This is how I would hire someone looking for a job in Digital. And, no, I will not ask you where do you see yourself in 5 years or what your 72 weaknesses are. I hope some of the below helps you in your search.
- I would probably ask you to complete a test even before you come in. This is to determine if you do have the skills on your CV. I ask my devs to complete a codility test and in some cases, I ask the marketing side of the team to complete a test case on the channel they will manage.
- I do not care about your MBAs or overall education – really. I believe that digital is for everyone, and you can be a self starter or you can have a degree in whatever. I do not judge
- It is about attitude – this is much more important to me. Are you actually passionate about digital? Not just posting selfies on social but genuinely interested in tech, new concepts and maybe even have your own projects that you can show me
- I want to know that you want to learn
- Being curious is a must
- It is about being hands on – I am a firm believer in the saying ‘practice makes perfect’. Do not come to me with theory – show me. I need to know that you are ready to roll up your sleeves, when it is needed and get your hands dirty
- Think on your feet – I ask scenario questions in interviews. There are no right and wrong answers, there is an approach to answering
- Tell me how are you going to solve a problem not create a new one – a lot of people in interviews tell you about problems or issues that exist (or come up with new ones). Chance is – I already know about it, so tell me how are you going to sort it out and help me make things better
- Ask me questions that show genuine interest in the role or the product
- I would want to know more about you as a person to make sure you fit in the team – I look for positivism and pro-activity
Overall, I look for a ‘person’ rather than a list of positions, I believe there are a lot of diamonds in the rough, as well as a lot of glorified time wasters.
How do I see the current job market?
OK, so here are my thoughts on the recruitment scene in digital at the moment. A lot of jobs everywhere, at all levels. LinkedIn has a suggested job feature, which pops up in my feed every now and again offering me anything from being someone’s assistant to being a CMO. I would give them the benefit of the doubt and say their algorithm works but given that I do not have a proper job title they are just guessing, what level I would be interested in.
Anyway, sometimes I see interesting stuff and I click on it, and read it. There have been so many times I have stopped myself from responding to the poster to just check if they do understand what they are posting about at all?
Looking at job specs, it is like looking at SEO from 2008 , keywords everywhere, more keywords, and maybe 1 sentence that makes sense. Keyword density was important back then 🙂 I wish I screen shot-ed the stuff I have seen, as I find it really funny. Some of the examples below.
10+ years of PPC experience – I mean except if you were not one of the first 350 advertisers that started the whole AdWords thing going, HOW? I have been doing this for 8 years now, and when I started, PPC was not on every company’s radar – trust me.
This list of coding capabilities for a Head of Digital job: PHP, MySQL, Java, C+, .net – I mean… did you miss anything? Maybe Python?
And recently I have seen numerous of those: instead of a cover letter please send an analysis of our current digital presence, and what would you change and how. I want to spend more time on this. NEVER, EVER give your ideas free of charge, to a company that has not hired you. It is disappointing not to get a job, but it is even more disappointing not to get a job and see all your ideas applied on the website/campaigns, without payment or credit to you.
Your knowledge and ideas are valuable, and if people are using your situation of looking for a job to try and get free ideas – say No. If they say that this is the only way they can assess your knowledge, you can call them on it, as they can do it via practical, real life, situational questions. And also, this should come at a later interview stage, not before they have even seen you. There is a big difference between a productive discussion and you writing the 2017 digital road map for the company.
I think it is hard to look for a role, as it is hard to find the hiring managers who actually understand what are they looking for. Which is nobody’s fault, it is just what the current market is, and everyone is on a learning curve. Best of luck.