How To Interview Job Candidates
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How To Interview Job Candidates

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Hiring staff that is not only skilled, but also integrates well into your work environment and culture, requires more than a quick glance at a resume. Our own Charles Pinkerton has put together these ...

Hiring staff that is not only skilled, but also integrates well into your work environment and culture, requires more than a quick glance at a resume. Our own Charles Pinkerton has put together these succint guidelines for good interviewing.

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How To Interview Job Candidates How To Interview Job Candidates Presentation Transcript

  • Interviewing Best Practice By Charles Pinkerton, Partner [email_address]
  • Why do we interview?
    • Make sure the person can do the job for which they are being hired
    • Make sure they aren’t going cause personality conflicts
    • Make sure the person can speak and write at a level commensurate with their title
    • The person can present our ideas in the best light
    • The person will not be out of character for MK
    • Is someone we want to spend time with
  • Before we talk about specific skills, let’s talk about…
  • Legalities
    • The age or date of birth of the applicant
    • Marital status or plans to have children
    • Childcare arrangements or number of children an applicant has
    • National origin, race, citizenship, ethnic background or sexuality or sexual orientation
    • Religious beliefs
    • Clubs, societies or social organization
    • Regard to applicant’s transportation to and from work
    • Handicaps, medical conditions or disabilities
    • … .Unless it appears on their resume, or the applicant brings it up
  • 7 important things to remember
  • Don’t let yourself comprise, a bad employee doesn’t halve the work -- they double it… 1
  • Listen to the little voices. They are usually right. 2
  • You are selling the job and the agency as much as the candidate is selling themselves 3
  • Have a plan – determine who in the interviewing group is going to ask which questions 4
  • Know their resume before you go in… 5
  • Look for things to talk about besides work.. 6
  • Make sure it is someone you won’t mind spending 8-12 hours a day with…We hire NICE 7
  • 1. Don’t’ Compromise, a bad employee isn’t better than none
    • Can they do their job?
      • Give them a problem to solve
        • How would you go about figuring out who your target is for a new whitening toothpaste
        • How would you decide which media to use if you had to advertise brand X
      • Ask what their typical day is like, what media types do the work with all day, how large are the budgets, how complicated is the account
      • Ask what client contact they have and what the strength and weaknesses of their clients are
  • 1. Don’t’ Compromise, a bad employee isn’t better than no one
      • Ask who they work for and who works for them. How did they determine to get the best out people who work for them. How did they hire them or come to work for them
      • Ask why they want to change agencies, why they might want to work at MK and in this position
      • Ask for writing samples
  • 1. What to watch out for
    • Can’t articulate what they do everyday
    • Don’t really to seem to know all the media types they have worked on
    • Have only complaints or only good things to say about their clients, bosses or direct reports
    • Don’t really have a reporting structure – they may not be able to work with a team
    • Have too much of a reporting structure – may not have the skills to lead or handle client contact
    • Just want to leave where they are, it doesn’t matter where they go
    • Don’t write well
  • 2. Listen to the little voices
    • What is your first impression when you walk in and in the first few seconds in speaking with them
    • Can they speak in an articulate matter
    • Are they lively and engaged
    • Dressed appropriately
    • Make eye contact
    • Have a vocabulary
  • 2. What to watch out for
    • A little sinking feeling in the stomach or sneaking suspicion you can’t quite put your finger on.
    • Aren’t dressed appropriately for the interview, is this a person we would put in front of a client right after the interview
    • Can’t really finish sentences without losing the point
    • Evasive, disingenuous or unclear about what they do or their work history
    • Seem not to have anything good to say about anyone
  • 3. You are selling the job and the agency
    • Talk about the agency and how it is set up
    • Tell them the people they would be working with, why it is they will like working with them
    • Talk about the clients, what’s good, but also what’s challenging
    • Who are you what is your background and what led you to The Kitchen
    • Be nice no matter how the interview goes
    • Give them your contact info in case they have any questions
  • 3. What to watch out for
    • They aren’t listening as you explain your role or the agency or people they would be working with
    • Don’t have any questions or comments about the agency, “oh this sounds like a place I want to be”
  • 4. Group Dynamics – You Are Supposed To Be Working together
    • Make sure everyone in the group is asking different questions
    • Try to come up with your own signature questions apart from other members in the group
  • 5. Know their resume before you go in
    • Review their experience and background, if they don’t have enough or the right experience -- don’t have a meeting
    • Nothing is worse than obviously reviewing someone’s resume for the first time in the room
      • Ideally, get to the point that you don’t even have look at their resume during the interview
    • Look for topics on the resume for points of conversation to talk about them and you
      • Accounts they have worked on
      • College, major, geography
      • Other activities they have done
      • Did they work in college or high school that isn’t on the resume
  • 5. What to watch out for
    • They don’t seem to have a good grasp of their history or other people they might have worked with (ask about people who you know who might have worked with them).
    • There are gaps in their working history – ask why they weren’t working
    • Don’t have the education or experience they say they have
  • 6.Talk about other things beside the job
    • People who have varied interests or responsibilities usually have problem-solving capabilities and can take initiative.
    • Also, puts them in context that they might be too advanced or not enough advanced for the position.
    • Ways to do this are:
      • Talk about college background, why did they study their particular major
      • Did they study abroad
      • Why did they pick the college they went to
      • How did they end up in advertising
      • What first interested them about advertising
      • Why media and not creative, or account management
      • Ask them if they were a TV show, magazine or web site which one would they would be, and why
  • 6. Things to watch out for
    • Don’t seem to have any passion for anything
    • Haven’t really taken initiative in their life, just let things happen to them
    • Don’t know why they are in advertising, just want a 9 to 5 existence
      • Are naïve about the roles and responsibilities
    • Don’t have a grasp of popular culture and what advertising is
  • 7. Is this someone you want to spend the day with
    • Does the person seem nice? This can usually be determined by having them talk about the weaknesses and strengths of their clients, bosses and colleagues
    • Does the person have an engaging personality, are they going to be someone who will do well in the Kitchen
      • We have a somewhat unstructured atmosphere
      • It is loud
      • Work hard play hard
      • Expect people to have ideas and speak up
  • 7. What to watch out for
    • Has nothing but complaints about those they have worked with or the companies at which they have worked
    • Don’t’ pass the “hey I would have a beer/coffee with this person” test
    • The candidate has a unwarranted sense of entitlement
    • Personality and strengths and weaknesses wouldn’t fit in well with the existing group – some people may be good, but not good for the company or the specific position