Artisan Blog

Your Interviewing Style

Wednesday, March 02, 2016

Just like no two snowflakes are alike, no two interviews are exactly the same. That being said, there are several archetypes of interviewers. Personality, company culture, and interview style play a big role in how a job interview goes, and there are many things that can contribute to a good or bad interview, such as whether the candidate is prepared, reading body language, and sussing out if they are indeed qualified for the position. But you -- and the candidate -- can help each other have a successful interview by knowing what type of interviewer you are.

The Talkative Interviewer

You’re friendly and warm! You love talking about the company you love working for, and have a lot to say about the position. You may also have a lot to say...in general. Toe the line between gregarious and chatty by keeping your guard up. Let the candidate do more of the talking, and be an active listener. The more they talk, the more you’ll be able to determine if they’re really a good fit for the team.

The Inquisitive Interviewer

You feel that the best way to get to know people is to ask questions. You’re likely to ask a candidate about aspects of their life beyond their career accomplishments or future goals. Some personal questions are fine to ask. For instance, if they made a personal connection to your company’s work in their cover letter, it’s fine to explore this. However, you should never ask any questions that could be construed as inappropriate or make someone feel uncomfortable. If they’re a good fit for the company, you’ll get to know them better later.

The Questioning Interviewer

You like to get down to business. You don’t just ask a lot of questions -- you ask them rapidly and expect the candidate to fire back just as quickly. While you may feel this is an efficient form of interviewing, your candidate may find it a little intimidating. Switch up the pace of the interview and allow them time to formulate thoughtful answers.

The “Follows the Script” Interviewer

You’re fair and objective. You also have a job to do, and that job is to find the best new hire for the team. You have a pre-set list of questions you ask, and you don’t deviate too much from the script. While it may help you keep the candidates straight, be prepared for someone you’re interviewing to talk at length on one subject, or demonstrate passion for a specific achievement. Let the flow of discourse shift when necessary -- you may find that by doing so, you find your next hire faster!

The Busy Interviewer

You have a LOT on your plate. You’re leading the team, taking care of projects, answering emails -- maybe you don’t even really care that much about being a part of the interview process. But the candidate might be nervous, and not feigning interest in the interview can come off as rude. Try to set aside any distractions and listen to them, especially because they could very well be working for you soon.

The Funny Interviewer

You’re a joker. You like to have fun and laugh, and you want a team that does the same. Yet sarcasm or jokes might cross the line. An anxious candidate might not know how to react to your humor, or even share it. Try to focus on their resume, and if you think they’re too serious, then you can make another choice later.

The New Interviewer

You’re fairly new to the company or your team. In fact, this might be the first time you’ve had the responsibility of hiring someone! But being new means you don’t have the same level of experience as other folks. Prepare in advance of the interview. Have a list of questions ready and their resume printed out for reference. Think of what questions they may ask you about the job or company, and have replies ready for them.

Are you looking for talent at your company? Tell us what you’re looking for so we can help!


Tips for Working With Recruiters To Find You a Great Job

Tuesday, December 08, 2015

Recruiters are here to support your job search, but it’s like they say in Jerry Maguire: “Help me, help you.” Here are some tips on how to work with recruiters so they can help you find the perfect role:

Recruiters have a good insight into a company’s open roles.  Recruiters are a great source of knowledge about openings in the industry.  They also have specific insight into what a hiring manager is looking for, so if you aren’t considered for a role, it’s because you’re not the best fit according to the hiring company’s needs.

Include an intro letter. A short email introduction highlighting your skills, leadership qualities and why you’re interested in the position is a good way to get yourself noticed. If you have a website or online creative portfolio, include the link.

Apply to local jobs. If a job posting includes the phrase “local candidates only” or something similar, the company needs an employee to start immediately or will not pay for relocation. Look for local jobs or wait to relocate before applying -- otherwise it will be a challenge for a recruiter to convince the hiring company you’re a great candidate.

