You’ve been actively seeking a challenging new role, your hard work has paid off, and you’ve landed an interview for a new marketing position within one of the Washington DC area’s leading companies. Great work! Now it’s time to get busy preparing.
Did you know that most of the work of succeeding in an interview is done before you even step foot into the room? Here are some of our best tips to help you prepare to nail your interview.
Do Your Research
Find out as much about the company, the position, and the interviewer(s) as possible. Scour the company website for general information and then broaden your search from there. Do they have a corporate blog? Check the company’s social media accounts to get a pulse of their style and messaging. Dig into company culture, but don’t stop there. How are they doing financially? What is their mission and vision? Where do they fit into the industry? Have they recently had any notable achievements?
In addition to researching the company, search for the interviewer on the company website and LinkedIn to learn about their background. Now would also be a great time to tap into your network to see if you know anyone who works at the company who might be able to offer some insider information.
Practice Common Questions
You are almost guaranteed to be asked some of the most common interview questions. There is no reason to not be prepared for them. Google a list of the most common interview questions (example: Why are leaving your current job? What is your greatest professional accomplishment?) and work your way through them before your interview. Hone your answers by asking someone to quiz you or practice in front of a mirror. It might feel silly, but hearing yourself talk will only make you more comfortable on interview day.
You should also be prepared to answer questions about your weaker areas: Have you job-hopped? Did you take time off for personal or family reasons? Were you unemployed for a period of time? Do you lack management experience? Whatever it may be, recognize it, address it, and be prepared to talk about it in the best light possible.
Bring Your Own Questions
You should always arrive with your own thoughtful questions to ask. (Examples: What do you think the greatest challenge facing the company is? What kind of skills are you looking for in this position?) It shows that you are prepared and signifies that you are interested in the role. You can strategically use your questions to bring up topics that the interviewer may not have covered. It also gives the interviewer a platform to talk about themselves, the available position and the company – things that people usually love to do. Be mindful of the time, though. Don’t monopolize the conversation or continue to ask questions once the interviewer has signaled they are ready to wrap things up.
Nail the logistics
This cannot be overstated – especially if you are seeking a marketing or communications job in a far-flung area like Washington D.C., Northern Virginia and Maryland, where traffic and parking woes routinely disrupt the best-laid plans. Nothing is worse than bumbling your first impression by being late or getting lost. Don’t make any assumptions – know exactly how you will be getting there, where you will be parking, how to enter the building, and who to ask for upon arrival.
If you can, it’s a good idea to drive by the location in advance to make sure there are no surprises on interview day. In short, do everything your Mom told you to do on your first day of school. Plan what you are going to wear the night before, gather your materials and place them by the door. Get plenty of sleep and eat a good breakfast. Good luck!
TorchLight, one of the Washington DC area’s best marketing and communications search and staffing firms, is helping our clients find talent like you. Be sure to visit our online Job Board and upload your resume. If a marketing job comes up that matches your skills and interests, we’ll be in touch!