Feature: Soapbox Musings

Fatal Flaws of Interviewing for Social Media Jobs

Author: Annie Pettit PhD
Published: August 13, 2011 at 6:11 am

Having just finished a new set of interviews for a variety of social media jobs, from sales to service and operations, I've seen a range of things of what not to do. Perhaps this list will help you avoid making a fatal flaw.


  1. If you're applying for a position in social media, have a social media presence beyond Facebook. FB doesn't count. Get a couple accounts from Twitter, YouTube, Blogger, LinkedIn, Flickr, or Google+. Just get something. And use it.
  2. If you do have a social media presence, keep it clean. Because people check. They'll read your Twitter account, your LinkedIn page, your Flickr page, your YouTube page. And people don't want to see rude and crude pictures when they're checking if you truly are up-to-date with social media trends, and terminology, and if you care about spelling and grammar.
  3. Stay on top of social media. If Google+ launched 3 weeks ago, you should have heard about it 6 weeks ago. Because you love social media. Which is why you're applying for the job.
  4. If you don't have a social media presence or a Twitter account, don't laugh in the interviewer's face and say Twitter is kinda dumb and useless. Because it is not. That's why the job is available. You cannot win this one.
  5. If your resume says you know Excel/SPSS/SQL/SAS be prepared to prove it. You will be asked during interviews to create equations, run crosstabs, and interpret code. Social media is more than playing on the internet. There's actual work involved.
  6. There are no stupid questions. If you are asked what TV shows or restaurants you like, it's not that we actually care about your answers. We care if you can answer weird questions on the spot, if you can answer unrehearsed questions. There's a lot of weird stuff on the internet and we need to know that you can talk about it like an intelligent person.
  7. Be prepared to be challenged about the spelling and grammar errors in your resume. Because there is always at least one error. Always. And if you can't handle this level of stress, you won't be able to handle real on the job stress.
  8. Know the name of the company. You think I'm kidding.
May the job finding gods be with you.


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Article Author: Annie Pettit PhD

I am the VP, Research Standards at Research Now and the Chief Research Officer at Conversition Strategies. I am a market research methodologist specializing in social media research, surveys, statistics, and data quality. …

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