It is January, often a time when media sales execs  start to think about moving to their dream job. Have you ever landed an interview with your dream media company, was it the job you believed you were destined for, but then couldn’t understand how someone else got it? Well if you have ever been in that position, or are hoping to get some great interviews lined up soon, take a look at these top ten tips- they may just help tip the balance in your favour.

1. Get the date,  time and location right

Be absolutely sure about when the interview is and that you can make it on time. Don’t leave it to the last minute to realise you can’t possibly get to Central London by 9am- the company won’t be impressed by your lack of organisation! Many media companies have offices across different locations so double check which one you are expected to be at.

2. Do your homework

These days, there really is no excuse for not going to an interview without being armed with plenty of background information on the company and its brands.  Despite the raft of data available it seems from discussions with media sales recruiters, particularly graduates, often  fail to do the most basic research on the companies they are interviewing with. It doesn’t take long to search on latest company news, media products they have, and who the key people are.  In the interview demonstrate the background research you have done and you will seem genuinely interested in the company.

3. Understand the role

It’s not always possible to have a proper job description before an interview- some media companies are better than others at the recruitment process. But you should have a reasonable understanding of what the job entails.  Based on the details you have, prepare some questions to ask to flesh out the role more fully in the interview. Just as an interviewer needs to be sure you are the right person for the job, you need to be sure it is the right job for you.

4. Know your interviewer

The world of media sales is all about relationships.  So an interview is the perfect situation to show how good you are at this. Find out as much as you can about the person who is going to be interviewing you. Ask your recruitment consultant to tell you as much as they can, and take a look at their Linked-in profile.  You may discover that you have previous employers or contacts in common, and chatting about such connections will create common ground and a basis for an enjoyable interview.

5. Think about the impression you want to make

We all know that generally it is a good idea to dress smartly for an interview, but if you’ve got yourself all suited and booted only to walk into an office environment where even the boss is wearing jeans and a t-shirt, it can feel uncomfortable. Quiz your recruitment consultant prior to the interview.  They should be able to give you a good insight in to the company culture and working environment.

Remember too, little things like a firm handshake also say a lot about you as a person.  Not to mention the ability t chat easily and make small talk.  Anyone in media sales has to be able to break the ice without any awkwardness.  Don’t forget people make first impressions almost the instant they meet you, so the minute you walk in the building you will start to be judged.

6. Sell yourself

Think about the qualities that you have that you want to promote.  Make sure you sell your strengths, and give them substance.  If it is your first interview in a few years, some people can feel uncomfortable by what they see as bragging, but it is important that you sell yourself.  Remember your interviewer doesn’t know you!

7. Know what you have achieved

Before the interview go through your CV and make sure you can remember your best achievements.  Be prepared to talk about situations where you were responsible for the planning and execution of something and what was the result. This will show your initiative and the real difference you can make to a team.

8. Know who your contacts are!

In media sales, contacts are all important so go to the interview prepared with a list of your best client/agency contacts to hand. Don’t shamelessly namedrop, mention only those people who you really do know. Everyone knows someone in media, so its highly likely that your interviewer will get in touch with the contacts you name.

9. Close that deal

Don’t leave the interview without having first asked how you have done and what the next stage is. Showing a genuine desire and enthusiasm for the job can often be what differentiates between the two strongest candidates for a role.

10. Nailing the second interview

If you are asked back for a second interview, well done. Now is your chance to really shine.  In media sales the second interview usually involves a pitch.  It’s the pitch presentation where most people lose out.  So do your homework, use your contacts in agencies and clients to help you understand how the company sells itself, and remember to rehearse your pitch. Be prepared with lots of questions to ask, as you will be expected to have more detailed questions at a second interview.

The company will be looking for someone who fits well into the team so the more you know about their current set up, and the type of people who work there the easier it will be for you to sell yourself into the team.

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