There are plenty of articles and writings about what etiquette you should follow when you are interviewing for a job, so I am not going to touch that. This particular post is going to cover the other side to the spectrum. The etiquette for the business who is interviewing. I’ve had a few interviews lately, some overseas and some here in town, and a few of my friends have been interviewing with a few local companies as well, so I feel justified in sharing my experiences.
If you’re interviewing a candidate for a high caliber position, please remember that they are interviewing YOU as well. The interview process can be stressful enough as it is, there is no need to make things worse by either dragging the process out to be 8-11 weeks or dropping the ball on communicating with the candidate. Doing that is the best way to lose the interest of that candidate. You end up coming across as a business who doesn’t care about it’s employees, which ultimately, isn’t going to bring you the best top caliber candidates. Not to mention, all their friends who listen to them unload their stress will also get a look at how you practice business and you’ll find your reputation gets tainted very quickly. A friend of mine did 8 rounds of an interview recently with a smaller agency. 8 rounds! Finally, my friend had enough and ended the stress – but now another friend is asking me for a referral for that same company, and I’m leery of letting her go into the interview process without knowing what she’s getting into.
I’ve been doing multiple rounds with an overseas company. The stakes get a little higher when you’re trying to go international. And after multiple rounds and a verbal promise to receive an offer – communication came to a halt and I’ve heard nothing but crickets chirping. I’ve reached out, to hear even more silence. Now it’s only been a week – so I won’t jump to too many conclusions just yet, but folks? if it’s going to take some time, let your candidate KNOW! If they really want to work there – they’ll wait. They’ll figure out something to do with their time for a little bit longer. At least then they won’t think that you’ve gone cold or changed your mind or just disappeared off the face of the planet.
What is it about the design career that has people job hopping as much as we do? Is it the volatile and risky side of working in a field like innovation?
In January, I had an amazing opportunity to go and work with IDEO. For those of you who don’t know who they are – they are one of the top dogs in the design and innovation industry. And let me tell you – was VERY eye opening for a LOT of reasons. Continue reading
Now I’m just waiting for the actual offer to come through. Guess I didn’t bomb the interview like I thought I did. Mind you – there were 7 interviews plus a group portfolio review, so maybe, even though I forgot to say those things (look at previous post), it still must have shined through. Now fingers crossed that the offer comes swiftly and is a good one. 🙂
So what have you all been up to lately? Any cool projects you’re working on (either professionally or on the side)?
I had a neat opportunity yesterday to be a guest speaker/guest teacher for a design college here in Seattle. Had a blast, as I typically do when I get the opportunity to work with students. But it led me to think about a few things. Continue reading
To the exec who will never read this…The things I wish I’d said…
I am passionate about design. To the point of obsession. It’s not a job, it’s a way of life. Ok, maybe that’s a little extreme, but I can’t look at anything and NOT think about it’s design. How it functions, how it’s made, how it’s used. I specialize in analyzing the complex and breaking it down to make it simple (ok – maybe not always simple – but MANAGEABLE at the very minimum). I like to watch a good design experience change and morph as ideas are contributed and erroneous functions stripped, and then to pick the design apart and test to see if/when and where it breaks.
I LOVE working with a team. I love pushing a team to be inspired, motivated, driven to explore new ways to improve upon everyday things. I like to work with the group and I love the challenges that come into play when you interact with larger teams. There’s something compelling about the mix of creativity, humor (sick and twisted jokes tend to be in abundance), stubborn-ness (what is it about creatives that makes them this way??), add in a few egos, a pinch of politics, sprinkled with a healthy dose of project deadlines and non-creatives who like to add things to the frying pan. 🙂 For whatever reason, this is the environment in which I thrive.
I have so many new ideas of ways to improve the overall efficiency of the team, Ways to show the rest of the company that the design team is an asset, that if utilized, could change the way people perceive the company at large, as well as improve the experience people have with every public facing interaction that we deploy.
Would have been great if I’d said all of that. BUT… I didn’t. Totally bombed it. Ugh. Ok maybe BOMB isn’t the right word for it – but I have this horrible nagging feeling that I screwed up. Sometimes, interviews just suck.
So I’ve been carrying that torch for a week now. Yep, been boss officially for a week. Weird. I don’t like the word boss but whatever. It’s been an odd, stressful, wonderful week (so far), I know there is still one day left.
