I have been interviewing potential employees for 30 years now. It’s something that I really enjoy. It’s not just about finding the right person for the job — it’s a great way to keep a finger on the pulse of what is going on out there in the market. What is shaping the ambitions and dreams of the new generation coming into our industry? What does the future look like to them?
Overall, the quality of candidates is very high in Los Angeles. Standards of education are very good and even junior candidates have generally interned in relevant organizations, giving them the potential to play important roles in a busy agency environment.
However, three recurring failures will turn a candidate into a definite No:
- TARDINESS – It’s a respect thing. You are turning up for the first time to see senior people. We are here and prepared. By being late you are making a statement about your future commitment that may or may not be true. It’s actually much easier and less stressful to be early.
- LACK OF RESEARCH – Make sure you have spent a reasonable amount of time going through the company’s website and social media presence, becoming familiar with the client base and recent campaigns. In our case, show us that you understand why we believe so powerfully in Brutal Simplicity of Thought. We realize that it is complicated, but candidates regularly confuse us with our similarly named competition at interviews. This is an immediate fail. It demonstrates a complete lack of preparation.
- LACK OF FOCUS – Don’t try to portray yourself as great at everything. We are a team of highly developed specialists. In most cases we are trying to find talent that is focused on a specific set of skills.
Pretty straightforward, really. You would think that these situations would be easier to avoid.
The only other tips I have are: smile, enjoy the experience of learning about a new company and a new opportunity, and be yourself. Above all, we are looking for people who we can enjoy working with and will add to our amazing culture!