Find positive spins for unemployment. If you’re currently unemployed, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. However, it’s always better if you can fill in the gaps.  Use your time to try consulting, working on freelance projects, taking a class, starting a blog, volunteering for a cause or organization you’re passionate about. Alternately, create samples for the types of jobs you want (like copywriting samples or mockups of websites).

Make it easy to find you. Let’s say you’re not the right candidate for a particular job, however you want to have your profile discoverable by future employers. Create a website or creative portfolio, social profile and samples so your recruiter can better promote your skills.

Trust the recruiter. Don’t contact the employer directly -- that’s why they hired a recruiter in the first place! Trust that they’re doing everything they can to put you in that great position. Moreover, recruiters are experienced, so if they advise something like fixes on your resume or an improved online portfolio it’s likely your chances of landing a great gig will increase!

Build a relationship. Even if a recruiter isn’t able to place you immediately or your find an ideal job on your own, maintain the relationship and check in on occasion. You never know when you can use their services again--either as a candidate or as a hiring manager.

Recruiters are invested in your success. As long as you know what you want and how you best fit into a job, then it’ll be easier for a recruiter to assist you. Follow these tips, and you’ll be on your way to a new job!


How Interviewers Can Find the Best Candidates During the Interview Process

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

best-candidates-interviews

One of the big responsibilities of recruiters is helping our amazing prospective candidates prepare for interviews. We’ve sent hundreds of wonderful candidates out on thousands of interviews, and we have to say, we’re experts on what helps make a great interview. If you’re in charge of hiring, the following tips on conducting an interview can be of benefit to find the perfect candidate for your company:

Prepare your questions in advance. Whatever the position, make sure you know ahead of time what you’re going to ask them. How would you best describe the role’s day-to-day needs? How will you review the team structure, reporting structure and company culture and values?

Ask open-ended questions. Ask questions that start with “why” or “how” to allow candidates to put into their own words what they think or feel. For instance, “How did you handle a crisis?” or “Why is a strong team environment important to you” will let them tell their story. Therefore, you’ll get to know them better!

Hone in your listening skills. This might seem obvious, but active listening is absolutely necessary to getting all the info you need. Pay attention to more than their words. What does their body language and tone say? You can learn a lot about whether you think a candidate is truly a good fit or if you think they’re just saying what they think you want to hear.

Keep it positive. Even if the role is challenging, or the company is in a transitional stage, it’s best to upfront yet keep the tone of the interview positive and informative.

Don’t let time slip away. Always leave time during an interview so the candidate can ask questions about the role and company. You’ll be able to find out what’s important just by giving them the opportunity to ask.

Know what comes next. If an interview goes well, let them know! Tell them about the current interview process and how it’s going, as well as whether you need to set up a second interview with other hiring managers or team members. They could be entertaining multiple offers, but if they know you’re interested, it could seal the deal.

Remember -- a good recruiter can help you find the perfect candidates to interview, and a good interviewer can assess who’s the right candidate for the job, but a great hire can truly make a successful team thrive!


Here’s How You Can Impress Recruiters with Your Resume in 6 Seconds.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

impress-recruiters-6-seconds

A recent Harvard Business Review article pointed out that online job search site The Ladders says recruiters take about six seconds to look at a resume.

Six seconds! What can anyone reasonably do in six seconds?

Well, they can make a judgment call. And that’s what you can fix. Because as long as your resume is effective, you get a lot more than six seconds of someone’s time.

Spruce up your portfolio. Your resume may only get a few moments of time to make a mark, but a well crafted portfolio of your work can make all the difference. A great portfolio can help convince hiring managers that your work speaks louder than your resume, as well as make the connection between your work experience and actual creative endeavors.

Close the employment gaps. If you’ve been looking for a while, it can feel like the gap between jobs is just getting bigger. Volunteer, freelance, or create your own projects to add to the resume so the gaps lessen. Look for leadership roles to help enhance your standing.

