Top 7 Tips and Questions for Digital Marketing Jobs
Looking for a job can be a stressful experience.
Competition in the digital marketing industry is particularly fierce, making it even more vital that you have a first-rate CV and hands-on experience under your belt.
However, with a winning CV in place, the odds of landing an interview are high.
Interviews for digital marketing jobs can be incredibly involved. Unlike other industry sectors where questions are rather general, here you'll be expected to provide a deep understanding of industry developments, company culture, and newly emerging marketing methods.
With so much to contend with, even the most experienced digital marketing professional can find interviewing for a new job a nerve-shattering experience.
Need some help bracing for an interview?
Below, we break down the most important things to remember when interviewing for digital marketing jobs.
Creating the First-Class CV
Putting together a winning CV is the first step in any journey to a new job. If it's been some time since your last CV overhaul, make sure you're taking the time to review it thoroughly.
If you're looking to land a lucrative position, a bog-standard summary of experience won't do.
Your CV needs to provide a snapshot overview of your credentials, industry-specific skills, and past successes with previous employers.
However, you must avoid adopting a one-size-fits-all approach when creating your CV. Consider the requirements of an individual role carefully before retargeting your hiring documents with information that's highly relevant to the position you're chasing.
Avoid overselling skills you're not exceptionally proficient with when tailoring your CV like this.
These points are likely to form the basis of much discussion during an interview, so you'll need to be confident in discussing them with an employer.
Redrafting an entirely new CV for every job application is undoubtedly time-consuming, but it can pay dividends in the future and significantly improve your chances of landing an interview.
Creating a bespoke cover letter from scratch is far more manageable.
Use your cover letter to spotlight your most substantial and most relevant areas of expertise, as well as demonstrate your deep understanding of the sector and prospective employer.
Do Your Research
If you've been lucky enough to land an interview, there's plenty of work to do before you sit down for a face-to-face meeting with an employer.
Your cover letter and CV should have already demonstrated an awareness of a potential employer and their company, but it's during an interview that you can truly leverage this insight.
Use the job description to delve deeper into the requirements of the role. Once you've taken care of this, start researching the company itself.
Company websites are always a good place to start but bear in mind that these are usually client-facing.
However, the ‘About Us' pages are worth investigating if you want to build a clearer picture of the company you're looking to join.
The newer the content, the more relevant it will be in determining a company's current activity and philosophy.
Larger companies in their field are likely to have amassed plenty of press coverage. Take the time to look for recent articles and industry papers.
This will give you a good idea of the current company direction and highlight business priorities.
When it comes to your interview, you can bring these into the discussion, in addition to showcasing your knowledge of emerging digital marketing trends.
If your interview isn't for several weeks, continue researching the company until it's time to meet in person. Google alerts and email notification services can make your life easier here.
Whenever a new piece of relevant content is published, you'll be automatically informed, allowing you to add this material to your reading list.
Carrying out in-depth research won't just ensure you're more prepared to answer tough questions in an interview; it will also showcase a highly desirable skill set to employers.
A candidate who has taken the time to research a company and its culture is far more likely to secure digital marketing jobs.
However, even if you lose out to a more qualified candidate, this research can prove invaluable as you continue searching for a new position.
What Do Previous Employees Have to Say?
This is particularly important if you're considering a position with a less-established organisation.
To get a clearer picture of a company's culture, refer to what employees have to say.
People who are currently engaged with a company can be considered biased sources, so look for what previous employees must report from their experiences.
Look for both the good and the bad. However, be wary of reading too deeply into critical reviews. These may be the rantings of disgruntled former employees.
Be sure to check out this guide on how to hire the best employees.
Why Industry Experience is Important
Having a degree and advanced qualifications is all well and good, but most employers prefer hiring candidates with experience.
Even if you have sufficient experience under your belt, showing this off when your CV is limited to one or two pages can be challenging. That's why you must use your interview as a vehicle for spotlighting it.
An interviewer will almost certainly ask you how you'd rise to the occasion when faced with a job-specific challenge.
Rather than simply giving a perfect hypothetical answer, steer your response by how you did something similar in a previous job.
If an interviewer asks you about your achievements, ensure you're as specific as possible. Talk about new initiatives you introduced in previous roles and their direct impact on performance.
When quoting figures, be as precise as possible. By doing this, you're demonstrating that you're an excellent fit for the job and a candidate with a proven track record of success.
Qualifications and Training
Regardless of how much experience you have in the digital marketing sector, your CV will need to mention your qualifications and educational background.
For younger jobseekers with little work history, prioritising qualifications is unavoidable.
If your professional qualifications are relevant to digital marketing, don't be afraid to put these front and centre when compiling your resume.
However, if your studies aren't closely fitting with digital marketing, it may be better to shift them further down your CV.
A lack of formal qualifications is not necessarily a barrier to securing a dream position. Many established professionals have little to no formal education behind them.
If your proficiency with digital marketing skills results from self-taught courses, you can still list them on your CV.
Make room for them in the ‘Education' section of your CV, or think about expanding your ‘Skills' section.
You can expand on your self-taught background during an interview to demonstrate how your skills are equally, if not more, relevant to the position you're pursuing.
