Executives Meet an Average of Seven Candidates Before Filling an Advertising/Marketing Job, According to Survey by The Creative Group

Jun 30, 2010, 08:00 ET from The Creative Group

MENLO PARK, Calif., June 30 /PRNewswire/ -- Job seekers in the creative field who have landed an interview may be wondering how many other candidates they're up against. According to a new survey by The Creative Group, advertising and marketing executives said they meet with seven applicants, on average, before filling an open position in their department.

The national study was developed by The Creative Group, a specialized staffing service providing creative, advertising, marketing and web professionals on a project basis, and conducted by an independent research firm. It is based on more than 500 telephone interviews -- approximately 375 with marketing executives randomly selected from companies with 100 or more employees and 125 with advertising executives randomly selected from agencies with 20 or more employees.

Advertising and marketing executives were asked, "On average, how many candidates are interviewed by your agency/firm before an advertising/marketing position is filled?" The mean response was seven.

The Creative Group Hiring Index for Marketing and Advertising Professionals, a quarterly study that tracks the employment outlook in the marketing and advertising field, shows an uptick in hiring for the next three months. But companies are still selective when adding to their creative teams, noted Donna Farrugia, executive director of The Creative Group. "There are many talented professionals looking for work right now, and employers want assurance they are hiring the best person possible," she said.

Added Farrugia, "The interview is a crucial time for job seekers to distinguish themselves by speaking passionately about their previous accomplishments, asking thoughtful questions about the company and role, and making positive connections with everyone they come across during the process."

The Creative Group offers seven tips to help job seekers stand out when meeting with potential employers:

  1. Do your prep work. Applicants who uncover beyond-the-basics knowledge of the job and company are better able to communicate specific ways they can contribute to the organization's success. Visit the firm's website, Facebook page or Twitter feed; search online for news articles; and ask people in your network if they have any insight about the company.
  2. Put your best foot forward from the start. Be polite to the reception staff when you check in, and smile and behave warmly with everyone you meet. Resist the urge to text a friend or send a tweet while you wait in the lobby; you'll make a better impression by sitting patiently and reading.
  3. Be aware of body language. Subtle cues, such as your eye contact, facial expressions and posture, will affect how hiring managers perceive you. While practicing a mock interview, ask a friend for feedback on any distracting habits.
  4. Have a good story to tell. Be prepared to provide memorable anecdotes about how you have helped solve business problems. Describe the challenge, talk about your actions and outline the final results.
  5. Come with interesting questions. This isn't the time to inquire about salary or paid vacation. Instead, ask the hiring manager to describe an aspect of the job that might surprise you or what the team's process is for collaborating on projects. Doing so reinforces your interest in the position and company while providing you with useful information that can help you determine if the job is a good fit.
  6. Be yourself. A hiring manager wants to get to know a real person -- one he or she would be happy to see every morning at the office. Avoid rehearsed responses and interact in a way that's honest and genuine.
  7. Remain positive. If you don't get the job but have developed good rapport with the interviewer, request feedback on what you might have done better; you'll pick up tips that may help in your next interview. If you accept rejection graciously, you may even put yourself first in line for the company's next opening.

About The Creative Group

The Creative Group specializes in placing a range of highly skilled creative, advertising, marketing and web professionals with a variety of firms on a project basis. The Creative Group's internal account managers typically have prior experience working within the creative industry, which helps them better understand their clients' needs and their freelancers' unique talents. Headquartered in Menlo Park, Calif., the firm has offices in major markets across the United States and in Canada. More information, including online job-hunting services, candidate portfolios and The Creative Group's award-winning career magazine, can be found at www.creativegroup.com.

SOURCE The Creative Group