Interview Questions Every Employer Should Ask

Wednesday, September 28th, 2016|

 

 

Artisan Creative is celebrating 20 years of creative staffing & recruiting. Over the years we’ve learned a lot and will share our experiences with you in our 20/20 series:

20 blogs celebrating 20 years of creative recruiting!

 

Whether you’ve been interviewing candidates for a long time or hiring your first employee, you’ll probably agree that the interview is the most important part of the recruitment process. Therefore it’s critical to ask the right questions.

While our version of the Proust Questionnaire offers a few out of the box questions (designed to see how creative they can be), here are a few tips and questions every interviewer should be asking:

 

  • Tell me about yourself. – This type of open-ended question is a great way to start your interview and put your candidate at ease. It should be easy to talk about yourself! It also gives you an opportunity to witness both confidence and communication skills first hand.
  • Describe a time when something went wrong at work and how you dealt with it. – This question is ideal for learning about how your potential hire will handle the pressures of life and conflict resolution, as well as demonstrating problem-solving skills and culture fit.
  • How would others describe you? – This is a great way to ask the “strengths” and “weaknesses” question without actually asking it. It also provides some insight into how your working relationship with the potential talent might be. Does the answer describe a person that would fit well within your organization?
  • What role do you usually play in a team? – The answer to this question should compliment the previous answer – is the way your coworkers see you the way you actually perform on the team? This question also provides insight on personality and autonomy.
  • Where do you see yourself in five years? – The perfect question for uncovering candidate motivations, answers help determine whether your company and the opportunity presented are a good fit for the interviewee. Will they still be with your team in five years or will they quickly outgrow your department or company? This also provides a good opportunity to see a candidate’s drive and how they can grow with the company.
  • Tell me about a favorite project you worked on and why it’s your favorite. – Resumes offer a list of responsibilities and accomplishments. Answers to this question should reveal the story behind the bullet points, the passion for the project, and the genuine interest for the work.
  • What does leadership mean to you? This is a good opportunity to learn about the candidate’s leadership style, especially for senior roles or when the candidate will be supervising others.  Answers will also provide good insight about the candidate’s expectations of their supervisors.
  • What questions can I answer for you? – This is the perfect way to “end” an interview as you turn the tables, engaging the talent to then interview you. Not only does it demonstrate your company’s appreciation for open dialogue, but also lets you know whether the potential job seeker is definitely interested. If they answer “no” – then they probably haven’t done enough research on the product or company.

Do you have any tips or interview questions to share? Share with us on Linkedin, Facebook, or Twitter.

Job Interview Questions Designed to Make You Think

Wednesday, August 3rd, 2016|


Job interviews can be anxiety-inducing, especially if you really want the job. Your resume and cover letter were good enough to land the interview, but meeting face-to-face (or via Skype or Google Hangouts) is a whole other story. And nowadays, it’s not enough to ask the standard interview questions. In fact, many top companies ask their potential candidates an array of surprising and unfamiliar questions to help get your creative juices flowing and see how you respond on the fly to thinking analytically and developing solutions. It’s a chance for you to loosen up, relax, and show the interviewer the real you.

We’ve put together a list of real-life interview questions from top companies around the world courtesy of Glassdoor and beyond, from companies including Facebook, Google, Apple, Amazon, Intel, and Trader Joe’s. Try practicing answers to questions like these, and see what fun answers you come up with on your own!

  • If you could only choose one song to play every time you walked into a room for the rest of your life, what would it be?
  • Choose a city and estimate how many piano tuners operate a business there.
  • If you could be remembered for one sentence, what would it be?
  • Why are manhole covers round?
  • Design an evacuation plan for this building.
  • How many Big Macs does McDonald’s sell each year in the U.S.?
  • 25 racehorses, no stopwatch. 5 tracks. Figure out the top three fastest horses in the fewest number of races.
  • How much do you charge to wash every window in Seattle?
  • If I was talking to your best friend, what is the one thing they would you say you need to work on?
  • How many children are born every day?
  • If you were a pizza delivery man, how would you benefit from scissors?
  • How would you breakdown the cost of this pen?
  • If you have 2 eggs, and you want to figure out what’s the highest floor from which you can drop the egg without breaking it, how would you do it? What’s the optimal solution?
  • How would you solve problems if you were from Mars?
  • Design a spice rack for the blind.
  • What do you think of garden gnomes?
  • You’re a new addition to the crayon box. What color would you be and why?

Image by Meilun.

Artisan Creative is celebrating our 20th year staffing and recruiting Creative, Digital and Marketing roles. Please visit Roles We Place for a complete listing of our expertise.

Click here if you are looking to hire. Click here if you are looking for work.

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How to Enter the World of Recruiting

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2016|

entering-recruiting-jobs

You may not know it yet, however recruitment is a more exciting career than being skydiving instructor or secret agent!  Where else can you impact people’s lives by finding them an impactful opportunity!  Whether it’s a 2-day assignment, or a life changing full time move across country, recruiters are matchmakers between candidates and clients.

Here are just some of the things you’ll need to know when entering the world of recruiting:

Become a detective! You need to listen, search and connect the dots by discovering your client’s need. You then have to find the perfect candidate for that role. Finally, you need to learn how to bring the two together. It’s your responsibility to make sure  the opportunity is right for both the candidate and the client.

Hone your communication skills. You have to speak confidently about a candidate’s skills and background as well as a job or company’s features and benefits. Your writing skills are key in writing job descriptions to capture a company’s needs for that position, while presenting an attractive offer to potential candidates. You also need impeccable writing and presentation skills when highlighting your candidate and their key qualifications.

Ask the right questions. Being naturally inquisitive goes a long way in recruitment. Getting to the heart of what hiring managers are looking for means asking questions about what they really need. Additionally, you need to know what to ask candidates so you can find the one who meets all the requirements or is the best fit.

Listen! Listen to your clients’ needs and candidates’ wants. These have to be in sync with one another.

A positive attitude goes a long way. Know you are making an impact. Recruiters help a company make key hires that impact their culture and their success. They help find the impactful and sometimes life changing opportunities for their candidates. The match may not happen overnight. Don’t be afraid of rejection, and know you are making a difference.

Be passionate! Recruiting is a job where you literally get to impact people’s lives! You could be the missing link between connecting someone to their dream job.

Want to join our team? Talk to us about joining Artisan Creative as a recruiter!

Your Interviewing Style

Wednesday, March 2nd, 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 8th, 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 21st, 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 14th, 2015|

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 8th, 2015|

 

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 11th, 2015|

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 26th, 2014|

 

“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