Be selective. Your resume is a body of content that represents you, so it doesn’t need to be comprehensive. Include whatever is relevant to the job and hiring manager as part of your experience. The same goes for your skills and accomplishments.

Format your resume correctly. Use bold and underlining plus bullet points to help promote yourself in a concise yet detailed fashion. Add the right keywords -- the more specific, the better. Short descriptions of previous work experience will suffice. Make sure to point out your responsibilities in each position in addition to personal achievements. Education goes at the end. Finally, keep everything clean! Lots of white space helps your resume appear professional and polished.

Ask for help. Being objective about your career can be difficult. Some people overestimate or underestimate their success. Hire a resume writer, or ask a mentor or friend to help with the resume writing process.

Take your time. Creating an effective resume is not a quick or easy process. You have to think carefully about what you want to say and how to say it.

Is your resume ready for review in six seconds? What are your resume tips?


Job Interviews: Questions to Ask During an Interview

Wednesday, April 08, 2015

Job Interviews: Questions to Ask During an Interview

 

You’ve found the perfect job, sent your resume to the company and you’ve been invited for an interview. Now what?


We recommend that you prepare by reading our blog on the six things you should be doing during your interview and then start thinking about a few questions to ask the interviewer to help you learn more about the company and the role for which you are interviewing.
Sometimes the answers to these questions, and the way in which they are answered, can provide you with vital insight into whether an opportunity is really the right fit.
It’s perfectly acceptable to write down interview questions and refer to your notepad during an interview, in fact we encourage you to do so as it shows you’ve really prepared for your interview and given thought to your questions.

Questions about the Role / Position / Department
•    How would you describe the work environment?
•    Can you describe a typical day?
•    Can you share more about the department and the team I would be working with?
•    How do you envision this department in 6 months / 1 year / long-term?
•    How large is the department (how many designers, marketers, etc.)?
•    What is the hierarchy/org chart when it comes to decision-making in my dept?
•    What have been some of the most exciting projects we’ve worked on?
•    What was your personal favorite project here?
•    What are your expectations for this position?
•    What is the growth potential of this role?

Questions about the Company Culture / History
•    What is your history with this company?
•    Can you share more about the company culture?
•    Can you share more about the company history and/or clients?
•    What is the hierarchy/org chart when it comes to decision-making in the company?
•    How would you define the management philosophy of this company?
•    How do you envision the company in 6 months / 1 year / long-term?

Questions about your Skills / Qualification
•    What is most important for you in this position in terms of skills and personality?
•    What qualities do you feel someone needs to be successful in this role?
•    What metrics for success do you implement?
•    What makes someone a top producer in your eyes?
•    What in particular in my background made you feel I was a good fit for this position?
•    Do you have any concerns about my experience?
•    What do you foresee any challenges for me in this role?
•    Is there anything you feel is missing from my background/resume that I may be able to expand on?

•    How can I grow my skills in this position?

At the end of your interview, don’t forget to ask our favorite question which is “Do you have any reservations about hiring me?” This is your final chance to sell yourself one last time and also iron out any concerns the interviewer may have about your experience.

Do you have any go-to interview questions you like to ask? How do you prepare for your interviews? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below or on Twitter @artisanupdates.

 


Resume Buzzwords: Are You Really a Dynamic Team Player?

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Resume Buzzwords: Are You Really a Dynamic Team Player?

A resume takes time to write. It should be well-crafted and every detail and word scrutinized and then proofread before sending out into the world. A tiny error can be the difference between getting an interview and getting rejected. As recruiters, we read hundreds of resumes each week. So how do you set yourself apart from the rest of the pack? Generic buzzwords can fill up space but they don’t really say a lot about you.

 

Take a look through LinkedIn’s most overused buzzwords. Are some of these on your resume or LinkedIn profile? If the answer is yes, it’s time for a refresh. There are also resume writing services such as our friends at JobJenny.com who are one of the best in the business for resume writing and also offer one-on-one sessions to get your resume in tip top shape.

