Interviewing for a job is always a nerve-wracking experience, but this goes double for interviews for a marketing position. Though a rewarding career, marketing can be a very competitive business. And in these interviews, personality will count for more than in most jobs.
In any job interview, you are selling yourself to a company. A person interviewing for an accounting position can expect a little leeway in the “wow-factor” department, as long as their technical skillset is strong.
In marketing, however, your job is to persuade, to inform, and to generate demand. This means you need not only the technical know-how, but an eye for detail and a healthy dose of charisma as well! Here’s how to be the absolute best you can be at your next marketing interview!
Do Your Research
Don’t walk into the interview without a clear idea of what you’re getting into. Do some research on the company itself, and even your interviewer (social media is your friend).
The more you know about company culture, goals, challenges, and recent campaigns, the better you can promote yourself as the kind of player they want on their team.
No company hires on skill alone (except possibly if you are at the top 5% of your field, with numbers to back it), they want to know that you are someone who can connect with their brand. Someone who will represent what they are selling.
You need to show the interviewer that you’re someone who is truly interested in working with them. This is where research can give you an edge. You don’t want to be caught speechless when they offer you the opportunity to ask questions.
Have several knowledgeable questions ready to go that are relevant to their company policies, culture, or projects.
Practice Your Answers
You don’t want to give the impression that you’re giving canned answers, but you especially don’t want to be caught off guard. Have a good idea of some common interview questions so that you are prepared to expound on the answers.
In the marketing niche, these questions can be very broad or very specific. Some commonly asked questions include:
- Tell me about a campaign you were a part of that wasn’t as successful as you expected. What do you think went wrong?
- How would you respond to a customer who left a negative review on our social media site?
- What do you think communication with the sales team looks like?
- Describe your most successful marketing campaign. What do you think made it so successful?
- What do you know about our target market?
- What are your feelings on PPC advertising?
When answering questions, relate the answers to both your own previous career experience and to the company you’re interviewing for.
Your interviewer wants to know that you have a working knowledge about what makes a campaign successful (or not), that you understand the nuances of the field, whether you’re up-to-date on new marketing innovations, and that you can think (and perform) on your feet.
Research and make a list of some common interview questions, and practice your answers with a friend or family member. By having a good grasp on what you want to say, you’ll be able to get it out more smoothly when talking to your interviewer.
Bring the Receipts
Bring copies of your resume and two or three writing samples, or previous projects. A lot of people don’t show up with a portfolio, so having some examples of your work can go a long way to impress your interviewer and set yourself ahead of the pack.
Be prepared to talk a bit about 2 or 3 campaigns that you’ve spearheaded or collaborated on, so that you can give them a good idea of your skills. If you’re fresh out of school, you can share leadership positions or school projects that you feel would translate well to their requirements.
Be Familiar with Social Media Platforms
One of the things that interviewers will be looking for is familiarity with current marketing innovations. With so much advertising performed on social media, you want to be comfortable operating in these spheres.
You may be expected to follow trends closely and to capitalize on them in your work. Have a working knowledge of Google Ads and Facebook Ads, and how to best use them for marketing campaigns.
Don’t be afraid to show confidence in your skills and abilities. This isn’t the time to be modest - talk about what you can do, and really demonstrate just how these skills will play well in this workplace.
You can crack a few well-mannered and family friendly jokes, but understand that at this stage in the game, especially for an interviewer who doesn’t know you, some forms of humor can come off as arrogant or thoughtless. Remember that you have to convince this person that they want you for a coworker.
Be personable and pleasant, and project confidence without arrogance. Humor can come later after you build a relationship.
Must-Know Interview Tips
Dress for the Job
When dressing for an interview, opt for a more conservative look. While many marketing workplaces can allow for fun looks and quirky aesthetics, the initial interview is not the place to find out if this particular company is one of them. A suit is going to be your best bet. Plan your outfit the night before and have it laid out and ready, for one less thing to do on the big day.
Know Your Worth
Come prepared to discuss salary expectations. Research the average for your field and company size to find a good starting point without going too far off the mark.
Be On Time
Plan to arrive 15 minutes early. Map the route and do a practice run (or two) so that you are comfortable with finding the office, and have a general understanding of the traffic patterns. You want to prevent any extra stress right before your interview time.
Think of your initial interview for a marketing position as a test of your marketing skills. You are the product, and what’s more, you are a product that you believe in. Put your best, and most confident self forward by showing up prepared.
Have You Applied?
SkillBank is a 15-week career accelerator for people looking to kick-start their career in marketing.
The next SkillBank cohort starts May 10th, 2021 and we'd love to see you there!