You can also listen to the podcast of this same blog post, here
When you get asked the question, why MBA, in an interview, you have multiple answers prepared.
But these answers may not be true, well we all know, majority of the MBAs out there, need a degree to get a better job.
We need the money!!
But what good is this thought, if you cannot clear your interviews and get through your dream company on campus?
There are times when you literally have it all, everything that the company requires from the perfect candidate.
But things still don’t work out, because that one line, you mentioned in the interview, flips things over!
If you have been in a situation like this, where even after a good interview, you didn’t get through, then this blog post might help you get a better perspective.
By the end of this post, I do not expect you to clear all your interviews, because that takes time, but I’m sure it will provide you with things you feel you are lacking and help you improve!
So let’s get started with the top 10 things you must do to ace your marketing interview on campus.
1. Which companies to apply for?
Company A gives me a better role, but company B pays way more.
Which one should I pick?
Well, that depends!
It totally depends on the aim that you have, if you are a fresher pick the role, if you are an experienced candidate, a better pay might be more tempting.
Either way, you must not keep just these two criterias in your mind before applying.
Look at the broader picture, consider the sector you are getting into, is it expected to grow in the future?
If you join the tourism sector in 2020, I’d say that’s bad decision making!
What kind of marketing can you expect out of this sector during a pandemic?
So think it through, think deeper before applying!
2. Research on the company
This point is so crucial but is missed out by most candidates.
Once you apply for a particular company on campus, know that the people interviewing you are extremely proud of their company.
You need to know anything and everything about the company.
Because this is a marketing interview, try talking about a recent marketing campaign that the company launched and what’s your viewpoint about the same.
This is bound to give you some brownie points!
3. Understand your competitors
No, I am not referring to the company competitors.
I am referring to your own competitors, your batch mates!
Understand what you are competing against to get a better idea of what you need to improve on.
Do not start comparing yourself with someone who has 2-3yrs work experience and you are just a fresher.
He/she is not your competitor at least for this point, yes you would be competing with them, but you cannot get that experience.
What you can get instead, is the idea of various courses that you can pursue, that your batch mate already has on his/her resume, some other fresher from your batch.
4. Learn from previous interviews
Sadly, a lot of companies do not provide detailed feedback through which you may find out what went wrong with the interview.
But that’s ok, what you do after a failed interview is what matters the most.
Go back to analyzing your answers, try to pick those things you felt were unnecessary or you could’ve skipped.
Look at what the hired candidate possesses that you don’t, can you manage to get it in before the next interview? If you can, that’s great!
5. If you are a fresher…
Learn marketing concepts, read the Kotler book, and have your answers prepared.
This is important because if you are an engineer and competing against someone who is from BMS, the other guy is bound to have more marketing knowledge than you.
Why let anyone else be better? Learn as much as you can, and DO NOT rely on your courses or curriculum to teach you.
Dictionary books or definitions do not work in interviews, at least not in marketing interviews, get yourself updated with recent marketing happenings, that will definitely be a huge add-on!
6. If you have work experience…
Now you can either have experience in the field of something related to marketing, or you can have experience in a field that has nothing to do with marketing.
Let’s consider each of these scenarios.
If your experience is related to marketing, literally read up everything on your resume in depth.
The companies you have worked for, their recent news, everything about your role, your contribution.
The chances of 80% of your interview revolving around your work experience are much higher!
If your work experience is not related to marketing, try to create a link with how it helps you in the field of marketing.
For example, if you have worked at a call center, you can say that your strong communication skills can be a huge add-on in the field of marketing.
7. Ace your answer to “Tell me about yourself…”
This is usually the first question asked in marketing interviews, and trust me when I say this, your result is determined based on the answer you give here.
In most cases, at least.
Why you ask?
Because the interviewer is not making you read your resume aloud here, the interviewer is in fact trying to push you, to sell yourself!
If you cannot sell yourself here, how can you sell their product?
PS: Do let me know in the comments if you would like a detailed post on how to answer this question in your interview!
8. Understand the Job description, and prepare answers to how you fit in well.
The job description is not only meant for you to get an idea of what the job offers.
It's also a way for you to check if you fit in, and if you do, you need to say it out there, so that the interviewer knows!
Please note, that you may not get an exclusive chance to pitch these things in, but you surely get a chance to divert the interview your way and say this.
MUST READ: Marketing changes in the post Covid-19 world
9. In case studies, be practical
One of the most common aspects of a marketing interview is the on-the-spot case studies.
You are asked to design a marketing campaign.
Now while you may not directly be able to prepare for this in advance, you can get a basic idea of how the flow should be, when it comes to answering these questions.
PS: Let me know in the comments if you would be interested in another post around the flow of answering a case study question!
But while answering, it's important to be practical, do not suggest recommendations that will cost the company more than what their overall budget would be.
Instead, provide a suggestion and mention how cost-effective it would be, this is going to help you tremendously because you are portraying that you think through all angles!
10. Be confident