27 Aug 2014

Candidate Interview Tips: Don’t pigeonhole yourself during an interview on the agency side

27 Aug 2014

As a recruiter, I encourage candidates to take time to think about what they want to achieve in their careers and what their ideal next step would be if they are looking to make a move. Candidates should consider the size and culture of company, type of organization and the brands they would like to work with.

While it is good to have focus and passion, candidates must be careful to not pigeonhole themselves during an interview with a agency by expressing an interest in working for only one type of category (only sports or retail, for example). If the interview is for a specific account, of course candidates should focus on why this account is desirable to them. However, many interviews (especially at larger traditional advertising agencies) are more general, and not soley focused on one account, as there are often multiple openings on various brands. In this case, agencies interview candidates to see where they would fit best in terms of accounts based on skillset, personality, and how they would interact with the team.

During these types of interviews with agencies, candidates should focus more on why the agency is a great fit and less on the particular types of accounts which appeal to them– as they do not want to rule themselves out of any opportunity. Keep it general in these situations and again express interest and enthusiasm for the agency and an open minded attitude in terms of the accounts.

Addendum: I am not suggesting that candidates with a passion for fashion should settle for an automotive account, but be very careful during a general type interview to appear open to multiple categories as you could end up getting your foot in the door at an amazing agency and ending up on the dream account!

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