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Going for an interview is always a nerve-racking experience, especially if you're interviewing for a new type of job and aren't completely confident in your skills. But when preparing for a digital marketing interview, there are things you can and should do to get yourself ready, as well as a number of things that you should avoid when you're in the interview.
Just as there are things you should say and ways you should act during the interview, so too are there things you should completely steer clear of, and ways you should avoid acting. Most of them are common sense, but there are also some important don’ts that are specific to digital marketing that you should keep in mind during your interview, and today you'll learn what they are.
Don’t Be Ignorant About the Company
Just as digital marketing agencies want people who are passionate and driven, so too do they want team players who care about the growth and success of the firm. By researching the agency before the interview, you'll be able to demonstrate why your goals and skills are in line with what the agency wants to accomplish, show that you’re a candidate who can help them achieve their goals, and be knowledgeable about the firm in general.
An agency doesn’t want to hire a candidate who knows nothing about the firm and who didn’t care enough to research it before the interview, so you should go in armed with a fair bit of knowledge about who you'd be working with. Just remember that the interview isn't just about them learning about you: it’s also about you demonstrating that you know about them and why you're a good fit. Here are a few things you should know about the company before the interview:
- The products and services they offer
- The challenges they're facing
- The types of clients they serve
- Who their competition is
- Their past achievements
- Their mission statement
- What the role would require
Don’t Go in Blind
Digital marketing is a pretty specialized field with its own terminology, technology, and metrics, and you should know something about these things before going to an interview. This doesn’t mean you should spend the entire interview throwing around jargon, but you should be familiar with important topics like calls to action, click through and bounce rates, conversions, and why local SEO is the SEO of the future.
That’s not to say that you need to be an expert and know everything there is to know about digital marketing, but you should have enough relevant experience and a basic understanding of the practice to be able to discuss it with confidence.
But Don’t Pretend to Know Things You Don’t, Either
That being said, there is a great deal of jargon that gets used in digital marketing, but you should resist the temptation to pretend you know a term, or a stat, or are familiar with a particular technology when you don’t have that knowledge.
For one thing, you may end up caught in a lie, and that will be much more awkward than just admitting up front that you didn’t know. Furthermore, honesty is typically always the best policy, especially when it comes to a potential employer. And finally, not knowing something isn't something to be ashamed of, but rather an opportunity to learn something new, and any employer will be impressed if you use these chances to expand your knowledge base.
Digital marketing tip: A desire for lifelong learning is one of the most important traits a successful digital marketer can have, so it’s always good to show that you're keen to learn new things.
Don’t Be Afraid to Offer Suggestions
Digital marketing is always dedicated to improving performance and optimizing results, so if you see areas where the agency can improve their own digital marketing efforts for themselves, then feel free to mention your recommendations.
For instance, maybe you’ve noticed that the firm doesn’t have a great presence on social media, and you could suggest a few ways they could increase their reach. Not only will this demonstrate that you’ve done your research into the company, but it will also show that you're analytical, that you care about the success of the company, that you’ve got what it takes to do the job, and that you're dedicated to helping others improve.
Don’t Be Shy About Your Experience or Past Successes
An interview is your time to shine, and that means explaining why what you’ve done in the past makes you an ideal candidate for the future. Lots of people aren't comfortable tooting their own horns, but the interview is when you want to pull out all the stops and explain how the things you’ve already done have helped others find success. Tell them why you'd be a good fit for the firm you're interviewing with, and how your skills and knowledge fit the requirements the company is looking for.
The best way to prepare for this is also the simplest: read over your resume before the interview to refresh yourself about the courses you’ve taken, the knowledge you’ve acquired, the jobs you’ve had, the experiences you’ve been through, and the things you’ve done in the past to help other agencies or employers to reach their potential.
Don’t Be Blasé
Passion and drive are key traits in successful digital marketing professionals, so you want to showcase your hunger for knowledge, your desire to learn new skills, and your love for all things digital marketing. It may seem cool to be nonchalant in some situations, but this isn't one of them. Show that you're eager, that you're interested, and that you're keen because passionate people are the ones with the drive and motivation to go the extra mile.
Expert tip: Bringing in samples of your work is a great way to show how passionate you are. Even if you don’t have previous experience working in digital marketing, you can use a personal blog to highlight your content writing, SEO, and social media marketing skills.
Don’t Be Vague
They say the devil is in the details, and while you should take pains not to ramble on in your interview, you should also make an effort to provide enough detail about your experiences, knowledge, and skills so that the interviewer will get the full picture in terms of your abilities. This is partially a balancing act, however, because while you want to provide a lot of detail, you also want to be simple and to the point with your answers. Be clear about your skills and relevant experience, and tie these things into why they make you a good fit for the current position.
Interview tip: Don’t use your resume as a crutch in the interview. If you're asked to provide details, don’t just repeat or reference what's already on paper. Instead, flesh out the ideas that are on your resume, and use the interview as an opportunity to connect your past experiences and skills with the role the agency needs to fill.
When preparing for your interview, go over your resume, research the company, know what you're talking about, and know how your skills and experiences are a good match for the role. Never go into an interview without having done copious research about the company that’s hiring, because it will show if you know nothing about the firm, whereas being prepared will demonstrate that you're careful, attentive, and willing to put in the hard work.
Similarly, you should brush up on your knowledge of digital marketing—including terminology and best practices — especially if you don’t have a lot of experience in the field. However, when you're in the interview, don’t pretend to understand terms and concepts that you don’t just to show off.
Finally, be very clear about who you are, what you’ve accomplished, and what you can do, especially as it pertains to the firm that’s hiring, and one way that you can do this is by offering suggestions about how the company itself might be able to improve its own digital marketing efforts.