Just the other day we had two art directors in to interview. They were both from the same agency and neither knew that the other was interviewing here…and they both showed, as their self-selected favorite piece of their work, the same thing.
Having interviewed the two back to back, I expressed surprise that the second person presented it as his. He was more junior and, after all, the woman before had just chosen it as her favorite. I know that teams work on campaigns and all that, and that more than one person can sometimes claim responsibility for some work, but this piece was singular in design, thinking and the like.
And anyway, you know when it is fair to claim the work as your own and when it isn’t.
In this case it wasn’t. The guy asked why I was surprised the he showed me the piece of work in question and I told him; I said that someone I had just interviewed had shown the same piece and claimed it as her own. He proceeded, with great fervor, to tell me that it was completely his design and to walk me through the complete concepting process, discuss in detail the contributions of the rest of the team and to tell me about production and results. Being that guy, I had to ask the woman who had also claimed the work what her role in it was. Predictably, she hemmed and hawed and talked about a team effort and her work in overseeing its development.
We’ll hire the work-stealer anyway, I am sure. We make retarded personnel decisions here at the House of Biz.
I was reminded of this situation when I was reading Ad Broad’s blog and she had posted on a company that allows you to order memorabilia from famous colleges. So, say you wish you went to Princeton…just go to the company’s website and order the keyring, or the watch with the insignia, or even the engraved pewter frame that you can put on your desk to show your colleagues that you really are an Ivy League grad even though you use double infinitives and can barely used your telephone.
That is the account person version of what the art director I interviewed did.