Research the company; check out their media/press room to learn when and why they’ve been in the news recently
Research the hiring authority; check out their LI profile or bio on the corporate website
Research the industry; what are the industry drivers affecting the business landscape
Be prepared to answer these questions:
“Tell me about yourself”
Rehearse your “elevator pitch”; hiring managers tend to make a decision about a candidate within the first 90 seconds of speaking with them so deliver a polished response.
Be sure it lasts no longer than two minutes; no rambling
Tailor it to the role for which you’re interviewing; connect the dots for the hiring manager about how your experience is relevant to the job opening
Be sure it includes: total years of experience, industries in which you’ve worked, your software/technical proficiencies, your core areas of strength; and your passion for what you do.
Conclude your response by explaining how strongly you feel your experience could help the organization and the hiring manager’s team
Example: “I have eight years of advertising industry experience having worked at DDB and Leo Burnett where I supported a range of clients accounts in the automotive, financial services and hospitality industries. During that time, I gained some fantastic experience building client relationships, driving strategic planning and managing a small team to execute on our creative recommendations. I’m passionate about integrating traditional advertising with digital campaign components and about ensuring that everything we do as marketers is measurable. I have several years of experience in tracking analytics through Google Analytics, Hootsuite and other enterprise level analytics programs. I’ve overseen budgets ranging from $1mm-$3mm annually and support project management of all campaigns to ensure they’re delivered on time. With my strategic planning and management experience, I think my experience would mesh well with this role. I’d love to learn more about it in your own words.”
What do you think is your greatest weakness?
Never answer this literally; if you share a real weakness, that response will stick in the hiring manager’s mind and could cost you the job.
Give an example of a weakness you had years ago and that you were able to work through; demonstrate how you turned the weakness into a strength and explain how you did it.
Example: “I didn’t use to be as strong in using digital analytics programs, so I spent evening and weekends taking online courses and researching/reading up on how to utilize them most effectively. Today, I’m turned this weakness into a strength and am considered the go-to person on my team whenever there are analytics related questions. In fact, I am an expert in using Google Analytics and recently managed a campaign that saw a 45% increase in click throughs. I’d love to keep learning though – what programs do you use here?”
Avoid giving reasons that are too transactional – close to home, higher paying, don’t like current manager or culture, etc.
Example: “Being in sales for 5 years, I’ve gained the customer service skills needed, especially for a hospitality role. And this position will allow me to learn more about hotel management and working with a diverse group of customers from all around the world.”
ALWAYS ANSWER QUESTIONS USING EXAMPLES!
Be specific and quantitative
Example: “60 percent of my time is devoted to project management”