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Bespoke Careers

15 February 2018

15 February 2018

“Personal and approachable” - Sebastien Ricard, Wilkinson Eyre

What Employers Want - World Architecture Festival, Berlin 2017

Filmed by Bespoke Careers at the 2017 World Architecture Festival in Berlin, Sebastien Ricard, Director of Wilkinson Eyre gives his advice on building a CV, the questions to ask during an interview and his design ethos.

What CV advice would you give a candidate?

Well, first of all our job is all about graphics, so it’s very important that a CV is not a boring piece of paper. It’s very important that it’s catchy, but catchy alone is not good enough – it needs to be something that is simple and quick to read and you need to be able to understand the content very quickly. Straight away you should be able to see the university the person went to and in three or four lines you need to understand the practices the person has worked for. We receive so many CVs that we don’t have time to look in depth. 

If the first three or four lines are well-written and well-presented and we can see that this person has something to offer, then we will read on. If you don’t have that then it’s gone. The other thing is, a CV without a portfolio is irrelevant – we won’t even look at a CV if it comes in without a portfolio. 

What makes a good first impression?

First of all, the way we approach our work is that we’re all team players, we all love what we’re doing and we’re not big-headed. What I’m looking for when I interview is someone who is very simple, approachable and who doesn’t think of themselves highly but who is passionate about what they do, whatever their level of experience. Someone who is not frightened to test something, someone where you can see in their last project that they really went into it in depth and thought hard about it – its very personal. The projects we do are quite big, and therefore we need to be team players – that is very important. 

What type of portfolio do you prefer to receive?

Print or digital is fine, there is no perfect recipe. It often depends on where people come from – very often we find the best people are not necessarily the ones with the best graphic portfolio but they have something unusual from where they’ve come from and that you wouldn’t usually expect. 

How would you recommend people dress for an interview?

It’s irrelevant – everyone looks very different in our office – some from very casual to very smart. 

What questions should people ask? 

Again, it varies a lot. Probably more than 50% of our staff come from overseas, so a lot will ask just very practical, pragmatic and simple questions. This still shows they are on the ball and that they are committed for the long-term too, which is good – as a result we have a very low staff turnover. 

What is your design ethos in three words? 

Design-oriented, very technically-minded, loving to build. 

Author: Kat Allenby, Global Head of Communications, Bespoke Careers

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