October 31

Seven seconds to make a first impression

The importance of making a good first impression in an interview cannot be overstated. Although skills, qualifications, and experience are crucial factors for employment, the initial impression you make can serve as a gateway – or an insurmountable barrier – to showcasing those attributes in the first place. Essentially, making a positive first impression can set the tone for the entire interview, influencing the hiring manager’s perception of you as a candidate and a future employee.

Why First Impressions Matter

Psychological Bias: Humans are wired to form judgments quickly. Research has shown that it can take as little as seven seconds to form a first impression. These snap judgments can create biases that are hard to change later.

Setting the Tone: The first impression often sets the tone for the entire interview. If the interviewer forms a positive initial impression, they are more likely to engage with you in a meaningful way, making it easier for you to demonstrate your skills and suitability for the role.

Emotional Impact: First impressions often tap into the emotional part of decision-making. This emotional impact can be influential, sometimes even more so than hard facts or statistics, in shaping the perception of your suitability for a role.

Competition: In a competitive job market, where many candidates may have similar skills and qualifications, your ability to make a good first impression can be a decisive factor.

Components of a Good First Impression

Appearance: Dress appropriately for the role you are applying for. Your appearance should be neat and professional. It’s not about expense. It’s about looking like you have got your act together.

Body Language: Open, confident body language can make a significant difference. Maintain eye contact, offer a firm handshake, and be aware of your posture. Sit up. I bet you are slouching over a keyboard right now.

Punctuality: Arriving on time shows that you respect the interviewer’s time and are serious about the opportunity. I am always early and allow for security to be sticklers for credentials and cavity searches.

Preparation: Being well-prepared for the interview demonstrates your enthusiasm for the role and shows that you’re proactive. It also helps you answer questions more confidently. We’ll get to that later.

Communication: Clear and concise communication is key. Listen carefully to questions and answer thoughtfully. Answer the actual question before you get into your life story.

Emotional Intelligence: The ability to read the room and adjust your tone and responses accordingly is a subtle skill that can make a significant impact. If you see pictures on the shelves or awards on the wall, use them to build rapport.

Authenticity: While it’s important to present your best self, authenticity is key. People are more likely to respond positively to genuine enthusiasm and interest. You do you. If they don’t like it. Then you can part the wiser.

Transcending Skillsets

Even if you have a highly specialised skill set, those skills may never come to light if you don’t first pass the “first impression test.” Your skills in coding, project management, or digital marketing won’t matter if you can’t initially convince the interviewer of your professionalism, reliability, and fit for the company culture. In essence, the skill of making a good first impression is the gatekeeper to showcasing all the other skills you possess.

Therefore, learning to make a good first impression is not just a supplemental skill; it’s foundational to successful professional interactions, especially in high-stakes environments like job interviews.

The seven second problem

In a world increasingly governed by digital connections, short-attention spans and quick judgements, understanding how to present yourself effectively in the first few moments can make or break opportunities. Get to grips with the six-part process, follow and play out the scenarios and, above all, remain open to critical reflection, so that you can excel in the seven seconds you have to win the first impression game.  

  1. Do Your Research
    • Know the Company: Understand the brand, its target audience, recent campaigns, and its competitors.
    • Understand the Role: Be aware of what the job posting asks for and be prepared to explain how you fit the bill.
    • Industry Trends: Be prepared to discuss current marketing trends and how they could be relevant to the company.

    Let’s roleplay showcasing your research:

    [Scene: A trendy office space, decorated with branded merchandise, user-generated content displayed on digital screens, and a “selfie corner” with props. The candidate, “Social Sally,” is in an interview with “Strategic Steve,” the company’s Social Media Manager.]

    Strategic Steve: [Looking at resume] So, Sally, tell me why you’re interested in becoming part of our social media team?

    Social Sally: [Confidently] Well, Steve, first of all, I’m incredibly impressed with how your brand has carved out a unique voice in a crowded marketplace. Your recent #GoGreen campaign resonated well with your target audience, which I understand to be environmentally conscious, 18-34-year-olds.

