How to interview for a job at a marketing agency

There are good reasons why jobs in the marketing industry are so popular. First of all, these are all very creative jobs where you can show off your talents and skills very easily. Furthermore, marketing agencies, or at least a very large percentage of them, are quite democratic and meritocratic, meaning that you will be able to advance if you show that you can do your job. Finally, people with very different skills can find a suitable job in this industry, from graphic designers to copywriters and actual marketing professionals.
Getting your foot in the door at a certain marketing agency will go beyond just coming up with the perfect resume and sending it to their address. You will also need to nail the interview and since interviews at marketing agencies can be quite different than your traditional interviews, we thought it would be a good idea to talk about them in depth.
Test the water

When you start your interview, try and get the feel for the room; maybe your interviewer likes to joke around; maybe they are more concerned with your personality than your resume. Or maybe they are one of those rare very serious marketing professionals who are all about efficiency and results. This is characteristic of marketing agencies, you never know what type of a person your interviewer will be. Be on your toes and be prepared for anything.
Be relaxed

Marketing agencies are usually more relaxed than some other companies and businesses and for the most part, they will not look down on you if you are not wearing a suit and a tie. Of course, this does not mean that you can come in wearing a stained shirt, pants with holes in them and muddy boots. Still, you can be far more relaxed in an interview at a marketing agency than with other employers.
Explain your ideas in-depth

There is a misconception that the marketing industry is very superficial and that it is all about buzz words and contemporary expressions that do not even have to mean a thing. This is simply not the case in reality and your employer will want you to elaborate on the ideas that you have. You will most likely be asked to come up with ideas for a hypothetical job and you need to work them out as extensively as you can in your head in a very short time span. Stay on top of it and concentrate.
Ask questions
Before you come into the interview, make sure to learn a few things about the marketing company in question, perhaps analyze their previous work. When they ask you if you have questions; say yes. Ask them about their work and try to find out more about them as a marketing company. They will love discussing their previous work and this will be even better for you if you have some ideas with which you think you might have improved on their work.

Be prepared to talk about yourself
Marketing is a very specific industry where a personality plays a much larger role than in some other industries. This is why an interview at a marketing agency will often involve questions that have to do with your personality. Be prepared to talk about yourself and to give your interviewer some honest insight into the kind of person you are. Be yourself. There is no room for drones in marketing.

James Burbank has years of experience in traditional and online marketing. He enjoys blogging about his personal experiences as well as theory. He wrote this article in collaboration with the folks from Marketing Angels, a marketing agency from Sydney.

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