Things to Avoid

You may actually be “a motivated and dynamic team player” but it really doesn’t explain how motivated and dynamic you really are. In fact, it doesn’t really tell us much at all. Stay away from job-seeking clichés. If you find you’re having to bulk up your resume, you need to re-think your resume strategy. Are you currently using any of these words?
-Dynamic
-Expert
-Extensive experience
-Motivated
-Passionate
-Team Player

 

What Should I Use Instead of Buzzwords?
Don’t be afraid to show personality, we are in the creative industry, after all. As recruiters we want to hear about your favorite projects or your most exciting campaigns and your hobbies outside of work. Include metrics of your greatest achievements and show how motivated you really are without actually having to say it.
A few examples:
-Increased a brand’s social presence by X% within one year
-Tasked with growing a digital department which generated X amount of revenue
-Mentored junior members by doing XYZ
-Exceeded targets by X amount

 
If you want honest feedback and guidance on your resume, have a chat with one of the Artisan team who can give you some insight. We want you to look your best! Take a look at your resume; if it’s filled with superlatives and empty words, it’s time to start thinking about substantial facts and achievements to really sell yourself.

 

Laura Pell – Artisan Creative

 


Gratitude

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Gratitude

 

“Piglet noticed that even though he had a very small heart, it could hold rather a large amount of gratitude.” – A.A. Milne, Winnie the Pooh

With the hustle and bustle of the Holidays right around the corner, we’d like to take a moment and express our gratitude to those around us.
We spoke with some of our talent and the Artisan team to see what they are grateful for in 2014.

Katty
To me gratitude means to be appreciative of things on a daily basis. I write down three gratitudes every day. In the rush of daily to-dos, this allows me to focus on the important things in life. Today I’m grateful that my family, friends and Artisan team are healthy, of Artisan’s virtual office setting that allows me to work yet be close to loved ones, and grateful for the beautiful weather in LA.

Margaret
I’m grateful for a job that allows a lot of flexibility, for a husband who I love very much and so lucky to have and a supportive Family who is there for me no matter what.

Jamie
I thank God every day for my family and friends.  I am thankful that my children are growing up surrounded by a loving community and I am thankful to share my life with some really kind and wonderful people.  For me gratitude is recognizing even the smallest blessing or gesture and not taking anything for granted, especially my health and well-being.

Jen
I'm thankful for good health, strong friendships, and a happy family. Grateful to work in the creative space where I get to connect with and be inspired by brilliant, passionate, and talented individuals and so lucky that it's through an agency that values people, trust, and respect.

Laura
I’m grateful to have such a supportive, kind family with a devoted husband. I’m grateful to be in a position to have saved two rescue dogs and work for a company who has integrity and respect.

Jamie
Gratitude is that deeper feeling one is left with after having been a part of contributing to, or being the recipient of, someone’s contribution to a greater good.

Vicky
I am thankful my family is healthy this year. Both my husband and I have some advancement in our career. And I met a great agent, Jen at Artisan around Thanksgiving time!

Deborah
I'm thankful for my dog, Pepper! In March, my boyfriend and I adopted an abandoned mini pincher mix from the rescue organization Dogs Without Borders. She's the most delightful, playful little bundle of joy and adopting her was the best decision we've ever made. Not only is it wonderful to have a dog, but by virtue of having a dog, we've ended up getting out and meeting many of our neighbors, making our neighborhood really feel like home

Robert Emmons, the world’s leading scientific expert on gratitude states, “Gratitude makes us appreciate the value of something, and when we appreciate the value of something, we extract more benefits from it; we’re less likely to take it for granted.”

What are you grateful for this Thanksgiving? Share your responses with us on Twitter @artisanupdates.

