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cwatkinson
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I think you handle it well.

2 other approaches....

1. look at the young designer and ask them how long it would take and what would be their approach then provide insight in how they could do it better..... And then after 30 minutes inform the interviewers that you as a director would delegate that kind of work to your staff as the opportunity costs to have someone like you doing that work day in day out is not worth their money that will be paying you.

2. (i mind has changed if you think the parts would take 4 hours) but i would have asked the designer if they wanted a Sketch model, A model for prototyping or a model for production, what where they using this model for, what where the project time constraints and the project needs.... all the questions that as a director i would be asking.

I would have probably taken option 2 (but like you i would not have modeled the cad unless though it was something i could hammer out in 20 minutes or so. And i am a pretty damn good with SW) I truly would have wanted to talk to the hiring manager or who my boss would have been to (more politely put) find out what the hell they were thinking...... more and more i see posting for Design Director with 4-6 years experience and experts at everything under the sun...... If they truly need a director then they are probably going to be in trouble, and or they just dont have a clue.

As for designbreathings response perhaps he is simply playing devils advocate and trying to provide a pov from the company interviewing you, if that is what they are thinking then they could have handled it very differently. I am cautious because of being burned once hiring a designer who when i asked if that was their work they said yes. After hiring them i n noticed a lack of creativity when i challenged them and did some digging they responded "yeah the sketches where my work, i never said i came up with the Design"

I think the biggest miss is that they didnt tell you about what the onsite interview process was going to be and entail..... because as you stated had you known you would have not flown.

Still would love to know who this is.... but that is just my curiosity. In the end i think you did the right thing and also dodged a bullet.

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Azrehan
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I had a similar test, although it was verbal by a guy who did SolidWorks at a foundry where I got my first "design drafter" job which I turned into industrial design job. They had a complex tap (bibcock) which the guy questioning me was having trouble modelling. At the foundry we had to get client's products and bring them into the 21st century by 3D modelling them to create new low pressure die casting dies.

He showed me his file, which was ok, but not very accurate, and then asked me how I would model it. I told him how I would use surfaces rather than solid modelling; using splines and tangent relations, equal curvature relations, intersection curves and then stitch it all together, model the core, indent etc. He was blown away.

I then had to email my University lecturer who taught me solidworks, because my methods weren't giving the correct result. Haha. As a fresh graduate, I found this nerve racking as my career literally depended on it - there were almost zero ID jobs in 2010 in Australia; but I didn't find it insulting. I would now, though, as I have proven myself with product releases, awards etc.

I can't imagine how shitty that made the OP feel as a senior designer and manager. What a complete insult. You were 100% justified to leave, and should have charged them for wasting your time. The person who excused this behaviour and added insult to injury obviously hasn't been on the receiving end of this sort of behaviour, and if they have, must be a masochist of some sort.


singletrack
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I had a similar experience not for a Director Level job but for a senior level position. I was brought out half way cross the country to meet with this company. They did not express that I would have to do any kind of skill test. I had this product category represented in my portfolio. Showed up and proceed to have a pretty normal interview then they were like ok time for a sketch test and hand me paper and some random pencils and markers. They said I would have as long as I wanted. I felt board line offend to have this surprise test and it was very board like find problems with the products and show solutions. I had only really looked at the products on line briefly before the interview and had not really put much thought in to issues the products had. Well in 45 minutes they came back and said pencils down. This was very shocking giving I was told I had a lot more time and I was no were near finished even with some basic thoughts. All and all I was happy not to get an offer form them at the end of this whole process it would have been nice to be able to prepare for the test a head of time.


idainc
 
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There were a number of factors at play in my decision.

With nearly 40 years’ experience and the portfolio to prove it I don’t think I have to qualify much to anyone. At this point in a career it would be very hard to misrepresent much and despite my respect for CAD people it is not really in an ID director’s job description yet my portfolio demonstrates a high level of proficiency in Solidworks.

If I was an employee interviewing at another company, the bulk of my training & software is not paid for by me. This allows me to be more flexible in giving away my time. Especially if I was much younger with much less evidence to present.

