By Charmaine Piper | Senior Consultant – digital, IT, marketing and communications
I’m lucky enough to speak with lots of highly skilled, amazingly talented digital professionals. But no matter how experienced and smart, nearly everyone I talk to wants to know how to perform well in an interview.
I’ll let you in on a little secret…. It’s actually the work you do well before the big day that will give you the edge. Here’s my top interview prep tips, specifically for digital professionals, to make sure you walk in to your next interview with confidence.
Develop an online portfolio to stand out from other applicants
A portfolio is a great prompt to use during an interview as you talk through your experience. But increasingly employers are using portfolios in the selection process, pre-interview. So, it’s a must have for smart digital professionals these days.
Your portfolio should be online, not in a foolscap folder! It should showcase your best work, including successful projects, digital assets you’ve built or campaigns you’ve managed.
Given it may be viewed pre-interview, it’s important to accompany the visuals with text explaining your part in the project and what you achieved.
Create a personal website to show off your awesomeness!
If you’re an SEO specialist, UX professional or developer, you should think about building a functional website either as part of our online portfolio or stand alone.
Employers want go-getters, professionals with a real passion for their work. Demonstrating your ability to register a domain, access hosting and manage content successfully will give you the edge over other jobseekers.
Share your ideas on a blog
If you’re a digital marketing manager or content creator, starting your own blog is a great way to get noticed by prospective employers. It can really impress employers if you publish compelling content and build an active audience.
You can create a blog quickly and easily. WordPress is the most popular platform. It offers loads of themes, layouts and add-on options – and best of all its FREE! But there’s lots of other options like Tumblr or Blogger that are great to use too.
Spend time learning about the company
Once you’ve been shortlisted for an interview you should allocate time to learn about the company via their website, blog, social accounts, shareholder reports, PR etc. Make sure you take note of the products of services they offer.
One interview question that can throw you off guard is “what would you do to improve our company website, blog, app etc”. But if your prepared in advance this question is actually a great way to demonstrate your SEO or UX knowledge.
If you’re in digital marketing you should also check out any recent campaigns the company has developed as well as pay close attention to their social media channels.
Use “I” instead of “we” in examples
One of the biggest mistakes people make in interviews is using ‘we’ instead of ‘I’ when providing an example. This is especially true of digital people as they often work as part of a project team. But employers want to know your specific role in a project and what you did to make it a success.
To get this right I would suggest preparing answers before your interview. Use the STARS (situation, task, activity, result) approach.
- Situation – what the project was and why you were involved
- Task – what you were responsible for
- Activity – what you actually did
- Result – what you achieved
Don’t get caught off guard in a coffee interview
Generally speaking digital interviews are less formal. I’m finding that more employers and managers are inviting job seekers to have a coffee rather than hold a formal interview. This less structured approach can sound appealing but can catch you off guard.
Although it might be tempting to think of it as “just a chat”, you still need to really sell yourself and prove why you’re the right guy or gal for the job. To do this make sure you prepare as you would for a more traditional interview, so you can be at your best.
If you work in the digital space and want some advice on how to prepare for an interview or to discuss opportunities I’d love to hear from you. You can get in touch via email@example.com or phone 0477 014 525.