How to: Ace the creative interview
How to: Ace the creative interview


How to ace the creative interview

I’ve been asked and have answered this question many times. My answers have typically been thorough and imbued with common sense (hopefully). And honestly, they’re probably very similar responses to other creative leads. This time, I find myself answering in a woollier fashion. It is perhaps less functional, specific or numerical. Gone are the days of showing me your eight best pieces of work, twelve pieces. And I can’t speak to what other agencies are looking for, but I can say that, from my perspective, we’re looking at so much more than the work. And what I’m looking for is highly specific to how we see the world and how we work.

I’ll start with the more obvious helpful pointers.

We’re looking for talent. So put only your best work in your folio. I mean, your absolute best, knock you on your backside, shit. 

I’m after ideas and craft — divorcing the two seems like an archaic construct. 

Edit, edit, edit and weed out the merely good. 

And treat your folio like a piece of work in itself.

Sequence your work — listen to a whole album (preferably on vinyl) and savour the order in which the artist has laid down the songs; you’ll learn a lot. So pace your folio to take the viewer on a journey with you.

Learn to talk about that journey.

Learn to enjoy talking about that journey.

And here’s a big clue on how to make that more relaxed and work for you: do your homework.

Research the agencies and work out who you want to talk to.

Then, research some more. Research the agency’s work, people, and process. Find old press releases and go deeper than what’s on their homepage. Sure, this can help you better butter a few egos, but you’re looking for a potential connection in how you see things. The conversation should flow. And that’s where the magic happens, or at least, it does for me.

It’s about culture, a shared one. 

The meeting shouldn’t feel like a slide show or an interview. It’s a discussion.

What truly gets me excited is when I can see that a person is interesting or interested. 

It doesn’t mean you must be flinging yourself from planes and showboating to the world how interesting you are on Instagram or Tik Tok.

What are you curious about? How do you watch and translate the world? What are you reading that I should be reading? What are you listening to? Are you making music, film, or photography in your spare time? Do you make anything else? Collect something? Obsess about something? Podcast about it?

It is far beyond, ‘I like running, staying in, going out, and watching films.’ And if that’s what your CV currently sounds like, I suggest you might want to look at that. 

People will employ, want to work with, and want to be with interesting people.

Hopefully, that sounds more interesting than bringing me eight bits of work.

Note. If you want to read some top-notch thorough advice, then look no further than this

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Bruntwood | Alberton Identity
Bruntwood | Alberton Identity


Bruntwood | Alberton Identity

The Alberton is the workplace revolutionised. Dark and Satanic, it certainly isn’t. A modern reimagining of Manchester’s Victorian cotton mills, with world-leading amenities within its walls, it will become the flagship of Bruntwood Works’ Pioneer programme.

The Alberton will embed physical and mental well-being into daily working lives, featuring the UK’s highest workspace pool within its ground-breaking rooftop holistic wellness centre. Overlooking the River Irwell, the ground floor will offer the best of Manchester’s food and drink scene, pumping life back into this part of town and the banks of the river.

Bruntwood tasked us with creating a brand to connect the building with prospects, agents, and local and national media.

We captured the building’s position as the workplace revolutionised and used it to shape the narrative platform for all marketing activity. Our visual identity embodies the architecture and materials palette of the building scheme. We created a custom version of Bruntwood’s primary typeface so the typography could be cut into the fabric of the building, such as the oxidised copper sheets — which, in turn, influenced our colour palette. The mark, quite literally, reflects the building’s situation on the banks of the River Irwell.

The building will open in early 2025.

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Vestey Foods | Brand Film


Vestey Foods | Brand Film

We live on a small island.

It’s a hungry one, too.

Vestey Foods has helped to feed the nation since the 1890s.

Food production, sourcing and distribution have been at the heart of their business since the beginning.

We helped them find and articulate their purpose.

Our film celebrates their pride in putting food on the plates of this nation.

Filmed on the East Yorkshire coast, in the Peak District, Liverpool and Cheshire with our long-term collaborator Percy Dean.

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Bruntwood | Works Campaign 2022
Bruntwood | Works Campaign 2022


Bruntwood | Works Campaign 2022

How people work matters.

Where people work matters too.

But all too often finding a workspace is hard work.

It can be a distraction.

And when you find one, what if you need more or less space due to changing circumstances?

Whether you need a desk or a room, or if you’re passing through, Bruntwood Works has it covered.

Plus, they provide best-in-class onboarding teams that work in your best interests.

They’re committed to offering more than just outstanding office, coworking or retail space; everything is born of their vision of building vibrant communities and providing businesses with the support and expertise they need to grow.

They make work work for you.

Our work is phase one of a 6-month multichannel campaign, with outdoor advertising across Manchester City Centre, Cheshire, Liverpool, Leeds and Birmingham.

Watch this space for phase two.

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