Marketing candidates ... a few simple, quick interview tips for today's economy

by Christine Hoffman
(Akron, Ohio, United States )

I have been a hiring manager across my last three job roles, hiring for various marketing and administrative roles in medium and large companies.

My top pieces of advice I'd give to job seekers are:

  1. Come prepared to at least talk generally about the company's current events, particularly if they've been covered in the media recently. Not knowing anything about the company you're interviewing for is one of the most damaging things candidates can do in a job interview.

    Company research is usually simple, for example, you could just do a quick Google News search.

    Given the current economic conditions local companies are in the media more than ever. As a potential employer, I want to know you're at least paying attention to what's in the news about us, no matter what your role.

  2. Please take notes. Now, not all interviewers might look for that quality, but it's something I like to see. If not, it's a bit like interviewing the waiter who stumbles through taking your order and doesn't write anything down.

    Just jot a few things down as you're talking with the interviewer, like a key item you want to follow-up on, or a fact to look up later for your thank you note. Don't jot down everything I say; you won't be able to maintain eye contact. Just make a few quick notes for yourself.

    (3) I'm always impressed with someone who asks smart questions. That lets me know they were listening. I always pay closer attention to someone who relays something pertinent and timely back to an earlier statement. That lets me know the candidate is listening and really thinking about what's being said.

    Lisa's Response

    Christine, your comment that job candidates should take notes during a job interview is very helpful.

    Many of the job seekers I've worked with say they would like to take notes in a job interview, but they worry that it is not appropriate. It's good to hear an employer say they want to see interviewees taking notes about pertinent information in a job interview.

    A job interview is just a business meeting. If you were attending any other important business meeting, you'd take notes to help yourself remember important items that were discussed. The same should be true for job interviews.

    As Christine mentioned, don't write so much during the interview that it interferes with good communication, but do make a few quick notes about any important facts you want to remember.

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