Want to Ace the Interview? Be Ready to Talk About These 6 Things

February 18th, 2016 by Paula Keller


I have been screening and interviewing candidates at Search Influence for over 5 years. I’ve seen a lot of resumes, and I’ve met a lot of great, interesting people. One of the things I love about our search for rockstar team members is that we hold group interviews for many of our positions, which allows us to meet so many more potential Influencers face-to-face. We understand that there is only so much a resume can express, and we believe that each candidate has a greater story to tell than a resume and cover letter can. (Yes, you should still leverage the many available resources online to help increase your chances of an interview invite by creating a resume that shows off your best qualities.)

If you ask a hiring manager in any company what they want to see or hear from a job candidate, your answers will greatly vary: 1- vs 2-page resume? Objective or no objective? Should I bring a copy of my resume? Should I bring notes? That will forever be the case, so do your best to read your interviewees and, ultimately, to be yourself and show off your best qualities!

You should be prepared to talk about these six things:

1. Why are you awesome?

First, remember what an interview is all about. You are there to talk yourself up and show off your skills and experience. There is, of course, a delicate balance with being overly confident, but it’s critical to not be afraid to brag on yourself a little bit.

2. What made you stand out in prior roles?

Many of our high-performing Influencers are such because they are driven to always improve themselves, improve results for clients, and be generally accepting of new and different responsibilities. If you were “Employee of the Month” at your summer internship or named “Top Campaign” in your capstone advertising class, share with us how you earned that recognition. It’s not about the award but the qualities that you displayed or the work you produced that led to it.

Kudos Cards

3. Do you have relevant experience?

This is where interview prep helps. Study the job description and make notes on what job duties relate to the work experience you have. In the interview, draw the connection for the interviewer on what you have done in prior roles and how that relates to what you’ll be doing in your day to day.

4. Are you customer focused?

No matter what department, we are all here to support our customers and ensure we meet and exceed their marketing goals. Displaying an understanding of customers’ needs is critical. This is true whether you are interviewing for an Account Management position, where you’ll be interfacing directly with customers; in production, where you will be creating great work for customers; in web development, where you will be improving our customers’ sites; or in programming, where you’ll be making applications that help us better support our customers.

Alison Zeringue

5. Why you are right for a career at Search Influence?

Demonstrate that you have the skills to do both the job you are applying for today and any future positions you may be qualified to move into after you are hired. Many of our Influencers begin their time with us in an entry-level position and grow into a position with more responsibility as they show ownership and capabilities to handle more work independently. A genuine interest in and enthusiasm for the work are the keys to long-term happiness in any job.

6. What questions do you have for us?

We don’t ask, “Do you have any questions?” Instead, we ask, “What questions do you have for us?” Having questions prepared is pretty standard interviewing advice, but, I am here to tell you it’s as important as “they” all say—not only for the company, but for you! You should have a good idea of what the job is and what you will be doing when you leave the second interview. You wouldn’t enter a long-term relationship without finding out a little bit about what you are signing up for, right?

For more keys to what makes our Influencers so successful, dive into our seven core values, CHARGED, or read this blog post that Hannah Selser, Account Associate, wrote on why she loves her job at Search Influence.