Career Pathways


Every industry has its own language and norms. Communications and Media are no different. A strong job candidate thoroughly reviews their targets’ websites, social media, learns about their client work, and reads their news releases to gain insight into future projects. In addition, a strong job candidate stays current on industry trends by reading online resources and more technical blogs to make sense of creativity and marketing news.

If you’ve never interviewed before, explore the interviewing page to learn the basics of a successful interview. Nearly all interviews contain two parts, common questions about your experience and situation-based questions to gauge your fit for the position. Afterward, you’ll be given the opportunity to ask questions of the interviewer.

What to expect at a first interview

A recruiter, human resource person or the hiring manager may conduct the first comprehensive interview. The interview can go in a couple of directions. It may be over the phone. It may be a recorded video interview for internal review. It may be in person. Ask the organizer what to expect for the length of the interview.

During the interview, the interviewer may simply ask: “Walk me through your portfolio and resume.” It is also possible they may immediately go to hard interview questions. Be ready for unusual or critical thinking interview questions.

Be ready to sell yourself and your ideas and highlight where you gained your most relevant skills. Provide compelling storytelling to compliment the evidence in your accomplishments statements.

Foundational interview questions

  • “Tell me about yourself”
  • “Why advertising?” “Why here?”
  • “What technology do you use on a daily basis?”
  • “What do you read to keep current?”
  • “In your opinion, which brand do you perceive as a standout.”
  • “What projects are you working on right now?”
  • “Describe your style | ideation process.”
  • “Where do you draw inspiration from?”
  • “Tell me about a time when you had to work with a difficult client.”
  • “How do you approach working with others?”
  • “Are you following us on social media?”

What you should know at the end of the first interview

Your initial interview is a chance to gather intelligence. During the interview try to learn as much as possible about the position, the company, it's goals and immediate priorities. By the end of the interview, aim to know:

  • Who you will be reporting to get the exact name and title of the hiring manager and the team lead
  • Where the team fits in the organization; know which department you will be working if this hasn’t been presented in writing
  • Details about the position that aren’t written in the job description such as expectations that are more associated with organizational culture or impressions that internal and external constituents have for the role
  • What do they expect this person to accomplish in the first 30, 60, 90 days

What to expect at a second interview

This may be a group interview or it may be coordinated through scheduled multiple one-on-one interviews. During the second interview, you should expect to meet with your hiring manager, team leader and team members. Many of the first set of interview questions may be asked again. Treat each interviewer with respect and remain patient when answering the same question during several interviews. Be consistent, polite, and kind at all times.

Some organizations expect you to have a prepared portfolio presentation about you and your ideas, which may last from 60 seconds to three minutes, where you will explain the work in your portfolio. Use the specific information to explain why you want to work at the organization and why your talent is relevant to their viewers/readers or their client’s needs. Link the recent knowledge you have gained about the organization and the role. Your questions during the second interview should be more sophisticated about the job, team dynamics, the culture and the organization’s commitment to your success. Prepare your questions ahead of time and bring them with you.

  • Ask at least one question about the current business climate
  • Ask about corporate culture and the collaborative chemistry between departments and with clients
  • Ask if your job description is current to business needs
  • Ask how people build their careers within the organization
  • Ask how they onboard new hires and how they specifically set them up for success
  • Let the hiring manager, the team and the recruiter know if you are genuinely interested in the job

Practice makes perfect


You’ll feel more comfortable during your interview with a little practice first. InterviewStream is web-based video interface that allows you to respond to a series pre-recorded interview questions from your computer. Afterward, you will be able to review you recording to see how you did.

To access InterviewStream, log in to your HireVCURams account and click the InterviewStream button.

Practice interviews

Got an interview coming up? Practice with one of our career advisers. Schedule a one-hour practice interview and we will show you how to answer likely interview questions and offer tips to help you make an excellent impression.

To schedule a practice interview, call 804-828-1645 or log in to HireVCURams. Be sure to bring your resume and a copy of the job description with you to your interview.