As a consultant the acquisition of the software, training, practice time, equipment and the environment to run it in are all mine to bear. I know the value of it and I do not give it away. If CAD work is unusable clients don’t pay for it, model makers can’t use it, my name isn’t on the patent and it’s not on store shelves.

I used the analogy of an attorney in my rebuttal. Would you ask an attorney to represent you in a small case to see how he / she did then have a paralegal review it?

If we don’t respect our field who will? Any time someone asks me for something for free they don’t value it and they’re not getting it from me.

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yo
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So much about getting a job is about fit more than capabilities. Clearly this place was not the right fit for you, even if they did offer you the job (wouldn't be for me either), so I think in the end they did you a favor and you did what you felt was right.

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bepster
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idainc wrote:With nearly 40 years’ experience and the portfolio to prove it


Wow :shock:

I don't think I have met anyone who's been in the biz for 40 years and does still direct ID on a day-to-day.
That is quite an amazing wealth of experience which any company should be excited to have.

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Ross McCoy
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I had to do a CAD test for an interview once. I was applying for a summer intern position during my second year of university. That was understandable for the job I was doing. I don't blame you one bit for refusing to do this at your career level.


idainc
 
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Ross McCoy wrote:I had to do a CAD test for an interview once. I was applying for a summer intern position during my second year of university. That was understandable for the job I was doing. I don't blame you one bit for refusing to do this at your career level.


Thanks. Have to admit they really misrepresented the job as they really seemed to be looking for someone to only be very proficient in Solidworks and not running a design department. They could care less about content. I also have to admit I didn't do a good enough job of interviewing them on the phone.

Including travel time and flight delays this took me out of my home for 58 hours - I was in their office for 20 minutes.

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Cyberdemon
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I can understand the potential rationale behind a skills test - if you are expected to direct and mentor people within a small team they'd probably want to make sure you aren't bluffing. But to surprise you with it seems to be a bit over the top.

Sounds like it was just an early red flag, and like others said better to see it now rather than in a few months when they have you doing grunt CAD work.


idainc
 
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Cyberdemon wrote:I can understand the potential rationale behind a skills test - if you are expected to direct and mentor people within a small team they'd probably want to make sure you aren't bluffing. But to surprise you with it seems to be a bit over the top.

Sounds like it was just an early red flag, and like others said better to see it now rather than in a few months when they have you doing grunt CAD work.


It would be hard for anyone to have my resume and my portfolio and have there be even the most remote possibility that there was anything fraudulent in it. Just go to Google patents and type in my name.

They justified it by adding that since millennials misrepresent their abilities so freely that they have to carefully scrutinize everything. My career is older than a millennial.

Had to laugh when they had the most junior staff member they had escort me to a room to sit down and draw one part and "when you're done with the draw this one". Disrespectful event on all levels. But on a larger note, it seems that designers are partly at fault in presenting themselves as jacks of all trades and masters of none. Everyone uses every piece of software imaginable.

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KenoLeon
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I went through something similar last year, albeit for a software position:

Recruiter: Can we talk for a couple of minutes to see if you are the right fit ? 5 Minutes into the call she unexpectedly proceeded to announce " I am now going to ask you a few technical questions" followed by almost an hour of gotcha and definition questions, and at that point I figured we weren't the right fit I should have hanged the phone earlier, ohh well...

The code review/test is both rampant and despised in the software industry (at least by coders), the consensus is that they don't reflect the end quality of the employee and that if you must test, you should give them something from your ticket cue or a specific problem you are having, as well as considering the portfolio or previous work. Here's an interesting write up on the topic: Why hiring is so hard in Tech

I bring it up because I think it also applies to Design, If I am interviewing for a CAD jockey job or general Design job, if I get asked to do a random academical exercise ( redesign a potato peeler, Cad a part) I kinda feel like a tool,it's not fun, if on the other hand they tell me their new product is such or their parts have x problems, I can actually feel excited, there is also a lot to be said about how these test are presented and administered.

