Student Blog Series: part 2
So if you’ve been following our student blog series, in this next step we’ll be going through how to plan for success once you’ve secured an interview. Only four months ago, we selected just four grads to join the Bulletproof tribe. They took part in one of our recruitment assessment days as well as a one-to-one interview. They’ve kindly given us a cheeky insight into the interview process from their perspective.
We asked them the following questions:
- Tell us a question that you were asked in your interview?
- What was difficult about that question and how did you succeed in answering?
- Four months down the line, has your perception changed and would you answer it differently given a second chance?
And here’s what they said…
“What would you say is your main strength? How is it relevant to the role and how does it make you different from other candidates?”
- I think it was difficult in the sense that it is actually asking you to consider multiple things: a) name a strength you possess b) show an understanding of client services and what skills you believe are important c) provide an example of being able to demonstrate this skill. I said I felt my strength was my communication skills and being able to interact with people at various levels of the business. Before working for Bulletproof, I spent the summer working at the NHS where I was responsible for ordering repeat prescriptions for patients who chose to use a phone service. More than anything, this job showed me the importance of listening, and taught me to adapt my communication style to suit different audiences/ knowledge bases/ seniority levels. So although not directly linked to a Client Services role, I was able to demonstrate some key transferable skills for the role.
- Three months down the line I don’t think my perception has changed in the sense that relationship building and communication is key in our role. Whether that’s getting to know your clients and finding out how they like to receive contact reports or what their son’s favourite football team is, or when working with the studio upstairs ensuring you have effectively translated your clients’ requests. It sounds so simple, but when it’s hectic it’s very easy to forget to CC someone into an email or misinterpret a message.
“What are your weaknesses? What key things do you need to make a conscious effort to focus and work on so you can continually improve and develop?”
- Being honest and able to pinpoint your own faults is sometimes difficult to admit to yourself, let alone anyone else. However, being able to spot areas of improvement for yourself is such an important skill and shows good self awareness, which is important in any role. My answer – I’m too over enthusiastic!
- In terms of managing my enthusiasm, Bulletproof is a great place to be as we embrace everyone’s unique qualities. For that reason, I think the agency is a perfect fit for me, however, I have definitely learnt how to manage and appreciate different people’s ways of working.
“Take an existing product and review the current design in relation to health and wellness, consider what works well and what could be improved” (The product was a popular pasta sauce!)
- I think what was difficult about the question was trying to balance analysing the product critically while putting my presentation skills to good use. It’s often easy to give your opinion on something – easier still when you have some knowledge in the area – but to analyse a design and present it to people with years of industry knowledge is a much more daunting task entirely!
- I’ve learnt so much in the past three months and it has changed my perception of branding greatly. I think if I were to answer the question now, I would look far more strategically at its design; where it sits within the context of the brand, the competing products, and what message it’s trying to get across. I think one of the biggest lessons I have learnt since starting at Bulletproof is to not just look at something critically, but with an element of naïvety. By staying naïve you open your mind to a host of possibilities – something vitally important when you want designs to stand out.
“Has there ever been a time when you are up against the clock and missed a deadline?”
- Honestly, no. I followed it up by saying what I would do in a situation where we couldn’t send something out in time. This shows an ability to be able to manage difficult circumstances and the importance of thinking on your feet.
- That not making a deadline isn’t necessarily a failure, it’s all about managing the client’s expectations and having good communication throughout the team to realign on where the project is heading.
Well there you have it! You’ve heard from all four of our Graduate Client Execs and now it’s over to you. Stay tuned for more student blogs and if you missed Jenny’s top tips on securing a graduate role after university then check it out…
Blog written by Holly.