5 questions to ask your entry-level digital candidate

It can be difficult to identify the trademarks of a strong community manager, especially when hiring a new digital team member or consultant. You're looking for someone passionate enough to work nights and weekend and who has a way with words. That's a tough get.

The following five questions and insights are geared toward filling an entry-level position; however, they can serve as a guide to scripting your unique interview questions. When added to your roster of cultural, work ethic and personality questions they can help make the case whether to swipe left or right. 

Could you share a few of your favorite brands on any social platform?

Look for someone who follows brands outside their comfort zone. Most students are well-versed in what, or who, they’re told is important.

Students graduating with an ag marketing or ag communications degree are overly familiar with Cody Creelman, The Peterson Brothers, or Derek Klingenberg, but does she or he find creativity in the Atlanta Hawks’ Twitter account? What about National Geographic's Instagram account?

How successful is your preferred brand at tailoring content to respective channels. Can you provide an example?

Dig past those who rely on Buzzfeed to form their opinions and identify those who are paying attention to the tone and voice of accounts across multiple platforms.

For example, a brand may be serious with an understated sense of humor Facebook, while on Twitter the brand is a bit more colorful with an SNL level sense of humor.

In three words, can you describe your personal digital brand?

Although personal and business brands vary in purpose and content, your candidate's response will show if they have a clear vision for their online brand. For reference, my online brand is nearly the same as my in-person brand; however, some prefer to separate professional and personal identities. 

How do you measure the success of the communities you’ve managed?

If your candidates says they grew their Facebook page by 500 likes, just walk away. You need the person who can share click-thru rates, trends, conversions, engagement rate growth and dabble in sentiment measurement. The size of a Facebook page is only one element of the overall health of an online community.

Can you share a bit about one of the members of your community?

A social media manager worth their salt becomes quite close with their community. They'll know the advocates - and the trolls - on a first name basis and notice their absence from the conversation. 

If you’ve added a junior member to your team who would benefit from one-on-one digital strategy training, I’d love to tailor a program for you and your organization.