    Strategic Steve: [Pleased] That’s right. The #GoGreen campaign was one of our most successful to date.

    Social Sally: Not only did you engage your audience, but you also positioned yourselves effectively against competitors who are still grappling with how to marry corporate social responsibility and consumer engagement. It’s brilliant, really.

    Strategic Steve: [Smiling] Well, we try.

    Social Sally: As for the role, I understand you’re looking for someone with experience in organic content creation, audience segmentation, and ROI analysis. In my previous role, I led a team that grew an organic following by 50% within six months, while also improving engagement metrics. I believe that experience directly correlates with what you’re seeking.

    Strategic Steve: [Nods approvingly] Absolutely. Those skills would be a strong asset here.

    Social Sally: When it comes to industry trends, I’m really excited about the prospects of social commerce, augmented reality in marketing, and the focus on micro-communities. I think these trends could be strategically integrated into your current social media plan to further amplify the brand and drive key metrics.

    Strategic Steve: [Clearly impressed] You’ve certainly done your homework, Sally. Your understanding of our brand, your skillset, and your insights into industry trends make you a compelling candidate.

    Social Sally: [Grinning] Thank you, Steve. I genuinely believe I could be an asset here, and I’m excited about the prospect of contributing to your future campaigns.

    [Scene fades out, with the impression that Social Sally has nailed all the key points: she knew the company inside-out, she understood the role, and she was ready to engage in a high-level conversation about industry trends.]

    Social Sally’s responses in the interview can be critically evaluated as follows:


    Company Knowledge: Social Sally shows she’s done her homework by referencing a specific recent campaign (#GoGreen). This shows a genuine interest in the company and its activities, elevating her above candidates who give generic answers.

    Understanding of Role: Sally accurately identifies the key skills required for the position (organic content creation, audience segmentation, ROI analysis) and gives specific examples of her experience that align with these skills.

    Industry Trends: She not only discusses current industry trends but also suggests how they could be incorporated into the company’s existing strategy. This moves her from being a passive candidate to an active strategist.

    Competitor Insight: By acknowledging the company’s effective positioning against competitors, she shows an understanding of the broader marketplace, adding another layer of depth to her candidacy.

    Tailored Communication: Sally uses terminology and phrases (“audience segmentation,” “ROI analysis,” “organic following”) that show she’s already in tune with the company’s culture and industry lingo.

    Confidence: Her responses are confident but not arrogant, creating a professional yet approachable persona.

    Areas for Improvement:

    Specificity on Past Role: While Sally mentioned her achievements, she could have bolstered her claim by citing specific metrics or KPIs she impacted in her past role. Saying something like, “In my previous role, I led a team that grew an organic following by 50%, translating into a 20% increase in sales,” would have added more weight to her statement.

    Questioning Back: Sally does a great job answering questions but doesn’t ask any in return. Good candidates also question their interviewers to ensure a mutual fit, which she might have considered doing.

    Soft Skills: Sally focuses on hard skills and strategic understanding, which are critical, but she might also have included some softer skills like teamwork, adaptability, or problem-solving that could be relevant for a social media role, especially if she’d be working in a team setting.

    Overall: Social Sally makes a very strong impression in this interview, hitting most of the key points that would make her a compelling candidate for a social media role. She could improve by providing more specific examples of her past achievements and demonstrating a more rounded skill set, but these are minor issues in an otherwise strong performance.

    2. Show Your Expertise

    • Case Studies: Discuss your past projects in detail. Share measurable results such as KPIs you have impacted.
    • Marketing Tools: Be ready to discuss your proficiency in essential marketing tools and platforms, such as Google Analytics, SEO tools, PPC platforms, and social media tools.
    • Strategic Approach: Explain how you approach a marketing challenge from both a tactical and strategic standpoint.

