Professional Practice Course

Tips for setting up a freelance practice
At some point in your career, you will probably do some contract work or the advantages of being your own boss will convince you to establish your own business. There are many advantages to being self-employed, but creative people often do not like taking care of the business aspects of running a company. You may decide to hire help with your taxes, bookkeeping, and promotion or you may just dive in and learn more about running your own business.
First, decide what to call yourself:
     • Free-lance designer
     • Self-employed designer
     • Independent professional
or some combination of the above job descriptions.

Freelance procedures
Develop a plan
To set yourself up in business as a self-employed designer you will need a Business Plan: a tool to help you determine specifics for organization, finances, promotion, and communication. Components of a business plan:
Organizational description
     • Name
     • Sole proprietorship, partnership, or corporation
     • Description of services rendered
     • Mission statement: goals and objectives
     • Potential clients
     • Competition
     • Location, mailing address
     • Date of organization
Financial structure
     • Accounting period: calendar or fiscal year
     • Accounting method: cash/accrual or single entry
     • Earning needs and projections
     • Assets, liabilities, capital equipment
Income
     • Fees and commissions from work
Expenses
     • Office overhead: rent, phone, utilities, supplies
     • Promotion: materials, memberships, advertising
     • Job expenses: materials
     • Contractors: typesetting, photography, illustration
Set up shop
Print stationery
Register with agencies

     • City/county: name
     • State: sales tax
     • Federal: FEI
Establish work space
     • Office/studio
     • Telephone
     • Mailing address (no apartment #)
Organize finances
     • Business checking account
     • Fee structure: hourly, flat fee, commission
     • Bookkeeping system: journal/ledger coded by job, expense category, profit/loss statements
     • Billing and collection procedure
     • Tax filing system, deductions: admissions, home office, education, travel, memberships, publications
Organize operations
     • Efficient filing system
     • Appointment system
     • Job sheet format
     • Comp presentation format
Promote your business
     • Ads: newspaper, yellow pages
     • Signage
     • Promotion pieces
Get to work
Secure jobs

     • Develop client contact network
     • Solicitation, presentations, bidding
     • Marketing and promotion
Complete contracts (AIGA is a good resource for contracts)
     • Both parties detailed
     • Terms
          1. Designer responsibility: number of concept comps, revisions, production, and printing
          2. Client responsibility: attend meetings, work space provided, access to materials
          3. Deadlines: concepts, client presentations, mechanicals, pre-press delivery
          4. Payment: date of billing/invoice, past due schedule, penalties
     • Date of agreement
     • Signatures (with dates)

Naming your practice
Suggested criteria for name selection
• Easy to pronounce and spell.
• Appropriate indication of business.
• Convey positive image of professional business qualities.
• Meet long term projections.
• Allow flexibility for growth.
• Avoid geographic limitations.
• Unique and distinctive.
• Easy to remember: not too technical, with some meaning.

Types of names to consider
• Own name: By itself or with Associates, Firm, Studio, Company, Office, etc.
• Initials: By themselves (IBM, AT&T) or with Associates, Studio, Firm, Company, Office, etc.
• Created word: Fictitious (Exxon, Oreo) with no obvious meaning (may need more education) or with meaning (ZapMail, FasTrak)
• Existing word (Avalanche, Talent Pulse)
• Acronym (Scuba, NASA)
• Combinations of above types.

Business name and stationery
As a self-employed independent professional designer or illustrator, you will need some items to conduct business in a professional manner. These include a business card, letterhead, envelope, and other pieces you deem necessary. Free-lance projects may come up at any time. Be prepared by having the concepts and sketches for these items ready for use.
Your stationery and business communication materials can be printed out-of-house or set up as a Mac file and laserprinted as you need them. They should be professional, well executed, and appropriate for you and your work.
Research has shown that the name you select for your business will be an influential determinant of how the public and prospective clientele will perceive you and your work. Research, test, and determine a name for your business that will convey professional quality and an appropriate positive image. Assess your communication needs and business practices, brainstorm concepts, sketch, refine, and produce a stationery package that, when needed, could be used for your free lance business.
Procedural steps
Assessment
     • Describe your business: features, characteristics, and services.
     • Thoroughly analyze your design style, area of specialization, strong selling points, business objectives, target market, and finances. Review your goals, objectives, strengths, what you can offer society, and personality characteristics.
     • Determine the image the stationery should convey.
     • Define the people to whom your name should appeal.
Feed input
     • List names you like and dislike.
     • List your competitor's names.
     • Explore name parts, words, images, initials, acronyms, etc.
Incubate
Retrieve output

