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June 29, 2016

How I Was Hired In Under 90 Minutes

Published: 29 June 2016 

Just Another Day

It began when I saw a job-ad posted online seeking an SEO/Digital PR whizz for a digital marketing agency. It just so happened to be on my one day off in a fortnight, where I was working tirelessly at my previous job, and I was also procrastinating writing an essay for my postgraduate degree. It felt like a sign from the universe - the stars had finally aligned and the timing couldn’t have been more perfect. So without hesitation I responded to the ad.

No less than half an hour later, the managing director called asking for me to come into the office for an interview. In between our horribly tight schedules, that very afternoon was the only chance we had to meet. As soon as I got off the phone, I found myself racing around my apartment trying to look for an interview appropriate outfit - time was of the essence and there wasn’t much of it to spare.

The Interview

On the short bus ride, I was trying to process what was happening. I had very little time to familiarise myself with the company, considering I only found out about Matter Solutions an hour before. When we sat down together, the managing director broke the ice with, “so this is probably the quickest response you’ve ever gotten?”, (I like to think they went easy on me given the circumstances, but I could be wrong).

My mind was buzzing with flashbacks on all my experiences leading up to this moment. I had never worked in SEO or digital marketing before, mostly dabbling in different PR/social media jobs as an intern. So when I was asked if I knew much about these areas, I was honest and replied, “I know what they’re about, from when they were briefly covered in one of my uni subjects and that’s about it.” I’d rather be upfront than let it wait until my first week and not have a single clue of what’s going on. In the middle of the interview, it was joked that I could be an expert on ‘how to be an intern’. Considering I did have quite a few under my belt, I used this to my advantage (or at least tried to).

However, it was the make or break question, “why do you want to work in digital?”, where I didn’t hold back. Experience in the digital field is incredibly valuable for any company and I wanted to get my foot in the door. Plus, a long-term goal of mine is to be brand manager for a large-scale company, where PR and digital marketing work together in unison. So with all these factors at play, I gave them everything I had to try and get myself over the line.

The whole process was a bit of blur really - it happened so quickly and was over in a flash. By the time I got home, I received a call that was the offer for the position. This was not even 90 minutes after I had received the initial call. To say I was excited was an understatement - I was over the moon and a little overwhelmed by it all.

New Beginnings

After a short time working here, I am adjusting to the new change in direction. It feels like I am learning another language, because essentially SEO is its own language. I went from having an understanding and appreciation for the use of SEO, to actually knowing how digital marketers go about implementing different tactics to increase business exposure in search engines. It has been scary and daunting, but thankfully everyone are incredibly helpful and supportive, which has made the transition much easier than I initially expected.

The lesson from this is to be honest and upfront, to put a small amount of faith into a potential employer and that self doubt can be your biggest downfall. Give credit where credit is due and start with yourself - try and look at what you have achieved and embrace it.

Ben Maden

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