If you're interested in getting hired at an advertising agency, then you need to be prepared before your interview. That's because you will likely be hit with a barrage of questions about yourself, your previous work, and the ad industry at large.
The questions you will be asked will vary based on the job and the agency you are interviewing for. They'll range from "What do you like about the field of advertising?" to "How would you change the field of advertising?"
What the Interviewer Wants to Know
It's a given that you will be queried about your involvement in previous campaigns, how much client interaction you have had, and your career aspirations. Interviewers want to know that you understand the advertising process, can help drive change, and that you are a skilled communicator.
If you are interviewing for a creative position, you will be asked to bring samples of your work.
You'll also be asked to explain how you contributed to the work. Be selective when choosing work samples, and be prepared to talk about your creative process in detail.
How to Prepare for an Advertising Interview
Read through the job advertisement and make a list of the responsibilities that are listed as well as the skills required for the role. Come up with examples of times you have displayed those skills or held those responsibilities.
Make sure to review the most common interview questions that are asked in interviews for all jobs, advertising and other, and practice your responses beforehand.
Spend some time on the company's website and reading news stories about the company. Read through any press releases the company puts out as well. It's helpful to have a sense of the company culture, to be aware of their significant accomplishments and setbacks, and to understand the company's mission and identity.
This insight will come in handy if you're asked, "What do you know about our company?" You can also frame your answers to other interview questions to appeal to the company ethos.
Most Common Advertising Interview Questions
Below is a list of commonly asked interview questions for jobs in the advertising industry. Take the time to practice your responses aloud to ensure you answer the questions in a clear, concise, and confident manner.
- Why are you interested in advertising as a career?
- Describe an ad campaign that you think worked well.
- Describe an ad campaign that you think did not work well.
- What is your favorite campaign (both past and present)? Why?
- What tools have you used to create ad campaigns?
- Do you have media planning experience?
- How would you integrate social media into a national ad campaign?
- If advertising became obsolete, what would be your next career choice? Why?
- What keeps you motivated?
- Explain the creative strategy and impact on the public of one of our current clients.
- How do you measure the effectiveness of an advertising campaign?
- How would you design and implement an advertising campaign for a new consumer product?
- How would you persuade a customer that a product you are advertising is better than the competition's product?
- What steps would you take to handle an unhappy client?
- Do you believe that any publicity, even bad publicity, is good publicity?
- What qualities do you think are needed to be successful in this field?
- What are the major trends in advertising today?
- What is the difference between marketing, sales, and advertising?
- What is the most effective way to measure and track advertising campaigns?
- What do you consider to be the most effective form of advertising? Why?
- Explain in one sentence this company's mission.
- Do you understand this company's target market and clients?
- How would you describe this agency?
- Why would this agency be a good fit for you?
- What unique skills and talents can you contribute to this company?
How to Answer Advertising Interview Questions
As you answer questions in an advertising interview, you'll want to show your knowledge of the industry and the agency or company where you are seeking employment. Bottom line: Do your homework by researching the company. Thoroughly review the job advertisement before your interview, and spend time matching your qualifications to the role.
You'll also want to demonstrate that you possess the skills required for the job at hand. Often, it will be particularly important to show that you possess strong communication skills and creativity. If the role is client-facing, interpersonal skills are also valuable.
Come prepared with examples of times you've thrived in similar roles and with comparable projects. Be prepared to sell yourself as a candidate. This is necessary in any job interview, but for a role in the advertising industry, an ability to sell is particularly meaningful.
Questions to Ask the Interviewer
Be sure to prepare a list of questions you want to ask a prospective employer. During an advertising interview, try these:
- What is the culture like at this agency/company?
- What's a client that the company/agency would love to land?
- What clients would the person in this role be working with?
- How big of a team would I work on?
- Have you ever worked with a client that was frustrating? How was that relationship handled?
How to Make the Best Impression
Do your research: The more you know heading into the interview — about the job, the company, and the industry — the more you'll be prepared to answer questions with confidence.
Demonstrate your aptitude: Interviewers will be looking for you to share how you've used similar skills to the ones this role calls for. Be prepared with examples.
Follow-up with a thank you email or note: Take a few minutes after your interview to say thank you for the opportunity and reiterate your interest in the job.