Our Top Ten Interview Questions: Would You Pass the Dick Head Test?
One of the great things about our business is potential hires walk through our doors with their skillset on their sleeves. We’re talking about portfolios. It’s not unlike a football coach being able to look at film of a recruit. That boy can sure run. Or maybe he can’t. But it’s all there, on film. That being said, you can have a great book, but we can’t hire anyone without the interview and the right questions make all the difference.
We’re a creative shop, so the standard “Where do you want to be in five years” doesn’t fly with us. Then there’s the stupid “What are your weaknesses?” To which there can be only one equally stupid response: “I’m a perfectionist.” Not gonna happen here.
Mostly we go into our interviews mentally armed with the Dick Head Test. The Dick Head Test separates the ones we like from the ones we (politely) dropkick. It keeps things interesting with a few interview questions that may seem wacky but really have a point.
Here’s a list of our top ten favorites, partly inspired by the old ad legend Bill Marsteller and partly a mash-up of fond interview memories.
10. What did you do this weekend?
How you spend your free time is a big indicator of the kind of person you are. There’s no judgment going on here. Whether you spent your weekend out partying with friends or holed up in a dark room watching superhero movies all weekend long, it’s fine. We just want to get a better sense of you outside the shop.
9. What were the last two books you’ve read / movies you’ve watched?
If you check out our “Bosses” section on the website, you’ll see everyone had to identify the book currently on their nightstands and their dream double feature. Really, we’re just on the hunt good recommendations; we’re starting to look like one big endorsement for The Godfather trilogy.
8. What school would you rather have gone to than the one you did? Why?
This question shoots out seven different kinds of smoke. Are you the person that’s happy with your circumstances and lives with no regrets? Are you pleased with your roots but ambitious about your future? Are you the person that embraces or runs away from change? There’s no right answer. It’s all about a different way of thinking and how you present your final thought.
7. What’s the greatest honor you’ve ever had?
We’re a friendly group. We believe in giving credit where it’s due and celebrating everyone’s successes. Knowing what means the most to you is a great personal insight into things that matter in your life and how we can possibly fit into that.
6. What do you see, if anything, as something that shapes the future of advertising and marketing?
We’re still a business and this is still an interview. Are you sharp and observant or do you operate under a rock and just do what’s told? If your answer two years ago was “drones”…well now, wouldn’t that have been something.
5. If you could just get in a car and drive for 30 days, where would you go?
We think it would be seriously impossible to come up with a bad answer to this question. If you did, we’d be both impressed and ready to end the interview at the same time.
4. If you had to be a mix of two animals, which two would you be and what would you call yourself?
Our newest copywriter was asked this question in a previous job interview—by the way, he got that job. It was just so out there that we love to share it and see other people’s reactions. Sometimes the answers are surprising and off-beat. We like those elements.
3. What’s your ideal company culture?
We’re a small shop. From 9-5p we’re a family, and then we go home to our real families unless you need something turned around right away. Then it’s all hands on deck, close quarters, time to get it done. Everyone’s fingernails get dirty at Tom, Dick & Harry—even the partners. We like to make sure that what we are as a unit is what an applicant is looking for.
2. What do you admire most about your significant other/a family member/best friend?
We’re all a walking sum total of the parts that make up our lives. The people closest to us can influence us, for better or worse. Chances are the qualities that you find most attractive about them are qualities that you value, emulate, or strive to embody. And if you don’t have anyone that you admire in your life…you’re probably not passing the Dick Head Test.
1. If you were me, why would you hire you?
Word of advice: answer this with a response that you would want to hear from a candidate down the road. Don’t tell us what you think we want to hear. That’s canned, generic, and definitely not what we’re all about. Be the offer we can’t refuse.
* Full disclosure: Let’s say you didn’t exactly pass muster on any of the ten questions above, just sort of sat there like a dolt, strumming your chin, and not saying anything inspiring, BUT you have a KILLER book. We may just hire you anyway. Sometimes, talent trumps all.
08.01.14 The Biz