Laura Pell - Recruiter at Artisan Creative


Agency vs. Client Side

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Agency vs. Client Side

 

For many people, there comes a time in your career when you start considering what it would be like to work on the other side. There’s no right answer: agency life can often involve long hours and multiple clients, but it can also be very rewarding. Perhaps working for a brand is more suited to you if you like to specialize in one area and take ownership? Many of our candidates talk about their desires to work for the other team so what better way to help you make the decision than by comparing them side by side.

What’s it like to work at an agency?
Agency life can often have a reputation for long days and hard work, but on the upside you get to flex your creativity and have exposure to many different accounts and brands. You can be working on a last minute project one day then quickly switch gears onto a pitch or something entirely different the next. Multitasking is king so you must be switched on and ready to take anything thrown your way.

For designers, an agency is a perfect way to build your portfolio. You can show a breadth of work with multiple brands while proving to future hiring managers you have what it takes to survive in a fast-paced and deadline-driven environment. This rings true for those in marketing, client services or similar verticals.  Being exposed to many different brands also means you will qualify for more jobs in the future so think about where you want to be in 5-10 years and make sure your current responsibilities are in alignment with your future goals.

What’s it like to work client side?
Unlike agency life which can be very seasonal, workflow in-house is often more stable and predictable. Projects are usually repeated (and improved upon) each year so you know what to expect and when. There’s also a sense of brand familiarity. You will live and breathe one brand and their message so you can become specialized in their area, such as CPG or technology. There’s also the added job security -- agencies are reliant upon business from their clients; if one client leaves it can put jobs at risk. We’re not saying that layoffs don’t happen for in-house companies because sadly they do, but it can be less of a concern.

In the end, it comes down to what you want to get out of your career. If you like high energy and a variety of work, perhaps the agency world is where you will thrive, but if you feel you want brand familiarity, it could be time to look at client side.

Have you worked on both sides before? How did the experiences differ? Share your thoughts and experiences with us on Twitter @artisanupdates.

 Laura Pell - Recruiter at Artisan Creative


A Guide to Relocating to Los Angeles

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

A Guide to Relocating to Los Angeles

 

So you want to move to Los Angeles, but now what? LA is a place unlike any other. There’s the entertainment industry, the growing start-up area of Silicon Beach, the emerging creative world of downtown – it’s hard to know where to begin. As American poet and critic Dorothy Parker so eloquently put it, “LA is 72 suburbs in search of a city”. If you’ve yet to visit LA, it will all make sense when you arrive.

First of all, you will need to plan. Are you able to move without landing a job first? Do you need to find an apartment? If you’re outside of the US, can you legally work here? Careful planning and research will allow you to figure out budgets, timelines and scope. LA is an exciting city to live in and opportunities can be plentiful if you work at it.

Finding Work
Identify a few recruitment agencies you’re interested in working with.  If you plan to make the move to LA after you find a job, be clear and concise with your timeline. Outline your availability for in-person interviews and communicate your travel arrangements. If you’re clear on these factors, it makes working together more seamless and cohesive.
If you’re planning to move here first, keep in mind that LA’s industry is very different to that of say, New York or London. It can take many people a few months to find work so be financially and mentally prepared.

Transport
Living in LA without a car is not impossible, but it is tough. LA is basically a series of towns connected by freeways. There’s a Metro system which can take you through Hollywood and as far as Long Beach and downtown but if you want to work on the westside, your options are buses or a ridesharing service such as SideCar or Uber. If you plan on using public transport, be clear to recruiters and companies you’re working with that you are without a car. That way they can look at their client base in your local area.

Accommodation
LA comes at a price. LA Times recently warned Angelenos to prepare for rent hikes over the next two years. Rent prices in areas such as Newport Beach where they’ve experienced a tech-boom average 2.5k per month. Renting rooms, sharing houses or renting studios are commonplace. Decide what will work for you with your budget but remember; LA salaries aren’t quite in line with New York or San Francisco. Use places like Glassdoor to find out salaries of companies and positions you’re interested in and ask your recruiter to guide you on average market rates.

