How to Interview Creatives

There are tips and tricks to interviewing any job candidate, particularly if they have strong technical or creative skills. Sometimes they have both; UX or UI developers, for example. There are some tricks to interviewing the creative candidate that extend beyond the portfolio. Here’s how to interview creative talent in a way that benefits your hiring process. 

Tips for Interviewing Creative Talent

Creative jobs require training, certainly, but also an element of the unknown. The creative spark is some kind of magical element that is hard to quantify. But somehow recruiters, tasked with filling a job description, must find it in the job applicant for a creative role. Hiring a good creative employee requires more than just a review of a portfolio. Creative work is, at best, subjective. While you may like the person’s portfolio, the person next to you on the hiring team may not. The recruiter or hiring manager, instead, must look at other soft skills in the candidate, such as the ability to work with others or meet important deadlines. Here are a few questions to ask a creative job candidate that may help you ferret out these skills: 

Can you give us an example of when your communication skills helped you complete a project?

Asking open-ended behavioral questions is a good way to validate the life experiences and approaches of the candidate. Listen closely for clues that the candidate used their communication skills to help a team succeed. Many creative workers have a strong streak of independence, and sometimes this can lead to them not playing well with others. You’re looking for an exceptional creative candidate who can also communicate effectively with a team. 

What type of work environments lower your productivity?

This question requires the recruiter or hiring manager to understand the reality of the environment they’re bringing the creative professional into. While no one likes micromanagement, if this is the environment, listen for clues that the creative candidate can handle lots of direction from others. If the environment is very hands-off, make sure the candidate has experience hitting deadlines without someone cracking the whip. 

Tell us a story about having an idea rejected or a big project edited in a way that was discouraging. How did you motivate yourself to continue? 

Creative workers can be discouraged by honest feedback from a team if they’ve put their hearts into a design or a project. This is normal. But this behavioral question is designed to discover how the creative worker perseveres through adversity. Without motivation, the creative worker will fall behind. How do they motivate themselves to create for a project in the face of what may feel like rejection? 

Which creative project gives you a high level of satisfaction? Describe the project.

You’re looking for a concise answer to this question. Creative professionals must be able to communicate their ideas in a way that takes an idea and quantifies it for a project team. This question will tell you the kind of projects the candidate enjoys working on. But it will also test their ability to communicate complex ideas in a way that will resonate with a team. 

Blackstone Talent Group frequently works with creative talent in the technology fields. We have expertise in sourcing and building relationships with the top creative talent in the IT world. Talk to our team and find out how we can help your business succeed. 

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