Copywriting Q&A: Interview Tactics to Get an Ad Agency Job

How to nail an ad agency copywriting interviewA lot of new copywriters have dreams of working in an advertising agency—but when they get that agency interview, they have no idea what to say. But here’s the secret: There are specific ways you can impress each ad agency you interview with…and you’ll find these right on their own websites. Intrigued? Read on…

Today’s question comes from J.J. who asks, “I have an interview with an advertising agency! I’m so excited, but I’m also really nervous. What should I say to them?”

Before we get into interview prep, the very first thing you should do when you get an interview? Celebrate! No matter what happens in the interview itself, the very fact that they want to spend some of their valuable time means that they see something in you. And you should be very proud of that.

Next, as I alluded to in the intro, I have a little secret that’s going to help you connect with your interviewer and show them how well you’ll fit into the company.

Each and every advertising agency has a philosophy about how they come up with their ads and how they do business. It only makes sense: Ad agencies know the importance of a strong USP for a product, and they know they’ve got to give themselves one, as well.

So head over to their website and find out what their philosophy is. If it’s not on their home page, check out their About Us or Company page. You’re looking for answers to the questions “What makes this company different?” and “What makes how they create their work different?”

Once you’ve figured out, start thinking about how their philosophy relates to you. In what ways is it similar to the way you work? Come up with a few specific examples and jot down some notes to make sure you don’t forget them.

What we’re trying to do here is to show that, not only do you understand what their company is all about, but that it’s already a part of what you’re all about. An ad agency is looking to bring someone on board who will be able to hit the ground running and already understanding their philosophy, their way of attacking creative problems, is a big way of doing that.

Take notes while you’re prepping to help you remember, review them before your interview, and look for an opportunity to bring them up during it. Your interviewer might ask a question along the lines of, “How do you concept your projects?” You might respond with something like, “Well, it’s interesting. I noticed on your website that [insert their philosophy]. I actually approach concepting and problem solving in a very similar way; I [insert how it relates to you]. For example, I worked on a project [insert an example].”

Show them what goes into how you create you copy.

Oh, and finding ways to work in that you like collaboration, prefer to work at a fast pace and are willing to put in extra hours to do a project right certainly won’t hurt either. :)

Your turn! How would you sell yourself in an ad agency interview? Let us know in the comments below!

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