Making Friends
Rest assured that your friends and family will always want to visit the City of Angels. With the constant sunny weather and palm trees, it’s an inspiring city to explore. Use Meetup.com to find local events (and if you’re in the UX space, be sure to check out our friends over at LAUX MeetUp) and peruse our recent blog about co-working spaces which is a great place to start networking and making friends.

Have you made the move to LA and had similar experiences? Share your thoughts with us over on Twitter @ArtisanUpdates.

 


8 Tips to Help Your Resume and Portfolio Stand Out

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

8 Tips to Help Your Resume and Portfolio Stand Out

 

As agency recruiters and sourcers, our goal is to find amazing talent for the open positions our clients have and help make an impact for both.  In order to successfully do so, we review 50+ resumes a day before we get to the interview phase.  That makes over 250 a week, and more than 1,000 a month, conservatively guessing!

Below are 8 tips to help your resume and portfolio stand out.

INITIAL FACTORS

Every new search begins with the required elements of a position. We're here to help by working with you to see how and why your background may be fit for a role.  Here are a few things we take into consideration at the beginning of a search.

  1. Job Title & Responsibilities.  Your current job title & what your current responsibilities are.  For example, if you are looking for a graphic designer role but have not held that position in a while, we'll need your help to clarify why.
  2. Industry/Vertical Experience. If you looking to change verticals or have an industry preference but haven't been able to work professionally in it, consider taking on some freelance projects to gain exposure and industry experience.
  3. Years of Experience. Let us know why you are open to a more junior position, or why you may be qualified for a more senior one.
  4. Job Location.  An important factor is commute-time. If you are open to a position outside your local area, please be specific in your submission letter.

RESUMES, PROFILES, AND PORTFOLIOS

Once we have identified a pool of candidates for a specific role, the fun begins! When looking for creative roles, we like to browse the portfolio first.  We begin every search with a good understanding of the aesthetic and design style a talent has and whether it's a match for what a client is looking for.

  1. A clean, organized, and easy to navigate portfolio is a breath of fresh air!  Give your portfolio an extra "oomph" by showcasing your most recent and relevant work samples.  When selecting pieces to include, go for the projects that demonstrate your design strengths, add a little bit of diversity, and make sure images are high resolution.  Don't forget to include your favorite projects as well since your passion will shine through when talking about them.   List your involvement on the project—whether it was creative direction, or production….let your online portfolio be clear and concise.

If you are unable to create your own website, there are many online portfolio sites such as Behance, Dribbble and Coroflot to utilize.  A comprehensive list can be found on our resources page.

  1. A chronological resume is the easiest to browse, starting with the most recent work.  If you've worked at agencies, make sure to include a brief list of accounts you've worked on.  Descriptions of your roles and duties are essential, along with time spent in the company.   List your Education, dates, degrees, software proficiencies and expertise levels
  2. Longevity.  Clearly state if a role was freelance for a specific project. Otherwise several short-term assignments at different companies can be considered a red flag.  Help us understand the different career moves you've made and how you can be a stable and loyal addition to the team.  
  3. Typos are the first things to jump out on your resume and portfolio.  Even if you've reviewed it a hundred times, let a friend with a critical eye take a look before you send it out.  As Laszlo Bock, Senior VP of People Operations at Google, said, "Typos are deadly because employers interpret them as a lack of detail-orientation, as a failure to care about quality."  You don't want that to be their first impression of you so take a few extra measures for peace of mind.

Of course, this is a general approach at how the initial process of sourcing goes.  The depth of what we do as an agency and the core of how we take a different approach takes precedence during the interview stage where we dive deeper into your background and work with you on culture fit and career expectations.  

At Artisan Creative, we are in the business of connecting you to the right role so help us understand your strengths, values, and career objectives.  A clear understanding of these on our end, coupled with a well-written resume and beautifully designed portfolio on your end, can be the beginning of a great work relationship.

 By Jen Huynh, Sourcer at Artisan Creative



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