There are so many articles and guides out there today on how to achieve your dreams in your post-grad life. They offer advice on how to be prepared, knowing why you want the job, and of course, bringing a carefully proofed resume.
But lots of jobs, especially those in the advertising world, have big stakes. The competition when it comes to finding that dream job can feel fierce — that’s why it’s important to listen and learn from experts who are currently killing it in their respective field. Luckily, we had the opportunity to hear from Jennifer Hohman who serves as the Global Chief Marketing Officer at FCB, the full-service advertising agency powerhouse. Here are her top 10 tips for nailing an interview at an advertising agency:
1. Know your agencies
To truly win and land the right job at the right agency, you have to forensically study the agencies you want to work for. Watch their leadership on YouTube. Read the trades every single day. Because many agencies look very similar, but they’re not. It’s important to be able to speak to an agency’s culture because that is going to be how you work and live.
2. Scrutinize your resume
Is it creative? Does it effectively tell your story? I think every person today applying for a job in an advertising agency, from account to data to strategy, needs to show a passion for creativity and be able to demonstrate that on a personal level.
3. Be clear on what you want
Agencies have many specialists and will want to know what you are most passionate about. If you leave it to us, you’ll likely get passed over for someone who projects clarity and knows what they want.
4. Agency people are resilient and flexible
It’s in our DNA to roll with the punches. Things get messy. Be OK with that and have examples of how you have faced this before and how you dealt with it.
5. Rehearse your story
We do it all of the time in new business and before client meetings. It works to help you stay focused and give you confidence. Pick people to interview you who are in the industry and will ask the tough questions so you are prepared for anything.
6. Show some hustle
Be able to talk about the agency’s work. If you say “I love it” but can’t explain what you loved or show curiosity in the work, it’s over. Have good questions for your interviewer that show you really understand the agency.
7. “Thank you” goes a long way
The best thank-you notes are not in marketing jargon, but written in plain language that shows a genuine appreciation for the time and the opportunity. And a strong interest in continuing the conversation.
8. If the answer is no, you’re talking to the wrong person
Once you find the agency you want to work for, be relentless about getting in. There are multiple openings that HR manages all of the time; understand what is available, and keep going if it’s an agency you feel strongly about.
9. Keep your ear to the ground
Find out where the big accounts are going in categories you are interested in. That’s where the hiring is taking place. And it’s great to join a team that’s just won.
10. How you turn up matters
Don’t show up in halter tops and flip-flops with your Hula- Hoop. Don’t come dressed up like you work in a bank, either. Agencies are creative and appreciate people who are well put together — because we put you in front of clients where we want the topic to be the work, not the fact that you are wearing a bathing suit in the office!
Last — but certainly not least — enjoy this time. Know your worth. Meet as many people as you can. And good luck!