There’s a Right Way and a Wrong Way to Use Mobile Devices in Interviews

We live in an age of connectivity. We’re always online. Swipe right to find love. Ask a virtual assistant to see into your future (for scheduling, events, and weather reports that is.) Tap a few times and you’ve got a world of Information at your fingertips. What a time to be alive. Unless of course, you’re interviewing for a job.

Most candidates equate stepping into a hiring manager’s office as a black hole of accessibility. Before you walk in, you turn the ringer and notifications off on your cell phone. You store your laptop and shut your tablet. Even wearables are silenced for fear of distraction and reprimand from a potential employer. But this doesn’t necessarily have to be the case.

Depending on the industry and the position you are being considered for, mobile devices could be viewed the kiss of death for potential hires, or one of the most valuable tools in your interviewing arsenal.

In marketing, Managers and executive level candidates are often asked to not just discuss proof points of success but encouraged to show results. Enter the tablet of testimony! In one fell swoop you queue up a portfolio of accomplishments. Successful campaigns at the ready. Screenshots of analytics with chart arrows rising to the heavens. It’s not just a mobile device, it’s a vessel of leadership and innovation that exemplifies years of career achievement that supports ever word that comes out of your mouth. And just like that, it becomes a technological breakthrough in interviewing that should be celebrated rather than silenced.

In fact, laptops and tablets are indispensable to C-Level candidates, potential CMO’s, and Marketing Management during the vetting process. Not only does it display an ascension through the ranks paved with successful outcomes, it has come to be expected by boards of Directors and acquisition teams that some form of technology to justify expertise will be utilized during the hiring process. When you reach a certain level in your marketing career, your interview is as much about your ideas and your vision as it is about your past accomplishments. Break out the PPT or Slideshare. Pitch your wares and give them a sneak-peek of what you’d be like in the position through a well thought out and planned presentation that clinches your candidacy.

Now that you understand how technology should be used in an interview, let’s state the obvious…don’t call, don’t answer, don’t browse, and don’t text during an interview with a hiring manager. The exceptions to this are of course emergency situations, and those isolated incidences where in conversation the need to browse the web or obtain information is requested and sanctioned by the hiring manager.  Otherwise, feel free to use your phone and any other mobile device that takes your attention away from your interview if you don’t want the job. The fact is, these devices are not just distracting, they’re disrespectful. To the employer sitting across from you it’s a sign that your priorities are elsewhere, or that your time is more precious than theirs if you’re making them wait so you can quickly return a text and find the right emoji to accompany a response.

Some prospective marketing candidates have good intentions yet fall short during the delivery. They inadvertently sabotage their chances to make a good impression.  If bringing technology into an interview as a tool, you must make sure that if you’re going to need the internet you have appropriate passwords or access as to not keep a potential employer waiting or waste time trying to connect during the meeting. Also, ensure that any websites or pages are queued up BEFORE you get into the room, and all files are readily available and organized for a seamless display of preparation. Any connectivity hiccup or file fluster that has a hiring manager or board waiting around can result in a negative opinion of you.

From repeated insipid pings that emails are being received, to an obnoxious ringtone that signifies your bestie wants to talk, mobile devices can be a detriment to a candidate. However, if used appropriately, those same devices can leave a lasting impression of your expertise, leadership, and character. One that inspires hiring teams to present an offer, and ultimately onboards you into the organization.


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