Making the right first impression is pivotal to securing your ideal job.
The interview process for many people is a stressful and confusing ordeal. I have personally sat on both sides of the table and have been blown away by some candidates and had others that I can’t help but feel they were out of their depth. To help anyone going for an interview with a digital agency I have put together some quick dos and don’ts.
Do: Have examples of work you’ve done.
If you're able to show us that you've the abilities to take on any project we throw at you then you're a step ahead already.
Ideally, send across a few select projects prior to a face to face interview so we have the chance to properly review them. It’s not just limited to a few URLs though; consider sending across a portfolio website, some recent designs or a link to your open source code.
If your projects are intangible, for example if you're applying for a product tester or an account role consider preparing an example of how you helped a client achieve their desired results on a project, if you can reinforce this with Google Analytics or another source of data, even better!
Do: Research the company
The interviewer needs to ensure that you're a good fit for the team, but equally you need to decide if the company is right for you.
I would strongly suggest looking at recent projects, question if the quality of those projects is up to your expectations. Look for online reviews, even check out the business online using a company check site. It can help you to look out for warning signs, for example, it may be worth giving a company a miss if it has only been around a few months and the director has dissolved 4 companies in the last few years!
Researching the company should also help you tailor your points of discussion within the interview, for example if you find the company specialises in e-commerce sites try bringing up past examples and experience working on sites like this.
Do: Ask Questions
This leads on well from the last point; it’s your chance to find out more about the company. For example:
- What is the working environment like?
- Are there social activities outside the workplace?
- Do you allocate time for personal development within the work week?
From an interviewer’s point of view, a candidate that asks questions shows enthusiasm for the job that will weigh in their favour later on.
Do: Tidy your social media accounts
Chances are that if you're looking to work for a digital agency then you're active on a number of social media platforms. Whether this is Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. You have to remember that social media accounts give a sneak peek into your life so make sure you maintain a professional image, although we do like interesting people.
Make sure you've updated your LinkedIn profile with the most up-to-date information and explanation of previous jobs.
Don’t: Be afraid to admit you don’t know something
It’s very tempting to be a yes man in an interview and lie about your skill set. Believe me it will catch up with you, once you're put into the role it will soon become apparent you can’t speak eight languages or play the fiddle (a requirement for all members of our team).
Besides, you can’t be great at everything. If you're asked about something you've little knowledge of, reply honestly that it is something you're currently inexperienced within, although you'd be interested in developing your knowledge further.
Don’t: Criticise your current/last job
Fair enough your last employers may have made you sit near the window with the draft and the office smelt a bit funny, but no matter how valid your complaint, bad mouthing your former employee only reflects on you in the interview. If you're asked or need to refer to your prior employer, do so in a professional and amicable way.
Also bear in the mind that agencies in the digital sector can be well connected and you may be ranting about a friend of the interviewer.
Don’t: Be late (or too early)
Try to work out exactly where the company is located before setting off for the interview, if it’s in an obscure location check out Google Street View; make allocations for potential traffic and factor in public transport. If you're late, don’t panic as a polite courtesy call apologising and explaining you are on your way can make up any lost ground.
I personally feel around 10 minutes early is ideal. This gives you the chance to arrive, have a drink and take a couple of minutes getting ready for the interview. I’ve had candidates turn up half an hour early before, this can either disrupt a busy day or mean you're awkwardly sat waiting. If you misjudge the travel time and accidently arrive earlier than expected, have a walk around the local area until a more suitable time.
Chances are that if you've been asked in for an interview, the employers liked your CV and are considering you for a role within the company. So just relax, be yourself and try to turn up with a smile. For me, what you wear to the interview doesn’t dictate your abilities in the workplace, smart casual is what I would suggest but wear whatever you feel comfortable in (bold move wearing an onesie mind).
Vacancies tend to come and go at Rejuvenate but we always have room for the right person, if you’d like to join our team, send us a message.