Lately I’ve had quite a few students ask me for advice about interviewing for marketing positions. The most common questions I get are something along the lines of “How can I best prepare for my interview at XYZ company?” and “How do I stand out among all of the other interviewees trying to get this job?” Although there is a lot of great interviewing advice available, I will share my $0.02 on these questions.
- Be able to clearly articulate why you want to work for XYZ company. It sounds simple, but you need to explain how you are a good fit for their company, not just any company. To address this issue, devote time towards studying the company’s website, people, social media, and culture. Many companies are seeking an “overall fit” between you and their employees and culture.
- In addition to explaining why you want to work for XYZ company, explain why you want to work in the position advertised. Again, it sounds like a simple idea but to really stand out, learn what the position involves BEFORE you go on the interview. Research the position as much as possible so you can cogently discuss what skills and abilities you bring to the table.
- Know everything on your resume. If there is something on your resume, expect to be asked a question about it. Study your resume and think of something you can elaborate on for every item listed.
- Practice interviewing. I highly recommend 301 Smart Answers to Tough Interview Questions to help you ace job interviews.
- Differentiation involves analyzing your competitors. So, think about the types of people who might be interviewing for the position. Then, think of something about you that is different from all of your competitors. Ensure that you discuss your point of differentiation some time during the interview. It doesn’t have to be a huge point of differentiation, but it should be unique. As an example, you could discuss how you studied for and passed a certification exam or performed in the top of your class on a project or assignment. Perhaps you can share an interesting story about how you selected your major or a personal experience that influenced one of your core values. The possibilities are endless. If you are stuck on finding points of differentiation about yourself, I suggest you read ME 2.0 by Dan Schwabel to learn more about personal branding strategies.
- Learn to dress professionally for success, but avoid the “standard suit uniform” look. Be a little bold by wearing a tasteful but memorable accessory such as a tie or scarf to make you more memorable. Even if the work environment is casual-dress, you should package yourself as a serious professional for the interview.
- Write a hand-written thank you note to each person who interviewed you. Often when I give this advice to my students, their response is “Really?”. Yes, really. Invest in a set of high quality, thank you notes and some stamps. People do appreciate when you go to that extra effort.
- Be yourself. We’re all unique in our own way. Trust that your uniqueness can shine through if you are comfortable and relaxed. Interviews can be stressful, but if you don’t feel like yourself during the interview, you may not enjoy working at that company.
If you cannot market yourself well, the company will not believe you will be able to market their products/services. For more resources, check out my interviewing tag on Delicious and my Marketing Career Info Daily with new content every day. Also check out How to Score a Date with Your Potential Employer.
Please share your $0.02 on interviewing for marketing positions in the comments area below.