Photo by Jonas Svidras on Unsplash

My Experience Interviewing for VaynerMedia

A few months ago I was visiting my folks in Green Bay, WI. While there, I was scrolling through my LinkedIn account when I noticed a post from Gary Vaynerchuk asking for all content creators to apply! So I filled out the application and skipped the cover letter because I was short on time. Two days later, an employee of VaynerX reached out to me and informed me that the team liked my creativity and the type of content I might bring to their brands. So he asked me to complete the following assignment by the end of the week.

A hypothetical [FRUIT] company wants to transfer ownership of their company to the world’s best internet storyteller. Submit 3–8 pieces of content across different platforms.

So that’s what I did. I took the rest of the week off and focused solely on this project. I came up with several pieces of content that I was very proud of. The Air Jordan 1 Bananas, a vignette about avocado toast, a celebrity endorsement campaign with Harry Styles, and some fruity Instagram stories.

I submitted the links and celebrated my hard work. Two weeks went by and I heard nothing. I thought maybe after 14 days it just wasn’t meant to be. This wouldn’t be the first time a company didn’t get back to me.

But then on a random Tuesday around 7 pm, I received an email from Andy Krainak, VaynerMedia’s Brand Director.

Hey Aaron, your content submission really stood out to us and I’d love to schedule an interview with you and our hiring team. Would you by chance be available tomorrow at 11:30 am ET? If not tomorrow how about Wednesday afternoon?

You got it! 11:30 tomorrow! See you then!

I hopped on the zoom call with him and it was interesting, to say the least. There was a little bit of a disconnect about my website, which kind of worried me. You see, my website is set up like that of an Art Director. Some of the content on my website was commissioned. I had to explain to him that all of the content I submitted for this project was indeed created by me. I am fully capable of using Adobe Creative Suite when I have to. However, there are some situations when I hire an artist to execute my vision for a project.

I didn’t know what his angle was for this interview. He concluded by saying I was an Art Director & Copywriter hybrid and then we said our goodbyes. As you can imagine, I wasn’t confident that I was going to get the entry-level creator position. But hey, I have never interned, worked, or interviewed with an ad agency before and my first time was with VaynerMedia! That’s pretty awesome!

A month went by and I concluded that that was the end of the story. But nope, I received a follow-up email from Andy while I was thrifting at the Goodwill Outlet.

Hey Aaron, hope all is well with you! There’s now an open role that I think you would be a great fit for and wanted to see if you’d still be interested in the position? If so, the Creative Directors are available this afternoon or tomorrow for a second interview if you may be available, just let me know.

The role was for the associate creative director position on the Gillette campaign. Is this real life? I hopped on that zoom call and enjoyed the shit out of that interview. It was so refreshing to talk to two Creative Directors who knew exactly what I was doing with my website. We went through each project on my site and talked about what I consider to be good writing.

I didn’t get the position. But I felt amazing after that interview. Although the job would be nice, the journey of becoming an art director has been amazing and energizing. You see, I'm not worried about getting an AD job. If anything, this experience proved that I'm not far off. I am grateful because I will use these two interviews as a learning experience to better position myself. Their analysis of me and my website has become data points I can use to understand how people in the industry perceive me. That is what I call invaluable information.

I look forward to my next opportunity!

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