Illustration of three people working at a desktop computer, collaborating.

Why this matters:

Knowing how an art director candidate begins development on a new project helps you to understand which aspects of their artistic process they prioritize. This question also gives you an opportunity to see how the candidate may be an influencing factor on other artists on their team. Successful candidates will have a confident starting point that also demonstrates their degree of experience in developing artistic projects.

What to listen for:

  • Confidence in their starting point based on years of experience
  • Ability to articulate meaningful details about how they typically start projects
  • Desire to find new approaches to improve their artistic process

Why this matters:

In a creative field, an artist’s style and approach may change along with their interests, inspirations, and level of technical ability. This question provides insight into what point a candidate is at along their creative trajectory, while also demonstrating how they’ve grown since developing the project in question.

What to listen for:

  • Thoughtfulness about their past work in the current context of their abilities and interests
  • Ability to transform mistakes into learning opportunities
  • Eagerness to learn new skills and artistic approaches

Why this matters:

Art director candidates who pursue artistic projects outside of work demonstrate a strong desire to learn and experiment with new ideas and artistic approaches. This may also be a telltale sign of a candidate with a particularly strong work ethic and leadership initiative, as well as a more diverse array of experience to apply toward the art director position at your company.

What to listen for:

  • Indication of whether a candidate develops extracurricular art projects to enhance their abilities
  • Demonstrable interest in learning new techniques and expanding their artistic skills
  • Understanding of their artistic interests and motivations

 

Why this matters:

Artistic talent often isn’t enough to succeed in a business setting. An art director must be able to leverage their artistic abilities and keen design sense to solve key business problems. Candidates who have solved business problems through their artistic design decisions may be more likely to succeed in an art director position.

What to listen for:

  • Experience solving business problems through unique design decisions that help companies stand out
  • Strong artistic ability refined by years of tackling significant challenges in the business space
  • Indication that the candidate has a strong, audience-focused design sense

Why this matters:

When scoping a project, artists often think they have capacity to build something larger and more complex than is possible given a deadline. Finding the right approach for a project and executing on it can be a matter of trial and error, especially when it comes to client feedback. As such, an art director with experience rescoping a team’s project to accommodate a deadline will have a leg up over other candidates.

What to listen for:

  • Ability to realistically forecast deadlines given a project’s rate of completion, client feedback, and an understanding of a team’s competencies
  • Able to confidently explain a clear, consistent process for downscaling a project’s scope as the need to do so arises
  • Experience shifting the scope of a project down to a more manageable level

Why this matters:

Art directors are responsible for the creative output of their team, and so have a vested interest in ensuring the work of others meets the organization’s standards. They must also have experience working with other artists to hone and refine their artistic vision. In doing so, the art director candidate demonstrates their ability to achieve organizational goals through collaboration.

What to listen for:

  • Awareness of when others are struggling to meet artistic output standards on time
  • Strategies for offering constructive criticism on the artistic work of others
  • Experience taking initiative to help others to improve the quality of their work

Why this matters:

An art director candidate must be able to prioritize and juggle various responsibilities at once. Being able to manage time-sensitive projects can help create a path to success for a large team. The ability to multitask and prioritize is vital to succeed in this role.

What to listen for:

  • Ability to triage tasks by recognizing which are most important and prioritizing
  • Organizational approaches developed by the candidate, as well as technologies and tools used to assist them
  • Acute time management skills honed from years of relevant experience as a working artist

 

Why this matters:

Motivation or a lack thereof may often be a large roadblock impeding an artist’s ability to complete a task — especially when working on particularly long and arduous projects. As the head of a team of artists, an art director must have proven methods to increase team motivation in order to hit critical deadlines and complete tough projects.

 

What to listen for:

  • An energetic leadership approach that motivates and empowers teammates to succeed
  • Ability to recognize when a project or deadline is taking a toll on teammates
  • Skilled at empathetically yet firmly pushing teammates through difficulties in order to realize the team’s collective goals

Why this matters:

While a general interest in art is important for an art director candidate, it’s also important that they have a familiarity and particular passion for your company’s aesthetic. A successful candidate should be highly familiar with your body of work so as to understand where your company is now, where it’s going, and how they might fit in.

What to listen for:

  • A clear indication that the candidate is familiar with much of your company’s portfolio
  • Interest from the candidate in a particular project from your company which aligns with their interests and goals in some way
  • Passion for your organization or brand’s aesthetic sense in particular
chatting over desk with laptops and coffee

Contact a sales specialist

By submitting this form, you agree that we may use the data you provide to contact you with information related to your request/submission and LinkedIn's products and services. If you are a LinkedIn member, you can control the messages you receive from LinkedIn in your settings. If you are a guest, you can unsubscribe from LinkedIn marketing emails at any time by clicking the unsubscribe link in the email. Your data will be used subject to LinkedIn's Privacy Policy.