Research the company and learn about their values and goals
Whilst some companies might feel intimidating from the outside, it turns out that global brands like Unilever, Toyota and Google are all fighting a battle to attract and retain the world’s top talent. As a result they work hard to open up about what it would be like to work there.
You can start with their Careers pages which you might consider their shop window, or their profile on the Marketing Society Careers Channel. Then head to Twitter to see how their CEOs and CMOs talk to the world. You might also want to use Glassdoor to see reviews from current and former employees. Use Google News to understand how they appear in the press and the causes that they are campaigning about.
Connect with people who work for the company
Most companies of scale will have a referral process. Some even incentivise their employees financially to find new hires for open roles. If you are a member of the Marketing Society, connect with other members through the Society Coffee House. Use LinkedIn’s advanced search to filter down your 1st and 2nd connections to people at that company. Most people enjoy helping colleagues and friends out, and are willing to make introductions for a quick conversation. Once you’re in touch, be clear on what you want to learn about, rather than what you want to tell them about you.
Tailor your CV or application to reflect what you know about the company
There are many clues available online to what a global brand is dealing with. Make sure you’ve read the latest articles in the trade press like Campaign, The Drum and Marketing Week. You should also be familiar with their latest results from their investor pages or Bloomberg. US companies have to file a Form 10-K to the SEC where they outline their business risks and successes, which can be very revealing. Consider where the brand is today, the role you are applying for, and how your specific marketing experience could be valuable.
Prepare for interviews by studying common questions and rehearsing your answers
No matter how experienced you are, the best performances require practice. Make a list of the questions you might ask if you were hiring for this role. Challenge yourself to prepare for the hardball questions that you’re hoping they might not ask you, and reflect on why the question worries you. Keep in mind that the criteria for different interviewers will be different, depending on the stage and their role. You’ll also want to prepare your own thoughtful interview questions.
Follow up after the interview by thanking the interviewer and reiterating your interest in the position
Depending on the culture and market, a post-interview follow up can vary from being a polite gesture to an absolute must-do. So stay on the side of caution and be sure to follow up with an email to say thank you. If you don’t have an email address for an interviewer, you can ask the recruiter or use a site like RocketReach.
Stay positive, even if you don't get the job offer
It can be easy to be disheartened when it doesn’t go your way. You’re in good company, as there can sometimes be dozens or even hundreds of applicants for a job at a large global brand. Acknowledge the disappointment by allowing yourself the feelings that it brings. Then once you refocus on what you have to offer you’ll soon find another global opportunity that you can get excited about.