Interviewing 101 for Marketers & Creatives

Research, Research, Research!

  • 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:

  1. “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.”


  1. 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?”


  1. Why are you interested in the job?
  • Exude enthusiasm and passion
  • Be specific to the job description
  • List your skillsthat pair well with the stated requirements on job description
  • 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.”


  • Be specific and quantitative

Example: “60 percent of my time is devoted to project management”

Example: “I increased monthly revenues by defining our target audience better.”

Example: “As a result of my performance, my supervisor gave me a raise three months in advance.”

Example: “By doing xyz I saved the company x amount of money”


Be Prepared with at least 5-7 questions!

  • The best questions result from an organic conversation between you and the hiring manager; incorporate them throughout the interview if possible vs. waiting until the end.
  • Base questions on research, industry, company goals, skill requirements, impact of position on company, mergers, acquisitions, etc.
  • Don’t worry about asking the same questions to different interviewers. You’re just getting different points of view.


  • What are the biggest challenges you’ve faced on this team or within this organization since you started?
  • What is the team dynamic and what is personality of staff who prove to be successful here?
  • What is the company culture?
  • What strengths did the previous employee exude that I should emulate?
  • What weaknesses did the previous employee exude that I should avoid?



  • Thank them for their time.
  • Express desire for the position and reconfirm ability to do the job.
  • Ask if there are any perceived obstacles to your ability to do the job and alleviate their concerns using concrete examples.
  • Leave your interviewer with the right picture of you. Think of at least five skills or traits you want remembered after the interview
  • Ask if there is anything else you can provide, such as references, background information or work samples
  • Ask about the next step in the process.
by Samantha | | Tags : Planet Forward Planet Forward

Building Your Portfolio – Top Seven Tips by a Creative Recruiter

Building Your Portfolio – Top Seven Tips by a Creative Recruiter

  • DO showcase your 7-10 strongest pieces
  • DO go digital – all samples should be available online
  • DO tailor your portfolio to the role for which you’re interviewing
  • DO ensure your samples are current; anything older than 6-7 years is outdated
  • DO test those links
  • DO keep the layout of your online portfolio simple and easy to navigate
  • DO ensure your online portfolio includes only professional, corporate samples
by Samantha | | Tags : Planet Forward Planet Forward

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