     • Design a logo and a layout format.
     • List, evaluate, and refine options.
     • Thumbnail your name letters.
     • Test the best options with family, friends, etc.
     • Develop strong rationale for your selection.
Present
     • Create comps and print-ready files for these stationery pieces: letterhead, business card, and envelope.
     • Consider designing these pieces:
          invoice
          brochure
          yellow pages ad
          folder cover
          cover sheet tag
          signage
          trade ad

Tips for a successful resume

Your resume, a brief summary of your background and experiences, is often the first contact a potential employer has with you. It must make you look great and set you apart from the other candidates.
The purpose of a resume is to help you get an interview that will enable you to show your work in person. Hiring decisions are first influenced by the impression your resume makes. The purpose of the keeper (or leave-behind) is to remind and impress. This may require something beyond the traditional letter, resume, and portfolio. During the job search ordeal, there is an advantage to keeping your name in the mind of a prospective employer or client.

Procedure
Make a master list of all information pertinent to your background. Keep that list as the master that you will add to for the rest of your career. From that list determine which items are the most impressive to include on your current resume. Design your resume to be impressive. The image conveyed speaks about your talent as a designer. For a keeper, create an object or printed piece that can be hand delivered or mailed to interviewers or client prospects. There are 3 major types of keepers: a gimmicky clever self-promotion piece, samples of your work, and an enhanced resume. If it is a sample of your work, it should match the style and layout of your other materials. Create something that will make you and your work stand out and be remembered over the work of the other applicants.

Guidelines
• Must be impressive.
• Allow easy scanning of info.
• No rules nor set formats.
• Consistent layout, headings, and order of info.
• Info: appropriate, precise, and in reverse chronological order.
• Grammar and spelling: flawless, parallel, action verbs.

Content (not necessarily in this order)
• Personal: state address and phone only.
• Education: schools, degrees and dates, course of study, some courses and workshops.
• Experience: skills, work, internships, summer jobs.
• Awards and honors.
• Memberships/organizations: design oriented, offices held.
• Optionals: temporary address, personal interests if they relate directly to the job, languages spoken fluently.
• Do not include 'Objective'. If you applied, its already obvious you want that job.
• Do not include current business contact info.
• Do not state 'Phone' in front of phone number or 'email' - its obvious.
• Do not include references or 'References furnished upon request' - of course they can be, its a silly outdated line. Take a list with you to the interview.

Design and layout
According to research, recruiters spend an average of "six seconds before they make the initial 'fit or no fit' decision" on candidates. They will look at your name, current title and company, current position start and end dates, previous title and company, previous position start and end dates, and education.
With such critical time constraints, you should make it easier for recruiters to find pertinent information by creating a resume with a clear visual hierarchy and don't include distracting visuals since "such visual elements reduced recruiters' analytical capability and hampered decision-making" and kept them from "locating the most relevant information, like skills and experience."
• Convey creativity, strong design sense, positive image.
• Consistent style and format.
• Highlight key headings or words for easy scanning.
• Probably 8.5x11, one side.
• Typeset or laser printed.
• Good quality paper.
• Perfect reproduction.
• Probably 8.5x11, one side. If Elon Musk can put his resume on 1 page, 1 side - so can you:


Cover Letter
• Serves as letter of application.
• Address it to an individual.
• Brief, specific and appropriate for company and position.
• Send follow-up thank-you letters ASAP to promising interviews.

Proofreading
The head of Human Resources for a  gigantic company would stop reading a cover letter or resume if he came across a mistake, figuring it signaled at least a lack of care, if not also a lack of skill. "How do I know this person will proofread the letters he writes to shareholders? What if he someday leaves a zero or two off one of our financial statements? I better put this resume aside and look for someone who's more accurate and thorough."
Everybody makes mistakes, even employers. But making one minor mistake on a resume or in a cover letter is unacceptable. A typo makes a bad impression on the potential client, contact, or interviewer and can  be an actual deal breaker. If you cannot afford to pay someone to review your cover letter and résumé, enlist a friend or a family member with good language skills to proofread it.