    Let’s roleplay showing your expertise:

    [Scene: A modern boardroom with a long conference table. Digital screens on the wall display various display advertising dashboards. The candidate, “Dynamic Dave,” is sitting across from the interviewer, “Data-Driven Dana,” who heads the Display Advertising department.]

    Data-Driven Dana: So, Dave, why don’t you walk me through some of the projects you’ve led in the realm of display advertising?

    Dynamic Dave: [Confidently] Absolutely, Dana. One of my most impactful projects was at my previous company, where I spearheaded a retargeting campaign aimed at cart abandoners.

    Data-Driven Dana: [Intrigued] Go on.

    Dynamic Dave: We developed a series of dynamic ads that changed based on the products the user had viewed or left in their cart. Over a period of three months, we saw a 25% increase in cart recovery, contributing to an additional £200,000 in revenue. And our CPA decreased by 15%.

    Data-Driven Dana: [Clearly impressed] Those are some solid numbers.

    Dynamic Dave: Thank you. I regularly monitored our KPIs through Google Analytics and used platforms like DoubleClick and AdRoll for ad serving and tracking. I’m also proficient in SEO tools like SEMrush and Moz, PPC platforms like Google Ads, and of course, social media tools like Hootsuite and Sprout Social.

    Data-Driven Dana: [Smiling] You’re quite the Swiss Army knife of digital marketing tools.

    Dynamic Dave: [Laughs] I try to be. It’s not just about using the tools, though; it’s about leveraging them to inform a larger strategy.

    Data-Driven Dana: How do you mean?

    Dynamic Dave: From a tactical standpoint, I focus on granular details like A/B testing ad creatives and optimizing bidding strategies. But strategically, I always look at the bigger picture. For instance, how does our display advertising fit into the overall customer lifecycle? How can we align it with our content marketing, SEO, and PPC efforts to create a more cohesive and compelling customer journey?

    Data-Driven Dana: [Nods approvingly] That’s exactly the kind of holistic thinking we value here.

    Dynamic Dave: I’m glad to hear that, Dana. I genuinely believe that with my hands-on experience and strategic approach, I could drive significant improvements in your display advertising campaigns.

    Data-Driven Dana: [Extending a handshake] Well, Dave, you’ve made a very compelling case. We’ll be in touch soon.

    Dynamic Dave: [Shaking hands] I look forward to it, Dana. Thank you for the opportunity to discuss how I can contribute to your team.

    [Scene fades out, leaving the impression that Dynamic Dave has thoroughly discussed his case studies, shown proficiency in essential marketing tools, and highlighted his strategic approach to marketing challenges.]

    Affiliate Andy’s response can be critically evaluated on various fronts:


    Covering Key Points: Andy immediately tackles the important aspects of the role by mentioning teamwork, leadership, problem-solving, and communication skills. This shows he understands what the role may require and is attempting to position himself as a strong fit.

    Confidence: His statement is clear and to the point, reflecting a certain level of confidence, which is often key in leadership and team roles.

    Breadth of Skills: Andy mentions a range of both hard and soft skills, from leadership to problem-solving and communication, which paints him as a well-rounded candidate.

    Areas for Improvement:

    Lack of Specifics: While Andy mentions he has experience in teamwork, leadership, and problem-solving, he doesn’t offer any concrete examples to back up these claims. Specific instances where he demonstrated these skills would make his statement much more compelling.

    Missed Opportunity for Tailoring: He could have specifically tailored his answer to the company or the role’s requirements. For example, mentioning how his skills could solve a known issue at the company or further a particular company goal could strengthen his case.

    Engagement: This response doesn’t include any reciprocal questions or discussion points that could facilitate a deeper conversation and give Nicole a chance to envision him in the role.

    Too General: The skills he lists are broadly applicable to many jobs; he might have included something unique to affiliate marketing to demonstrate his special suitability for this role.

    Tone and Enthusiasm: While brevity can be a strength, his response might be perceived as a bit robotic. A little enthusiasm or passion could help him stand out and be memorable.