Today one of my contractors had a satisfied look on his face and I asked him how things were going. He said “Great!” and then proceeded to tell me that the team felt different, but in a good way. Our boss was a fantastic boss, and although we miss him and his friendship, he said the team was hunkering down and making serious progress. That things were more organized, and we were working better as a team. We’ve been scheduling in brainstorming sessions and taking some time to prepare as a team (when possible) for reviews. Later, another team mate spoke up and shared similar sentiments. And it’s true. We’re creating some shared systems to help make our team more efficient and collaborating more. It’s a really good feeling.
To be honest, I was a little nervous about all of this. I knew I could do the work, and I’ve been in management roles before. This one is/was different. It’s one I truly care about, one I really want. Being a manager on this team, this size of a team, on project that’s challenging and inspiring and fun. But I find myself, a week in, finding a comfort I didn’t think I’d find. As if the role was perfect for me all along. Oh sure, there’s things I’m still trying to figure out – the hiring computer system is odd, and I have yet to figure out who to talk to about getting one of my contractor’s a laptop… but these things are small things that i’ll figure out and all will continue to be well.
Have you ever felt that way? Been given the opportunity to truly challenge yourself and step up to a new role and be both terrified and excited all at the same time? Did it turn out the way you’d hoped in the end?
Next week is sure to be an interesting one. Lots of design work to do. Some new UI and UX design to consider. Things to plan and things to learn. I might even get to work with a little typography if i’m lucky. I hired a new guy and he starts on Monday. So there will sure to be a lot of password issues, computer set ups and the like. But he’s got a lot of skill, and his personality was a treat in his interview. He even giggled! 😀 So I’m sure the rest of us will enjoy getting to know him and getting him up to speed.
Well, I’m done for the night, I hope all of you out there will enjoy your night!
Well, I had an interview today. When I say “had an interview” it means I was interviewing someone else.. not the other way around. 🙂 I’ve had many, i’m getting used to doing them, but this one left me thinking. We’re a pretty casual company so we have interviews at local coffee shops or somewhere a little less intimidating. This particular girl had a LOT of talent. I was pretty excited and she actually did something that few really do. She came prepared with TONS of questions for me. So much so that I was almost rethinking the 9:30 am time, as I don’t function normally until noon. Thank god for caffeine. But her questions really had me contemplating business, interviews, and my company as a whole.
I’ve said it once, and i’ll say it a million times, I LOVE my job. But I am I think, an unusual character. After doing this for so long, I STILL practice new techniques daily. It’s how I wind down actually. But it also pushes me to think deeper and go deeper with my work. I also don’t normally tell people that I’m the owner of JW. Of course, the employees know.. but clients? To them, i’m just a designer, and personally, I like to keep it that way. Otherwise they’d always be insistent to speak with me or deal with me. It’s the “incognito” side of my job. I like it this way. I don’t want to be sucked up to or manipulated just because I own a company.. I just want to do what I love.
I sat and talked with this girl about the new side projects I’ve got “in the works”. And believe me when I say that there are many. I’ve got a second business I want to start, I’ve got a redesign and ecommerce implementation to put on the JW website. It’s going to be so wonderful and will hopefully go live for the new year. But in it, will include an employee section, password protected, with a design dictionary of terms, resources and inspiration gallery, templates for different file set ups and layouts, tutorials etc etc. The ecommerce section of the new JW will provide us with a way of bringing in some more steady income. And with all of this, I also want to hit some comicons this year and do some research about that industry. So yea, there’s a lot going on, but all of it is absolutely exciting. At least for me. I guess it had her concerned. Now obviously all of this isn’t going to happen overnight. I’d be happy if it all came together in the next 4 years. These are goals I have. Too bad I can’t clone myself.
In the end, I almost felt as if I was being interviewed.. not that it’s a bad thing, but definitely one of my most unusual experiences being on the other end of the table. Just thought i’d share! Perhaps it can help someone else when they’re polishing up their resume and getting ready for their next interview. Happy Friday!
I love busy days.. they always make things go so fast. I’ve got about 9 projects working simutaneously today. PLUS i’m interviewing designers as I’d like to add some more experienced folks to my team. What fun projects are YOU working on right now?
Here’s what i’m working on today:
1 concept/mock up for a window shades company website
1 concept/mock up for a brochure for a permanent make up company
Last minute edits to a billboard design
Last minute edits to a trailer wrap
2 Flyer Design Concept Mock ups
1 Store Sign
1 Finalization of a Brochure in the works
3 Quotes to send out to new prospects
Interview New Designers
So that’s my day!!