So you’ve managed to woo the hiring manager with your CV and now you’ve reached the next stage in the journey to your dream digital role. It’s time to get over the euphoria and start the preparations for the interview.
How are you going to sufficiently prepare I hear you asking… Just follow these six simple steps to ace that digital marketing interview:
KNOW YOU AND YOUR CV
The hiring manager has already painted this mental picture of who you are from when they read your CV. Make sure you give yourself some time to read over your CV prior to the interview. Take some time and think about how you are going to sell yourself to the hiring manager. The different experiences and accomplishments you’ve put on your CV are what has landed you this interview so make sure you refresh your memory so you can make reference to them during the interview.
What differentiates you from everyone else looking to get this job? What is your personal brand? What’s your unique value proposition? What are the strengths and skills that you are going to bring to this company? You also need to be prepared to answer the question, ‘’where do you see yourself in five years?’’. Make sure you have a strong idea as to what your career goals are. Think about how this role is going to help you achieve these career goals. Also, think about how you’re going to describe why you want to leave your current employer and remember never to speak badly about your current employer!
KNOW THE COMPANY
Turning up to an interview without doing your research on the company is a bit like doing a skydive without a parachute. Take advantage of the wonderful thing that is the World Wide Web and find out everything that you can about the company that you are interviewing for. For example, if it is a retailer, go visit the store get to know their target audience, competitors, and their values. Get an idea of what they have done and what their plans for the future are. Doing your research on the company and relaying it during the interview process shows the hiring manager how interested you are in getting this role.
Don’t forget to also know the name of the person you’re going to be meeting. There’s nothing worse than someone turning up to a receptionist of a company and not knowing who they’re actually there to meet.
PREPARE THE QUESTIONS YOU WANT TO ASK
Now come on you don’t want the hiring manager to think that you come across disinterested do you? Why not show them how interested you really are by preparing some simple questions? Break these questions up into questions that you need to know and questions that you want to know.
Questions you need to know could be anything from ‘’who am I going to be reporting to?’’ or ‘’what is the breakdown of the team?’’ questions you want to know can be anything like ‘’what are the plans for the digital team in 2017?’’ or ‘’what systems do the team use at the moment?’’ One question you should always avoid asking is ones relating to the salary or benefits, you don’t want the hiring manager thinking that you’re jumping the gun.
DRESS TO IMPRESS
If you have followed step 2 thoroughly you should know by now what attire you need to wear to impress the hiring manager. Once you have researched the company you will know whether you need to suit up or not.
There is nothing worse than rocking up to your dream interview overdressed or underdressed, it’s just going to send the nerves into overdrive and could knock the rest of the interview. You can always take advantage of the company’s website and social accounts to see photos of staff and what kind of attire they wear and what their culture is like. Sometimes business casual is all you need.
Before we get to the intro don’t forget showing up 15 minutes early for your interview is okay. Plan your journey out. This will take all the pressure off you on the day. If it’s an area that you are not familiar with maybe to a practise run to the location to ensure that there are no issues on the day. Check to see if there is parking nearby or if you are getting the Luas, Dart or Bus, see how far the stop is from the building. The intro really begins from the second you step foot in the company’s office. Letting the receptionist know in a friendly manner that you have arrived and who you are there to meet.
Now as you’re sitting in the waiting room, what do you do? Firstly be mindful of your mannerisms in the waiting area, this wait is an ideal opportunity for the company to gauge your nerves. Be confident, if there is a magazine there pick it up and have a read of it. If there are any documents relating to the company have a read, show you’re interested. Whatever you do make sure you leave your mobile phone in your pocket or handbag, make sure it is on silent or even better switched off, make sure not to be on it when the interviewer comes to greet you.
Now you hear someone call your name and it’s the hiring manager, what do you do? Don’t panic anyway. Stand up give a firm handshake and introduce yourself.
The close is just as important as the Intro, the close is going to be the final impression the hiring manager has of you so make sure it’s a lasting impression.
Firstly when the hiring manager asks if you have any questions make sure to ask them. One example I would have would be ‘’Do you think my type of personality would gel well with the existing team?’’. This gets the hiring manager both thinking and imagining you on their team. How great would that be?
Next, make sure to thank the hiring manager for the opportunity and tell them that you look forward to hearing from them.
The final phase of acing that interview is the handshake and the goodbye.
You now have wooed the hiring manager. You’re that step closer to that dream digital job. Make sure you have the phone fully charged and prepare for the phone call that’s going to open up a new chapter in your life.
Oran Carolan specialises in Digital Recruitment across all industries for Alternatives.