You’ve applied for your dream job as an account manager and bagged that all important interview, but now you’ve got to convert the interview into a job. Interviews are about selling yourself and showing why you’re the perfect match for the position. Much of an account manager’s job revolves around sales and communication, so you can bet your interviewers are going to be looking for someone who can sell themselves, make the ultimate pitch and convince them they’re the only horse in the race.
Know your onions
Whatever the job, an interviewer is going to expect a candidate to know the sector to which they’re applying. As you’re going for a job in advertising, you should know the industry and have your own opinions about what works and what doesn’t. As part of your preparation, you should anticipate a question about what advertising campaigns work for you, what doesn’t and why. Have concrete examples and do your research. There’s no point trying to wing this one on the day – they’re professionals and will see right through your fumblings and mistakes.
Account managers rely on excellent communication skills, liaising with clients, creative professionals and management to ensure a joined up and effective campaign, on budget and to the brief. You’re going to need to demonstrate excellent communication skills to your interviewers, so spend some time before your interview visualising and building confidence. The better prepared you are the more fluent you will be under questioning, so ensure you’re organised and comfortable. And remember; take your time answering questions. Don’t jump in with a rash answer you can’t dig your way out of.
You can expect this to be an area of your CV that will come under scrutiny at the interview. In overseeing a advertising brief, account managers must have well developed leadership and team skills. When you’re talking about your experience of leading a team, use concrete examples of when and who. Anticipate some questioning about issues you may have faced in managing a team in the past. Never talk in negative terms about anyone or any team you’ve previously worked with. Give the interviewer the issue and emphasise how you resolved it. Negatives into positives.
Sell, sell, sell
As preparation for your interview, practice selling things. Grab something – a pen, a frying pan, a shoe – and subject your partner, friend or any passerby to your best pen, frying pan or shoe Shopping Channel sales pitch. It may not happen, but you may be asked to do something similar in the interview. Even if it doesn’t come up, it’s good practice for anyone wanting an account manager career.
As well as anticipating the kind of questions you might get at an interview for account manager jobs, remember to prepare for the universal interview questions, too. Tell us about your strengths and weaknesses. Turn negatives into positives, take your time and relax – the interviewers aren’t trying to trip you up, they want you to prove to them why you’re the right choice. Good luck.
James Anderson is a Freelance Copywriter working for Brand Republic.