On Thursday and Friday of last week, about 50 companies attended the School of Design’s job fair. Friday was the big day, with all interviews taking place then.

Each interview was 30 minutes. Some of my peers had up to 13 interviews scheduled. I had fewer, targeting only companies I might have serious interest in. The six companies I interviewed with were Moment, Siegel + Gale, IDEO, Sonic Rim, SAP, and Cooper.

The day itself was exhausting, and I’m not sure how those with more interviews kept their heads. I found myself struggling for words by the third round.

While it’s a bit maddening to have so many brief interviews crammed into a day, it’s also rather interesting and useful, for you get to see a range of interview styles and learn how different companies view interaction design. Some companies just wanted to see work, and didn’t talk about themselves much. Others didn’t ask to see work at all and spent the interview just getting a sense of my personality and passion. Many companies were excited by the work I showed, but admitted that they mostly worked on software. No products. No services.

Thirty minutes definitely isn’t enough time to show work and also get a sense of personalities and culture, at least not more than at a superficial level. For me, it seemed there was either a focus on one or the other.

Overall, I felt I faired well. Although, if I had to do it over again, I would perhaps put my work together differently, or maybe show more final presentations from projects. However, with each company asking for different elements, it’s hard to know ahead of time what to include.

Now, I follow up and wait, and continue with efforts outside of the job fair. In addition to the companies mentioned, I am interviewing at Adaptive Path, and got my resume in the hands of several Hong Kong design firms through acquaintances from the Hong Kong Design Centre. We’ll see.