    In short, while Affiliate Andy touches on relevant skills and qualities, his response lacks the specificity and depth that would make him stand out as an ideal candidate. Adding examples, showing enthusiasm, and tailoring his responses more closely to the affiliate role and the company could improve his impression significantly.

    3. Behavioural Skills

    • Teamwork and Leadership: Exhibit your ability to work in a team and possibly lead one. Use examples from your past roles to demonstrate this.
    • Problem-Solving: Marketers often need to think on their feet. Share instances where you’ve turned a problem into an opportunity.
    • Communication: As someone involved in messaging and positioning, your communication skills must be top-notch. Make sure this comes across in the interview.

    Let’s roleplay behavioural skills:

    [Scene: A casual yet professional open office space filled with creative and tech folks working diligently. The candidate, “Affiliate Andy,” sits in a breakout room with “Network Nicole,” the head of the company’s Affiliate Marketing division.]

    Network Nicole: So, Andy, let’s talk a bit about your experience with teamwork and leadership within the affiliate marketing space.

    Affiliate Andy: [Smiling] Absolutely, Nicole. At my previous job, I led a team of five affiliate marketers. Together, we managed relationships with over 200 partners. We fostered a culture of collaboration, regularly sharing insights and best practices.

    Network Nicole: [Interested] That sounds impressive.

    Affiliate Andy: Thank you. We used tools like Asana for project management and Slack for real-time communication to keep everyone aligned. I made sure we had weekly catchups to discuss challenges, successes, and strategic adjustments.

    Network Nicole: [Nodding] Excellent. So, tell me about a time you had to solve a problem on the fly?

    Affiliate Andy: Ah, the inevitable bumps in the road! We once had a top-performing affiliate who was suddenly flagged for compliance issues. Instead of severing ties immediately, I initiated a dialogue between the legal team, the affiliate, and our internal team.

    Network Nicole: [Intrigued] And what was the outcome?

    Affiliate Andy: We ended up creating a win-win solution. The affiliate adjusted their practices to meet our guidelines, and we revised some of our policies to provide clearer guidelines. The affiliate’s performance rebounded, and our relationship was stronger for having navigated that challenge together.

    Network Nicole: [Impressed] That’s some quick and effective problem-solving.

    Affiliate Andy: [Grinning] Thank you. Open, transparent communication was key there. And speaking of communication, it’s an area where I excel, not just in troubleshooting but in building relationships with affiliates, coordinating with internal teams, and presenting campaign results to upper management.

    Network Nicole: Well, your communication skills have certainly shone through in this interview, Andy.

    Affiliate Andy: I appreciate that, Nicole. I believe that my experience in teamwork, leadership, and problem-solving, along with my strong communication skills, make me an ideal candidate for this role.

    Network Nicole: [Extending a handshake] I couldn’t agree more, Andy. We’ll be in touch soon.

    Affiliate Andy: [Shaking hands] Thank you, Nicole. I look forward to hopefully working with you soon.

    [Scene fades out, leaving the impression that Affiliate Andy has successfully demonstrated his skills in teamwork and leadership, problem-solving, and top-notch communication.]

    Affiliate Andy’s interview responses reveal a number of strengths and areas for potential improvement.


    Specific Examples: Unlike many candidates who remain vague, Andy gives specific examples of his leadership and teamwork experience, stating that he led a team of five affiliate marketers and managed over 200 partner relationships. This gives credence to his claim about his suitability for a similar role.

    Tool Proficiency: He mentions the use of specific project management and communication tools like Asana and Slack, which suggests he is well-versed in modern work environments and team coordination.

    Problem-Solving: Andy was able to articulate a problem he had encountered, how he approached it, and the positive outcome that resulted. This not only speaks to his problem-solving skills but also his ability to lead during challenging times.

    Communication: Throughout the interview, he explicitly and implicitly demonstrates his communication skills. By explaining a complex situation clearly and coherently, he gives Network Nicole a practical demonstration of his capabilities.

