How Interviewers Can Find the Best Candidates During the Interview Process

Wednesday, October 21st, 2015|


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!

6 Things You Should Be Doing in Your Next Interview

Wednesday, November 5th, 2014|


You’ve landed an interview, now what? Interviews can be a nerve-wrecking experience so in order to help you through your next interview, we’ve compiled a list of things you should be considering to get that job offer. Have you come up against any of these points in interviews before? How did you overcome them?

Being Prepared
Being prepared for an interview is a given, but how well do you really know the position and the company? It’s useful to make notes and bullet point any relevant information before you interview. A job interview isn’t a test so take your notes with you if it makes you feel more confident. Try to learn a few facts about the company such as a recent takeover or a statistic and reference it in your conversation.

Body Language
We can’t stress how important body language is. If you don’t believe us, watch this TED talk on power posing. Now we’re not saying you should walk in to an interview with your hands on hips and head held high, but what we are saying is that subtle language such as posture and hand movements can make all the difference between appearing shy or confident. Sit up straight, make eye contact and use open hand gestures. Avoid body language such as sitting on your hands, playing with your hair or looking around the room as it gives off the impression that you’re nervous.

Having Gratitude
Gratitude can go a long way so thanking the interviewer for meeting with you and following up with a thank you note will show how interested you really are. You could be up against several candidates and if you’re the only one to follow up and thank them, you’re already ahead of the rest.

Even if the interviewer has answered everything for you, ask another one! There’s nothing worse than being in an interview and not having any questions prepared or forgetting to ask something. Take in a list of questions and refer back to your notes when they ask you. If they truly have answered everything, at least they can see how prepared you were, but make sure you leave knowing as much as possible about the job and company. Don’t be afraid to ask several questions; just don’t take over the interview!

Standing Out
We attended a NAWBO conference earlier this year and they discussed the importance of standing out. When the speaker would take to the stage, she’d wear a hat or another item of clothing that would make her memorable. After the event, people would spot the hat and know who she was. So wearing a hat is obviously out of the question for your next interview, but how can you stand out – what is your hook? You may have a charming accent or have ran a marathon, whatever you choose as your hook, bring it up as a topic of conversation to help the interviewer remember you.

Avoiding Negativity
People tend to remember the bad points, so how do you avoid using negative language? Stay away from saying “I’m not” or “I can’t” and say phrases such as “I’m strong with” or “I can”. If you’re asked to give an example of managing a team and you’ve only had experience managing an intern, give a solution to the problem by saying “I haven’t had specific team management experience, but I have mentored and trained an intern who became a great designer. “


By Laura Pell – Recruiter at Artisan Creative

The Savant

Tuesday, October 29th, 2013|

Whether you’re a hiring manager, a recruiter or simply tasked with hiring new talent, there are various conclusions that we draw in order to determine if someone should be hired for a particular position. Do they have the relevant qualifications? Are they the right cultural fit? Can they lead a team or take direction from a higher authority? It’s important to understand different personality types so that management styles can be tailored in order to get the best out of the person or if you simply just want to hire more people exactly like them.

Artisan Creative recently read some research published by discussing the personality traits of people most likely to succeed in the creative industry and it got us thinking about how their conclusions relate to our candidates, our clients, and ourselves. It’s become somewhat fashionable to discuss the pros and cons of introverts vs. extroverts, but by looking past the basics, we can begin to understand different personalities and how to utilize this information to our advantage.

Savant is French for “knowing,” which explains why The Savant personality type is a sought-after person within the creative industry. They tend to be incredibly skilled, yet really home in on just a few specialized subjects. Savants are fantastically creative and brilliant but may struggle with basic math and feel out of place in social situations. By nature, they’re introverted and creatures of habit, often spending hours working independently on a project.

How Do I Identify and Work with The Savant?

  • Establish rapport–Put them at ease. Make them feel comfortable whether in a job interview or a work environment. 
  • Lead the conversation–Ask direct questions about their skills and achievements rather than questions about themselves.
  • Test them–If they’re a developer or a writer, put them to the test and see them flourish.
  • Give praise–The Savant type can grow bored when not pushed or excited about their work but when they do find something they love, they are often their own worst critic. Be sure to show support for their efforts.

Next time you’re hiring new talent or going through an interview process yourself, take some time to understand and recognize personality types. Look out for telltale traits and tailor the surroundings to fit. If you’re a Savant type yourself, focus on your best talents and see just how far you can push your creative potential.

Laura Pell, Talent Acquisition

Announcing The Artisan Creative Weekly

Tuesday, September 3rd, 2013|

We are publishing a newsletter

Artisan Creative invites you to subscribe to the Artisan Creative Weekly. We will be publishing links to stories about leadership, creativity, talent, job search, time management, design, marketing and entrepreneurship. Once a month, we will publish a newsletter on a particular theme. 

We are finding inspiration all over the internet and we want to share it all with you. We also welcome your feedback. Let us know what you think of the Artisan Creative Weekly and what you would like to see more (or less) of. 

