Five Steps to Acing Your Next Marketing Interview

Finding a fulfilling, well-paid job in marketing is like finding a good pair of jeans. It doesn’t happen often. And when it does, it’s usually because you tried on 18 different pairs until you found “the perfect fit.” During a job search, half the battle is wrapped up in the interview process. Here are five ways to make a good impression during an interview, regardless of who you’re talking to.

1. Perfect Your Elevator Pitch

In case you haven’t heard of an “elevator pitch,” it’s a quick, succinct summary of your professional expertise. For example, say Joe plans on working as a communications manager at a consulting firm. He should be ready to explain why he’s interested in consulting and what makes him unique in two to three minutes at the interview. To craft the perfect elevator pitch, try typing it out on your computer. After you’re satisfied, practice articulating the pitch to a friend, or a family member.

2. Research the Company in Advance

As soon as you’re selected for an interview at a marketing agency, then research the company via LinkedIn, Twitter, the corporate website, etc… Remember to take notes as you research the company’s services, values, and proposition. If you’re too lazy to take notes, then write down a couple of questions to ask during the interview. Minor details are extremely important for formal interviews. Triple check the address in advance, and plan your direct route to the interview via Google maps. Most importantly, ARRIVE EARLY (20 to 30 minutes).

3. Engage through Positive Body Language

Disengaging body language can lead to a fatal outcome in an interview. Even if the interviewer seems intimidating, don’t let it phase you. This may be your only chance to make a good impression on the hiring manager. Expressing positive body language means greeting the interviewer with a strong, confident handshake. After sitting down, face the person directly and make eye contact. It may feel uncomfortable at first, but it’s an excellent way to demonstrate engagement. Sit up straight, smile and keep your hands above the table while speaking, making hand gestures when appropriate.

4. Answer Questions without Rambling

If the interviewer asks, how do you define innovation?  Then give him or her a direct, well thought out answer. Remember, it’s okay to gather your thoughts for a minute. The pause will seem a lot longer to you than to the interviewer. Then share your definition of innovation, and provide examples if necessary. But don’t talk about a science project from elementary schools, unless it’s extremely relevant. Also, don’t give the marketing executive the answer you think they want to hear. Tell them what innovation means to you.

5. Be Persistent and Follow Up

The most common blunder job searchers make is not following up after an interview. Next time you’re interviewed at a company, send a brief thank you email after wards. If you’re feeling ambitious, then you could even send a thank you note to their office. Sometimes baby boomers really appreciate candidates who go the extra mile.

In the midst of very stressful interview process, make a sustained effort to be yourself and have fun. The rest will take care of itself…

Image Credit: bpsusf via Flickr


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