Thank-you notes
A thank-you note? You're kidding, right? Do people even do that sort of thing anymore?
Yes. The interviewer likely thinks, "This person has no follow-up skills, not to mention common courtesy. He could have at least dropped me a quick email note, like this other person did."

Tips for a successful cover letter
By Jim Watson, with info from Phyllis Korkki, The New York Times

Cover letters are still necessary, and in a competitive market they can give you a serious edge if they are written and presented effectively. Cover letters are a graceful way to introduce yourself, to convey your personality and to impress a hiring manager with your experience and your writing skills. You can also tailor them to a specific company in ways that you cannot with a résumé.
Hiring decision makers are looking for ways to exclude you as they narrow down their applications, she said. Do not give them that ammunition.
• Structure your letter so that it stresses the company and what you can do to help it reach its goals. Avoid making the cover letter all about you: “I did this, I’m looking for, I want to ...”
• Don't include too much information - for example, very specific salary or geographic requirements.
• Don't point out that you do not meet all the criteria in the job description. You can deal with that later, if you get an interview.

Proofreading
The head of Human Resources for a  gigantic company would stop reading a cover letter or resume if he came across a mistake, figuring it signaled at least a lack of care, if not also a lack of skill. "How do I know this person will proofread the letters he writes to shareholders? What if he someday leaves a zero or two off one of our financial statements? I better put this resume aside and look for someone who's more accurate and thorough."
Everybody makes mistakes, even employers. But making one minor mistake on a resume or in a cover letter is unacceptable. A typo makes a bad impression on the potential client, contact, or interviewer and can  be an actual deal breaker. If you cannot afford to pay someone to review your cover letter and résumé, enlist a friend or a family member with good language skills to proofread it.

Content
Your cover letter should be short - generally no longer than three paragraphs.
     • Find the decision maker’s name, and use it in the salutation. If you are applying to a blind ad, say “Dear Sir or Madam” or “To the Hiring Manager.” Cover letters that had no salutation at all or began with “Hey there” are not impressive. Effective cover letters are tailored to an individual job or company. Draw parallels between what you have and what the employer wants.
     • In the first paragraph, explain why you are writing - it may be that you are answering an ad, that you were referred to the company through networking, or that you learned that the company is expanding. This paragraph is the foundation - use more persuasive, subjective language than on your resume. Phrases like “I am highly qualified” or “I have proven success” are appropriate.
     • In the middle paragraph, explain why you are good candidate, and show that you are knowledgeable about the company. Evaluate the experience on your resume: “As my resume shows, I have worked in all areas of the graphic arts.” Convey a clear story about your career, and highlight one or two specific past achievements. This can either be done as a narrative or in bullet points. You can also highlight qualities you possess that may not fit the confines of a résumé - sum up your skills and accomplishments. Zero in on the qualifications listed in the job description. All great cover letters address the qualifications requested. “I am seasoned graphic designer with good leadership skills, ready to move into a management position,” or “As a graphic designer with five years experience creating brochures, retail signs and other promotional material, I am a good fit for your open position.”
     • Finish the letter by indicating that you will follow up in the near future (and make good on that promise). Sign off with a “Sincerely,” “Cordially,” “Thank you for your consideration” or similar closer, followed by your name and, if you like, your e-mail address. In your closing sentences, state how you would be an asset to the company, rather than how much you want to work there. State how you will follow up.
           Right: “I would like an opportunity to discuss how my skills fit your company’s needs. I will contact you next week to follow up.”
           Wrong: “I think this job is perfect for me. I will wait to hear from you.”

Placement
A cover letter can be in an e-mail, an attachment, or a hard-copy. You can include your letter in the actual text of your e-mail message or place it above your résumé in an attachment. If you put it in a separate attachment from your résumé, you run the risk that a harried hiring manager will not click on it at all. If you place it in the text of your e-mail message, it should generally be shorter than if you use an attachment.
Then, if you really want to make an impression, make a hard copy of your cover letter and résumé and send it to the hiring manager by regular mail. Attach a handwritten note that says, “Second submission; I’m very interested.” Some applicants have doubled their rate of interviews simply from doing that.” Called this “double-hitting,” it works remarkably well.

