One way to find out if the agency's any good

My first real interview as a copywriter was with an agency I wasn't really familiar with. So I looked them up in the annuals and found they'd done a few decent pieces. That gave me hope.

But what really sold me was when I interviewed with Kevin Lynch, the creative director. Their boardroom proudly displayed all of the work the agency had recently produced.

As Kevin took me through each piece, he told me what he wish they had done, and what they might do next time. In other words, he was always willing to push for better creative. It would have been just as easy for him to say, "Look at this piece! Isn't it fantastic! We're pleased as punch with this!"

One of the main reasons I took that job was because I knew the agency was committed to great creative and was consistently going to push for it.

Contrast that with a CD I sat down with at a portfolio review who explained their agency didn't do glamourous work, but encouraged their creatives to go out and find pro bono accounts like Madam Tussaud's Wax Museum to help build their books.