How to "Stand Out of the Crowd" in Interviews
The complete question I was asked was: How can someone "stand out of the crowd" in
interviews for a digital marketing position?
It is a wonderful and complicated question. Every interview and interviewer is unique. So
rather than the most definitive answer you'll get, here's my answer based on the few
hundred interviews I've had the privilege of conducting.
Here are the four things that cause a candidate to stand out of the crowd:
1. They demonstrate their critical thinking capabilities.
Tools can be learned on the job, processes can be mastered, chairs can be shifted to a
more comfortable position. But critical thinking is much, much harder to teach. So I
deeply value candidates who already have this skill.
Bonus: How can you develop your thinking skills over time? Let me refer to the experts
at theCritical Thinking Community. Here's their list...
1. Use “Wasted” Time.
2. A Problem A Day.
3. Internalize Intellectual Standards.
4. Keep An Intellectual Journal.
5. Reshape Your Character.
6. Deal with Your Ego.
7. Redefine the Way You See Things.
8. Get in touch with your emotions.
9. Analyze group influences on your life.
You have a good cluster of critical thinkers, you have a successful organization.
2. They are a practitioner (regardless of the seniority of the position).
Far too many people have theoretical experience. Even if you are young and just
starting out, you can have your own site, your own AdWords campaign (top it off at $10
a day for a week or so), you can have your own display and YouTube and Facebook
and other existences.
People who take advantage of these possibilities, rather than being stifled by what their
current job limits, stand out.
One of the greatest gifts of digital is that there is nothing you want to learn that you can't
find a free or extremely affordable way to learn today, and to put it into practice on your
own. You don't have to wait.
3. They have a clearly defined personal point of view.
I care less that you have worked at a massive company with the most massively
complex Adobe Analytics implementation. Or that your personally created all the Dove
Beauty ads (though that would be amazingly cool!).
I care deeply about your ability to separate the wheat from the chaff. If I ask you "how can
a real estate professional use Facebook", you have a well thought out point of view. I don't
have to agree with it, I just want to know you can think it through.
4. They display curiosity.
If you want to be successful at digital you have to know that the only constant is change.
Marketing. Analytics. People. Sales. Technology. Processes. Possibilities.
Organizations. Everything. So I will look for that in candidates.
I will push them, gently and politely, to see how curious they are, can they think long-
term (and know what they might not know), and where in the past they might have
demonstrated the ability to see gaps where others could not.
So four simple things. They will always cause you to stand out of the crowd and get the
job you absolutely deserve.