Today's creative design talent pool is abundant. As a marketing operations professional, I receive calls and emails weekly from creative professionals seeking employment at DMA, which has me thinking, are you receiving similar calls and emails? Do fresh food marketers know how to vet a creative designer or team before hiring them for a project or to join the company?
With over twenty years of experience working with creatives, it occurred to me that it may be helpful if I shared a few tips on what to ask creative designers before you hire them!
Questions You Should Ask a Creative Designer Before You Hire Them
"Can you describe your process when you're given a project/task?"
The creative process varies by individual and as a result, the way a designer will answer this question will give you some insights into their working style and communication style that will be a key to your design project's ultimate success. When working with a communicative designer, you wonder and worry less. You feel informed and are clear on the process from initial discussion to the final product.
At DMA, we've made it a best practice to have a discovery call with our design team present, we take careful notes, and distribute them to our clients and members of the team at DMA to ensure that deadlines and objectives are being met. In the instance a project goes off course for any reason, we can get back on track quickly with our clients with honest conversations and a lot of transparency.
"How would you describe your ideal work setting?"
When interviewing a creative designer or talent, be sure to ask about their ideal work setting. This is a broad enough question that will help you determine if the fit is the right one for both you and the designer. If your team works remotely and the designer prefers to work in groups in a hands-on way, Zoom may not cut it when it comes to them receiving what they need to get the most out of their beautiful minds and provide you with a product that makes you happy.
Perhaps a well-lit room is inspirational to the designer or maybe they prefer to work by candlelight? Either way, make sure that their ideal scenario aligns with what you have to offer during the interview.
"What are strategies you employ to ensure excellent customer service?"
At the end of the day, creative designers are service providers. It takes a special type of person to listen to the needs of a client or customer, produce a piece of art, and receive criticism, whether constructive or not, and take it in stride. When answering this question, you should surmise if the designer's answers align with the way you want to be served. If you like to give a lot of feedback (or not), let the designer know this upfront so they too can determine if the fit is right for the way they work with customers.
"How should I expect to be billed for your work?"
If you are interviewing a creative designer to serve as a contractor, this is a very important question. Some designers bill by the hour while others bill by the project. Be sure to ask the questions that help you determine if the way the designer is going to invoice the work that they provide in a way that is suitable to you.
At DMA, our design services are billed by the hour at a fixed rate, no matter the customer. In addition, at DMA, we don't like surprises on invoices either so we make sure that our billing process is clear and our clients know what is coming before the invoice hits their inbox.
"Will I have ownership of files that you produce?"
When interviewing a creative designer, find out their process for sharing and providing you with full ownership of the work being produced before you agree to get started. We have experience helping brands that have not been in healthy relationships with their creative design team find recovery at DMA. This is a shame for us to see but we are happy to help brands in need. We've seen many examples of these fine details being ignored until the work was complete. Sometimes designers will give you limits on where and how you can share the artwork while some give you carte blanche to do what you please. Ask this question to ensure that you and the designer are on the same page upfront and get it in writing!
If you're interested in interviewing DMA for your next design project, we'd like to have the chance to help. We are happy to be nimble workers with competitive hourly rates for our creative and thoughtful work. Please connect if we can help you!