No matter what field or position a candidate is applying for, they have to supply a resume that covers their background and expertise, however all recruiters know that intuition plays a key factor in selecting the right person for a role. When it comes to filling design jobs and other traditionally creative ones, there’s even more importance placed on identifying the right person to fit the role and within the existing team. They will often offer a portfolio of their work with their application, however that can only go so far to tell you how they think, and how they work.
Number one on my list when I’m applying for a job is to go in with tremendous amounts of enthusiasm. I’ve found that to be the greatest asset I can bring to the time I’m visiting with recruiters and hiring managers. With rare exception, they will choose to work with friendly and pleasant people. Enthusiasm and energy can be a game changer, especially when you might be an underqualified or fringe candidate and you’re looking to separate yourself from the pack. I recall several times being faced with questions during interviews I couldn’t quite answer, but rather than duck and evade them or highlight other positive qualities unrelated to the inquiry at hand, I turned them into chances to talk about how much I’ve learned and how quickly I can get up to speed.
Nobody will get hired on enthusiasm alone, of course, but it can be a characteristic that helps you leave an impression on someone. Here are three other things to look for in a candidate during the interview that will demonstrate whether they will be a good fit within the creative department at your organization:
Freelancers and consultants can work well alone, but the majority of us feel relief in being a part of a bigger company. There’s no end to the benefits that come with participating in conversations with colleagues that will ultimately highlight everyone’s strengths and make your final product better. During the interview, you can get a sense of how the candidate will function within the team they are looking to join. Give them a chance to show how they problem-solve with a situation that requires multiple people and lots of attention. How they envision their role in getting everything in order will illustrate what they might be like to work with on a day-to-day basis. It’s not just a role they’re filling; it’s a spot within a cohesive unit.
They’ll need to get along with others, but also know when to hold their own and to speak for themselves. It’s important that workers take ownership over their projects whenever possible, and having someone who is meek or standoffish could jeopardize your enterprise. Find someone who will make sure that the assignment not only gets done but also in its best form. They should take pride in what they do, and also in the brand they represent with their work. Make it clear to them from the start that your company will reward them however possible as they show their prowess for motivating others and keeping up the positivity. Be sure to bring up incentives and what they see as top motivating factors.
Even if they are masters at their particular field, they should know how to keep any unflattering arrogance in check. They should be able to seamlessly join a team and find their place. During the interview, especially on a follow-up one, you can learn more about them by asking them to describe times they failed and what they learned from the experiences. How they respond will reveal a lot. Listen carefully to what they choose, but also pay heed to how they say they grew from it. Even at high-levels of a company, errors take place, many of them unexpected. Overcoming adversity is key to a successful group. If you have the right people in place, when those issues arise, they’ll be able to navigate around them together.
A word of advice: sometimes it’s the job descriptions that get things off on the wrong foot – if the list of responsibilities and qualifications reads flat, you’re likely going to get a set of candidates to match. When it comes to recruiting creative professionals, you’ll want to give them a glimpse up front of what you and your culture are like. Find ways to spice up the job listing to help yourself get in front of the right candidates. Don’t forget that interviews and application processes are two-way streets and you should make sure you are also at your best. Some of the techniques that go into hiring tech or business people might not work for creatives. You, too, will have to do your homework and adapt to the clientele and audience whom you wish to reach.
Author: Danny Groner is the manager of blogger partnerships and outreach for Shutterstock.