When evaluating potential employees for our company, it can be a challenge to find the right fit both in personality and skill set. It's something we struggle with whenever we find a candidate with awesome skills but a lacking personality, or, on the flip side, a candidate who is a perfect fit for the office but doesn't quite have the skills we need. Do we go for a sharp person with a great personality who knows the basics, or do you choose the socially awkward person who is a genius?
In some positions personality is the most important factor due to the amount of interaction the position will have with the client. In our interactive department personality is important -- but for different reasons. Due to the fact that we have a small company, we are constantly working with one another on different projects. At TrendyMinds we are fun and laid back, but it's important that individuals we hire don't take advantage of our relaxed company culture. It's also important for potential hires to have a willingness and aptitude for learning. On the Web things are constantly changing; it's vital for us to stay on top of the newest technologies so we can create the best work possible for our clients.
A interviewee's knowledge of current trends can be difficult to ascertain in interviews, but we've found you can get some insight into this from a candidate if you ask the right questions. Portfolio pieces while useful, can sometimes be misleading about a interviewee's skills. It can be difficult to tell what role the person had in the project and what ideas they came up with on their own. Because of this we usually give candidates a small project that they are required to complete within a few days so that we can see what they can do when left to complete a project solo.
Once we've determined if their skills are up to par, we have to determine if their personality is a fit. We start off most interviews asking some questions about the candidate's background. We've found that most people like talking about themselves, so this usually helps them open up and relax. We then usually ask a few fun questions. This can be one way to show creativity. These creative questions usually reveal more about the person than the more straight forward questions like "what do you like to do for fun?".
Ideally, our new hires will have fantastic personalities and amazing resumes. But if you were going to hire, what would you put more value on: personality or skill?
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