Something I say quite often is every first conversation is an interview. Now I don't know where I got that from but we are now officially in interview season with Raineys interviewing people as I type this up (in the middle of a finance lecture).
So you have an interview, how do you prepare? Let's talk about some general things first, like appearance. More specifically, what do you wear? For guys a safe bet is either the suit/shirt look or a combo of trousers/blazer (and shirt please). But we'd say no ties, this ain't a banking interview y'all. Girls have it easier (or harder, depending on who you ask) with the general 'look smart' mantra.
Now we know how you look, what's it going to be like? Generally first round interviews will be conducted by 2 members of the agency and they'll last between 30 minutes and an hour. You might get a good cop / bad cop routine, you might get no cops or you might get we'renotreallysurewearecopssolet'sseewhatthisfoolknows. But you can't control that.
What you can control is your research. This is where I go to numbers:
- Read your application form at least enough times for you to virtually memorise what you wrote. And remember why you wrote what you did.
- Have some answers to these questions ready
- Why do you want to get into advertising?
- What's the coolest / most iconic thing in your world and why?
- What advertising do you admire and why?
- Which brand's ads aren't doing it justice?
- How do you see the futures of TV and digital advertising?
- What is a brand?
- What the brand is trying to say, what are they trying to achieve with the ad?
- Who they should be talking to? Are they talking to them?
- How effective is their conversation with the person paying attention?
- Why does it work? Is it funny? Is it totally removed from the competition?
- Is the idea transferable across different channels?
- How will it build upon where the client is right now business-wise? Do they want to create market share? steal market share or maintain their lead?
It’s well known that individual agencies have individual cultures etc, but that by no means means (how many times can I use means in this sentence?) that you should try and conform to a type. Go in and do your best. Chances are if you’re well informed, enthusiastic about ads and able to back up your opinions you’ll get through.
And if you don’t? It's the agency’s loss. So don’t mope around, ring them up and ask for feedback, if it’s something wrong with the way you delivered your answers, you can fix it. But if they say you're not the right type, move on. Don’t try to be their type - because eventually you'll find out it's hurting you and them.
This is the part where I'd like to end up on something profound. But I'll defer to Anton who told me a while back: 'Don't be a lemming'. That pretty much says it all.
As always comments/criticism/abuse are welcome.