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How to Prepare for a 2nd Digital Marketing Job Interview?

Kiruba Shankar's guest lecture at WMA

You have cleared the 1st round of the interview…yay! What next? Wondering how to better prepare oneself for the next round. Here are few tips that will help you.
In the first interview, you would generally have the hiring manager or HR team. In the first round generally, they will select the top most suitable candidates. 2nd round of Interviews is a bit more serious and more in depth. So you have to be prepared.
Keep in mind every company has different ways to assess your skill levels. Some companies will call you for the next interview or ask you complete a task. Whereas some companies may expect both.
From my experience, one of the companies I worked for, I had to give 1 telephonic interview, 3 in-person interviews and 1 presentation of my ideas. So you see different companies have different processes.


Here are some tips for your 2nd round of Digital Marketing Job Interview

1. Follow all the basic etiquettes mentioned in our first article 10 tips for your 1st Job Interview. Like printed copies of resume, dress well, etc.
2. This time around, it’s important to know who is interviewing you. Chances are someone in the higher position is interviewing you. So research the interviewers and see what experience they have. You don’t want to be caught off guard especially if someone senior is present.
3. The second interview may have multiple interviewers like a hiring manager, other department head, HR representative. Most of the time you will be told who & how many are interviewing if not you can ask for these details. Now, it can happen that you were told 1 person is taking the interview but suddenly they decide to have other interviewers too. Relax, always be mentally prepared for both situations.
4. When it’s panel or many interviewers it can be unnerving. There will different questions coming your way and you can panic. So try to ‘Keep Your Cool’. If too many questions are coming too soon, prioritize and let them know (nicely) that you will answer ‘A’ question followed by ‘Z’ question. This will also show you managerial skills.
5. Be prepared this time to answer more scenario based questions. You may be given more real brand/ company situations and would be asked to come up with a solution. Ex – The company is launching a new product line. The marketing team has decided to go ahead with ‘X’ strategy but Sales team has ‘Y’ point of view. How will you as a marketer approach this situation?
6. Be ready to explain all the facts and number that are mentioned on your resume. Example: you have mentioned on your resume – ‘delivered 3% growth for XYZ product via ABC campaign. You may be asked how did you design the campaigns, what exactly did you do, what was the cost and revenue, etc.
7. They will also be more interested in knowing about you more. They may ask what are your hobbies, other interest areas. They want to see how well you fit the company culture. Be honest, don’t make things up.
8. In addition to the second interview, they may ask you to submit a proposal based on their requirements too (see below part to prepare) or call you for a final interview too.
9. They will give you an opportunity to ask questions. This time around do not repeat the same questions you asked in first round. Wondering what second interview questions to ask? Here are few examples.
a. What is the most challenging part of this job according to you?
b. What is the company culture like? (more to HR)
c. What is the management style? (if speaking with hiring manager)
d. What is the orientation process for this job? Will they be handover?
10. Always take down the contact details, especially the email id. Drop a thank you email within 8 hours or maximum 24 hours. Here is your opportunity to thank them and highlight how you look forward to working or implementing ideas discussed in the interviews.
11. You can follow up after 3-5 days. If no reply you can call and check. You can also drop a follow-up email after 5 days of the 1st follow-up email.
12. If they have liked you, they will get back to you. If they call up and let you know that you have not been selected, then send an email to the concerned people. Thank them for the opportunity and ask them for a feedback. This feedback will help you better prepare next time around.

Many companies will ask you to submit a plan or a framework based on the requirements/ objectives given by them. This is a task to assess you. Based on what you submit they will decide whether to select you or call you for the next interview or not. Sometimes you may feel exploited when it comes to submitting proposals. It depends on how many times and how specific they expect it from you. It is normal to ask once or twice to do a task/ proposal.
Read below tips to help prepare if you have been asked you prepare a proposal/ strategy around a set of objectives given by them
1. If the requirements are given in the earlier interview itself then write it down. If you need any additional information, then ask for the same. Ensure you take down the contact details (especially email id) of the person who has asked for the proposal. Ensure you have understood the task and discuss a deadline for it.
2. If they have emailed the requirement, then read it carefully and understand it. Reply to the email thanking them for continued interest. In this reply ensure you include:
a. Deadline for submission
b. Any additional information requirements.
3. Ideally, 1 day/ 24 hours is a good deadline.
4. Always give a presentation or nice PDF file. You can use online tools like Canva, Prezi, infogr.am, etc. to create beautiful presentations.
5. Whenever you are making a proposal always create a flow first. For example,
a. Slide 1: Brand Name
b. Slide 2: Requirement
c. Slide 3: Current status of the Brand
d. Slide 3: Objective
e. Slide 4: Insight that will be used as the basis for your idea/ solution
f. Slide 5: Idea/ Solution
g. Slide 6: Execution (how are you going to achieve it)
6. Your language should crisp and precise. Please proof check spelling errors and grammatical mistakes.
7. As you will be emailing them the presentation. Ensure the information is self-explanatory but brief.
8. Stick to your deadline. Don’t delay, it won’t work in your favor. In case you still need time, please contact them and let them know. But keep in mind, when you ask for extra time, they will expect more from your proposal.
9. When you email them the proposal ensure:
a. Give a brief description of what you have presented
b. Request for the meeting. Let them know, you can better explain the proposal in person. This will also show your interest in the job.
c. ATTACH the PRESENTATION. The last thing you want is to send an email without the attachment!
d. In case you accidentally send the email without attachment. Send an email apologizing for the same and ensure you attach the email this time!
10. Wait 2-3 days for a reply. If they don’t reply, send a follow-up email checking on development.
11. If they still don’t reply, then you can send a follow-up email after 5 days. You can also call and check. If they think you are a suitable candidate, then they will get back to you.

Hope these tips help you all with better preparing for the second round of interview. Please share your point of view.
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Contributed by Madhur Phadnis