Samples
More samples

Tips for a successful portfolio
The portfolio review section of a job interview is when most hiring decisions or confirmations are made. Interviewers seek people that can help their firm make money: innovative minds and well executed work that represents creative solutions and clear communication. Your portfolio should tell a story, convey a positive image about you and your talent, and allow you to control the presentation.
It is important that you present a clean professional appearance, communicate clearly, and show the
best and most impressive samples of your work in a consistent and impressive format. Your presentation should show that you can work in a variety of media solving a variety of design and illustration problems in a variety of styles and solutions.
Select a portfolio case that will complement your work and present it professionally and effectively. There are three styles: open book, bound acetate pages, and created binding. Be prepared to spend $50-100. Review your work and fine tune each piece: redo, color the edges, mount or remat, etc.

Number of pieces in a portfolio
No two sources will ever agree on the number of pieces that one should have in a portfolio. Many references cite between 8 and 12 or 15. Here's the deal - you should have enough to impress an interviewer that you are talented and capable. You need to show some variety in your work (see list below) so that means probably 6-9 pieces. You also need enough to show that you haven't been slacking in school. More than 12 or 15 may likely bore the interviewer and if you are not able to impress them with 14, another piece won't help.
The bottom line: every piece you show should be impressive. That's the main criteria (more criteria below). If you only have 7 impressive pieces, don't add the 8th piece just so you have 8 pieces. That 8th piece, if not impressive, may speak poorly of your work.

Portfolio contents
A suggested list of possibilities:
___5-8 logos/identities, corporate identities, brands
___Stationery package: letterhead, envelope, business card
___Multi-page piece: newsletter, brochure, magazine spread
___Announcement/invitation
___Poster
___Package design: label, object, case, box
___Menu
___CD package
___Website home page, format
___Advertisement: newspaper, magazine, outdoor
___Campaign: multi-media, variety of pieces

Portfolio criteria
• Select your 2 best pieces - show one first and the other last. Its true that its important to make a good first impression and a good last impression. The rest of the pieces should bridge those two with a smooth transition and segue.
• Group like pieces together. Example: if you start with a logo identity, continue with branding, then transition to multi-page print pieces, then to advertising.
• The contents of your book should be well-rounded - print & web, logos and multi-page pieces,Mac precise and hand-rendered (illustration or drawing), 2D & 3D (packaging).
• Consistent presentation: all the boards or pages should be the same size. If you use labels, captions, or explanations - those should be consistent and located in the same relative position on each board.
• Well crafted: edges taped (if not black board)
• Flawless printouts: no bent corners, trimmed straight and neat.
• Include at least one Process Book of notes, research, thumbnails, roughs, and output.

Types of portfolios
• Book with acetate-covered black pages. These you flip through page by page.
• Carrying case. These hold a stack of boards that you remove and place in front of the interviewer (put the case aside during the interview).
• Custom portfolio. These can be boxes of wood or metal, with unique hinges, handles, etc.

Portfolio evaluation
Use this list of portfolio evaluation criteria and personal qualities and skills to conduct your own career potential evaluation.
Individual pieces of work
Concept
Originality, cleverness, and innovation. Strength and quality of unique theme, strategy, or idea.
Communication
Appropriate selection of media and use of typography, color, value, illustration, and photography. Order and flow of layout composition.
Execution
Quality of inked lines and curves. Neatness of mounting and gluing. Solid reproduction of color and type. Skill of rendering, illustration, and photograph development. Intelligent use of the Mac.
Eco-consciousness
Conservation of materials, paper selections, inks, and effects.
Portfolio presentation
Personal presentation
Neat and appropriate appearance, mannerisms, and dress.
Talking about the work
Articulate and correct use of design vernacular. Rehearsed smooth delivery. Brief but thorough explanations. Well thought-out rationale. Positive attitude of confidence and enthusiasm.
Portfolio presentation
Neat arrangement. Sequential order. Clean case. Efficient delivery.

Presenting your portfolio
By Steff Geissbuhler, Principal, Chermayeff & Geismar

Preparation
Send a letter and a well-designed resume in advance. Your resume is a typographic design problem, displaying vital information about who you are, where you've been and what you've done, in an organized and structured fashion. Follow up with a phone call and make an appointment. Call the day before to confirm that you still have an interview, who to see and when.
Brush up on the firm's work. It helps to know something about the studio and what they do and have done before you can expect them to be interested in your work.

What is a portfolio?
A portable proof of your design education and a document of your work. A display of exercises, talent, thinking and solutions to visual communication problems. The physical form of the portfolio is completely up to you. It should, however, not be too precious or complicated. Nor should it require delivery by freight elevator. It is a communication tool, not a self-centered reflection of your personality.