    Closing Statement: His final pitch summarises his skills well, touching on teamwork, leadership, problem-solving, and communication, and relates them back to the role at hand.

    Areas for Improvement:

    Tailoring to Company: While Andy talks extensively about his past experiences and skills, he could strengthen his case by directly relating these to the role he is interviewing for or to Network Nicole’s company more specifically.

    Industry Trends: Although the questions didn’t directly lead to this area, Andy could have mentioned some trends in affiliate marketing, showing an ability to think strategically about the future of the industry.

    Interpersonal Skills: Andy does well to talk about communication within a professional context, but he might have also talked about interpersonal communication as an essential part of team leadership.

    Probing for More Information: While he had the opportunity, Andy could have asked questions about the team he would potentially be leading or the challenges the company is currently facing. This would not only provide him with a clearer picture of what to expect but also show Nicole that he’s seriously thinking about how he would fit into the role.

    Measurable Metrics: Andy does talk about successful problem-solving but introducing specific KPIs that improved under his leadership could make his case more compelling.

    Overall, Affiliate Andy offers a strong, well-rounded interview performance. His comprehensive examples, clarity, and confidence are definite strengths. However, integrating more tailored insights about the company, industry trends, and more specific metrics could make his application even more compelling.

    4. Ask Questions

    • Engage the Interviewer: Ask insightful questions that allow the interviewer to envision you in the role. This could be questions about their current marketing strategies, future projects, or challenges they are facing.
    • Tailor Your Answers: use their language and tailor your answers to use the company’s lingo or industry terms. It shows that you’re already tuned into their culture.

    Let’s roleplay that:

    [Scene: A high-tech conference room with multiple screens displaying real-time analytics. The candidate, “Precise Pete,” is in a one-on-one interview with “Analytical Annie,” the head of PPC (Pay-Per-Click) Marketing. They’re delving into topics like Quality Score, Ad Rank, and Conversion Rate Optimization.]

    Analytical Annie: So, Pete, how would you approach increasing the ROI of a PPC campaign that’s already well-optimized?

    Precise Pete: [Leaning in, focused] That’s a fantastic question, Annie. My approach would be to start by conducting a comprehensive audit of the current keyword strategy. I’d particularly focus on the long-tail keywords, since they often provide a better ROI by targeting more qualified leads.

    Analytical Annie: [Nods approvingly] Long-tail keywords are indeed crucial.

    Precise Pete: Once we’ve got that nailed down, I’d look at our ad extensions. Sitelink and callout extensions can significantly improve CTR and provide additional information to prospects, making them more likely to convert.

    Analytical Annie: [Smiling] You’re speaking my language, Pete.

    Precise Pete: I’m glad to hear that because I believe that effective PPC isn’t just about bids and budgets; it’s also about delivering the right message to the right audience at the right moment in their customer journey. That’s why I would also propose using RLSAs (Remarketing Lists for Search Ads) to re-engage past website visitors with a more tailored message.

    Analytical Annie: [Clearly impressed] RLSAs are an often-underutilised asset, that’s true.

    Precise Pete: Lastly, I wouldn’t forget about attribution models. Understanding the touchpoints a customer interacts with before converting can help allocate budget more effectively across the funnel. And naturally, I’d leverage A/B testing to iterate on ad copy and landing pages, focusing on improving Quality Score and Ad Rank to lower CPC while boosting conversions.

    Analytical Annie: [Extending a handshake] Pete, you’ve just hit all the buzzwords and showcased a deep understanding of the PPC landscape. You’re obviously tuned into our culture here.

    Precise Pete: [Shaking hands] Thank you, Annie. I’m genuinely enthusiastic about the possibility of leveraging my PPC expertise to help drive the success of your already outstanding campaigns.

    [Scene fades out, leaving the impression that Precise Pete has seamlessly integrated the company’s language and industry terms into his responses, aligning himself perfectly with their culture and expectations.]

