When interviewing for a marketing, sales, or advertising job – particularly in the inbound space – character can make or break your entire approach. Personality plays a huge role in determining who is a “right fit” for a marketing position.
You could be the most skilled web developer to ever apply at a given agency; if your personality doesn’t mesh with the company, or your skimped on pre-interview homework, you’re in trouble.
Conversely, the right attitude, work ethic, and enthusiasm can make up for lack of professional experience, especially in entry-level marketing positions. In this blog and the video above, we cover several ways candidates can prepare for marketing position interviews and set themselves apart from the competition.
Establish Action Items Early On
One of the best ways to create a strong first impression with talent managers or hiring staff at a marketing agency is to enter the room ready to roll.
Don’t google the company the night before your interview and expect to be a perfect fit right out of the gates; come in with suggestions or things you can bring to the table, directly related to the company’s existing work, or even their current website.
By this, we mean looking through their content, design, social media, or other media and identifying ways they could be improved, whether those improvements are completed by you or the candidate that gets the job. This creates immediate value for most marketing employers. In a value-driven industry, this can be a huge differentiator.
The most successful candidates are those that establish immediate self-value by highlighting improvements or ways the company can better itself. After all, by hiring a new team member, that’s all an agency is seeking to do.
Be Your Honest Self
Within the marketing space (“agency life”) your character is just as important – or even more important – than technical experience. Agencies and the talent/hiring teams within those agencies seek candidates that match up with current team members.
Skill is a big factor, sure, but there’s nothing more telling than authenticity and the way your values mesh with your prospective employer. Again, this is why preliminary research is such a big deal in the hiring process.
By responding to candidates for a phone or in-person interview, agencies are already making an investment. You’ve been recognized as a potential asset from the starting line. However, if your personal values and character don’t align with the company’s, you’re going to have a hard time:
a.) Interviewing for the position, and
b.) Excelling in the position if you make the cut.
When it comes down to it, the best way to prep for a marketing job interview is to know the job and know yourself. Don’t worry about addressing weaknesses, such as if you’re a copywriter with limited technical writing experience, but extensive social media work. It’s best to be transparent about capabilities.
Additionally – and this should be obvious – do your research beforehand. Know the agency, its history, industry competitors, and most of all, what you can bring to the table.
With these tips, you can stress less about that upcoming interview you have!
Alex is a University of South Florida mass communications graduate and Video/Media Specialist at Bluleadz. He is a big movie nerd, loves (possibly dangerous) concerts and enjoys taunting co-workers with a camera. He's probably seen The Royal Tenenbaums 14 times by now.