....I can wear just about anything I like (as long as it's appropriate) and get away with it! :)
17. What is your advice to someone who wants to enter this field? Be prepared for the fact that unless you are going to live in a large metropolitan city, you will not make much money as people generally don't value the arts. It's sad....but it's true. :(
18. Is this job flexible time wise? Absolutely if you own your own business...otherwise no.
19. Do you think this job is currently in demand? Yes...but again, not in our area. You would need to move to a larger area to find people who are consistantly willing to pay for your services.
20. What does it take to succeed in this job? Awesome basic gift for style, great communication skills, a very large amount of self confidence & the ability to make "something" out of "nothing".
21. What is the most important trait/characteristic to have in this job field? Artistic abilities.
Well, that sums it up folks....even with all the "not so much fun" things I do in any given day...I love what I do! Hope you enjoyed the peek into my interview?
Have you ever done one of these???
If so, how'd you do?