Advertising Agency Interviewing Do’s & Don’ts

So you think you can work at an agency? Awesome. Most advertising agencies pride—and distinguish—themselves on their culture. At Sparxoo, we’re no different. We hire the person, not the position.

How we hire is on par with a lot of creative companies nowadays. Our first round of interviews are typically by phone. To be completely honest, these interviews are to test whether you’d fit from a culture perspective. We’ll probably ask you a few technical questions just to make sure you can do what your resume says you can. Our second round of interviews are in person. Here is where we delve a little deeper into your skillset. Hint: The more people you meet in this round the better.


Be Fun

We work hard, but we play even harder. This means you are going to be encouraged to hang out at happy hour/group outings/etc. Please do not be lame. No one is “normal.” Everyone’s social awkwardness is endearing. Robotic interviews are boring, plus we want to see who you really are. So let your freak flag fly high.

On Your First Interview, Don’t Mention “Work/Life Balance”

Everyone at our advertising agency has a life/significant other/baby/dog/Netflix obsession. We don’t live at the office. But if work/life balance is so important that you must mention it on the first interview, a high-paced fast growing industry probably isn’t the best place for you. Luckily for you, word on the street is WalMart is hiring more greeters.


Snub the Intern

He’ll probably ask if you want a bottle of water, or show you where the restrooms are. He went through a rigorous interview, just as you are about to. There’s something amazing about him, or we wouldn’t have hired him. We are a team. Which means every single team member gives a thumbs up/thumbs down when we’re contemplating a new hire. So that intern you just snubbed…well, he now has a say in whether you join the Xoo or not.

Lie On Your Resume

Please don’t lie ever, and especially not on your resume. We assumed this went without saying, yet true story: If you’re going to lie about your education on your resume, please don’t make up a random university name. One of our awesome clients is a background check provider, eVerifile. We will screen you (if we have time).

Be a Jack of All Trades

Oh, so you know SEO, HTML, and you can design? You sound too good to be true! And you are. We want to see what your true passion/skill is. That’s great if you have other interests or want to learn other skillsets. But we need you to be an expert at something.


A fast growing company like us is always looking for their next rockstar. At Sparxoo, we hope that’s you.




The Advertising Bowl: Make Them Talk About You

Each year, the Super Bowl spectacle grows, and slowly the event becomes less about football, and more about the advertising.


It’s an interesting phenomenon.  While people normally ignore or despise commercial breaks, on this one night almost everyone actually looks forward to seeing what brands have to got to say.

It’s almost like a beauty pageant, or the Hunger Games, where tributes (big brands) from every district (beers, cars, etc.) put on their best dress, choose a talent, and load their weaponry in hopes of making it out alive.

Indeed, it is extremely dangerous.  Can you imagine the pressure of making an ad for over a 100 million people to see (with at least 4 million of your dollars invested)?

Lucky for viewers, we can comfortably sit at home and safely watch the competition, cast our vote, and join the conversation.

Family Watching TV
Yet, in 2014, the discussion is becoming more and more volatile.  Thanks to social media, platforms like Twitter are a battle ground for fans and critics to duke it out and decide upon a winner.  Here at Sparxoo, while live-tweeting our reactions to the ads, one of our tweets was favorited by Hyundai, and one of our FB posts was attacked by some very unhappy Americans over a can of Coca-Cola.

Coke, a global icon sparked awe and controversy with one simple, yet resonating message:  #AmericaisBeautiful because it is so diverse.   They did this by playing an ad with a harmonious, multi-cultural rendition of America The Beautiful with subtle, but striking visuals.

We personally found it admiring, and it seemed so did everyone else.  But then, this happened.

Coke Social
And then this…
Which made us realize, no single ad can please everyone.  We all are so different and we each have unique values and beliefs.  Some people love the silly entertainment from brands like Doritos and Volkswagen.  Some people find it stupid.  Others love to have their hearts strings tugged, but at the same time some people end up being offended.

This is the beauty of advertising – #AdvertisingIsBeautiful.

What makes an ad the best?  Well, that’s subjective.  It depends first on the company’s objectives, but it also depends on the consumer.  Is there such thing as a bull’s-eye?  Or is it impossible to please everybody?

We think the latter – you can’t win over everyone, but you can absolutely lose if no one cares enough to talk about your ad.  As they say, the worst is when people are not talking about you.

Bottom line:  Brands, take sharp aim at your target audience, but create a message with a big enough explosion to move others.

So, who do you think won last night’s Ad Bowl?  What made it successful in your eyes?  Comment below, or connect with us on social @sparxoo.