    Precise Pete’s interview responses reveal a number of strengths and areas for potential improvement.

    Holistic Approach: By mentioning various aspects such as keyword strategy, ad copy, landing pages, and even attribution models, Pete shows that he understands the interconnectedness of various elements in PPC campaigns.

    Cultural Fit: Pete’s ability to speak the ‘language’ of the company indicates that he’s well-aligned with the company culture, something that Analytical Annie clearly appreciates.

    Closing Statement: His closing remark reiterates his enthusiasm for the role and subtly reminds Annie of his expertise.

    Areas for Improvement:

    Measurable Success: While Pete talks about strategies and tactics, he could make his case more compelling by mentioning specific metrics or KPIs he has impacted in the past, lending weight to his claims.

    Company Specifics: Pete could strengthen his position by showing how his strategies could specifically benefit Annie’s current PPC campaigns or solve existing challenges.

    Customer Focus: He talks extensively about tactics and strategies but could have elaborated on customer-centric approaches to PPC, which would give a more rounded view of his understanding of the market.

    Budget Consideration: He discusses the idea of ROI but doesn’t explicitly mention how he’d manage budgets or make cost-saving adjustments, an essential part of PPC management.

    Probing Questions: Pete doesn’t ask any questions about the company’s current strategies or pain points. Asking such questions could not only provide him with insights but also show his genuine interest in understanding and contributing to the company’s existing efforts.

    In the end, Precise Pete provides a highly competent, technically robust interview that would likely leave a positive impression. However, adding some specific examples, a focus on the customer, and a little more inquiry into the company’s specific challenges could make him an even stronger candidate.

    5. Close Strongly

    • The Final Pitch: Treat the closing of the interview like the conclusion of a well-crafted marketing campaign. Summarise why you’re the best fit and express your enthusiasm for the role.

    Let’s roleplay closing strongly:

    [Scene: A sleek, modern office with glass walls and an open floor plan. The candidate, “Eloquent Emma,” is sitting across from the interviewer, “Judicious Jack,” who manages the company’s email marketing campaigns. They’re wrapping up an intense discussion about email segmentation, A/B testing, and customer journey mapping.]

    Judicious Jack: So, Emma, before we conclude, is there anything else you’d like to add?

    Eloquent Emma: [Leaning forward, making eye contact] Certainly, Jack. I appreciate the time you’ve taken to meet with me today and discuss the role. It’s clear that your company is on the cutting edge of email marketing, and that excites me.

    Judicious Jack: [Nods] Go on.

    Eloquent Emma: You mentioned earlier that your biggest challenges are increasing engagement rates and automating workflows. Well, in my last role, I initiated an automation strategy that increased our open rates by 15% and click-through rates by 10% within the first quarter. And I achieved this while also decreasing the team’s manual workload, freeing up time for more creative tasks.

    Judicious Jack: [Looking intrigued] Interesting.

    Eloquent Emma: But what sets me apart is not just my expertise in using tools like Mailchimp, Salesforce, and HubSpot. It’s my ability to think strategically and align the email marketing goals with the broader business objectives. That’s something I’m not only passionate about but also something I excel at.

    Judicious Jack: [Smiles] Well, you make a strong case for yourself.

    Eloquent Emma: I firmly believe that I can bring value to your team, not just as a cog in the machine but as a creative and strategic asset. I’m genuinely excited about the prospect of contributing to your upcoming projects, like the holiday campaign we discussed. And I’m absolutely thrilled at the possibility of becoming part of your esteemed organization.

    Judicious Jack: [Extending a handshake] Thank you, Emma. That’s a compelling final pitch. We’ll be in touch soon.

    Eloquent Emma: [Shaking hands] I look forward to it, Jack. Have a great day!

    [Scene fades out, leaving the impression that Eloquent Emma has nailed her “Final Pitch,” treating the conclusion of the interview like the grand finale of a fireworks show, bright and memorable.]