Social Media Screening
The internet has made it easier than ever to discover new job prospects. However, the boom in professional online networks and social media channels somewhat complicates jobseekers.
Around half of all employees will refer to social media channels to investigate applicants after receiving a CV, while a significant proportion also consults social platforms after the interview stage.
Before you begin applying for digital marketing roles, make sure your professional network and social media pages aren't going to let you down.
Remove any controversial posts or photos, even if you uploaded them many years ago. At the very least, the first few pages of your social media channels should be free of any inflammatory material.
Once you've screened your social media platforms for potentially offensive content, consider whether it needs an image overhaul.
A lacklustre Twitter profile isn't going to do you any favours if you're looking to secure a dynamic new role in a digital marketing agency.
Consider giving your social media pages a facelift with engaging graphics to bolster your credibility in the eyes of employers.
Interview Best Practices for Digital Marketing Jobs
Although you'll need to tailor a few things when applying for a digital marketing role, job interview best practices still apply.
Make a solid first impression, make sure you arrive in good time. Ideally, try and arrive at your destination at least 15 minutes before your interview is scheduled to start.
The dress code is also something you'll need to consider. Formal attire is often seen as the standard for digital marketing jobs, but this may not align with the company culture of the business you're looking to join.
Digital marketing agencies tend to be less formal than your average employer, but you should be opting for smart-casual staples as a minimum.
It's also advisable to bring along a few spare copies of your CV along. If applicable, you may also want to bring along a hard copy of a portfolio to share with interviewers.
Once your interview gets rolling, maintain eye contact with those asking the questions. When delivering your answers, speak clearly and avoid straying off points.
Preparing for Interview Questions
Provided you've researched a company sufficiently, you shouldn't encounter any stumbling blocks during the question-and-answer stage of your interview.
It can be hard to anticipate the exact line-up of questions you're likely to face, but it makes sense to prepare for as many as possible.
Your main goal is to enter an interview sounding prepared rather than rehearsed.
By readying yourself in advance, you'll be able to provide answers more quickly and confidently, leaving little room for dead silence as you try and drum up a response.
Need some help with your interview preparation? Below are some of the most common questions you'd encounter when applying for digital marketing jobs.
1. Why do you want a career in the digital marketing industry?
Variations of this open-ended question are a standard of just about any job interview.
However, your answer to this question will make it clear to interviewers how engaged you are with the digital marketing sphere.
To deliver a solid answer, make sure you briefly highlight relevant qualifications and industry-specific experience.
If you're only just starting in the digital marketing world, talk about crucial figures or agencies within the industry you find particularly inspiring.
2. What skills do you think are most vital for a career in digital marketing?
Your answer to this question will showcase a deep understanding of the industry. Talk about core skills like search engine optimisation, analytics, and data reporting insights.
If you have sufficient experience with them, you can also discuss the importance of campaigns.
When giving your answer, spotlight your existing experience to demonstrate that you're an ideal candidate with skills that they can put to work immediately.
3. What are the biggest challenges facing digital marketing agencies today?
This is a slightly more complicated question, and you can give many different answers. The answer you provide should ultimately be steered by the research you carried out on the employer.
If you're wary about being too targeted with your answers, consider more general challenges that affect the industry at large.
Talk about crowded marketplaces and the need to remain competitive.
You can build on this answer by talking about embracing new digital methods and the importance of experimenting with new techniques.
4. What marketing software and digital platforms have you worked with before?
Interviewers are almost sure to ask this so they can build a clearer picture of your technical skills and abilities.
Your CV should have already outlined your proficiencies with such software, but you can delve into more detail here.
Avoid listing software and platforms you only have a superficial knowledge of. Instead, focus on the ones you know inside and out.
5. What makes you the best candidate for the advertised position?
This is another question that's a standard of pretty much any job interview. However, you must prepare for it when applying for digital marketing roles.
Use this final answer to summarise your best skills and biggest strengths and how they can benefit the agency you're looking to join.
If you're interviewing for a technical role, underline your analytical tools and specific software proficiency. You can also use this concluding answer to sell your soft skills.
You can apply the guidance we've outlined above to those looking for entry-level positions as they take their first steps in the industry, as well as established professionals looking to climb the next rung of the ladder.
Revising your CV is one of the best things to improve your employability. Even if you have a CV already in place, reviewing your hiring documents can be beneficial.
You can reconsider how relevant your advertised skills are, think about adding to your existing job entries, and more. Once you've made these changes, it's far easier to tailor your CV when applying for specific vacancies.
Once you've identified an exciting role, be sure to do your homework.
Firstly, you'll want to determine whether the role is really for you. There's no point chasing a role you're massively underqualified for.
You can then focus on researching the company itself, with the insights you gather proving invaluable for an eventual interview.
Provided you follow all the advice outlined above, you should have little trouble progressing to the interview stage in digital marketing jobs.
Once you have an interview locked in, keep your ear to the ground for the latest industry developments and start preparing your answers for those commonly encountered interview questions.
Author Bio: Ciaran Hourican is the Managing Director of H-Training, a Learning and Development company, that offers career and corporate services such as interview coaching, career guidance for adults and leadership programs.