One of the most popular questions I get from the people I work with is this: ‘How can I ace an interview and get the job?!’
While interviewing isn’t an exact science, candidates tell me that the advice I provide them with has resulted in their best interviews ever, almost always resulting in selection to the next round of interviews. The key to my advice is the more you practice, the better you will perform on the big day.
But what does this mean specifically for digital marketers?
What are the key areas to focus on in an interview?
While traditional interviews are still very much the norm, a recent global recruitmeuggests that soft skills assessment and meetings in casual environments are being increasingly used to assess a candidate’s suitability from a cultural fit point of vie are also becoming more popular). In addition, and significantly for digital marketers, artificial intelligence comes into play. Don’t be surprised if you start to see chatbots conducting interviews in the near future!
As marketers you’ll be expected to be good to be quick-thinking, and to be well-rehearsed. It’s also wise to research the industry press to keep an eye on competitors and ou can weave into the conversation.
I prepare people every day for career-defining interviews, so have a very good understanding of what is expected from prospective employees. Based on my years of knowledge and experience, I’ve detailed below four of the most important areas to focus on, to secure the dream job you’re going for.
1. Know Your CV and Tell It Like a Story
It all starts with your CV. Your CV is effectively your career story. So, as you look back through your history, pick out highlights that you’ll enjoy talking about in an interview and that are relevant to the role you’re applying for. It might be a simple story about what inspired you to join the digital marketing industry, or it could be something specific to the role you’re applying for. The best candidates do this for each and every interview they have – a bit like tailoring your CV for the job you’re going for.
Knowing your CV back to front will be vital for the inevitable question you’ll be asked, including: ‘Tell me about yourself” or ‘Tell me about your career to date’.
When Lonne Jaffe, Senior Advisor to the Board of Directors at software company Syncsort, was asked how he hires employees, he responded: “I’ll ask the candidate to go through their prior successes and challenges and major responsibilities and tell that story, partially because I want to see how good they are at storytelling.”
Another useful technique is to write down six to eight points around each of the roles listed on your CV. Think about relevant examples that you can use in the interview and allow for two to three minutes of talking time per role. Generally speaking, CV discussions take about 15-20 minutes in an interview.
As a final tip, ahead of your interview, speak to someone like me to find out the following in advance:
- Will the interview be formal, serious, structured or casual?
- What is the dress code? While you should always present yourself smartly, find out if a suit is expected. Digital marketing tends to be a casual industry, so you should reflect the position you’re applying for.
- How should your work be presented? This includes your education, your experience and any portfolio examples.
Key Takeaway: Write your CV story and list your achievements in advance. Doing so will also help clarify it in the frontal lobes of your brain.
2. Show Your Achievements
While a CV is essential, being able to talk about your experience and bring your achievements to life is crucial. This is your opportunity to highlight your successes and talk about anything that you might not have been able to include in your CV or covering note.
In any given interview situation, you’ll be asked to share your career achievements. This could be a defining career moment, or possibly your top three highlights. Try to add color to your examples and use the opportunity to show off some