Design
A portfolio is a design problem. It contains an assortment of given visual and verbal material. As with all publications, what you put next to one element either plays up that individual piece or fights it for attention. An interesting layout of spreads and pages, color, form and/or thematic relationships, dramatic scale changes, humor, elements of surprise, details and whole pieces, sequencing and rhythm, are all tools to entertain the eye. It is a show piece in the best sense, and I haven't even talked about the individual work itself.

Organization
A well-structured portfolio has a beginning, a middle and an end. It should be a well-designed book that shows off your work in the best possible light. Samples should be clean and removable. The sequence doesn't have to be chronological, but I wouldn't put early school work at the end. Don't forget that the final image leaves a more lasting impression than the first.

Sketches
Show your sketches separately. This will assist those of us who think of your sketching process as one of the most important and telling parts of your presentation.

Labels
It helps to label your work with very short descriptions, in case you have to drop off your portfolio and don't have a chance to narrate in person. Keep in mind that a first portfolio review gives me only a first impression of you and your work. If I'm interested, you will be called back and you and your work will be scrutinized in more detail.

Please forgive me for not reading your books, thesis project, poetry or research papers. I'm getting an overall impression and can usually judge from what I'm looking at. If it doesn't communicate visually, you probably chose the wrong profession.

CDs and web sites
Your digital portfolio should be designed just like the regular portfolio with the same attributes described above. It should be easy to open, navigate and review. I have quite a collection of portfolio CDs which are now coasters, because they couldn't be opened. Whatever you do, don't make us work at it. Make it easy to get to your information.

Don't think for a minute that I pay more attention to your e-mail than to a letter or phone call. It is much easier to ignore or delete your e-mail than it is to print it out and keep it on record.

Present in person
I prefer, whenever possible, to see you in person, because it's not the work I'm buying - its you. I want to hear and see you present your work. Your intelligence, enthusiasm, energy, and passion are more important to me than your portfolio. Besides, I'm always a little suspicious of the involvement and influence in your work by faculty and fellow students.

If I'm criticizing your work, it is always meant to be constructive. It also shows me whether you can take criticism. This is an important factor in evaluating your potential to learn. Actually, my criticism is often directed at the faculty who taught you.

Dress presentably. Speak up and narrate your work. Don't just sit there and wait for questions or comments. Be self critical. It is one of the most useful traits to be able to evaluate your own work in as an objective way as humanly possible. Tell me what you think is good and what is not so good. I want to know whether you know the difference.

Most of all I want to see and hear that you love and live this profession with a passion.

Tips for successful interviewing
Getting a good job is often a crap shoot. There are many factors and variables that influence a hiring decision, and, ultimately, that decision can be based on the indescribable condition called chemistry among the interviewee and the interviewer and the company. It is up to you to insure that you have thoroughly prepared and anticipated numerous components that may possibly impact the hiring decision.
The purpose of a job interview is for the interviewer to gather enough information to make an informed decision. He/she must find the best match between the job opening and the pool of applicants. The interviewer is looking for ways for the company to make money and to make him/herself look good.

Getting an interview
Commitment
• Commit to investing money, time, and energy
• Persevere: don’t give up, learn from rejections
Network for openings
• Newspaper ads
• Campus posted notices
• Company cold calls
• Word-of-mouth contacts: friends, relatives, AIGA social events, internships, jobs, interviews
Respond
• Mail cover letter and resume
• Telephone call: set up interview appointment. Interviews often go better when they're earlier in the day and the weather is good
Tip: Set up your first interview at a place where you do not want to work. Use that as a rehearsal and trial-run practice.

