When I look at a group of designer, I see individuals with a diverse set of skills, centered around creativity and communication, not the traditional monolithic group of vague creatives types typically inferred. Building a solid design team is more like a good coach finding all the necessary positions needed to win, not corralling a bunch of talented freelancers.
One of my main objectives when interviewing a designer, is to discover the latest project they’ve done for the love of it. I also want to know if they’ve recently seen a design that they wish they’d created. If on both accounts they light up and are excited to share, I know at least that this person has passion.
It is at this point, I’ll look at their portfolio.