Sr. Account Supervisor
BBDO, New York
My first job was at NW Ayer & Partners,
NY. as a Project Coordinator in the Account Planning Department
AEF: How many people did you have to
Madhu: I met with an HR manager who then
passed me onto the two principals who were running the Account
Planning/Research Dept. at the time. In other subsequent interviews
for other positions, I've also had to meet with Managing Directors
or the 'Head of Client Services'.
AEF: Did they ask you any surprising
Madhu: Not in the interview for my first
job but in a subsequent interview [maybe for an AAE position],
someone asked me if I had a choice to either fly or be invisible,
which would I choose. I thought it was a great question since
it forced me to think/be creative with my answer vs. all the
usual canned interview questions asked and responses given.
I've adopted the question into interviews I conduct now that
I am a manager!
AEF: How long a period of time were
you there being interviewed?
Madhu: Most good interviews I've had have
lasted at least 30 minutes. However, you CAN sometimes instantly
click with someone or talk to someone for an hour without
establishing any chemistry. Chemistry is very important, if
you don't 'click' with your intended supervisor, don't take
AEF: How long a period of time passed
between your interview(s) and your start date?
Madhu: I interviewed in June but did not
start until end of August. Usually, however, they want you
AEF: How were you notified that you
Madhu: Initially through a verbal offer,
but then I've always made sure to get something in writing
that spells out all terms/conditions [salary, title, start
AEF: Did you send a thank-you note?
Madhu: Always send thank you notes. I
prefer hand-written ones.
AEF: Things you know now that you wish
you knew then:
Madhu: Even the tiniest details matter,
from scuffed shoes to dirty jackets. Especially typos on your
resume, check and double check. Also, maturity is key in interviews.
It's great to be enthusiastic, but composure is important
and you should always ensure you are presentable and articulate,
especially in Account Management, because you will be interacting
AEF: Things you wish someone had told
you when you were just starting out:
Madhu: Don't be afraid to bug your superiors
about letting you take on more projects etc. Don't make them
solely responsible for your growth/learning. Being motivated
AEF: How many jobs have you had since
Madhu: 3, all in the same field [Advertising
AEF: What did you major in/study in
Madhu: Economics and English Lit.