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I’m interviewing people next week. We need a Digital Marketing Manager and I have some solid candidates, so I’m excited about the upcoming process. I’m a bit of a prepper, and no I don’t mean I have a concrete bunker in my backyard filled with canned goods, MREs and a water purification kit. I mean that I like to be prepared for interviews, and also give the interviewee something to prepare.

In my opinion, an interview shouldn’t be about reviewing someone’s resume, it should focus on seeing if the person across the room can get the job done and fit in with the team and the company.

So, I put together a prep document that includes two things; First, a reminder of what the job is about and who the person that fills that spot will interact with. Secondly, it gives a list of things for the candidate to think about, and be ready to address. What’s your philosophy on digital marketing? How do you drive more visitors to a site? What is your take on using inside versus outside resources? How do you approach web experience design?  These are fair game in an interview for this type of position, and they can help to make an interview more of a working session than an interrogation.

Then I got to the important part. The last prep question I wrote was this.

What are the values that are important to you in a company that you would like to join?

I’m interested in a person with skills. I’m interested with a person that can be strategic, but still get their hands dirty when needed. But, most importantly, I’m interested in a person that buys into how we do things here. You see, it’s not just about the “what”, it’s about the “how” and “why”.

We have five values at SmashFly.

  1. Always be Authentic
  2. Challenge the Status Quo
  3. Team Comes First
  4. Think Ahead
  5. Get the Right S#*% Done

Except for number five, I’m sure some combination of these values has appeared on many company walls, but they are ours. During my upcoming interviews I plan to share how important our values are to us and provide examples of the people and situations that illustrate them. That’s because if I get a candidate that checks all the skills and experience boxes that we need, but doesn’t connect with our stories and values, they aren’t a fit for us and we aren’t a fit for them.

Granted, it’s better to start communicating your values way before someone has a phone screen or walks in for an interview, but that’s all about a potential candidate understanding your company’s values. Reinforcing your values during the interview process and seeing the reaction on the face and in the body language of a candidate as you talk about them can give you a feeling of if they are buying into them.

It’s not about skills. It’s about fit.

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