So you’ve sent out a hundred applications, had some emails back and forth, scheduled a time, prepped your outfit, primed your talking points and showed up at the interviewers desk.
An interview can be pretty precarious – there’s a million different landmines you need to dance around, while putting up your best face. While that sounds a bit daunting, there are 5 key things you need to avoid and be wary of. As long as you’re cognizant of these, the rest should take care of itself.
Let’s start with number 1….
1. Not Knowing your Numbers
Ever watch shark tank? Ever watch entrepreneurs get eaten alive for not knowing their numbers?
In an age that’s so intensely data-driven, you need to understand the metrics & data that govern the job you’re applying. Marketing in particular is so data driven, that if you find yourself lost in the weeds of the terminology, the interview becomes a moonshot. If you’re busy calculating monthly churn in your head, you’re done.
Know your industry. Know your numbers. Being data-driven will make you stand out, but being data-ignorant is interview-hara-kiri.
2. Not Managing your Stress Levels
Do you know what it is about the interview in particular that makes it one of the most stressful things that adults experience?
It’s all about being solo. In the modern age free of intimate encounters with dangerous wildlife, the closest thing you get to solo pressure-cooker scenarios is the interview – it’s just you against the interviewer, being put to the test.
Luckily, research has found a solution to this solo stress: cognitive appraisal. In layman terms, cognitive appraisal essentially means talking yourself up. Reframing an interview as a challenge to be conquered rather than a problem to be endured will notably change your stress levels.
Stress is the main thing that’s going to stop you from being your best self – hack it.
3. Ignoring the problem, focusing on the sale
You know what sets a marketer apart in an interview? Showing an intense interest in the problem. If you’ve made it to the interview, most likely you have the requisite skill-set – at this point, it’s entirely about showing culture fit.
Nothing kills an interview quicker than trying to sell yourself obsessively.
Instead, reframe the problem – take the interview as something of a “discovery call” as you’re figuring out what the problems are and mulling over the solution. Show curiosity, ask probing questions – a candidate that looks like a kid opening up a Lego set for the first time is very appealing.
4. Not doing your research
Imagine being asked about competitor keyword research in an interview, and not even knowing who the interviewer’s competitors are. You’d be surprised just how often that happens.
Depending on the role you’re interviewing for, become as familiar as you can about the company, it’s stack & and its place in relation to the role. Learn how the company is doing in the job they’re hiring you for.
5. Not sending a thank you email
Alright, here’s your sales hack: send a thank you email shortly after your interview.
It accomplishes a few different things. For starters, it gives you a quick opportunity to fill any holes you might have missed in the interview. Even an authentic “just after I left I realized I forgot to mention: I’d also create landing pages for x cohort to test our audience”
Secondly, it just makes you polite and creates a personal line of communication with the interviewer. If you’re worried that it makes you seem pushy, 91% of HR managers find follow-up emails helpful.
20+ year marketing veteran with a mix of big brand experience like Microsoft and Amazon, startups and small mom & pops.