My experience across a few industries/ countries has led me to believe that hiring ( tech/creative/design) is inherently broken at many levels, OP's case is sadly not that uncommon.
Eugenio (Keno) Leon
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"We are surrounded with objects of desire, not objects of use.” Don Norman

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Cyberdemon
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idainc wrote:
Cyberdemon wrote:I can understand the potential rationale behind a skills test - if you are expected to direct and mentor people within a small team they'd probably want to make sure you aren't bluffing. But to surprise you with it seems to be a bit over the top.

Sounds like it was just an early red flag, and like others said better to see it now rather than in a few months when they have you doing grunt CAD work.


It would be hard for anyone to have my resume and my portfolio and have there be even the most remote possibility that there was anything fraudulent in it. Just go to Google patents and type in my name.

They justified it by adding that since millennials misrepresent their abilities so freely that they have to carefully scrutinize everything. My career is older than a millennial.

Had to laugh when they had the most junior staff member they had escort me to a room to sit down and draw one part and "when you're done with the draw this one". Disrespectful event on all levels. But on a larger note, it seems that designers are partly at fault in presenting themselves as jacks of all trades and masters of none. Everyone uses every piece of software imaginable.


I don't think this is an age issue, perhaps an American cultural issue, but I've interviewed several candidates who represented skill sets on paper and then admitted they have not used, and would not recall how to use those skills in any significant fashion. And that is outside of the design career, it can apply to anyone.

For example: My old boss used Pro Engineer, but in the late 90's. He too had 20+ patents to his name - if you asked him to open a modern version of Creo and sketch out a box with a hole in it, it wouldn't happen. Did that make him a bad director? Not in any way shape or form - but having had a skill set and still having a skill set are not always the same thing.

Your treatment by said employee is not justified by any of this, but putting the shoe on the other foot, if I was hiring for a position and I knew that position would have to mentor and/or do tactical work, I would probably require some type of skills test or clear demonstration of what skills you had that were up to date. As an employer, you wouldn't want to hire someone and then find out on the first day they can talk the talk but not actually execute the way they said.

Google is one of the biggest tech companies in the world and no one gets in the door with out some type of demonstrated design exercise - so it's not to say exercises/tests are uncommon or frowned upon, but employers should be forthcoming with their expectations.


idainc
 
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At some point you have to ask yourself how low you’re willing to go in life and these guys found that point for me real fast. If, after an extensive amount of phone time discussing my work, they thought it would be clever to cast doubt on all that then they can keep the job.

As fate would have it, they’ve downscaled the job to 0-3 years after probably having a real hard time treating director level people so poorly. Myopic as well. My portfolio is filled with brand name relatively complex products compared to their very simple ones.

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Mr-914
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idaine: I think I'm younger than you, but sometime around year 12-14 of my career, I stopped going low in life. I have options now, so why bother kissing someone's behind for a CAD jockey job.

Keno: I agree that hiring creatives is broken in many organizations. Interestingly, 3 of the 4 people I hired DID NOT have the requested SolidWorks experience. Within a week they were productive and within a month they were amazing. If someone has learned 1 3D suite, they have the ability to learn another one rapidly. I think most HR departments don't know this.
Ray Jepson

"The key to success in this business is to find a boss who doesn't care." - Mike Rowe


cwatkinson
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Mr-914 wrote:idaine: I think I'm younger than you, but sometime around year 12-14 of my career, I stopped going low in life. I have options now, so why bother kissing someone's behind for a CAD jockey job.

Keno: I agree that hiring creatives is broken in many organizations. Interestingly, 3 of the 4 people I hired DID NOT have the requested SolidWorks experience. Within a week they were productive and within a month they were amazing. If someone has learned 1 3D suite, they have the ability to learn another one rapidly. I think most HR departments don't know this.



I have never hired a designer for their skills as it relates to tools. But always for how they think and solve and their desire and ability to grow. I can teach anyone to sketch better or to do 3d modeling...... but i dont have time to teach them how to be a creative thinking......

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