After a partly sleepless night, some intimidating thoughts, and a bit of nail-biting nervousness, I showed up for an internship interview today at an advertising agency. I had heard about how advertising companies were chilled out when it came to work, but I wasn’t quite sure how formally I should be dressed. I’d get cues to know how formal I should behave once I was there, but getting there and creating a good first impression was another thing. So, obviously, I ran a dozen google searches on advertising interviews, and here’s what the best of them could tell me: “Just because you think that the advertising guys go to work in jeans and a shirt, doesn’t mean that’s how you show up for an interview. Dress like you want the job!” Really now? And what exactly do you mean? Does it mean I still need to suit up?
So anyway, I went with my instinct. And guess what? I don’t think it matters! It was hardly an interview really, more like a ‘chat’ as they normally call it. For my part, I wore a formal skirt and top, with closed shoes. I figured over-dressing was better than being too informal. I did want the internship after all. I guess I was dressed just right, although wearing jeans and a T wouldn’t probably have made a difference. Most women I saw in the office were wearing dresses, not too casual, but definitely not formal either.
The interview itself was really brief. I met with two senior account directors and we talked about very generic stuff. I began by introducing myself, and talked about why I wanted the internship and what I was looking for. They spoke about the kind of work they needed help with (accounts as opposed to strategic planning which is what I’m inclined towards). Anyway, since I haven’t had real exposure to accounts, and suits have always been a fascinating title to me, I am very open to exploring that too. Plus the account they could potentially put me on is a really interesting one, relatively new for the agency, and very hyped. I hope I get in. I think I’ll let this internship decide whether advertising is for me, as a long-term career.