Candidates MUST take the time to prepare for interviews. This may seem like a given, but many candidates go to interviews totally unprepared and this can ruin their chances of landing a great new role. This can even occur when the candidate is perfect for the position. Even if you are not sure that this is your dream job, you should go to the interview fully prepped so the client believes that you are very interested in the agency and the role. It is also a matter of courtesy and etiquette to go prepared to an interview as the client is taking the time to meet with you to discuss your background.
Prepping for an interview includes the following—
1). Researching and becoming familiar with the company or agency in terms of its culture, client roster, previous and current work, and vision. If you appear to know absolutely nothing about the company or agency, you will give off a vibe of indifference or disinterest and completely turn off the client.
2). Reviewing the role at hand and being able to position your experience so it seems relevant. Also thinking of unique and interesting examples of achievements and challenges to relate to the position during your discussion with the client. For example, if the position entails heavy TV production, it would be smart and strategic to discuss a high profile shoot you managed or your ability to stay calm under very tight broadcast production deadlines.
3). Researching and becoming familiar with the client. It is always very good to have commonalities or similarities with the client—did you both work at the same agency in the past? Were you also an a cappella singer during college? LinkedIn is a great place to gather information about the client. Do not act like a stalker and recite everything you have read about the client’s past but definitely use this information to your advantage and slip on some of these commonalities casually during your chat.
4). Knowing your resume inside and out. You should not have to hold a copy of your resume and refer to it during an interview. Own and be confident about your experience, even if there are breaks in your resume or things that you regret—be able to discuss them openly and position them in a positive light. Prepping is a way to not be caught off guard if and when the client asks you a difficult question.
5). Using your recruiter during your prep. Ask your recruiter questions in order to avoid asking ignorant ones during the actual interview. Your recruiter can provide a lot of insight into the company/agency and role. Your recruiter can often give you a step up before the interview by providing information about the client’s personality or interview style, for example.
6). Choosing the right outfit to make the best first impression. This pertains to our clients especially as most of our roles are fashion related. Wearing a corporate suit to a trendy and hip agency interview will not look good to the client. It is important to look the part so ask your recruiter or do your own research on the company aesthetic and vibe so you show up looking like you will fit in really well. Of course your outfit is only one part of your overall package, but it is an essential part of making a great impression.
As you can see, being prepared for an interview is extremely important. Even the best candidates often make the mistake of being overly confident and doing no prep beforehand, and the client can usually see right through this. Bottom line—prepping vastly increases your chances of making a great impression during interviews and ultimately getting a job offer.