This post is contributed by Burtch Works’ web and digital analytics team, led by Sandy Marmitt.
A few months ago I wrote a post about how digital analytics and strategy professionals can create targeted resumes, so next I thought I would tackle part of the next step in the hiring process for digital professionals – explaining your projects!
You will need to be able to talk about your projects during a phone or on-site interview, and, hopefully, if you’ve managed to put together a strong resume, this next step should follow a bit easier. Simply reading your resume isn’t going to cut it, so I wanted to put together some advice for how professionals applying for digital analytics or strategy roles can communicate their experience in the best way.
Tips for Explaining Digital Projects in Interviews
1. Know your pitch length
One of the most important elements of being able to explain a project concisely, is to know how long you should be speaking for. If your interview is a 30-minute phone call, you should aim for no more than three minutes, and longer in-person interviews you might aim for around five minutes. Remember – your interviewer can always ask for more details!
EXAMPLE: I wanted to understand where most qualified leads were coming from to our website. We implemented additional tagging and created an email campaign to help boost awareness. I built a dashboard in Google to track website traffic and conversion rates. At the end of the campaign we were able to track our biggest conversions, identify similarities and understand the best marketing sources moving forward.
2. Know your audience
Who will you be speaking to? Try to see who your interviewer will be! Whether this professional is in human resources, marketing, or happens to be your manager should inform what level of technical depth (and digital jargon) you can safely use. For example, if you’re doing an initial phone screen with an HR professional who has no digital experience, telling them about all of the tags you’ve implemented and the performance of each tag is too much detail on the wrong aspects.
3. Weave in your capabilities and the tools you’ve used
Especially if you have a lot of digital tools under your belt, it may be tempting to list all of them to see what lands, but resist the urge! Try mentioning these tools as part of examples: I used X to do Y and the outcome was Z. This way you’re able to speak to your skillset more naturally and substantiate your claims of expertise.
Before the interview, make sure you know which tools are most in-demand for the particular role, and prepare examples for those, if you have them. If you know the role calls for experience with optimizing web traffic then providing them an example of you creating AdWord campaigns and monitoring traffic conversion rates will help you highlight your relevant experience for that specific role.
4. Make sure you’re answering the “so what” questions
When providing examples or explaining projects, imagine that you’re addressing the “so what” points of your project, as in:
- What were the results?
- What were your recommendations?
- What is the reason that you’re bringing it up in this interview?
- What does it demonstrate about your skills?
- What did you learn?
Keeping these questions in mind will help you provide examples that not only substantiate your experience from your resume, but also demonstrate what you’re able to do with analysis and how you’re able to use your skills to help move the business or team forward.
5. Bring visual aids if possible
Obviously this might not be possible for a phone interview, and the nature of your projects might not necessarily be conducive to visual aids, but I’ve found that when they’re used during in-person presentations they always make a strong impact! This might be a short PowerPoint deck, a visualization that you’re able to share, or dashboards that you’ve created.
Once you’ve gone through the rest of this list, make sure to practice explaining your projects and providing examples! It might help to list out a few points for each digital project with a bulleted list, or to time running through a few of the most relevant examples in order to make sure you’re able to convey the relevant information quickly.
BONUS TIP: Before you go through the items on this list, make sure you have a strong understanding of the role and company you’re applying to. Knowing what tools they’re using and what types of experience or skills they’re likely to value most will help you brainstorm the best examples, and show off your most relevant expertise!
Curious to see whether we have any roles that fit your experience, or looking to hire web and/or digital analytics experts for your team? Feel free to connect with Sandy Marmitt on LinkedIn!
Learn more about the top 2019 trends in the digital and web analytics space – as well as their implications for professionals and employers – in the video below!