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SportsShooter.com: Member Message Board

Need to write a critique to land a job
Oscar Salinas, Photographer
Chatsworth | IL | USA | Posted: 12:29 AM on 10.22.06
->> I had an interview that seemed to have gone really well at a paper where I would really like to work. Before leaving, I was given a week's worth of papers. The managing editor gave me a deadline and said to email her an honest critique of their newspaper.

What is the best way to respond to this request? For example, how many things should I say are good and how many suggestions for improvement should I make? The managing editor said that the person who they hire needs to be a problem solver. How do I show my problem solving abilities in the written critique? How long should it be: just a paragraph or does it need to be 10 pages long? What is the interviewer's thought process behind asking for a critique?

Any help would be greatly appreciated!
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Joseph Toth, Photographer
Cambs | UK | United Kingdom | Posted: 1:06 AM on 10.22.06
->> Oscar,

Be Honest! If you see something that is wrong say so, but have a solution at the ready. I think that this is the purpose of this, not only being able to find the faults but be able to think of a solution.

Joe
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Chris Lawson, Photographer, Photo Editor
Centennial | CO | USA | Posted: 1:07 AM on 10.22.06
->> Not to sound crass, but the fact that you're asking how you should respond to a potential boss' 'problem solving' test is kind of suspect. Let me expand on that notion - she wants to know what 'you' think and not what a community of photographers thinks you should think.

That said, my advice is as follows:
1. Be honest with your appraisal of the current product.
2. Take your response seriously - make sure that the areas you state should be improved are issues you can address as a staffer at the paper. If you don't have the skills or experience to solve the problem, figure out what 'you' need to learn and learn it.
3. Explain your skills and experience and make her understand your value.

Good luck, Oscar!
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Jeff Stanton, Photographer
Tucson | Az | USA | Posted: 6:41 AM on 10.22.06
->> Oscar ... Keep in mind that critiques such as the one you're being asked to do, are that of hindsight. It's easy to spot problems after the product has been printed and everyone has had several hours (days) to comb over everything.

During the news gathering process and the design and layout of the paper, particularly Page 1A, there are lines of thought and plans that unfold and in some cases, unravel throughout the night (or morning).

It's these kinds of things that you will have no way of knowing about. I think about the people who plan the design of our pages everyday and some of them take very personally what they believe are well thought out plans.

I guess what I'm trying to say is it's okay to be honest, but I would choose my words carefully. I would offer feedback in a positive manner and offer praise in areas you believe deserve it.

My line of thought here is you can only effectively comment on things you are schooled in withoug looking foolish. And you surely want to come across like you know what you're talking about. I would stay with that line of thought.
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Oscar Salinas, Photographer
Chatsworth | IL | USA | Posted: 1:57 PM on 10.22.06
->> I sincerely appreciate the comments from each of you. They have helped me to craft a critique that states my honest opinion in a way that demonstrates my problem-solving skills. It was a new experience for me to write a critique. Your thoughts have helped to make it feel less threatening and more like an opportunity to showcase my value as an employee. Thank you!
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Oscar Salinas, Photographer
Chatsworth | IL | USA | Posted: 6:48 PM on 10.25.06
->> I GOT THE JOB!!! Thanks again for your helpful comments!
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Wesley R. Bush, Photographer
Nashville | TN | U.S. | Posted: 6:55 PM on 10.25.06
->> Congrats. What did you write?
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Landon Finch, Photographer
Colorado Springs | CO | USA | Posted: 6:57 PM on 10.25.06
->> Congrats...remember to update your member page!
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Clark Brooks, Photo Editor, Photographer
Urbana | IL | USA | Posted: 7:02 PM on 10.25.06
->> Hey Oscar!

Kudos man! We'll miss seeing you around this part of the state. Best of luck to ya!
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Oscar Salinas, Photographer
Chatsworth | IL | USA | Posted: 12:39 AM on 10.31.06
->> Wesley,
I complimented all the things that I liked. I made a comment about what I thought could use improvement, but--as suggested here on the boards--only in an area where my work could be of help. I then went on to explain what I would do to help bring about the change I would like to see. I also made sure to have it in by the deadline I was given. From the comments made, I am certain that a late critique would have cost me the job.

Landon,
I start the job in Indiana on November 13. I am itching to put my updated information on my page as soon as I begin!

Clark,
It's been great to get to know you. Still being in the midwest, who knows but that we might bump into each other every now and then.

Thanks, all!
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Thread Title: Need to write a critique to land a job
Thread Started By: Oscar Salinas
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