Nov 14, 2014

3 Digital Marketing Interview Tips to Help You Land Your Dream Job

by Digital Marketing Institute

The phone rings. It’s the hiring manager for that job you want more than all the others – that company you’ve had your eye on for a while. The role? It’s the perfect balance between comfort and learning, development and growth. They’ve got a pool table, they do beers on Fridays, they had their last Christmas party on a boat – these are your people, this is your job.

And now you’re one step closer to getting it because you just been told that, ‘We’d like you to come in for an interview.’ ‘Yes!’ you think as you imagine your first day and the praise you’ll receive for increasing their social media fanbase. But then the terror (and a little bit of reality) begins to kick in as you realise you’ve only got two evenings to prepare.

We get it – job interviews can inspire fear in even the most steeliest of candidates. And the digital marketing jobs landscape is new which makes it all the more confusing to navigate. You think, ‘what will they ask?’, ‘what stories do they want to hear?’, ‘just how much do I need to know?’

Fear not – we asked some of Ireland’s leading digital recruiters these exact questions. So keep your nerves calm and your mind focused. And keep reading to discover the top three steps it takes to land the digital marketing role of your dreams.

1. Prepare, Research, Know Your Stuff & Know Your People

Prepare, Research, Know Your Stuff & Know Your People | 3 Digital Marketing Interview Tips to Help You Land Your Dream Job

As with any interview it’s important to prepare – it’s the only way to ensure that you come across as the confident candidate you know you are. If you’ve done your research properly you’ll demonstrate two things – 1. your passion for the job and 2. your ability to research effectively online (both important for digital marketing).

Your research should be focused on three main things: how your experience fits the role’s requirements, what the brand is trying to achieve and what they are doing online (investigate all possible marketing avenues like Twitter, SEO, newsletter subscriptions and LinkedIn).

As you conduct your research scribble down your points (keep them brief and to the point). Then write down suggestions of how you could improve their digital marketing strategy (focus on the channels your role will require you to work on).If you get asked for suggestions in the interview you can then coherently demonstrate your ability to think clearly and creatively.

What the Experts Say:

Anna Wymes, Senior Recruitment Specialist at says:

“The key is to know your experience inside out and relay this clearly and concisely – you would be surprised how many people forget or haven’t gone over what is on their CV and are literally lost for words when asked about experience.”

“It’s important that you know the sector so lots of research into the industry, the company and competitors is required. In digital it is very easy to do your research so there is no excuse not to have this done – absorb yourself in all the tools and trends (and try not to get overwhelmed with information overload!).”

Jane Creaner-Glen, Head of Recruitment and HR at the Digital Marketing Institute Says:

“A great digital marketing interview is all in the preparation. By the time you walk through the door it is too late to do anything. So prepare really well, know the company, their products, know their challenges and competitors. Make sure you check out the LinkedIn profiles of the people you are meeting and also look on LinkedIn for people in the company within the team you will be joining – search on the same job title. That will give you an idea of the ideal background for the role and also the level you will be expected to work at.”

Top Tip: To avoid getting overwhelmed in the research process create an outline of the information you want to know before you open your laptop – for example, the company’s mission, culture, key achievements, competitors and the role’s requirements.

2. Get Specific With Your Stories (Think Figures & Achievements)

No-one likes a rambly story that goes on forever – least of all a time-strapped interviewer. You can become a more confident and coherent candidate on the day by preparing a few carefully selected stories from your career that highlight your ability to succeed in the role.

How? Take out both your CV and the job description. Now all you have to do is go through each requirement listed for the job and scribble in little notes beside it of similar feats you achieved in a previous roles. For example, if one of the requirements is to help the brand grow online you can add a note about that time you smashed your KPI and increased your Facebook fan count.

Now flesh out each point, keeping your stories simple, short and to-the-point. Start with the why –why you/your company felt it was important to achieve this particular goal at the time, then add a KPI (the figure you had to achieve), a timeframe (how long you had to do it), how you did it (the main steps taken) and your outcome (again think in terms of figures).

What the Experts Say:

Lisa Marie Cahill, Recruitment Specialist at Accenture Says:

“As with any interview, the Hiring Manager is looking for evidence that you were effective in your previous roles, and that you can be effective in the role you are interviewing for. To ensure you are convincing, be prepared to elaborate on targets, metrics, and tangible successes. Avoid too much jargon in your answers, and as the area of Digital is quite new for some companies, ask enough questions at interview to make sure you know exactly what the role entails, and how success will be measured.”

Jane Creaner-Glen, Head of Recruitment and HR at the Digital Marketing Institute Says:

“Numbers are great. Be specific! Talk about your key achievements in your previous roles – what you did, how you did it and what was the result. Think of the core skills that will be required to do this job and prepare examples to showcase those skills in the interview.”

Top Tip: Highlight the metrics you helped previous companies achieve to prove your ability to do the job and communicate your understanding of how to measure digital marketing success.

3. Demonstrate Your Passion (Through Examples & Your Personality)

When interviewing for any job it is important to show that you have a genuine passion for the industry. The great thing about digital marketing is that it gives you a genuine opportunity to showcase your skills and passion in your own time. You can build up your own portfolio without even having worked in the industry.

For example, you can easily set up your own blog to showcase your writing and SEO skills and then promote your content using social media. The recruiters we talked to agreed that bringing in examples of your work is a great way to demonstrate your passion – it evens highlights your ability and desire to take the initiative.

Your personality should show bags of passion too. The hiring manager doesn’t just want to see you’re the ideal candidate for the role – they also want to see if you’re a good fit for the company culture. So don’t be afraid to show who you are and prove that you have the “soft” skills required to collaborate with digital marketing teams and communicate to your customers in a friendly and personable manner online.

What the Experts Say:

Jane Creaner-Glen, Head of Recruitment and HR at the Digital Marketing Institute Says:

“The job market is still very competitive so you need to differentiate yourself by getting as much hands-on experience as possible as this is what will make you stand out from the crowd. The person who gets the job is the one who wants it the most so be passionate about your area but show a real practical application of that passion.”

Anna Wymes, Senior Recruitment Specialist at Says:

“An approachable, open personality is vital at an interview so saying things like ‘It’s on my CV’ comes across as lazy (and a bit insulting – we can all read!). Do not expect a potential employer to pull information out of you, it just won’t work – be forthcoming. Ask lots of questions – open, curious minds are very attractive as they demonstrate you want to grow and can develop – you have potential.”

“Take along any examples of work done – save projects, campaigns etc and keep a file like designers do. It's a really effective and nice way to show your experience.”

Top Tip: Jane Creaner-Glen from the Digital Marketing Institute’s top tip for passion? Always ask for the job at the end of the interview.

Want to learn more about how to land the digital marketing job of your dreams? Pop along to our Digital Careers Postgraduate. Digital careers coach, Greg Fry will be on hand to discuss the digital skills you need to advance your marketing career in today’s digital landscape.Places are limited so sign up now to avoid disappointment.

Dramatically increase ROI and career performance, confidently drive and deliver digital marketing strategies and campaigns beyond boardroom level.


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