Before the interview
• Conduct research to become familiar with the company, the specific job, and the person you will be interviewing with. Learn as much as you can about the company beforehand - its clients, style, culture, dress code, and anything else you can think of. Study the company website and check their Facebook and Twitter accounts for info and comments. If necessary, call the receptionist or someone in the firm. Courteously request a few minutes of time and ask a few prepared and clearly stated questions.
• Review answers to interview questions (see below).
• Know the location of the building, parking, and interviewer’s office. Allow plenty of time to get to the interview and, if possible, visit the site in advance and time how long it takes to get there.
• Watch diet, drugs, and alcohol the night before. Do not eat right before the interview.
• Plan your attire in advance and make sure your clothing is pressed, your shoes shined, and your hair and nails well groomed.
• Dress and groom professionally. Avoid:
• Outrageous hairstyle
• Sunglasses
• Gaudy jewelry
• Strong cologne/perfume
     • Smoking or smelling of smoke
• Get a good night’s sleep.
• Take these items
• Company info: address, phone, contact person
• Black pen
• Note paper
• Card with questions to ask
• Two resumes (printed versions or keepers)
• Portfolio
• Application info: addresses, previous employers, dates of employment, salaries, and supervisors
• Page of references with contact info
• Rehearse name and title of interviewer
• Arrive early
• Find interviewer’s office
• Go to the rest room and check appearance
• Review resume and notes
• Practice 5 minute brag pep talk: good points, self confidence, pump yourself up; take a few moments of quiet time; give yourself one last look and brag: “Damn, I'm good!”

During the interview
Avoid
• Fidgeting, appearing uneasy
• Slouching, poor posture
• Too much make-up
• Chewing gum
• “Um” “Ya know” “Like” “YanowutImsayin”
• Talking too much and rambling
• Talking bad about former employers
• Asking about salary too early
Buzzwords to use
• Risk taker, creative, innovative, fresh
• Break the clutter, push the envelope, on the edge
• Clear communication, comprehension
• Persuasive, convincing
• Problem solving, problem seeking
• Determine what the client really needs

At the interview
Strive for subtle control. Some interviewers may not ask questions that allow you to look your best. Others may ask too many open-ended questions. It is your responsibility to make sure that the interviewer has enough of the right information to make a valid hiring decision.
Opening
Make a great first impression: some interviewers make the hiring decision in 3 minutes; many in the first 5 minutes; most within 15 minutes.
Most interviewers are influenced by attitude, appearance, body language, and tone of voice (confident and clear).
Greet him/her cordially and sincerely. Smile.
Use a firm handshake (have your portfolio in your left hand so your right hand is free to shake). Experts at the University of Iowa declared handshakes "more important than agreeableness, conscientiousness, or emotional stability."
Maintain eye contact.
Orient yourself to the office and comment.
Information exchange
Be enthusiastic, alert, positive, and confident.
Get interviewer to talk about him/herself.
Listen sincerely, maintain eye contact.
Three types of questions:
• Closed-ended: give brief answer, continue only if necessary.
• Open-ended: say what you want known.
• Probe/stress (to see how you react): be positive and poised.
If you don’t understand the question, ask for clarification.
Answer clearly and briefly, maintain eye contact.
If you can’t wing an answer, say “I don't know, but I can ...”
Speak slowly and clearly and don’t be afraid to pause for a moment to collect your thoughts.
Be honest. Don’t try to cover up mistakes. Instead, focus on how you learned from them.
Be assertive. Remember that the interview is a way for you to learn if the job is right for you.
Think about how your experience in work, classes, and activities can relate to the job you’re seeking.
Showing your work
Try to control the sequence.
Move cover flaps.
Keep explanations brief.
Avoid awkward pauses.
Be sensitive to cues: questions, positive or negative reactions.
Closing
Some people struggle when they ask "Do you have any questions for us?" This is a good time to get information and impress them with an insightful question:
• Thinking back to people who have been in this position previously, what differentiated the ones who were good from the ones who were really great?
• How would you describe the culture of the company?
• What do you expect me to accomplish in the first 60 to 90 days?Sense when to end the interview.
Be prepared to discuss or sidestep salary.
If appropriate, ask about the next step, incite some action.
Ask the interviewer for a business card (to send a thank-you note).
Make positive closing comment, maintain eye contact.

After the interview
Send a follow-up letter to the interviewer: add supplemental information, reiterate impressive info, thank the interviewer, and confirm outcome, “I look forward to ...”
Evaluate and analyze the interview: appearance, portfolio presentation, questions asked, and questions answered.

