Now that I have graduated from college, I have a lot to post about as far as my job search is concerned. I haven't decided where I'm going yet, but I've talked with many companies so far and even have had some offers. Here are the things I have been surprised by most during my job search, good and bad.
I want to add a reminder that I've only been interviewing with start-ups and this experience may be very different for larger companies.
5. Companies not responding to me after two months
I interviewed and met with a company that had me do a design homework for them. I emailed them a few times inquiring about the position, even if I didn't get it I wanted to know. Their response was always "We're still reviewing all of our candidates, we'll get back to you as soon as we know more." No you won't. It's been two months, I am no longer interested.
4. Being flown out for a great interview and not getting the job
This might be the optimist in me speaking, but I was really surprised by a company that I loved. While I was sad for all of five minutes, I emailed them back right away and asked them for their criticism. They were super professional and helpful with their tips. One of the reasons they listed as to why they didn't choose me was because my lack of excitement for the product. I was befuddled because I LOVE their product. This was a huge learning experience.
3. Non-traditional interviews
One of the recent companies I met up with in SF showed me their office for the first hour, and then we planned to go grab some drinks because it was 7pm on a Thursday, which is basically the weekend right? The CEO ended up taking me to what I think is the best patio in san francisco. That day we went, it was one of the first warm days in the spring in SF, so the bar was packed. But it was a great time, and we just casually talked about non-related interview topics. It was great.
2. Companies that want a magical all-star designer and programmer that sneezes pretty pixels, but are only willing to pay baby's salary
I'm clearly bias when it comes to this, but companies are low-balling designers left and right. I can't seem to logic why I should accept a position that wants me working 10 hours/day programming, wire-framing, UX reporting and etc for minimum wage.
1. Meeting awesome people
There have been a few companies that I met with that just wanted to talk to me to meet me. There was no serious job position on the plate, it was just a casual meet and greet. I met a lot of other cool designers and learned about some of the creative start-ups that are out there. I wasn't pressured to sell myself as an employee, I just got to say whatever I wanted to say and see some cool work places. Out of all the things I've gone through during my job search, the new people I've met are very cool.