So your dream is to enter the big wide world of marketing. You’ve sailed through education, applied for countless amount of roles and you’ve finally secured an interview. Firstly, congratulations! Secondly, are you prepared?
Marketing is one of the key components to an organisation’s success and there isn’t a rule book on how, when or where it’s done. As you probably already know, there are many components that make marketing a success and it is proven to be a very competitive industry to get into. Regardless of what the type of marketing role you have applied for is, the following tips combined are key to scoring well in a marketing interview.
First thing’s first, you need to research. It may be the most obvious starting point, but we cannot express enough the importance of researching and the difference between a well-prepared and an ill-prepared candidate at an interview. The worst thing you can do is go into an interview without any knowledge about the ever-growing list of marketing strategies and even more so, without any knowledge of the organisation you will be potentially working for.
A great starting point is the organisation’s website. So ask yourself:
– What type of organisation are they?
– Who are their audience?
– What are their current marketing strategies?
– What are their goals and values?
– What are their achievements?
– How do they measure their success?
We all dread the ‘where do you see yourself in five years?’ question, (as no one can predict the future), but you must be prepared to answer it. Know your direct marketing from your promotional marketing and your marketing analyst from your marketing director. Ask yourself why marketing is the career route you have chosen and where you want it to take you eventually so you are prepared for this question.
Having ideas can be useful for any type of job interview but when it comes to a marketing role, having ideas is essential. When filling a marketing role, employers tend to be seeking a ‘fresh pair of eyes’ to analyse their current marketing strategies and will appreciate a new perspective.
Don’t be afraid to voice your opinion. Use your research about the company, combine it with your own initiative and you can’t go wrong. If you dislike an existing strategy, don’t be too critical, but put forward constructive ideas and back your opinion with a suggestion of what can be done as an alternative/improvement.
If you like an existing strategy, suggest an example of what can be done to maintain/enhance it. There is no right or wrong answer, everyone is entitled to their opinion and as a potential employee, bringing ideas to the table can help you stand out from other candidates. Be brave!
Social media has become one of the key tools in an organisation’s marketing strategy. If you haven’t done so yet, sign up and become familiar with multiple social media platforms and focus on how they can be used for marketing purposes. The main social media platforms range from Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Snapchat, Google+, YouTube and Pinterest. Find out what social media platforms the organisation currently have profiles on (if any) and be sure to mention that you have seen them active on these platforms and how effective you find their practices.Make sure your own social media channels are relevant and up to date as your potential employer will definitely look at them.
Consider your current skills, tailor them to the job description and highlight them to the interviewer. Some of the essential skills in marketing that you could demonstrate examples of are:
- Communication. Having the ability to communicate with both internal and external stakeholders of all levels, from youth to pensioners and assistants to CEOs. Highlight your capability and confidence in using multiple channels of communication (face-to-face, social media, email, telephone, skype).
- Creativity. There isn’t a wrong idea when it comes to creativity. Don’t be afraid to express your ideas no matter how big, small, quick or time consuming they may be.
- Writing skills. Be confident in your grammar and punctuation. Understand the difference between your ‘their’s ‘they’re’s and ‘there’s’? Be aware of how different writing styles can appeal to different audiences.
- Team playing. Marketing is a team effort, filled with a combination of ideas and opinions and is hard to do alone. Demonstrate times you worked in a team, what role you played and what was achieved as a result of teamwork. This doesn’t have to be in a work situation but can still highlight your skills.
- Analysis. Knowing your audience and measuring the success of marketing relies a lot on analysis. Demonstrate ways to analyse a market and how you can interpret written, numerical, visual and verbal communications.
It’s one thing to verbally highlight your skills and marketing capability, but presenting your skills with evidence in a portfolio will give the employer a visual idea of what you are capable of and why you are suited for the role. Tailor your portfolio and make it relevant to the role you are applying for. If you are a blogger, print off your best written work. If you are a communicator, print off presentations you have collaborated. If you are a designer, show off your best photoshop work. Be proud of your accomplishments and don’t be shy to bring a portfolio along to your interview, even if it wasn’t asked of you.
We hope these tips have helped to boost your confidence and have helped to prepare you for your marketing interview. Don’t forget that we have some amazing paid internships in marketing as well as other creative sectors, so feel free to check them out here. Good Luck!