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Getting a foot in the agency door

Continuing our series on how to reach the top. Our last post looked at how a reputable recruiter can help you get a foot in the door. This time: what to expect when you are invited to attend an interview


The first interview

At Account Executive level, shortlisted candidates can expect to face an Account Manager and/or Account Director in the first instance. As a rule of the thumb, the larger the agency the more formal the process will be. Your recruiter will know what type of interview you are likely to undergo and in many circumstances will know the person/people on the panel.

Top tip It might be stating the bleedin’ obvious, but turning up on time or ideally a little bit earlier can help your cause. Fill will help you get to the right place at the right time – a map, nearest station details, a reminder email – although we draw the line at alarm calls…

Even at this level, make sure you research the agency, find out who their clients are and what kind of work they have produced for them. But don’t be caught out by saying you admire their campaigns and then not be able to name a single example.

Take a look at our post on preparing for an interview, ‘Be Prepared’, for more tips on what to do before you meet the client.

If they like you at this first interview, you might be offered the job straightaway or invited back for a second interview.

Even if you aren’t successful, you’ll receive constructive feedback from the client via the recruiter that you can use in future interviews. This information isn’t always forthcoming if you apply directly for roles - yet another reason to use a recruiter.

The second interview

At your second interview you could be asked to fulfill a small task, such as proofreading some copy, commenting on a piece of creative work or, in some cases, prepare a response to a small brief in advance. Fill will happily offer you guidance on how to tackle this.

If you are successful at this stage and are offered the job, congratulations! Your recruitment consultant will be the one to let you know the good news and will then act as intermediary between you and the client for any salary package negotiations that may be involved. It is wise at this early stage in your career not to make too many demands when determining your first salary package though – you can do that once you have the experience to justify any negotiations.

You're on the way up the ladder – as long as you make it through the three-month probationary period, that is. Now you can acquire the skills to help in your ascent.

Next time: when and how to make the transition from Account Executive to Account Manager

Posted by Caroline Bailey

Friday 21st April 2017


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