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I work as a graphic designer. Most of my career has been freelance but I've worked full-time for design agencies also.

I am currently looking for a new full time role, but there is one thing I'm unsure if I should bring up during a job interview.

At my previous job, the briefing process would involve a project manager giving me my brief face-to-face. Most of the time they would have a brief written out for me so I wouldn't need to take notes very often.

I used to struggle with this process because my communication skills aren't great. I would often take in what they were saying to the point where I felt like I understood what I was doing, but I would often find myself asking a lot of stupid questions and the PMs would lose confidence that I'd understood them.

It felt like it all happened too fast and I just can't think of the right questions in those situations or repeat back to them what they've just said.

My preferred way of working...

When I've taken on freelance projects, the vast majority of the time it works like so:

  • Client (often a design agency) will email me a brief
  • I read through the whole brief at my own pace
  • I call the client to discuss further (if necessary)
  • I start work on the project and email / call them with updates as I go along
  • Client often has no issues and finds me very reliable to work with

I'd much prefer if I could find a job that allowed me to work this way.

I'm thinking of asking 'what is your briefing process like?' at job interviews, but I feel I could be talking myself out of a job if they feel I'm no good at face-to-face meetings.

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So there should never been a problem with you inspecting processes used at a job interview, it should actually be the standard to ensure you completely understand all the processes in the workplace before you decide to work for them, otherwise it can lead to issues for them and you.

They don't want to hire someone who will quit before three months, and similarly you want to enjoy the job. So go ahead and ask about briefing, no interviewer should take offence to you wanting to understand the job better, and if they do, or obfuscate details after you ask, then I'd take it as a bad sign.

Also, I've found the best of employers work to employees strengths, so it might be worth even saying if you don't hear what you want to hear from the interviewers that you'd prefer to be handed a brief in text format, analyse the brief, and then have a face to face meeting after considering the brief, which sounds like a similar kind of process to how you worked individually.

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So your weakness is not communication skills.
Your problem is that: when working without brief or being given oral one you tend to inquire a lot into topic. More than when working with written one.
Reason for this might be you have time to do research/check information or you can just easily go back to previous point when reading.

So this "weakness" could be spinned as: I ask many question that some percieve as stupid. Or as my Head of Operation put it:

So let me ask question just to be sure I understood correctly

So you're combining three steps in one - creating brief; get acquainted with it, discussion. So when asked about briefing process say you like to have written one. You don't mind having face-to-face one but "then I ask a lot of questions, better safe than sorry".

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