Sign & Digital Graphics

November '17

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S I G N & D I G I T A L G R A P H I C S • November 2017 • 69 Question #3: Describe the Emotional Paycheck of an Outdoor Electric Sign Designer? What's beautiful about this question is that you may be asking them to describe for you something they may not have ever consid- ered before. Do they realize that they get two paychecks? One pays their bills, but the other one, the Emotional Paycheck, is the one that drives them to get out of bed each day. It's the reason they work late and finish up the presentation so it's ready to go in the morning. It's their fire; their passion to design a monument sign that wins the project by design, form and function, not low price. You've Asked the Tough Questions Congratulations to you on asking job candidates questions they probably had no idea would be asked of them. The questions prob- ably made them squirm in their chair a bit. When you asked them the question, did you catch them off guard or did they rattle off several emotional paycheck "bonuses" like they were reciting the thicknesses of sheet aluminum? Creatives that understand who they are, what they bring to the table, and what they are worth in the market are typically the candidates you want to bring back for a second interview. Those who are not able to verbalize their answers may at least have their eyes opened by the questions you've asked. In some cases the way they answer the questions may say more about them than the answers they give. Technical details and processes can be taught. Passion and enthu- siasm for a craft cannot. Knowing what makes your creative team member tick is sometimes the most important bit of information you could ever hope for. I have seen it make the difference in hiring a committed team member versus ending up with someone who watches the clock more than the monitor. SDG What Questions Should You Ask Your Candidate? There are three simple but deep questions that you should ask that may help you understand where their pas- sion for design came from, where it's at and where they want it to go. Question #1: Who are you? Yep, this is the deep question that most candidates hate to be asked. In fact, nobody wants to be asked a mon- strously ambiguous question like "who are you," so why should we ask it? Because a lot of times it comes down to "how they answer it," not necessarily what they say, that tells us the most about the candidate. If they stammer, if they stumble over their words and pause a lot it probably means they have never thought of defining themselves in this way. The exercise works because it lets you know where their head is at, and it helps them to consider "who they are" in a much deeper way than they had before the interview. If they ramble on for three minutes about their successes and future in the sign industry, you will know right away that you have found someone who is either well trained in interviewing, or has a good handle on who they are as a person. Let's go with the second assumption, shall we? Question #2: Describe the value you bring to the organization you are working for. This is another great question to help you under- stand where your candidate's heart is, how they look at themselves within an organization, and how they view themselves as a solution provider. If they answer with a lot of "um, well, I don't know" then it means they prob- ably have never thought of the value they bring to the company they work for. Perhaps nobody has pointed out their value to them in the past? So often employees are not recognized for all the good they do for an organization. This can wear-out an employee's drive and whittle away at their self-esteem. Creatives are especially sensitive to this. Watch for this to be either a red flag, or a welcome sign. Your candidate should be confident in what they do, proud of what they have done, and optimistic of what they can do for you. Skills, knowledge, education, OTJ training, internships, work-study programs... yikes, the qualifications can be overwhelming. Too bad there isn't an easy way to cut through all the fluff to find out what makes them tick. If only there were three simple questions to ask.

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