    Eloquent Emma’s interview responses reveal a number of strengths and areas for potential improvement.


    Strong Closing: Eloquent Emma effectively uses the last part of the interview to reiterate her qualifications and express her enthusiasm. Treating this final moment as a ‘pitch’ is a clever strategy that ensures she leaves a memorable impression.

    Data-Driven: Emma cites specific metrics related to past successes in email marketing. By quantifying her achievements, she adds credibility to her statements.

    Alignment with Company Needs: She directly addresses the company’s pain points—engagement rates and automation—by detailing how she tackled similar challenges in her previous role.

    Strategic Mindset: Emma goes beyond tool proficiency to discuss her strategic alignment with broader business goals. This shows a mature understanding of her role in the larger context of the organization.

    Excellent Communication: Her choice of words, body language, and eye contact emphasize her confidence and passion for the role.

    Areas for Improvement:

    Detailing Skill Set: While she mentions her expertise in Mailchimp, Salesforce, and HubSpot, going into a bit more depth about how she utilized these tools in past campaigns could add nuance to her pitch.

    Inquisitiveness: Emma doesn’t ask any final questions about the team she would be working with, the tools they use, or how success in the role is measured. While the focus is on her final pitch, this could have shown a two-sided interest in the role.

    Implementation: While she discusses what she has accomplished, she might strengthen her case by outlining briefly how she could envision applying similar strategies at this new company.

    Adaptability: Emma could mention how she adapts to changing email marketing trends or unexpected challenges, given that the digital marketing space is ever evolving.

    Soft Skills: While she does an excellent job detailing her technical and strategic skills, adding a line about her teamwork abilities or leadership skills could provide a more holistic picture of her as a candidate.

    Overall, Eloquent Emma delivers a compelling, well-articulated final pitch that likely positions her as a strong candidate for the role. Her attention to detail and ability to weave her achievements into the company’s needs stand out as notable strengths.

    6. Follow-Up

    • Thank You Note: Send a personalised thank-you note post-interview. This is not only courteous but also keeps you fresh in the interviewer’s mind.

    Let’s roleplay that:

    [Scene: Virtual Exchange of Emails]

    Subject: Thank You for the Opportunity – Marketing Manager Interview

    From: Candidate.Carla@gmail.com

    To: Hiring.Henry@CompanyXYZ.com

    Dear Henry,

    I wanted to express my sincere gratitude for the opportunity to interview for the Marketing Manager position at Company XYZ earlier today. It was a pleasure speaking with you and learning more about the exciting work your team is doing.

    I was particularly inspired by the way your company leverages data to drive marketing decisions and would be thrilled to contribute my experience in analytics and strategic planning to your ongoing initiatives.

    Thank you once again for considering me for this role. I’m very excited about the possibility of joining your esteemed organization and contributing to its success.

    Best regards,

    Carla’s focused follow up email reveals a number of strengths and areas for potential improvement.


    Promptness: The email is sent on the same day as the interview, which shows enthusiasm and eagerness for the role.

    Politeness and Gratitude: The candidate thanks the interviewer for their time and the opportunity, which is courteous and demonstrates good manners.

    Alignment with Company Values: The mention of being “particularly inspired by the way your company leverages data to drive marketing decisions” aligns with the company’s focus and shows that the candidate has been paying attention.

    Reiteration of Skills: Briefly stating the desire to “contribute my experience in analytics and strategic planning” serves as a soft reminder of qualifications relevant to the job.

    Professional Tone: The email is well-written, adheres to formal email etiquette, and is free of errors, which reflects well on the candidate’s communication skills.

    Areas for Improvement:

    Specificity: The email could benefit from being more specific about what was discussed during the interview or about particular ways the candidate could contribute. This would make the email more memorable and personal.

    Call to Action: While not strictly necessary, the candidate might include a gentle prompt for next steps, such as, “I look forward to hearing from you soon regarding the next steps in the application process.”

