Interview in the Market Research Field: Pile and Company

Posted: July 2, 2013 in Marke Research as a Career
Tags: , ,

Here July comes without my notice. One of the reasons might be I was too focused on my job hunting in the marketing research field.

After two years systematic study and hard work, now is the moment of truth. Job hunting can be terrifying for all newly graduates. For international students like me, it can be tougher. However, market researchers are never afraid of solving problems and dealing with challenges. From March till now, I have been actively job hunting and trying to accumulate as many interview experiences and tips as possible. I would like to share what I learned from those experiences with all the future market researchers. So here comes my new series of posts: Interview in the Market Research Field. My plan is to introduce the company I interviewed with, to share my preparation strategies, and, please forgive my nerdiness, to generalize the “patterns” of interviews in the market research field.

I want to start with my most recent interview experience for a marketing research manager position at Pile and Company. It is an innovative consulting firm focusing on agency-client relationship management in advertising and marketing. I described it as “innovative” because it is the first consulting firm I know providing services to make a bridge between ad, PR or marketing agencies and their clients, which I think is a really unique and fast-growing market niche. We all know branding, public image and perception become increasingly significant for all companies. Therefore, collaboration with related agencies is almost unavoidable.  How can the companies tell which agency is most appropriate to fulfill their needs? How can the clients evaluate the agency performances accurately without a research background? And the hardest part, how to reach an agreement with respect to compensation? Pile and Company fits right in to solve these problems.

I absorbed all information above at the very beginning of my interview preparation. I have heard a thousand times how important to research the company before the interview, but I cannot find many specific instructions and actionable recommendations. As for me, I always follow the “demand and supply” logic. Step 1: Figure out what kind of services the organization provide to its clients. Step 2: I ask myself what skills and expertise I can contribute to make the organization better serves its clients? I printed out and brought with me multiple copies of my resume, cover letter, transcript, reference list and writing sample on the interview day. I did it for all my on-site interviews. It’s more than that I can justify my qualifications by showing the materials at the appropriate time. I think the behavior itself can tell the interviewer that the candidate is a proactive and detail-oriented person. ImageImage

My interview was at 1:30 pm and I arrived half an hour earlier. I think it’s very important to get a little rest after the transportation and gradually adapt to the organizations work environment before the interview. Pile and Company has a small but exquisite office that decorated by the light green color on its logo. The recruiter who welcomed me is so friendly and considerate, which greatly eased my nervousness. During the interview, I got the chance to speak with two SVPs and an IT professional working on survey programing. I tried to organize all my answer to their questions under the “demand and supply” logic, and I think it worked pretty well. And I was glad that finally we turned the interview from a Q&A process into a smooth conversation.

To summarize, great company, nice interview experience.


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