25 Interview Questions for a Nonprofit Creative Director

Advanced, Marketing

By Jeremy Reis

Choosing the right creative director at your nonprofit can be crucial for your organization’s marketing success. We’re in the middle of a search for a new creative director at Food for the Hungry, and as I’m moving through the process, I’ve found candidates with a wide range of experiences and expertise. It’s been an enjoyable process learning about candidates’ backgrounds and their vision for how a nonprofit’s brand and fundraising intersect. I’ve developed these 25 interview questions to help you find your next creative director. Pick and choose the right questions for your interview process.

  1. Tell me about your current role and how your experiences will translate into the creative director role at our nonprofit organization.
  2. Describe your leadership style. How do you like to lead a team?
  3. How would your staff describe you?
  4. How does a nonprofit organization’s brand and fundraising work together?
  5. You’re asked to review a fundraising appeal. What do you look for?
  6. How do you handle an internal client who, when asked for feedback about a designed piece, keeps responding, “I just don’t like it”?
  7. Describe a situation where you’ve had to work with a difficult personality. How do you coach that person to performance? Or, if it’s a coworker, how did you manage the relationship to be productive?
  8. You design what you feel is the right thing for a campaign, but your executive leader doesn’t like it. You believe it’s the right direction to go. How do you persuade your leader this is the right design direction?
  9. Tell me about a brand you admire and why you admire it.
  10. What are three design trends you like?
  11. Someone from another team comes to you and says, “we need to develop a new logo for this fundraising campaign.” How do you respond?
  12. Tell me about your previous team. What were some of the best things your team accomplished? What were some of the challenges?
  13. How would your previous staff describe you?
  14. How do you provide constructive feedback to a designer?
  15. Tell us about a time where the scope of a project was too much to deliver by the deadline. What did you cut? How did you decide what to cut to make the deadline?
  16. How does testing, data, and analytics inform your designs?
  17. What are some challenges you find in brand development? How do you overcome them?
  18. Is it appropriate for design to overrule what data is telling you? If you test and the results show you one way works, would you ever go with the other design?
  19. Tell me about a situation where you had a staff member working on a project, and work product just kept not turning out the way you desired. Revision after revision, it just wasn’t right. How did you handle the situation?
  20. What is the most significant creative challenge in your career to date?
  21. Who inspires you?
  22. What types of projects do you like to work on?
  23. How should design be measured?
  24. Summarize the steps you take to onboard a new designer.
  25. What do you think of our brand?

These interview questions should help spur some ideas for you in your creative director search.


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