Interview: Zak Knudson, Employee #001

An Interview with Zak Knudson, Director of Production

Back in 2004, what enticed you to join a 4-person start up?

  • Any company prepared to take a chance on a wet-behind-the-ears, just-graduated hick from Minnesota after a couple phone interviews was definitely the place for me. The free parking helped too. But in all seriousness, I didn’t know what to expect when joining the small founding RM team, but after meeting the crew, seeing how passionate everyone was about the industry and how committed everyone was to the company’s success, it was very evident that I had landed in an excellent position in which to learn and grow.

Is there any wisdom or advice you’ve received in your career that you live by or wish to pass on to others?

  • When I was first growing into my search legs, Mr. Jeff Campbell himself instilled in me the idea that at Resolution Media it’s ok to try something and fail as long as you justify yourself and have good reasons for doing what you did. It took the pressure off learning a new industry and allowed me to learn some of my most valuable lessons with respect to both the world of search and business in general. So for any newcomers out there – don’t be afraid to try new things and fail. Sometimes new failures will teach you more than the same old successes ever could.

What is your favorite part about your current role as Director of Production?

  • Without question, the best part of this gig is getting to see the members of the Production Team grow, become search experts and take the next steps in their career path. Whether it’s rising in the ranks of Production Supervisor or making a successful move to another team, it’s amazing to see people who once didn’t know how to define CPA or ROAS begin to take on leadership roles and in turn help the next generation of RM’ers begin to take their first steps to that kind of growth.

How do you spot talent in an interview? Any funny interview moments to share?

  • I deal with interviewing for a lot of entry-level positions, so finding someone with a good deal of search experience is a rarity. That said, the most important thing to me when interviewing is that the interviewee has an initial passion for the industry and that they’ve done enough homework on the world of search to be able to engage in a meaningful discussion on general industry topics. It’s really that simple. My favorite interview moment came at my own expense when an interviewee had searched my name and brought up a bio-page he found where I embarrassingly referred to myself as “Captain Planet.” Needless to say, he was hired on the spot.


Aaron Goldman said...

Technically, isn't Zak employee #5? Or 5b for that matter (with 5a being Lindsey T's 4 week stint)??

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