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I have battled a situation in the past from when I have an idea for a website I would design it. A few years back I decided to apply for some companies that were starting out in web development and posted they were seeking designers. So I created a portfolio tailored to each employer and my understanding of a good portfolio was for it to not be overwhelming and to prepare no more than my ten best designs. While on one of the interviews I was told, "we like your designs but wish they were full functioning sites". So my questions are:

  1. Is it a bad idea to use web designs that aren't coded?
  2. How do you properly sell the design to a possible employer?
  3. Is it bad to be honest that the designs are your ideas or should you pass them off as possible clients?
  4. Is their a good balance to use in client work VS personal work?
  5. Is a template design considered as personal work?
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Is it a bad idea to use web designs that aren't coded?

No.

How do you properly sell the design to a possible employer?

You sell the design as you would selling it to a customer. You explain how the approach you took met the project's objectives and goals.

Is it bad to be honest that the designs are your ideas or should you pass them off as possible clients?

Not to be cliche, but: honesty is usually the best policy (at least in job interviews).

Is their a good balance to use in client work VS personal work?

No particular rule. Show what you want to show and feels best represents your skills and styles.

Is a template design considered as personal work?

I don't think there is any rule about that.

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