Are you looking for a job in marketing? Are you fully prepared for your upcoming interview? Do you have what it takes to ace the interview and land your dream job?
Marketing is one of the most exciting fields for work in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). It is one of the most creative industries that require innovation, fresh-thinking, tech-savviness, and passion. The gulfjobsnews.com Middle East Job Index, September 2016, revealed that Marketing and Advertising is the most successful industry in attracting top talent. Respondents also agreed that Marketing and Advertising had the highest intention to hire when compared to other industries in the Middle East.
Well, having a job interview scheduled means that you’ve already passed the first hiring round. You were selected out of hundreds, and sometimes thousands, of job applicants who have submitted their CVs for the same position you want. On gulfjobsnews.com, the Middle East’s #1 Job Site, thousands of jobs in marketing are available online and each position receives many applications. So, congratulate yourself! You are on the right track so far.
Now is the time to roll up your sleeves and prepare for your job interview as much as you can. From the career experts at gulfjobsnews.com, here is everything you need to know for your upcoming job interview:
1. Research and prep
As with any interview, never ever show up unprepared. Get started by researching the company, and understanding as much as you can about its market, its goals and its target audience. See if the company you want to join has a profile on gulfjobsnews.com. Understand what they are trying to achieve and how they are supporting this goal through their marketing strategies. Learn about their products and their industry role, who their competitors are, and what they do differently. Having this understanding of the company will not only show the hiring manager that you are interested and capable, but it will also give you the ability to really impress the interviewer with your answers by customizing them and making them specific to the company, rather than giving generic answers.
2. Get creative! Get a portfolio!
You want to go to your marketing interview armed with creative ideas, strategies and improvements. It’s even better if you grab all of your brilliant ideas for the company, and put them in one place, to present to your interviewer. If you’re an experienced marketing professional, chances are you’ll spend the majority of the interview either discussing examples of previous experiences and achievements, or discussing how you would apply your knowledge to specific challenges the company has had or may still have. Present that in a neat, organized and comprehensive manner, even if you don’t go over each and every little detail and piece, your interviewer will definitely be impressed by your forward-thinking, your capability and your vision that aligns so well with what they need. If you are a designer, check out our Designer’s Guide for Creating the Perfect Portfolio for the Middle East.
3. Dress code
Always show up to an interview dressed like you’re ready to start the job. Follow the company guidelines and culture. Marketeers are the face of the brand, or the “brand ambassadors”, and you should dress and look like the face of the company even prior to becoming an official employee. It is okay to play up your personality a little in your outfit, but don’t overdo it. Keep it professional, no screaming loud colors and prints, no huge accessories, and no a suit jackets and shorts. Instead opt for the classical, and add a statement piece that is more about who you are as an individual and a professional. Dress code should be taken seriously because it can tell the employer how dedicated you are to the job. Check out more information on job interview attire. You can also find out what to wear for your first day at work and dress accordingly.
4. Specify your answers
During a marketing interview, you are more than likely going to be asked case-study questions, based on company goals and KPIs. The important thing is not to answer these questions generically. Seek clarification or additional information as needed. So for example, if the interviewer asks you how you would improve a company’s blog or social media page, before you start giving solutions and examples of better techniques, ask about the audience, the monthly targets. Are you targeting conversion? Traffic? Engagement? Awareness? Then use all the information you have to formulate a solid answer and plan. Always explain why you suggested what you did, and how you think it will improve the target in the company’s case specifically. What works for one company does not always work for another. Show the interviewer that you understand this, and that you always make well-studied decisions, accurate to the specific needs of the company. There is no shame in asking for clarification whenever needed.
5. Give examples
Solidify your expertise and abilities by giving examples of previous successes you’ve had with various marketing challenges and campaigns. This can be included in your portfolio if you’ve prepared one. Customize these depending on the position you are applying to. For example, if you’re applying to a public relations (PR) position, have samples of previous press releases you’ve worked on. For digital marketing, have some screenshots of campaigns you’ve run on social media, with the numbers and results that prove their success. If you are a content creator, then consider sharing samples of blogs or articles you’ve written. You can include other items as well, but focus on the items that relate to the skills and talents you will need most to succeed in the position. Be sure to always back up your answers with examples to prove to the employer your experience and qualifications in marketing.
6.Quantify your results
While giving examples of your achievements and successes in a previous marketing position, you should also be quantifying these results. It may be a little bit more difficult with some aspects of marketing to translate results into exact numbers or value of profit. What you can do is explain how your work is resulting in added value (even if indirectly), and how your campaigns have create revenue. The bottom line is, you need to have a solid idea of how you are measuring your success in your work, and you have to be able to showcase this to the interviewer. For example, you can refer to the PR value you have generated, the number of traffic you directed to the company’s website from social media, or the number of engagements your blogs attracted.
A job interview is not only for the employer to use and direct. Indeed, the company wants to find out many things about you and discover whether or not you truly fit in and qualify for the position. However, the interview is a two-way communication session. You, as the job seeker, should be asking your own questions too. Not only will this help you learn more about the marketing job that is offered and the company in general, it will also prove to the employer that you are truly interested in the job. If you are not sure what to ask,