Tips for your First Social Media Interview

So you’re a fresher or absolutely new to social media and need to get through your first interview.

Social Media is growing really fast. Anyway, that’s what everyone you know seems to be talking about. You need to get in, but don’t really know how.

1) Get up to date

You want to come across as a passionate candidate.

There are plenty of sites that will give you information on the latest in Social Media. Don’t just look up international case studies, also look at how local businesses and brands based in India are making social work for them since these are the brands you will be mostly working with.
I’ve met many candidates who name an obvious international campaign and are clueless if I ask them what the same brand has done in India. If you know about Indian social media campaigns then that’s a definite plus as you come across as someone who is enthusiastic about the subject. Also look up on the campaigns that the agency/company you are going to be interviewed at have done in the past.
Doing all this shows that you have done some sort of research before coming in for the interview.

2) Have an opinion

It makes you look good – really!

Look at brand pages, look at the types of content brands are putting up. Every brand usually has a different strategy . If you look at what they are doing, it would probably help you answer questions being shot at you. Read articles or watch videos that can at least help you form opinions.

One thing to remember – employers know very well that you do not have professional social media skills yet. So they are not expecting a very in-depth analysis or a very well versed discussion on the subject. All you are showing is that you have the potential of being able to think and also be creative if required- always a plus.

3) Get Active

There’s really no point in applying for a social media job if you’re not.

Your Facebook account alone is not going to get you through an interview. Create a presence on Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest. Also, ‘having a twitter account’ is different from ‘having an active Twitter account’. If you look at it in the former way, practically everyone is on Twitter.

Don’t just tweet or put up updates for the sake of doing it. A potential employer will mostly look up your social media presence so ensure you don’t have any embarrassing stuff on display. Or comments or updates that will make them change their mind about hiring you.

Learn basic skills on how to edit pics on Photoshop or edit videos and add that to your resume. Also, a regularly updated blog definitely gives you brownie points.

A lot of Social media is content-based and you’ll mostly be creating content as a fresher before you can start specializing in your area of interest in. So polish up on your written skills and like I told you earlier a blog shows that you can be a content creator.

4) Don’t bullshit

For obvious reasons

Don’t talk about your awesome Twitter presence if you don’t have one or campaigns that you have worked or contributed to if you have not. Remotely helping someone run a social media campaign is not the same as actually running it yourself as you’ll soon find out. Tell the truth about your capabilities or suddenly you’ll find a full fledged campaign in your hands which you have no idea how to run. Most interviewers can tell if you’re faking it. So try not going down that lane or better still avoid it altogether.

5) Apply Apply Apply

How do you approach a social media company for a job?

You can find openings in the jobs section of Indian social media knowledge sites. Check agency/company websites and directly mail their HR/person in charge.

If you know somebody working in a social media agency who could refer you to their HR or interviewer it would be great. And lastly, if all else fails try landing up directly at the agency/company and let them know that you’re looking for an opportunity. It may sound like a strange option but I’ve hired two candidates who’ve turned up this way.

Because social media is still a growing industry there are a lot of openings that are flexible. You may not exactly suit a description given in a job posting but if you have some other skills, there may be an adjustment and you may be hired.

6) Social Media Interview basics

The same as any other interview if this is your first one.

A nice to-the-point resume will do or something creative so you will stand out from the rest of the candidates. Both are fine, and that’s totally an individual choice. Just ensure you highlight projects you may have done on social media before even if it is a college assignment. It may not seem so important to you but to an employer those are bonus points.

7) Where do you apply?

Choose something that suits you.

You will find openings both at companies and agencies. At a company you may be solely working on only one brand or one type of brand with the marketing team. While at an agency you will get an opportunity to work with multiple brands or with people who work with multiple brands. So there’s a lot of learning that you can get from your colleagues as well. Starting out at an agency may be a better choice since you’re not limiting your exposure right at the start to one type of work and are working with different types of people.

Well, I hope that’s helpful. Good luck with your job hunt!

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