This post is inspired by an article by Kathi Kruise, which talked about the questions, that should be asked to your potential Social Media Manager. That article, was more for an experienced person who has already executed different social media campaigns. But in this post, I will cover the questions which should be asked to an absolute fresher for an entry level position in your agency or company, since, sometimes it might be more challenging to recruit a fresher rather than an experienced person. There is a fear among many people whether a fresher should be hired or not for a social media position but the reality is if no one employs a fresher, then from where we will get the experienced people in any domain? So, the question of not hiring a fresher for a social media position doesn’t arise at all!
I personally look for following traits in case I have to interview an absolute fresher: The candidate should be Passionate, Willing to Learn, Creative, Well Groomed, Flexible, Good in written/verbal communication and above all should have a Cultural Fit with your organization. So, if you are looking to recruit someone at an entry level position in your social media team here are the 10 crucial questions to be asked (apart from any personal questions):
(a) Domain Knowledge Questions:
This set of 5 questions is to assess the social media acumen of the candidates.
#1. What is Social Media to you?
This question will help you evaluate the basic understanding of the candidate regarding the medium. Of course, you are not expecting a very thorough understanding from a fresher but if the candidate is really interested in a social media job he/she will come prepared with an answer to this question. Otherwise it shows he/she just wants a temporary job rather than being genuinely interested.
#2. Do you follow any blogs to learn about Social Media?
This question will help you understand, how keen is the candidate to learn about social media. If the candidate is really interested in social media role he/she will definitely be following some popular blogs on social media. Otherwise he/she is just doing it for the heck of it.
#3. How will you plan the content for various social media channels?
This will help you assess how meticulous the candidate can be. Although you are not expecting a fresher to provide you with an exact details regarding how he/she will plan the content but just some basic answers about how he/she can create & manage data will suffice.
You can ask this question & let the candidate write his/her answers on a sheet of paper. This will help you assess the creativity & imagination of the person and also check his/her writing skills. If you are keen on hiring the fresher for some particular domain, say to manage finance related social media channel then you may customize this question further & ask him/her to write 4-5 posts/tweets related to some XYZ bank.
#5. How will you avoid mistakes & if somehow you mess up with something on social media channels how will you handle the client/top management?
The answer to this question will help you assess the temperament and the approach of the person. This will also alert the candidate that mistakes of any kind are not acceptable in the organization. If the candidate shares a positive approach to this question that means he can be a right fit for the role.
(b) Cultural Fit Questions:
This set of 5 questions is to evaluate whether the candidate is a right fit as per the culture of your company or not.
#1. Why are you interested in this position (social media)?
If the candidate is really interested in social media, he/she would show a genuine perspective with a desire to explore this area. Simple answers like ‘I am passionate about this medium & I want to make a mark in it’ (of course, check out their personal social media stuff if they have any) or ‘This is a hot & growing marketing medium these days, and I want to be a part of this growth story’ etc. etc. can be some of the convincing replies.
#2. Describe the work environment or culture in which you will be most productive and happy.
Everyone has some idea of the environment or culture where one can be happy & productive. For a young college grad, it might be a casual workplace with colorful decor & not much intrusion into or control of the work they are doing. If the candidate’s description is way away from the current culture, system or environment in your office, it is better to not take that candidate as later on the same candidate may spread negativity about the company & top management among co-workers, which can be highly counter-productive & demoralizing for other team members too.
#3. If you have a deadline to meet, how will you meet it if the work is not finished in the office hours?
The answer to this question will give you a fair amount of idea regarding the commitment and passion the person might display at work. If the candidate answers that he/she is flexible in these terms & might extend their official hours if ever there is such a requirement, that candidate can be a right fit for you. In case the candidate is rigid & gives reasons like they have a life beyond work & cannot extend office hours even by an iota, it is better not to take such a candidate. Of course, everyone has a life beyond work but that doesn’t mean work should suffer when just few extra efforts can give it the finishing touches it needs.
#4. Should one have a best friend at work? Should one disclose personal information like salary etc. to him/her?
Ideally one should not disclose personal information like salary even to closest of friends at work because it might create comparison, demoralization, passive aggression (against the top management for salary bias etc.) in the mind of the other person and thus negativity at the workplace. So, if the candidate agrees to that fact that having a good friend is suitable at your work place, that’s your cue to educate him/her on not sharing classified information anyone at work. Ignorance is bliss!
#5. If you are on vacation or it is an off & somehow immediately some changes are required on channels handled by you and/or some important work arises and your service is required, how will you handle it?
If the candidate is open to handle such a situation by plugging in from their home or from wherever they are using their smartphone (I feel everyone in social media should have a smartphone) or any other device, it shows the open nature & flexibility of the person & can be right bet for your company. Otherwise it is better to avoid such people (especially in social media which is these days almost a 24*7 job!) who says they don’t like to get disturbed when they are away from work.
What other questions one should ask to a fresher for a social media position according to you? Looking for some interesting comments from you!
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