Thanks, but I have accepted another offer

5 pieces of advice for hiring managers from designers

While I was finishing up school and preparing to start applying for jobs, I became obsessed with reading advice from senior designers. If you’re in the same boat I highly suggest Your Portfolio Probably Sucks, Great Design Portfolios Are Great Stories and Hiring UX designers: 11 qualities to look for.

These types of articles are great for junior designers and can really help when making portfolios and presenting yourself to future employers. But it seems that hiring managers forget that they need to impress us too.

1: Don’t make me email you 3 times to get a reply

Seriously we’re not on Tinder, we’re in a professional environment. In school my teachers who would advise me on getting jobs would say “email them until they reply, everyone is super busy.” Well here’s the deal, so am I. And literally so is everyone else, my grandma’s google calendar hardly has room for me to wish her a happy birthday.

At the end of the day trust me, I understand that you want to go home to listen to your meditation podcast, snuggle your kids, and eat lots of tortilla chips; ME TOO! But if recruiting is part of your job, while on your 45 minute commute back to the suburbs you can totally send me a thumbs down emoji to say “sorry kid, you are just not good enough”.

Theres a wonderful term in online dating called “ghosting”. This is where you have some type of romantic interaction with a human and then never speak to them again. It’s very common amongst FRAT BROS. Please don’t ghost us its not good for your reputation.

Bottom Line: Reply to my emails after the second follow up.

2: Let me meet with you & your team in person

Most interview processes are super duper sterile. They involve long awkward phone calls with recruiters, laborious design exercises, and endless keynote presentations. After all that work if you’re going to hire me it would be nice if we could have a little face to face action.

Trust me I understand your time is precious, who is going to eat those tortilla chips and snuggle those children if not you?! But only interviewing me over the internet is a bad idea. I have been through several interview processes with only remote interviews that ended in a job offer.

These people have obviously never been catfished. Catfishing is popular amongst crazy, creepies, AND I COULD BE A CRAZY CREEPY MYSELF. Before the job offer is sent let’s eat a snack, talk design, or have some sort of awkward handshake IRL.

Bottom Line: meet me in person before expecting me to take that job.

3: Portfolios are NOT people.

Design managers get really really into portfolios. PEOPLE are really really into portfolios even my friends who graduate from business school have portfolios. Portfolio websites are meant to showcase the work inside them, not steal the show. Design managers seem to forget about that.

Once upon a time, long ago, you were also a wee little hopeful lad wanting to break into the tech industry and GUESS WHAT, you had crap portfolio too. TRUST ME, I have been using the internet since birth, I’ve found them all.

We all have to make these braggy, boring, and bothersome documents. Lets all have some sympathy and remember there is a person behind those pixels.

Bottom line: Your portfolio isn’t nice either. So lets’ all stop pretending like they are the bible.

4: Don’t skip our meeting, twice.

I recently had an awesome opportunity to take a job in New York and I was so close to signing the piece of paper and up-rooting my life across the country. There was just one thing in my way, the co-founder of the start up would not call me when he said he was going to. He even had an assistant that kept making the meetings that then he would break. My favorite excuse was “ I was out at the Hamptons with my kids, we left super spur of the moment and I was hoping you could speak now (5 hours after our meeting was scheduled) I will have my assistant make us a new appointment.”. That was the 4th meeting he skipped. I told his assistant the next day that I had accepted another offer.

This guy stood me up 4 times. I get that life & work gets in the way. But if I am the last priority during the interview process I am probably going to be the last priority in the work place also.

Bottom line: If you need to reschedule just tell me 10 minutes before. Don’t stand me up.

5: Don’t tell me I am not senior enough

Trust me I know this already. I’m like barely 22. I can’t tell you how many jobs have passed on me because “ I didn’t have enough experience” or “ they were looking for someone more senior”. Why does this happen? Is it because my work and general physical presence isn’t that impressive?

Twice upon a time, I had applied for an internship at a design consultancy. The 1st time I didn’t even get an interview, the 2nd time I got a 30 minute phone interview and was rejected within the hour. About a year later with some awesome and relevant experience, they contacted me to come in to interview for a full time position. After a fairly rigorous interview process, they emailed me saying “they were looking for a candidate with more experience”.

This is the biggest BOONDOGGLE. It’s a predicament that seems to have no hope or a complete waste of time and resources. Its seems that the rule should be “If I am being interviewed for a job then I should have enough experience for said job.”

Bottom line: If you’re looking to hire a senior designer, interview senior designers.

With this power in hand go fourth design managers and hire those designers!