5 Tips to Succeed in a Corporate Job Interview

This is the second in a two-part series comparing and contrasting the interview process in a startup culture and a corporate atmosphere. Catch up on the first post here.

A few weeks ago we dove into what you need to know before interviewing at a startup. The bottom line is that in a startup culture the rules are still being written. But perhaps you are looking for a role in a well established company that has a widely recognized name. Perhaps you are in your final semester of college and you are beginning to interview for jobs. Maybe your background is in small business or startups and you are interested in moving to a large company.

The differences between interviewing in a startup culture and a corporate atmosphere are more complex than just hoodies versus suits. Let’s take a look at what you need to know about interviewing in the corporate world so you can impress the hiring manager and land that gig.

5 Tips for a Job Interview in a Corporate Atmosphere

  1. Figure out what problem your role will solve. Large companies often have gigantic marketing departments. So you need to know where your piece of the puzzle fits.  
  2. Do your homework on company culture. What does the company value greatly? What is unique about their mission statement or company values? If you know several people who already work at the organization, analyze what you think they have in common and don’t be afraid to ask them questions.
  3. Anticipate business attire dress code. While there may be exceptions, you can plan on wearing a suit to your corporate interview.
  4. Expect to interview with a human resources professional. At a startup you would probably interview with the CEO and founder, but in the corporate space you will likely be interviewing with a human resources professional. Bear in mind that this HR professional likely has a set of standard questions and she may not have expertise in the skill set needed for the role.
  5. Expect a multi-stage process. You may go through several rounds of interviews in a corporate setting. You may interview with a panel. You might even have a half day interview. Expect a long, challenging process.

Bonus: Remember–even though it’s a corporate environment, show your personality. You’re a marketer! According to Audrey O’Clair, Associate Manager, Recruiting at McKinley, if you don’t have corporate experience on your resume, it is not necessarily the end of the road for you. Take the opportunity in the interview to connect on a person to person level. “It’s great to have an interview, but what makes it even better is when it turns conversational. When it turns conversational, it shows your personality. If you show you are a fun, easy, dedicated person to be around, then that helps cover the skills you don’t have.”  

At McKinley we work with dozens of top tier organizations from Houston to Washington D.C. To see if we are looking to fill a role you are right for, have a look at our open jobs.

by McKinley Marketing Partners