    Reiteration of Enthusiasm: While the candidate does express excitement, reiterating this more strongly could leave a more lasting impression.

    Additional Questions: The email could also serve as an opportunity to ask any follow-up questions that could not be covered during the interview, demonstrating continued interest and engagement.

    Closing: A more specific closing line other than “contributing to its success” could add a more personal touch and make the email stand out a bit more.

    Overall, the follow-up email is polite, timely, and professionally crafted. It does a good job of reiterating interest and briefly highlighting relevant experience. However, it could be strengthened with greater specificity and a more targeted call to action.

    Job done. Fingers crossed. Break out the bubbly. Live in hope. Take you pick. 

    Remember, a marketing job interview is not just a measure of your skills but also your fit within the company culture and your ability to contribute to the team. Tailoring your approach based on what you know about the company can make a significant difference. 

    In a marketing job interview, you are the brand, and the room is your market. It’s a space confined by walls but infinite in possibilities. You don’t go in blind; you research. You understand the company, know their history, their products, and their enemies. This is your groundwork. Your foundation.

    In marketing, expertise is earned, not given. So you talk about the digital campaigns you’ve steered as a captain steers a ship through a storm – focused, unwavering. The KPIs are your North Star; you navigate by them. Metrics – SEO rankings, click-through rates, conversions – are your trophies, but also your teachers. Each data point is a lesson learned, valuable as a good bottle of wine at the end of the week.

    Soft skills have a hard impact. You’re part of a team; you know the importance of orders and the responsibility of command. Problem-solving is your daily bread; you chew challenges and spit out solutions. Taking problems off the hands of your managers is what you do. 

    When you speak, you don’t merely answer; you engage. Each question to the interviewer is a counterattack, making them think, reconsider, recalibrate. You tailor your answers not like a salesman, but like a tailor – each word cut and stitched to fit the exact shape of their corporate culture.

    Role-playing can be an invaluable tool for preparing to make a good first impression, especially for interviews, networking events, or client meetings. Here are some ways role-playing can help:

    Reduced Anxiety: Practising beforehand can help ease nerves, making you more confident when the real situation arrives.

    Feedback Loop: If you role-play with a partner, they can provide immediate feedback, pointing out your strengths and areas for improvement.

    Language and Tone: Role-playing allows you to test out specific phrases or talking points, helping you fine-tune your language and tone for the most impact.

    Body Language: Practising your posture, hand gestures, and facial expressions can be just as important as what you say. Role-playing gives you a chance to work on projecting confidence and enthusiasm through your body language.

    Scenario Planning: You can prepare for a variety of situations through role-play. How would you handle challenging questions or respond to different personalities? The more you practice, the less likely you’ll be caught off-guard.

    Time Management: If you’re preparing for something like an interview, role-playing can help you get a sense of how much you can communicate in a given time. This can help you prioritise key points and make the most impact quickly.

    Closer to Real Experience: It’s one thing to think about what you’ll say or do, but another to actually do it. Role-playing simulates the experience closely, helping you adapt to the pressures of the moment.

    Builds Empathy: Putting yourself in the shoes of the person you’ll be interacting with can help you understand their needs and expectations better, allowing you to tailor your approach for a more positive impact.

    Crisis Management: If things don’t go as planned, role-playing can help you learn how to steer conversations back on track or gracefully handle awkward moments.

    Technological Familiarity: If the situation involves technology (like a video conference), role-playing helps you troubleshoot potential issues in advance, making for a smoother actual experience.

    By investing time in role-playing, you’re more likely to make a positive first impression, armed with a well-rehearsed plan and the flexibility to adapt to real-time conditions.

    Remember, an interview is not just about the job at hand but the future campaigns, the unwon battles, the uncharted territories. You are not just a candidate; you are a prospect for all seasons, a long-term investment. Be bold. Be succinct. Be yourself. In marketing, as in life, this is the strategy that counts. This is the way you make your mark. I wish you the best of luck.