Friday, 21 September 2007

Being Yourself and Grad Apps..

Was this you at 5? It wasn't me. Via SlideShowMom. Usual rules apply.

Well, I thought I should write something on Ad Grads, especially after the dissection of how to answer the 'proper' ad questions yesterday. This post relates to personality, and how that, in turn, relates to graduate applications.

Essentially, a lot of the more peculiar questions on the grad apps are personality tests. What flavour sandwich filling you'd be, for example, is just a way of seeing if you think laterally and just how skilful you are at explaining yourself.

After meeting a lot of graduates/people looking to get into advertising at the 'Don't Tell My Mum' event last night, something became clear - people wanted to have an idea of just how to conduct themselves in these interviews, and essentially, how best to go about answering questions on the application forms.

And it goes - do you try to be 'wacky' on these forms, or not? Well, it really depends on your rationale. If you can pull off humour in these forms (not everyone can, so be careful), then go for it. One thing I would say is to identify which questions you think they want silly (but thoughtful) answers to.

You can get bitten on the arse if you take the mick on a question they think should be serious. Ultimately, answer the questions as you see fit, to help people see just what the 'real' you is like (obviously with the odd embellishment when answering the sillier questions). And be on your guard; you don't want to come across as straight laced person on paper, and then be a bit crazy in real life - it's not a fair reflection of who you are (unless ad agencies value schizophrenics, which they didn't, the last time I checked).

One thing which is evident is that people who write well, and see the 'question behind the question' that Anton identifies, will usually get to interview. So if you don't think you write that well, spend a bit of time poring over the application questions.

If it all goes to plan, you get to have a face-to-face interview.

Then the real games begin, and you begin to realise the lottery element of it all (and why, sometimes, the most talented people slip through the net). But don't give up - if this is going to be your career, you shouldn't compromise on what you want to do.

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