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Working in a marketing or advertising firm is not for the faint of heart. It takes the right kind of person. For many the daily grind of deadlines, while still being strategic and smiling in front of clients can be exhausting. As a hiring manager – the challenge is finding a candidate that has the right DNA and the fortitude to handle all of curves that will be thrown at him or her on a daily basis.

Over the years of interviewing candidates (typically account management folks), I usually look for candidates that have the following traits:

  • Excellent Communication Skills
  • Curious
  • Eclectic
  • Positive
  • Adaptable
  • Passionate

Excellent Communication Skills: We are in the business of communicating. If a candidate cannot communicate verbally and in writing – they probably aren’t up for the job. In an interview – one can capture verbal skills. Writing skills are more difficult to ascertain. That’s why it’s valuable to bring any writing samples that might represent your writing style.

Curious: A curious individual is often a deeper thinker. And you want deep thinkers on your team. You want individuals that ask a lot of questions – that don’t just settle for the status quo. Being curious and asking questions – leads to more effective marketing approaches for our clients.

Eclectic: An individual with a wide range of interests and experiences is an invaluable team member. The more experiences a team member brings to the table – the more they will be able to contribute to any of the wide range of clients that your firm might be working on. Also, experiences add depth to the individual and that depth can be tapped into by other team members for a wide range of topics.

Positive: Marketing is a team sport. And because of this – you don’t want any negative energy on the team – it just drags others down. Plus this business is supposed to fun. It’s hard to have fun if you are surrounded by folks that aren’t happy.

Adaptable: Marketing is constantly changing and the pace at which it changes grows faster and faster each year. Any individual coming into this business needs to be quick on her feet willing to roll with any changes. If you can’t roll with it – you will get rolled over!

Passionate: If you love what you do – you will likely have great passion. And if you have great passion will be a stronger team member. You’ll contribute at a higher level. Team members will want to pull you into more meetings because your enthusiasm will have a positive impact on the entire project.

Clearly, finding an individual that has all of these characteristics is not easy. But if you can find the person that meets the criteria – you’ll likely end up with a strong, happy employee that exceeds your expectation.

Joe Myers

Author Joe Myers

Joe is the Executive Account Director at InQuest Marketing. He leads the charge on several key accounts and research initiatives, and supports new business efforts. Joe's favorite InQuest memory is moving into the current (larger) office space following tremendous growth as an organization. He is a former Peace Corps volunteer whose hobbies include gardening and swimming.

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