By Arran Roberts CIM – Digital Marketing Manager at EQUUS.
In what has been a very different few months from “The Norm”, I’m sure you are as excited as I am for the day when phrases such as “Social Distancing”, “Stop the Spread” and “Covidiots” are locked in an archive, never to be heard from again …
For those of you in the Marketing “Arena”, the process of interviewing for a new Marketing Position has changed somewhat over the last 12 months and brought with it a number of different challenges. Gone are the days of interviewing at an office where the introductory questions were:
“How was your journey?”
“You found us OK then?”
“Would you like a glass of water or a cup of tea?”
To be replaced by the more recent online interview scenarios of:
“Can you hear us ok?”
“Can you see me?”
“Ah, please excuse my cat who has just walked in front of the camera.”
And one that I seemed to have experienced an unusual number of times, “Please excuse the noise of the road sweeper outside…” One thing is certain, the drive outside my house will be the cleanest it has ever been once this pandemic is over!
Since starting in my role as Digital Marketing Manager at EQUUS, I’ve been lucky enough to have grown the team from 3 to 6. I now have an excellent team comprising of a Digital Marketing Executive, 3 x Digital Marketing Assistants, a Digital Marketing Administrator and most recently a Senior Developer.
Being able to recruit during the pandemic has brought me immense joy – be it offering a Graduate their first role in Marketing or offering a Candidate the opportunity to come out of Furlough and back into full time employment.
From having the pleasure of interviewing a number of candidates for different marketing roles over the last few months, I have been able to write a few Do’s and Don’ts of Online Interviewing – some of which I’ve shared below:
Your Research – This is an absolute must. Do not think just because this is an online interview, you can miss out the basics. Have a look into the company you are interviewing for, what they do, their values and also spend a little time on social media and their news pages reading about what they have been up to.
Ensure a Good Internet Connection – Around 1 in 4 of the candidates interviewed over the last few months had poor internet connection, meaning their responses were difficult to understand and key parts of answers to questions may be missed. Make sure you are connected to Wi-Fi at all times and try and stay away from using your Mobile Phone for the interview if you can.
Declutter Your Background – Removal of clutter from your background when joining a video interview is important, so the only focus of the call is you – pretty basic, but getting the basics right can sometimes make the difference.
Humour – Every one of us is experiencing somewhat of a change from what we have grown accustomed to, and so a bit of humour in the right place is always a good thing. It also helps lighten the mood of the interview and will sometimes help you feel a bit more relaxed.
Join the Interview Too Early – 5 minutes or less is absolutely fine, however logging into the meeting 20 minutes or longer before your scheduled time is a big no no.
Underestimate First Impressions – You wouldn’t turn up to a face-to-face interview in your Superman pyjamas, so why is an online interview any different? Introducing yourself as organised and presentable will always leave a good first impression.
Let Your Eyes Wander! – Having too many tabs open can easily distract you and so always make sure you have read up on the company beforehand. There is nothing worse than a candidate visiting your “About us” section for the first time in the interview and reciting it back to you word for word!
Undersell Yourself – Even though you may have had the unfortunate situation of being made redundant or furloughed, never undersell yourself. If you have been busy with your time away from employment, make sure you highlight some of the things you have done, learnt about yourself or new skills you wouldn’t have possessed before.
It goes without saying of course that these are just the thoughts of one marketer. Every interview situation is different, every marketing role is different and every line manager is different.
Something to also mention to all marketing candidates searching for their next role and a benefit to come out of the pandemic, is that location of the candidate is no longer as important as it once was. Employers will often prioritise skills, attitude and willingness to learn, rather than location of candidate and so never feel that a role is off limits if you are not close to the office. For example, at EQUUS, our office is in Hertfordshire, with the marketing team scattered across the South East, Midlands and North West.
Thank you for taking the time to read this and I wish you all the best in your job searches.
About Arran – Digital Marketing Manager at EQUUS
Arran is a Senior Marketing & E-Commerce professional based in Stamford, Lincolnshire. Born and bred in North Wales, Arran studied at the University of Salford before embarking on a career in marketing, initially in the North West before moving further south. With experience in both B2C and B2B Marketing, his last three Marketing roles have been in E-Commerce which he particularly enjoys. Outside of work, Arran enjoys playing football, cooking and spending time with his family.