As we all know, a gold-star resume is just one facet of finding the right candidate. Here are four important soft skills to be on the lookout for when meeting with potential candidates to fill your upcoming creative roles.

Curiosity

People often think that curiosity is about the quantity of questions one can ask. But it’s actually more about the process of deducing.

When meeting with potential hires, look for someone who asks thoughtful questions. In the same way that a good storyteller illustrates a narrative with an end in mind, a curious person seeks a conclusion with the questions as their roadmap.

Is your candidate curious about your path? Do they want to know about your daily work environment? Are they curious about the business foundation and its revenue stream? They should be as interested in finding out about you/your company as you are about finding out about their experience.

Communication

There is an art and a tact to how people connect to others. In the workplace, the ability to get along with anyone is key to an efficient workflow, increased productivity, and impressive output.

If an employee is not articulate or thoughtful in how they communicate, there is the potential for misunderstandings – which only serve to block the best / most collaborative work from being done.

A desire to communicate is a desire to reach understanding, which makes any strong communicator a really great cooperator and team player.

Humility

Someone who shows humility and self-awareness is a candidate who likely seeks purpose – looking to foster an environment for others to do their best work, regardless of their own power. This is a mindset that can’t be taught. And in the words of Pulitzer Prize winner, Kendrick Lamar, “Sit down. Be humble.”

Do they need recognition? Are they seeking validation? Ego is problematic because it blocks most people from seeing what others need. In the workplace, the work and company mission, must come first. Be aware of someone who seems more concerned with their own personal goals over how their role feeds back into the company’s bottom line.

Inquire into how your candidate feels about ownership of their work, how they talk about their past work experiences and accomplishments, and how often they use “I” vs. “we.”

Creative Problem-Solving

When interviewing, look for someone who is not only solution-oriented, but also solves problems from an a-linear perspective. Inquiring into how your candidate thinks by asking them specific questions that engage their other human skills (communication, self-awareness, curiosity, etc.) will help better highlight how they think on their feet vs. when they tactically solved a problem in the past.

These are just some (of many) soft skills to help guide your search. Great interview questions can help you figure out if your candidate has what it takes beyond their years of experience.


Annie is a Creative Circle candidate and freelance creative strategist/copywriter working and living in Los Angeles. She knows digital media as well as she knows her own horoscope (she’s a Virgo), having worked at the likes of BuzzFeed and Mashable. She has created branded content strategies for the top Fortune 500 brands, which means she knows the true meaning of “going native.” If you want to work with Annie, contact Creative Circle Los Angeles.

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