Interviews can be a nerve-wracking event. I think most people can agree with that statement.
But they’re especially stressful when it’s your first time interviewing for a position in that industry. That is exactly how I felt this summer when I had an interview to work with the Vice President of Marketing and Communications at a board of trade.
Going into the interview with the following three tips in mind really helped me and, in the end, I landed the job!
1. Come prepared with ideas
This is true for job interviews in all industries, but extremely important for marketing positions. Researching the company’s marketing initiatives and presenting skills you bring to the table that can help them with existing strategies, and new ideas, can set you a part from other candidates.
For example: From a little research I did on the company’s website, I discovered that they published a business trade magazine and used it as a strategy to increase brand recognition and attract potential clients. Recognizing this, I brainstormed a few ideas for stories I thought would interest entrepreneurs and presented them during the interview. I also highlighted my background in journalism and that I could help them with writing for future issues.
2. Have real-life examples and/or bring a portfolio
It’s great to have all these grand ideas, but it’s even more important to give an employer the impression you can pull them off. A large part of my interview was spent talking about previous experiences in marketing, telling specific stories or examples of successes, as well as not so successful attempts and what I had learned from them.
If you have a portfolio, bring it! Even if you don’t think the work showcased in your portfolio relates to what the employer is looking for, still show it to them.
One strategy I use when I run into this situation is that I will show the interviewer my portfolio and tell them, “I know this job won’t involve a lot of writing, but I wanted to show you my published work so you can see that when I set out to do something I do the best work possible.” This demonstrates to the interviewer that you’ll bring a solid level of commitment and effort to the position.
3. Don’t forget about social media
Before your interview, take a look at the organization’s social media presence. Know which sites they have profiles on, which ones they don’t and what type of content they tweet, post etc. Don’t be afraid to make suggestions if you think they could benefit from posting new styles of content or having a presence on other social networks.
For example: Before my interview, I took a quick look on the organization’s website and it was brought to my attention that they didn’t have a large social media presence. During the interview I talked about my experience with different platforms and mentioned ideas I had for the business to connect with professionals through LinkedIn and Twitter. It turned out that one of the things on their summer to-do list was to increase the organization’s presence on LinkedIn. One of the reasons they hired me was because I had suggested marketing strategies with that platform.
Photo credit: Scott Kellum