So, today I had an interview with the good people at a large digital marketing company. They enjoyed my application (I was one of the 4 out of 200 that got an interview) so I was pretty happy just to be there. HOWEVER, I have to admit that sometimes when it comes to interviews I’m not the best. Either too relaxed or too tense, things usually go wrong.
Craig and Llew, directors at the agency were both very friendly and answered all my curious questions about the business, but I fear that my answers to there questions were a little weak. So now I’m going to go over a couple of the questions and provide the answers that I should have given. If nothing else comes from the experience I will learn from it. So here they are…
Give us the 60 second pitch…
I should really have been more prepared for this. Even if your not going in for an interview this is something worth learning off by heart. How often do you hear “What do you do?”. Being a knowledge worker in the marketing industry, the ablility to sell yourself quickly is invaluable. I’ll break my pitch down into quick points:
- Masters degree in Business + Certificate in Marketing
- Worked on a diverse range of projects: Events, freelance web design, SEO
- Highly motivated – Launched e-commerce site as part of side project working for employer
- Looking forward – Becoming an expert in the field of SEO, Own business in inbound marketing, supporting community charities.
This is just an outline, but I fully intend to practise the speach at parties. I might struggle to make new friends though. What do you think?
What are the qualities you bring to the workplace?
This would probably be an easier question to answer if I had been in the workforce for more than two years. So limited experience there. What I should have done is reflected on my previous work and the things I did well.
My first job was working in a family business, in a small box of a room doing various marketing tasks and bookkeeping. I was largely responsible for my own work and creating my own role. I also learnt a great deal about digital marketing and design. So my strengths there were:
- Self motivated
- Quick learner
My second job was working in a call centre, cold calling people and asking if they wanted to find out about solar. I know. I’d hate me too. I have to say this is one of the jobs I would never do again. Upsetting people over the phone is not something I enjoy… but, it did teach me some valuable skills:
- Dealing with difficult people and building rapport
- The ability to sell
- Communication skills
And there you were thinking that tele-sales was a dead end.
My third role was with a large chain of gyms selling memberships. This job was fantastic. I’m not what you call a natural sales person, but working in an environment where you were supported in your own marketing efforts and making sales was great. I learnt more here about:
- Managing other people
- Handling customers and building professional relationships
- Time management and activity planning
So that’s it. Overall I would say I can bring:
- High levels of self motivation
- Excellent interpersonal skills and client handling
- Excellent organizational and time management skills.
What are your weaknesses?
Ha, you can’t catch me out with this old stinker… Or can you. Anyone who goes to an interview ever should expect this questions. And I did, but for some reason the words wouldn’t come out. The ‘trick’ with this one is supposed to be finding something that has been a negative but you can turn into a positive. Lets see…
- I sometimes lack focus.
Right now I’m writing this article, watching the TV and reading about how to use .htaccess files to re-write URLs. I can’t help it. It’s just the way I work. I’ve always done more projects than I have time for. It’s all part of my being Hyper self motivated. However it has helped me learn a lot about SEO and the broader issues around it and since working at the chain of gyms I have picked up the habit of planning out daily, weekly and monthly activities, so I am addressing the problem when I’m working.
- I’ve not always measured my results
WHAT! You’re an SEO. How can you not measure your results? Quite right, there are no excuses. It’s just something I’ve never needed to do. I’ve only ever been accountable to myself. That’s not to say I haven’t made sure what I’m doing is working. I check ranks and use Analytics to measure traffic and conversions, but as I’ve never had to account for my work I’ve not focused on the before and after. THIS WILL HAVE TO CHANGE. On the other hand, over the last year I have increased the conversion rate on my PPC campaigns from around 5% to 12%. Which isn’t bad.
Knowing these weaknesses is going to be an excellent focus point for my development and you can expect to see a big analysis of some of my sites soon.
Things to take away
There were of course other questions but these were the ones I stumbled on a bit and preparing answers to these is likely to help with the answers to others. So next time, I’ll be ready. Here are a few areas I’m going to focus on:
- Practising my 60 second pitch
- Planning my activities and documenting the SEO process
- Measuring results and having some examples ready to illustrate my successes.
Wish me luck.