We’re been in the midst of a recruitment frenzy and it has to be said that I’ve never heard so many fibs and bad excuses before. I thought it was supposed to be tough out there in the job market? Clearly not with some of the folk we’ve seen apply or go through the interview process. Sorry, this blog is a bit of a moan but it should also give you some pointers on what to look out for when recruiting marketing talent.
A taste of the excuses…
From sloppy applications without cover letters and typos, to “I’m not prepared for the presentation today” to “I’m not feeling well I need to cancel“, to “I’ve just got out of a blood test and feel faint” (an hour before interview!) or an interview that was more of a pitch than a presentation! Boy…you honestly start to lose hope.
But once you finally shortlist candidates for a face-to-face interview, you get to see if what they had on paper is as good in the flesh. Sometimes it is and sometimes, well, it just isn’t!
For me, marketers need to be confident, enthusiastic and show real passion. “Passion” and “enthusiasm” are usually what people respond with when we ask why we should hire you – so if you’re as passionate about marketing as you suggest, it should be very easy to reel off your favourite marketing bloggers and online communities for example.. heck old-fashioned textbooks. Something! But it seems that’s too much to ask. A marketing professional not having a LinkedIn profile is also a real no-no for me – how can you be forward thinking in marketing if you can’t even market yourself effectively.
It’s also clear when someone has (or hasn’t) made a effort in preparation for the interview. The three questions – the three most simple questions, that candidates tend to slip up on are:
What is your understanding of the role (note the job ad had a lengthy description and I always make a point to run through it in phone interviews)
What do you know about the company? What do we do, who are our customers and how do we make our money?
Do you have any questions for us?
Now this is a real opportunity to wow us… but usually we get “mmm, no not really. You’ve covered everything.” Honestly – not even one question? When I used to go for interviews I would do so much homework – look at company financials, press articles.. the works and I would always have what I would call my ‘killer questions‘.
Questions that are going to leave the interviewers thinking, wow this girl really did her homework. Something strategic, something that will show off my marketing knowledge. This was always my interview wildcard and an ex-boss once told me that he’d never forget my interview because of the questions I asked. That’s what you want to do – leave a lasting impression.
Thought this would be a good post to share with you all – I’m sure I’m not alone in some of these experiences. I’m happy to say we have found our marketing superstars – on the ball, armed with creative ideas, innovative mindsets and will fit in brilliantly with the rest of the team – ticked all our important boxes! It’s a process that requires perseverance and patience but we got there and we’re very happy.
It’s worth checking out this Hubspot blog too: ‘How to recruit and evaluate rockstar marketing interns‘ – some really useful tips.
Now there’s no excuse for future candidates to not be prepared – you’ve been warned.