Sample questions
  1. Tell me a little about yourself.
  2. Why should I hire you?
  3. What do you want to be doing next year? five years from now? ten years?
  4. Are you a team player?
  5. What can you offer our studio/agency/company?
  6. What are your career objectives?
  7. How do you like to spend your spare time?
  8. Why would you want a career in graphic design (long hours, stubborn clients, low pay)?
  9. Are you willing to work long hours? weekends?
10. How did you hear about our company?
11. Would you be willing to work for us part-time?
12. Are you willing to relocate?
13. Why’d you leave your last job?
14. Why did you go to UCO/OSU?
15. Do you have any work experience?
16. Which software do you use?
17. Do you have experience working with printers? pricing jobs? client budgets?
18. Would you accept a job as a receptionist? production artist?
19. How much money do you expect to earn?
20. Where/how do you get your best ideas?
21. What are your strongest design traits? weakest?
22. What do you enjoy more: concept or production?
23. What is your favorite medium to work in?
24. Have you ever written copy?
25. Are you married? Do you have children?
27. Do you smoke?

Traits interviews look for in order of importance
Intelligence - they want someone who can think, who can solve problems, who can learn quickly and reason solutions to design problems and office problems.
Personality - they will work with this new person 50 hours a week, they want someone who is pleasant, considerate, easy to get along with, and an asset to the daily life in the office/studio.
Body of creative work - the portfolio must show that you are talented, that you have great concepts, can communicate them clearly, and that you have adequate execution and production skills.
Ability to talk about your work - they want to hear the rationale behind your design decisions, why you made the decisions you did, and that you can speak clearly with correct grammar.
Team player - you will be part of a group of creative and not-so-creative people that will be sharing ideas and tasks with the office. They want someone who isn't too ego-driven, can work well with others, and is supportive of the team.
Other traits: sense of humor, curiosity, attention to detail, enthusiasm, energy, punctuality

Traits of successful interviewees
Personality
___ intelligent
___ self-confident
___ resilient ego: separate self from work
___ accept criticism well
___ team player
___ efficient time management
___ positive attitude
___ responsible
___ assertive
___ participatory
___ risk taker, adventuresome
___ tolerant of others
___ enthusiastic
___ hard worker
___ neat appearance
___ sense of humor, like to have fun
Commitment
___ highly self-motivated
___ high level of initiative and assertiveness
___ willing to work long hours
___ dependable
Talent
___ problem seeker
___ creative problem solver
___ risk taker
___ attention to detail
___ handle type and images well
___ strong color sense
___ innate sense of design
___ high sense of aesthetics
___ open-minded attitude
___ fluency and flexibility of fresh original ideas
Communication
___ command of English language
___ correct grammar and spelling
___ use of proper terminology
___ confident oral speaking skills
___ persuasive and convincing logic
___ courage to make honest critiques
Craftsmanship
___ proper use of materials
___ neat clean work
___ adherence to production specs
___ thorough attention to detail
___ accurate and precise inking and rendering

Clarifying your values and ethics
We each make ethical judgments every day. These decisions are based on our personal values. Graphic designers should clarify their personal
value systems, sense of responsibility, and professional ethics in order to do 3 things.
     1. Better sell their ideas, concepts, and comps.
     2. Efficiently participate in brainstorming sessions.
     3. Prioritize comfortable work ethics.
Search, question, discuss, and analyze moral issues as they present themselves to you: appreciate and respect individual human ethics/values. Believe in your value system enough to confidently and comfortably affirm it in public but not so much that it becomes restrictive to your creativity and growth. Adapt them as you get new thoughts, influences, and responsibilities. Important: keep your values flexible, growing, and ever changing. Believe in them, publicly affirm them, and make a commitment to uphold them, but do not let them restrict or overwhelm your thinking: use your ethics, don't let them use you. To grow as a creative problem solving designer, continue to be open-minded, ask questions, and explore alternatives. Determine your values and let them go. Use them, don’t be used by them.

Ethics information
Ethics: a personal moral judgment
Morals: behavioral principles of right and wrong
Moral judgment is a thought that one will accept responsibility for or or make a commitment to. Its the end result of an investigation into a certain concept of thinking based on influences from the community, parents, church, friends, media, and teachers/mentors. Our fears encourage us to make judgments and form insecurities. We criticize, analyze, and judge others often as a way to make ourselves look better by comparison (or at least not so bad). Minimizing your fears can improve your self-esteem and security.
Ethics change to fit the situation. Murder is inherently neither right nor wrong. We have deemed it wrong. Jerry Falwell once said: “all law is the imposition of someone’s morality to the exclusion of someone else’s morality.”
One’s values should be flexible, growing, ever changing, based on new input, new thoughts, new influences, and new responsibilities. Society changes too fast to rely on yesterday’s judgments. One must be willing to change ethics as the need or situation arises. This requires that we be alert, aware, and have an open mind. “I have my morals. But they can certainly change.”

