You've reached the brave decision that now is the time to make a move, here is what you need to do to secure your dream marketing job.
Failing to conduct the correct preparation for a marketing interview is finger in the wind job searching. If you don’t know your target audience and how to engage with them, you’re wasting your time, the same applies to interviews. So where to start?
Before starting to prepare for an interview you need to look at your CV. You work in marketing, view your CV as an opportunity to showcase your talent as a marketeer, market yourself! Show off! Attach links to your work, show your ROI and speak about your most successful campaigns, just to give you a few ideas. Don’t forget to include a technical skills section; having experience using the same products which an employer already has can really set you apart.
Don’t go into too much detail. Hiring Manager’s don’t need to know about your day to day, they care about the results which you produce. Focusing on your results will allow you, in interview, to speak in more depth about your processes and the strategies behind the results. Highlighting your key achievements will provide you the opportunity to elaborate on them in the interview, rather than just giving you the chance to regurgitate your CV.
Recruitment has arrived unfashionably late to the marketing party, one reason behind this is the nature of recruitment means success can be defined by numbers, whereas in marketing this is not the case. In order to impress recruitment companies, you need to be able to display tangible results.
Believe it or not, you need to research yourself. Discover the statistics from your work, whether that is open rates, click through rates, social media growth, website visits, ROI etc. This will help direct the interviewer into speaking about your best work, it will also give you the opportunity to elaborate on why it was so great. Being able to be analytical about why a piece of work was so successful will show a great degree of understanding about what makes a great marketing campaign and will help you implement best practices across all of your work.Researching yourself will also bring to your attention campaigns and projects which haven’t been as successful as you’d have wished. This is fantastic! Why? Because it will give you the opportunity to reflect and discover what you would have done differently. This will not only help you prepare for your interview, it will help you develop professionally. The most overused phrase in the professional world, ‘the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results’, applies here. Don’t be insane.
Your Recruiter will know the business and should have a personal relationship with the Hiring Manager. They will know what they like in a person, why the hire is being made, what skills of yours to really focus on during the interview… These soft-skills can categorically set you apart from other candidates in the interview process. Make the most of this invaluable resource!
It goes without saying, you need to research a company before you interview with them, whatever your area of expertise is. But it is beyond crucial for a marketing interview. Marketing content is so public, it gives you the opportunity to assess what they’re producing. HOWEVER, THIS IS NOT AN OPEN INVITE TO SLATE EVERYTHING THEIR DEPARTMENT PRODUCES! If you’ve noticed something on their website which could be improved, discuss it during your interview; if you’ve had an idea for a social media campaign which would be engaging for their target audience, discuss this. This type of research makes your interview stand out, gives the Hiring Manager an opportunity to see what it would be like to work with you and best of all, displays the value you would add by hiring you. That’s the reason you’re interviewing there after all isn’t it?!
Be clear about what you want in your next position and have a clear idea of what you want to achieve. If you want a generalist position, great, go for it. If you want a digital position, again, go for it. On the other hand, if there is an area of marketing which you’re weak in or don’t want to do, that is fine too. Just make sure you’re researching the position which you’re interviewing for thoroughly to make sure what they want aligns with your skill-set and goals. Your Recruiter will be best placed to give you details about the vacancy, so make sure you speak with them in detail.
Have a clear understanding of what is going on in the wider marketing world. Be open-minded, look at other industries, what do they do well, how could that be implemented or adapted to your business to give you the cutting edge. Which marketing commentators inspire you? How do you keep ahead of the trend? What campaigns have you seen recently which have stood out to you?
Having the ability to draw inspiration from a wide-range of sources and show how you get ahead of your competitors will not only help you in the professional world, but it will also help you get ahead in the interviewing world too.
YOUR WEAKNESS IS NOT THAT YOU’RE A PERFECTIONIST OR THAT YOU CARE TOO MUCH! It will make the interviewers eyes roll. Trust me, I spent over a year as a Marketing Recruiter. The inevitable question, ‘how could you develop/what is your biggest weakness?’ is an opportunity to display your self-awareness, an understanding of where your skill-set is, what you can improve on and also shows you have the capacity to develop and grow.
As earlier covered, assess your own abilities and look where you have been weak previously, what have you done to improve this? What are you currently doing to improve these areas? Having the ability to self-assess, whatever the level you’re at, is an important one to have.
Nobody likes a limp handshake.
The best way to view a marketing interview as an opportunity to showcase your abilities as a marketeer. It is an opportunity to highlight your strengths, share ideas and find commonality with the Hiring Manager. Marketing, more than nearly any other profession is not exclusively about your CV, but about your wider knowledge, where you take your inspiration from and how you’d fit into their marketing team.