At this time of new beginnings, we have one of our own. Hope you like it!

Wendy Stackhouse, Consultant for Artisan Creative

3 Tips for Better Mobile Job Descriptions

Tuesday, August 13th, 2013|

Artisan Creative has gone mobile and since we announced the mobile version of our website last spring, the numbers of job seekers using mobile have increased astronomically. Polling on Glassdoor has reported that 65% of people on job search are using mobile devices to do so at least once a week–more than triple the number just a year ago–and 89% of people expecting to look for a new job next year are planning to use mobile devices to find job listings, research their target companies and get salary information.

At Artisan, we keep mobile best practices in mind when we post our Open Jobs, but if you are writing or posting job descriptions for your company, here are some tips for optimizing them for the tiny screen:

  1. Break it up–Large blocks of text make people read less and less carefully. Split your description into manageable paragraphs that the eye–and the mind–can take in.
  2. Clean it up–Take the time to preview your mobile job descriptions and remove any stray code that may have traveled with your text, as well as to proofread your text one more time. Make a good impression with high-quality candidates for your attention to detail.
  3. Move it up–Don’t bury the lead. Be sure to put the most important elements of your job description at the top so the reader will see them on the first screen without scrolling further. It will help screen out less appropriate candidates, saving their time and yours.

With more great candidates–especially in the IT and creative fields–using mobile to look for new roles, making sure your job descriptions are effective in mobile browsers is more important every day.

Wendy Stackhouse, for Artisan Creative

Dog Days of Summer

Tuesday, June 18th, 2013|

If you are a dog person, you know the benefits of having a furry companion at home. Dog owners recover more quickly from being sick, suffer less frequently from depression and loneliness, and have a built-in conversation starter. But there are also some benefits to bringing your dog to work or encouraging your employees to do so:

  • Attract and retain quality candidates—A “dog-friendly office” is an appealing perk to a job seeker and a tough perk to walk away from once hired.
  • Improved Morale—Dogs don’t just make their owners smile, they increase levels of the brain chemicals that make us happy and calm. Plus they are pretty entertaining!
  • Increased Productivity—Letting dogs come to work will keep your employees at their desks until a project is finished since they don’t have to be home to walk or feed their pet. Dog owners also miss fewer days of work due to illness.
  • Team Building—Dogs don’t just help you get dates, they also help you build connections with co-workers.

Freelancers are accustomed to having their dogs with them while they work. Full-time employees would love to have the same opportunity to bring a little bit of home with them to the office. Have you ever worked for a dog-friendly company? We would love to hear about it! And have a terrific Take Your Dog to Work Day on Friday, June 21st!

Wendy Stackhouse, for Artisan Creative

7 Interview Questions Every Employer Should Ask

Tuesday, March 19th, 2013|

Whether you’re a veteran interviewer 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 in some cases to stump potential employees or just see how creative they can be), here are a few of the more typical questions every interviewer should be asking:

    1. 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.


    1. 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 in your office. Answers here also demonstrate problem-solving skills and culture fit.


    1. How would your boss 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?


    1. What role do you usually play in a team? – The answer to this question should complement the answer previously – is the way your coworkers see you the way you actually perform in your company? This question also provides insight on personality and autonomy.


    1. 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?


    1. 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. If any of these are missing, perhaps the interviewee is in the wrong business.


  1. Do you have any questions for me? – 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 are probably not the best fit.

Is there a question you like to ask during interviews? Why do you ask it? Share with us in the comments below.

Jessica Bedford, for Artisan Creative

Artisan’s Favorite Things

Tuesday, December 25th, 2012|

Maybe not raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens, but on this particular Tuesday, we thought we would ask our team at Artisan for their favorite things about the holiday season.

Artisan President Katty Douraghy: “This year, I’m spending the holidays in LA for the first time in 10 years! I’m looking forward to taking in the sights and sounds of this great city.”

Melinda Geniza: ”My favorite thing about the holidays is spending time with my family. For the entire week before Christmas my cousins and I put together a production and perform for our entire family at our Christmas party. We’ve done original plays, musicals, and even tribute shows completely unrelated to Christmas. It’s a tradition that has been going on for 25+ years! This year will be special because the party is being held at a clubhouse with a theater so we will have access to a stage and movie screen… it will be a multimedia show with live performances and allow us to do things we haven’t done before. Gotta love technology!”

Marketing & Project Manager Jess Bedford is spending the holidays Down Under: “Choosing just one thing is way too hard! Christmas is my favorite holiday for so many reasons: I love decorating the tree, listening to Christmas music, baking treats, making home-made gifts, wrapping packages, and donating to a number of charities. Then to have several dedicated days off to be with my family, enjoy all the hard work that went into making the time so special, and counting our many blessings. That’s what Christmas is all about!”