Ways to deal with different values

1. Isolation: leave each other alone

2. Coexist: live with both

3. One gives in

4. Both give in: compromise

5. Neither gives in: new ethic


Four things each human wants
     1. To live, survive, and exist - to be
     2. To feel important, respected, useful, and admired
     3. To be loved, appreciated, and cared for
     4. To have fun, participate in a variety of activities, and experience excitement

Two basic values
     1. Harm no one.
     2. Harm no one’s property.
These two values form the foundation for most people's personal set of ethics, morals, and values.

What would you do?
Answer each of the following situations honestly. Do not dwell on the options, simply pick the one closest to how you truly feel. There is no right or wrong.

Tab Error
You and another person eat at a very nice restaurant. The check total is about $50 but a $3 item is left off the check. Do you:
___ Point out the error to the server?
___ Ignore it and pay the bill as is?

At a small mom-&-pop restaurant, the total is $15. Do you:
___ Point out the error to the server?
___ Ignore it and pay the bill as is?

Promotion
You work at a large advertising agency. You know that another designer has been taking long breaks and leaving early. Do you:
___ Tell your supervisors about his work habits?
___ Ignore it?
___ Let the person know you’re aware of his infractions?

That same other person is up for promotion. His work is okay but you feel you deserve the promotion. Do you:
___ Tell your supervisors about his work habits?
___ Ignore it?
___ Let the person know you’re aware of his infractions?

The Accident
You hit a parked car in a nearly deserted lot. The repair cost appears to be about $300. You are certain you have not been observed. Do you:
___ Leave a note of apology with your address and phone?
___ Leave a noteof apology but no address or phone?
___ Drive away?

You are certain you have been observed from a distance. Do you:
___ Leave a noteof apology with your address and phone?
___ Leave a noteof apology but no address or phone?
___ Drive away?

All-nighter Blues
You have designed the layout and type for a poster but still need a good illustration. You find the perfect image in a recent issue of Communication Arts magazine. It is now 11pm, the comp is due at 9:00 tomorrow morning. Do you:
___ Trace the image and alter it slightly in color and style?
___ Make a color copy enlargement of the image and paste it onto your comp?
___ Stay up 4 more hours to create an image based on but not a copy of the piece?

You find an image in an obscure old newspaper. Do you:
___ Trace the image and alter it slightly in color and style?
___ Make a color copy enlargement of the image and paste it onto your comp?
___ Stay up 4 more hours to create an image based on but not a copy of the piece?

Nuclear War!
You work for the government and you are in charge of experimental science stations in the remote western United States. Suddenly World War III breaks out and bombs begin dropping. People are heading for whatever shelters are available.
You receive a call from a remote station asking for help. Near that station are 11 people but only enough food, air, and water for 6 people for the 3 months they will need to stay there to escape radiation fallout. These people realize if they try to select the 6 people themselves, they will become irrational and fighting will break out. They have called upon you, as their superior, to make the decision. They will abide by and enforce whatever you decide.
You are on your way to your own shelter and only have time to get the superficial descriptions of the 11 people as listed below. You must make the decision within twenty minutes. Remember, the 6 people you select may be the only survivors in that area.
In the time given, select 6 people of the 11 to be let into the shelter.

The Candidates pdf version to print out
__ 11. Famous national historian, male, athletic, healthy, married, 47 years old.
__ 12. Recently adopted male child of historian, very attached to stepfather, age 4.
__ 13. Retired physician, male, 75, a devout religious fundamentalist, wealthy.
__ 14. Successful, single, educated, and respected architect, male, 55, former home builder.
__ 15. Female popular television star, drinks moderately, uses marijuana socially, age 24.
__ 16. Black militant, 21, strong leadership qualities, quick to anger.
__ 17. High school drop-out, female, 18, low IQ, 6 months pregnant, no technical skills.
__ 18. Law student, male, wheel chair victim of the Iraq war, 26, highly decorated military tour.
__ 19. Devoted wife of law student, married 4 years, part-time waitress, business student.
__ 10. Ex-police captain with own gun, thrown off the force for brutality (but never proven).
__ 11. Violinist, male, 36, served jail term for possession of heroin, been out for 6 months.

www.jamesrobertwatson.com/profpracticecourse.html