Preparing for an interview

Steps you can take and a list of questions you can prepare for.

At interview, expect to be asked about your knowledge of the agency you’re applying for, including knowing about their recent work and the advertising industry at large. Here we give you some tips on how to prepare and commonly asked interview questions.

Your interviewers will be curious about:

  • your career choice and aspirations,
  • your views on advertising and think beyond TV, (social media, digital, radio, print and interactive posters at bus shelters),
  • how much you know about the advertising process,
  • how well you communicate and present yourself, your ideas and your passions.

If you are interviewing for a creative position, you will be asked to bring examples of your work so be prepared to talk about your role in the work you show and the process you used to get to the idea.

If you are going to a media agency their work may also be creative in nature – for example producing content or having ideas for campaigns; but also they will have inspired data insights and media channel/platform choices.

Getting ready

Thoroughly read through the brief for the role and make a list of the responsibilities and skills that are required for the role. Come up with examples of times you have displayed those skills or held those responsibilities and practise your responses.

Thoroughly research the agency and search any news stories about them. Get a feel for their achievements; client wins, latest advertising and recent hires. Check them out on LinkedIn and follow them so that you are current with their news.

Find out who will be interviewing you and research them on LinkedIn and in other spaces. See what they write about and what their interests are.

Always remember the name of people who have interviewed you – you may get asked.

Be on time.

This is not an exhaustive list but practising responses to these will have you interview-ready. Be clear, concise, and confident in your replies.

  1. Why are you interested in advertising as a career?
  2. Describe an ad campaign that you think worked well – why do you think this?
  3. Describe an ad campaign that you think did not work well – why do you think this?
  4. How would you change them?
  5. What is your favourite campaign (both past and present)? Why?
  6. How would you integrate social media into a national ad campaign?
  7. If you did not pursue a career in advertising, what would be your next career choice? Why?
  8. What was your decision process for choosing your GCSE/AS/degree subjects?
  9. How do you measure the effectiveness of an advertising campaign?
  10. What qualities do you think are needed to be successful in advertising?
  11. What do you see as the challenges for advertising today?
  12. What do you consider to be the most effective form of advertising? Why?
  13. What research did you do for your interview today?
  14. What do you know about our clients?
  15. What do you know about our work – which do you like and why?
  16. Based on your research, how would you describe this agency?
  17. What skills and talents can you contribute to this company?
  18. What are your passion and interests?
  19. What are you reading today?
  20. What are you listening to today?
  21. What makes you suitable for this role?

There are many external sites which give good interview advice generally, for example UCAS Career’s pages.

Bring your CV to life

You might want to stand out even more by creating and sharing something like a Vizzy profile in advance of your meeting. Vizzy is a new, and free, software tool which gives you a new way to do your CV. Promote your interests, passions, skills and even your psychometrics, which have been designed to play to your strengths, alongside your work experience and projects in a user-friendly and visually captivating way to help the interviewer know more about you and what makes you tick.

Last updated 01 May 2024