shiny new job?
July 21, 2008 10:15 AM   Subscribe

Preparing for a technical/artistic interview?

The position is for a post-grad research assistant at a newly established digital sculpture lab, at a large university in Toronto. Essentially, someone got a schwack of money to buy a computer controlled milling machine, 3d printers, etc.

The lab will be attached to a large and well-respected BFA/MFA program, and the position involves fabrication work, research into digital/generative projects, working with students/profs/resident artists in the lab, preparing funding applications, and pursuing independent projects.

I'm a year out of architecture school, (MArch) with a strong interest in this area -- I worked with 3d printers and CNC milling at the architecture faculty, am planning to (eventually) become involved with RepRap (once I've upgraded my electronics skills), am involved at Interaccess, the local new-media artist run centre, and am aware of (at least some) of the other big players in the field (MIT's centre for bits and atoms, etc..)

Umm.. what more can I do to prep? My traditional sculture fab skills are a bit weak (some wood-working and casting experience). I've never written a grant. I've never gone for an interview for this type of job. Any recommendations would be appreciated.
posted by slipperywhenwet to Work & Money (4 answers total)
To me it sounds like you're pretty well equipped already - you have CNC and RP experience, a masters' degree, and you're obviously interested in the area.

Do you have anything you've made in the past? If so, if it's something you're proud of, take it along.
posted by Mike1024 at 12:28 PM on July 21, 2008

I'm going to bring me portfolio along. All the objects are either much too large (furniture), or much too delicate (starch 3d prints/models).
posted by slipperywhenwet at 1:28 PM on July 21, 2008

Sounds like you're pretty well off here. Perhaps do some research on your own about some grant applications? Or talk to people you may know that have been involved in writing them. If you have any contacts in similar fields that are responsible for hiring staff, ask them to prep with you. In general, most first interview questions not related to your experience may be pretty generic. Do some research about the lab itself, the people already involved, see if you can find out about what things they're doing that are already publicly announced. Do you know any of the professors or resident artists? Find out information about them if you can. Find out if there are plans announced for future projects, prepare questions to ask about them if you cannot find information yourself.

Good luck!
posted by kirstk at 3:59 PM on July 21, 2008

If this is your first interview, then it's a good idea to role play/rehearse some typical questions and answers. Some university career centres help with that. You can never get too much practice.

Also find out as much as you can beforehand about the people you'll be working for as well as the organization itself. Having some good questions to ask your interviewer lets them know you're interested and that you care about getting the job.

After you've done the research, think about the interview from *their* point of view. If they knew you inside and out, what would be the strongest reasons they would have for hiring you? Be sure to touch upon all these reasons during the interview.
posted by storybored at 6:05 PM on July 21, 2008

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