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Copywriting Apprentice Selection Process (Part 2)

Picking up where I left off in Part 1 of the copywriting apprentice selection process, here’s Part 2. In this post, I’ll focus more on my involvement.

Part 1 ended with scheduling interviews with Jeff.

Since I wasn’t there, I can’t say much about what exactly went down during the interviews. But Jeff shared with me that he asked questions along these lines:

  • Introduce yourself
  • Apprenticeship opportunity and how it fits into your career goal
  • Strengths and weaknesses
  • What do you know about Jeffalytics

Jeff would record the audio of these interviews, but we decided I shouldn’t listen to them since it’ll cloud my judgement of the candidates.

And the reason Jeff shared what he asked was so that I don’t repeat them in my calls with the finalists.

So that’s what happened after Jeff’s round of interviews. He narrowed the list even further and had me talk to the finalists.

The aims of the call are to discover:

  1. On a company level: Who’s the best fit for the role? Who can help the business grow the most?
  2. On a personal level: Can I work with this person?

I told the finalists beforehand that they’re encouraged to ask me questions about the apprenticeship opportunity. That’s why I think the word calls (instead of interviews) would make more sense, as it’s more conversational.

Here are the questions I’d prepared for the call:

1. The apprenticeship opportunity has many great pull factors. What’s the push factor/s (if any) to get you out of your current job/situation? In other words, what’s making your feel ‘stuck’ that this opportunity will help you get ‘unstuck’?

2. We’ll be working closely together. What’s your working style? Anything in particular that bugs you (about the work/person)? Anything in particular that you would appreciate (about the work/person)?

3. What are things your team members always appreciate about you? What are things you always get feedback to improve on?

4. To me personally, the apprenticeship opportunity (such as this one) is able to give me these things:

  • Skills/ knowledge: Playing with house money. Learning while doing.
  • Business coaching: Learning how the mentor makes business decisions. Being able to bounce ideas of the mentor.
  • Exposure/ connections: Tapping into his network. Being able to say “I’ve worked with X” (i.e. shameless name-dropping).

There might be other things you can think of, but what do you wish to get the most of out of this opportunity?

My questions should last for about 15 minutes. And it was then the finalist’s turn to ask me questions. They could of course ask me questions anytime during the call, so it’s usually past 15 minutes by the end of question #4.

The questions I received from the finalists were (I’m trying my best to remember these, it’s been more than 10 days since the calls):

  • What’s my story/ background?
  • How did I got into this?
  • How did the experience help with my career?
  • How does the team members communicate with each other (with the difference in time zone)?
  • What were my best achievements/ projects during this apprenticeship?
  • How can they (the candidate) help the business? What’s their role (in relation to me)?

After the calls, I gave Jeff some notes I’ve made about each finalist. (Possible) Reasons that I think why/not this person can/not fit into the role.

We (mostly Jeff) struggled with the decision, since we’ve got a high-quality problem on our hands: more than one high quality candidate.

Jeff hopes that it’s not going to be the last we hear of these candidates, even the ones that did not make it to the final round (i.e. those I didn’t have a call with). Jeff has plans to work with them in other forms of arrangement.

So after a one and a half month search, we’ve got our copywriting apprentice for 2017. He will be starting in mid-September, and I can’t wait to work with him to grow the business.

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