Talent Manager Laura Burns: “My favorite thing about the holidays is the spirit of caring, getting together, and celebration. This year I will be touring SoCal like a tourist and visiting places that I have never seen after being here 7 years from NYC!”

Talent Manager Maggie Grant: “My favorite thing about the holidays is being with my family, and Christmas morning, my dad makes a special breakfast casserole he only makes once a year! This year, we are hosting a party for all of our friends and family.”

My family is enjoying a 2-week break from homework and school projects, spending time with friends, and getting excited about the fun things we have planned for the new year, especially volunteering with middle school choir!

These are a few of our favorite things. We would love to hear about yours!

Happy Holidays!

Wendy Stackhouse, for Artisan Creative

What’s Your EQ?

Tuesday, September 11th, 2012|

One of the most interesting topics I studied in my Career Development program was Emotional Intelligence or EQ. It still makes me think.

What is Emotional Intelligence?

Emotional Intelligence is defined as “the ability to identify, use, understand, and manage emotions in positive ways.”  The way my instructor put it was understanding and using emotions to achieve your goals at work and in life. This was a bit of a surprise to me, as I thought it was probably best to be able to put emotions aside and think analytically, at least at work.

Why is EQ important in recruiting?

On the Undercover Recruiter blog, they emphasize the intangibles that can be the most important factors in a job interview.  When we are thinking about a candidate’s energy, their “vibe,” their sincerity and their manner, we are evaluating their EQ and using our own to make those same evaluations.

Why is EQ important in job search?

When you are looking for a new role, it is essential to know what your emotional as well as your salary and benefit needs are. What is important to you in a company culture, what makes you happy, these are the things that should help you decide whether to accept or reject an offer should it come your way. Your EQ is also a tool in your interview process, helping you to determine what kind of an interviewer you are faced with and what your best strategy might be.

Can you raise your EQ?

You can absolutely make a concerted effort to become more aware of your emotions and of the emotions of others. Try to listen actively and pay attention to what others are telling you with their tone and their body as well as their words.  When you have strong feelings, think them through and see if you can find a way to use them to reach your goals, rather than suppressing them.  Use the nonverbal information you receive in your work interactions and job interviews to help you think and plan strategically.

As a creative, I am fascinated by the process of becoming more aware and able to utilize the ideas that come from greater awareness. It’s awfully fun to be on a team of people who all understand each other, even if some information is never verbalized.

Wendy Stackhouse, for Artisan Creative

On this 11th Anniversary of September 11, 2001, our thoughts are with those who lost their lives and those they left behind. 

How to Choose a Recruitment Company

Tuesday, February 21st, 2012|

 With so many firms out there vying for your attention, it’s often hard to tell which recruiting company is right for you.  Here are a few criteria to consider when selecting the right recruiter for you or your business:

Types of Roles They Place
Some recruiters are generalists and some are specialists.  At Artisan, we focus on Creative and Marketing roles, but not strict IT positions. If you are a back-end programmer, we are not the right agency for you.  If, however, you are a User Experience Designer, Marketing Specialist, Copywriter, Production Artist, or Front-End Developer, submit your resume on our website.  By specializing in only select areas – we have become experts in these fields and networks of talent.

Their Mission
Not every recruiting company will have a clearly defined mission statement, but if they do, it’s a good indication of what their company culture and focus is all about.  Choose a company whose ideals and approach to business are similar to your own.

Artisan is committed to offering meaningful opportunities to our talent and to helping our clients achieve their creative goals using cutting-edge technology.  Our Mission is:

To provide job opportunities for creative talent that has positive impact in their careers.
To provide clients with top creative resources to achieve their creative initiatives.
To be innovative, forward thinking, early adopters of industry trends as required by the market.

Their Vision
It is important to bring the proper vision into one’s recruitment approach. It’s so easy to lose the big picture in the day-to-day if you are not clear on your overarching objective.

What is Artisan’s vision?  To bring creative thinking into staffing that results in innovation and a positive impact on our community.  Being committed to having that positive impact on the individuals with whom we work and our community, helps us make decisions about how we do, what we do every single day.

Their Values
Often it is difficult to know the values of a company without knowing the people who work there.  When working with a recruiter – keep these values in mind as you interact and work with them each day.  Do they put profit ahead of every other consideration?  Do they make you feel like an individual or a number?  Do they do what they say they are going to do – when they say they are going to do it?  Are they family-oriented?  Do you feel like you’ve been treated fairly?

At Artisan our values are simple: Truth, Fairness, Accountability, Integrity, Engagement & Desire to Learn and Grow.  There have been times when we have had to decline projects because they were not in line with our values.  At the end of the day, our integrity is more important to us than sales.  We will always be honest, scrupulously fair, and perform with professionalism.  We feel success will come from these values.

Whichever recruitment agency you ultimately choose, you deserve to be treated both fairly and professionally.  The lines of communication should always be open.  Only that can lead to meaningful work, creative fulfillment, and tangible rewards.

If we seem a good fit for you or your company, we hope you will get in touch with us soon.