why design companies do this?

Why is that even after…

you had a phone interview, or showed them your work in person, or got a positive email response, or been asked to call them back after a few months, or being told your work is really good- so keep in touch, or somehow been led to believe a company’s interested in hiring you…

…that they don’t respond?

Is there some kind of rule that design companies engage in where, after initial contact, they are not obliged to correspond with the candidates anymore? all of the sudden what has changed so drastically that I don’t even deserve some kind of acknowledgment?

This has happened to me at least 5 times (and counting) this year. I’m so puzzled. They’re so nice to you face-to-face, but weeks/months later they treat you like a perfect stranger. What gives?

I think what this person is asking is slightly different. There is some overlap with the other thread, but the question stphy asked had to do with lack of response after going through much of the interview process, not just after submitting a resume/portfolio.

I have noticed this unprofessional trend as well. I would like to hear what people say.


yes i’m aware of that thread. i’m not referring i’m one of those applicants that fire of hundreds of resumes/portfolios, sit back, and expect some kind of miraculous response. i’m just dont know why some people can be all friendly and professional in person or on phone, but once u contact them to follow up on email they treat you like a complete stranger/spammer.

what gives?

Right, if you read through that thread, people repeatedly chimed in regarding that same situation.

no one owes you anything!
the sooner you get this concept the better
so keep pluggin’ and good things will happen

How would you act if I had came up to you asking for grand favors? Would you straight out say get lost or be at least courteous. In any case, what did you really expect after few months? May be they don’t even remember you.

I have had this happen SEVERAL times in the past year and I think it’s happening right now. Studio thought I was the cat’s pajamas and then … nothing.


That seems to be the situation in the entire job market, not just design companies. I’ve been trying to get a summer job with a photographic company – I’ve been in for interviews, submitted my portfolio, followed-up in person and by phone several times – and yet I’ve had no one contact me.

well there’s a way to combat all this lack or response/disrespect. its funny how even the slightest bad publicity on a company can spread like a wildfire within the design community and corp clients. i’m a creative guy, and i have several ways to deal with companies like that.

Exactly same thing happened to me as well with two different places…
They responded me spontaneously at first and told me that they are impressed with my folio. Even one of them even told me that I would learn a lot from their place(implying…I thought)… And all of sudden, I don’t hear from them any more, neither of them, didn’t respond me for couple months…
I am getting confused. I am not sure how I should take this… Are they simply too busy? Or should I let it go and move on?
When they said they liked my folio, do they really mean it?
I just got graduated and try to land my first place… and confusing and confused…

if they say they like your portfolio it can mean two things

  1. they like your work (obviously)

  2. they don’t want to hear from you ever again.

hope this helps

It comes down to the fact that the correspondence initially starts out because both sides have an incentive to be nice–potential employers and employees courting over a possible career.

When jobs are filled, all of a sudden, the employers are out of the “dating pool” so to speak so they don’t worry about being nice until the next opening comes up.

Its unfortunate, though, that most of us are too busy to take time and really show each other that we all friends in the end.

once and for all.

bottom line.

get over it.

enough fat-chick-whining-crying-to-her-fat-chick-friends-about-why-a-boy-she-likes-never-calls-back bitchand moan fest.

your portfolio sucked. they found someone better. you’re out. done.

I can’t speak for everyone but I have been involved in hiring a new Industrial Designer at my office and the process has been terrible.

We have talked to several people that looked great on paper and made it almost all the way through the interviewing process, however, when we asked them to do a small sample project they just weren’t able to do the work. We never used to do this to prospective hires but after getting burned on more than one occasion it has become neccesary.

In other cases people looked great on paper but when we got them into the office for an interview they had no personality whatsoever and were terrible at selling their work and giving a presentation. We can’t risk hiring that person and hope that once they are in the door they will be outgoing and good with clients. There’s no way. I can’t even begin to tell you all how many times I heard “…well this would have turned out better but…” and “…I tried to do this but as you can see it failed…”.

What is most shocking to me, however, is that I have been getting a lot of resumes from designers with graduate degrees who can’t even format their resumes or portfolios. I got pdf files from people that were formatted on 11 by 50 inch sheets of paper - I can’t print that and I’m sure as hell not going to open it up in photoshop to crop it into a size a can print and share with the other people in my department. In other cases I am getting resumes and portfolios that show no design skills at all - we’re talking resumes that looked like they were typed with a typewriter on plain white paper, scanned, and converted to pdf. In contrast we get resumes from non-experienced graphic designers that look like they were produced for a multimillion dollar ad campaign.

Long story short, there are too many people out there that think they are industrial designers when in reality they are nothing. If you aren’t prepared - don’t bother applying. If you do apply be prepared to back up your work. If you have your shit together it still won’t be easy but at least you can know that your resume is lightyears ahead of things I have described. Be honest about your skills, have fun and be relaxed, and take things as they come. If you get into round two or three and the calls stop - take it as a hint and get on with life. It sucks but not everyone is going to call you and say “we really liked you but…”.

Spec work? Are you joking? How do applicants know you’re not going to use their work? Do you sign an agreement beforehand? Do you pay people for the time they take to do this, or do you simply pressure them to do it for free as part of the interview process? This seems pretty shady to me.

Have you ever considered that Design Firms (Consultancies) do not have open positions, but are using the process and your portfolio(s) for inspiration!
Highly unethical, but based on all of the posts, something to think about.

Its not like we ask them to design a product from scratch and then provide us with engineering drawings and details on how to produce it. I’m talking a quick skills test to show that you can actually design, model, and render using a program like 3D Studio. I actually don’t care what the person models, it can be a fist with the middle finger up for all I care. But it better show knowledge of the program.

This is the same thing that places like Aquent and others do, its pretty standard. I’m sorry if it seems shady, but to me whats shady is someone telling me that they’re an expert at using a program and when they get into the office to start work they act like they have never seen the software before.

Portfolios alone aren’t always proof enough, I’ve had people come in and show portfolios that were incredible but we later found out that the person lied about their software knowledge and stuffed their portfolio with school projects that had been modelled and rendered by another member of their team - not them.

But I should also say that we generally only do this for people with little or no experience. People with several years at a good company are almost never a problem and they adapt very quickly.

You’re right on the personality part. Sometimes personalities just don’t jive to well. Oh well. The key is to go into an interview confident in your own skills. When you leave the interview without getting a call back, you can still be confident in your own skills and gratefull that they neglected your needs up front instead of after a few months of working for them.

gosh, stop thinking you and your ideas are so precious. Companies just simply want to see your abilities. If you must doubt that the company you are applying to is loser enough to use so-desperately-wanting-a-job applicants’ ideas, it’s not worth it to apply anyway. And if your ideas are so precious and you must be paid every second you use your brain, stop applying for jobs and work for yourself. You won’t EVER be happy working for someone else.