31 July 2006

[design] Notes From the Job-hunting Fray

The job hunt continues. This bit is a bit personal, but you really can't have the good with out the, maybe, not so good.

Getting asked for a an interview for a position as a designer sometimes can entail a stage that many other professions don't countenance. Typically this takes the form of a second interview where the interviewer supplies you some art and some copy and sees if you can throw together something. If they want to see how you operate under pressure, they'll email it to you and ask you to come up with something and see them in a few hours.

I don't have a problem with this. It makes sense–and I'm eager to show off my mettle.

It's energizing and exciting, at least as long as you think you have a chance at the job. Recently I've had two interviews that expected me to do just that. There were two different experiences.

The first one (no, I'm not going to name names) was a local company that produced machines used in the construction trade. Web design, ad design, catalog layout, nothing I couldn't handle. The rapport in the interview was quite good and I felt I made a splendid impression. It was mentioned to be that I was short-listed and could expect some materials to put together two ads. How? FTP? Email? No problem...I can handle anything that ya throw at me.

After a week, no email, no FTP download...nothing. I contact them. Gosh, are you sure you didn't get any communication? Yes, yes, I'm sure. Another week with no comms. At last, after a bit more pestering, they come via Gmail: I download them and get to work. A day later I have two spiffy ads via InDesign, get 'em into PDF form, email them out. A day after this I email to see how they liked them.

They liked them fine, but chose someone else. This, they got back to me right away on. That...well, that kind of stung. I'll be honest. No, that really stung. Here I'll indulge myself to the world justt enough to wonder out loud if they were really serious about giving me a chance.

The second one came in on the heels of that experience, which gave me some hope. The position was for the in-house designer for a firm in the hospitality industry. Whole lot of layout. I am incredibly passionate about layout; you should see me get engrossed in doing the Overlook.

The interview went well, very well indeed. Again I established a rapport early and think I communicated my passion and desire. Again, yes, a second interview...yes! Do a poster ad? Certainly! In three or four hours? I was born for this. Download huge graphics on my crapass dialup connection from Gmail? You bet! Tile for output on my not-quite-adequate-to-the-task HP Deskjet 6110? Try and Stop me! Good second interview? Yes!

Did I get the job? No!

I'm still kind of deflated from that. I really thought I had that nailed.

So, I'm back to shooting resumes out and hoping one sticks. I've got Designorati to keep my hand in, and a Gentle Reader has actually contacted me to do a logo; I'll announce what when the time is right (which should be very soon) and I'm taking this out in kind (it's something I can use and the asker is a really super fellow, of whom the cut of his jib, I like.

I'm still looking for that regular paying gig, however, and right now I'm getting back up on the horse.

In the meantime, if any of you know anybody who's looking for an eager graphic designer who wants to work in-house...well, here I am.

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