Even if a referral is bolstered by a good first impression, a pleasing and compatible personality and the discovery of associates-in-common -- your “interview” is still far from complete. Many people like to “trust their gut” and stop the research right there. To the positive or to the negative, it’s a risky way to evaluate the hardline characteristics concerning skill, experience, expertise, professional network – and a dozen other qualifications.
Checking credentials is almost more important than a good referral that may feel like your research isn’t necessary because it’s already in the bag. You should want to know the difference between an “Interior designer,” and a “Certified Interior designer.” It is also important to know about the prospect’s experience designing Interiors in your venue. How broad is a specific Interior designer’s network, that is to say, their connections and experience with the other skills and resources that may come into play with your proposed project? Can the Interior designer you are considering walk an Interior design project through all essential compliances and official requirements, from beginning to installation?
What does that prospective Interior designer know about your specific venue? Are they highly and exclusively specialized, or proficient in multiple venues?
As a prospective client, you are being scrutinized, too. Is this prospective client serious about a bona fide Interior design project? Perhaps, in the guise of an interview, they really just want to get ideas and front-end advice, with no intention of serious follow-through. Would this possible client be a financial risk and a constant collection problem? Are there others in the background who have influence, after the fact, in ways that might create constant delays and changes?
Keep in mind that every good Interior design project requires integrity on both sides of the equation. Be thorough with your investigative process. Take the time it takes to do the research and get validation on important requirements. Your prospective Interior design professional expects no less, and will have equally important questions for you!
Robert Boccabella, B.F.A., Certified Interior Designer
RED goes with everything! Read my blog and find out why.
Collaboration & Writing: Ms. Zoe Tummillo