As part of the Kirklees College Employability Week, our Account Director Ellis spoke to students about her career experience, how to get a foot in the industry door and some top tips for interviewing for your dream role.
An interview for any role can be a daunting position, but if you have found your dream PR or marketing role, there are some steps that you can take, both before and during the interview, to make sure you nail the interview and you can start your career journey.
In this blog, Ellis will give her top tips on getting into the industry and how to stand out from the crowd:
Use social media to build your brand
No matter how private your social channels are, everyone has a digital footprint and it is more than likely that prospective employers will review this during the interview process, or even while vetting candidates before they are even invited to interview! Use this to your advantage by using your social media channels to build your personal brand – from clearly stating your roles and responsibilities during previous positions and any work experience undertaken on Linkedin, to using your Twitter channel to engage with other people in the industry and monitor the topics that are regularly discussed. Nothing shows an employer that you have passion for the industry and in turn the role than having evidence that you have taken steps to immerse yourself in the sector.
Do your research
When applying for a role, make sure you do your research – this may sound like common sense but a bit of time spent looking at the company’s website, reviewing the case studies and looking at their social channels can make the difference between a good interview and a great one. Interviews can be nerve-wracking, but with many taking place over Zoom, candidates have the added benefit of making notes to refer back to – if you feel like you need them. Trying to anticipate answers to common questions and prepping your response should also help you feel more relaxed – common questions that come up in the KC interview process include asking the candidates about recent PR campaigns they’ve seen and liked, the qualities they think they can bring to the team, clients they would love to work with and what they find appealing about the role.
Find your niche
When you are first starting out in your career, it is worth understanding what your interests are and what part of the job role play best to your strengths. The marketing industry has a lot of disciplines, from social media to SEO, so take your time, and where possible get work experience to understand how these differ. Although the pandemic has meant work experience opportunities aren’t always available, look at online courses and training opportunities to show to employers you have a vested interest in the industry. Google Digital Garage has some great courses that cover a range of digital marketing aspects. Make sure you include highlight your training and any work undertaken to find your niche on your CV and during the interview – this will show your interviewers that you have drive and passion for the role.
Make yourself indispensable
Not only does the interview process test a candidate’s suitability for the role, but it also helps the employer to understand if you’d be a suitable fit for the company and its culture and values. During the interview, it’s important to highlight the positive qualities you would bring to the role, from showing you are a team player that will contribute to the business to having a friendly and relaxed manner when undertaking tasks. Being indispensable doesn’t come down to being extrovert or extremely confident, as introverted qualities play as big a role in creating a positive work environment. Show your true personality in the interview and make sure you have a lasting impact – the best candidates show how easily they will slot into the business and can show evidence of their best qualities, rather than just claiming them.
It can be disheartening to not get the job you are applying for but learn from the interview process and the feedback provided and identify where you can make improvements next time. As an example, Brianna, our newest apprentice was interviewed for a role last year but was marginally pipped to the post. When the time came for us to recruit again, Brianna was top of our list and it was a delight to see that since her initial interviews she had gone away and enhanced her knowledge by putting herself through a number of professional courses and demonstrated to us the key qualities that we look for.
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