Questions to Ask Before You Hire a Designer

08.01.2012

Filling the vacant seats on your team can be daunting, especially when you are a boutique agency. When you pick new employees you want to look for more than just talent.  You want to get a glimpse of their personality and know that they are going to jive well with your existing crew and your clients. Below is a list of questions that I think are super helpful in getting to know your candidates.

1. Can you tell me a little about yourself? This may sound obvious but I feel like a lot of people neglect to start things on a personal level. The first thing they want to tell you about themselves is often a strong indicator of what is most important to them.

2. What do you like and dislike about your current position? By getting to know what the candidate feels are downfalls or upsides to their current position you can identify how they like to be treated. They often also share what types of projects they like to work on. Most importantly you can get a sense for their willingness to work as a team without having to straight up ask “Are you a team player?” (I think everyone answers yes to that question!)

3. Do you have any big passions or hobbies outside of graphic design? Are they into photography or fitness? Do they love to hike or go to concerts? This question is huge! It can help you decide which clients will be compatible with your new employee. Often may graphic designers started with their passion in another art area. Maybe they love to paint or they are a great illustrator? These are skills you want to know about and utilize!

4. Describe your ideal job. Everyone has a dream job and you should know what that dream job is before you hire anyone. You don’t want to hire someone into a position where you know that they will be unhappy. As the employer, you also may want to take note of the things that you think will keep them happy at your company.

5. Are you into social media? What platforms are you most passionate about? I don’t think you can be a graphic designer these days without paying attention to social media. There is so much knowledge to be gained and free marketing to be taken advantage of. Everyone on your team should be social media savvy.

6. What graphic design programs are you most comfortable with? Such an obvious and necessary question. Almost all candidates say InDesign and Illustrator, which is totally cool. I don’t understand why so many graduates are not being taught photoshop! Teachers, PLEASE teach your students photoshop!

7. How do you continue to educate yourself? No one likes someone who thinks they know it all. Frankly, it just is not possible to know it all in this ever developing industry. Any employee of NC needs to be furthering their knowledge.

8. What project are you most proud of and why? It is important to see if what you think is their strength aligns with what they see as their strength. It is also fun to see how excited and passionate some candidates are about past projects.

9. Do you have any question for me? You want to be sure that the candidate clearly understands the position that they are applying to. Identifying any concerns or questions they have immediately is key!

I am sure there are a lot of other really great questions to ask future team members! Let me know if you have any I can add to my list in the comments section below. Hope this was helpful!

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