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How did you get your first job in community management?

It would be inspirational to hear the story of **your** first-ever community management job! How did you get that first job? What can we all learn from how you achieved that?

_This is part of a question series for CMX Summit to highlight exciting careers in community management. If you are interested in a career in community management, now would be a good time to ask a question of your own!_ #community-management

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Abhishek’s Answer

Thorough preparation makes its own luck. If you want to ace a community manager job interview, here’s what you need to do before you speak to a hiring manager.
1.Research, research, research. Read up on the company, its culture and recent media coverage. You should be able to have an informed conversation with a hiring manager about the place you want to work. If possible, find out the names of the people you will be interviewing with and scope them out on Twitter and LinkedIn. You’ll be able to get a sense of what’s important to them and appeal to their interests during your conversation.
2.Join the community. Being a community manager means putting yourself in the shoes of community members to understand their experience. If a candidate makes it to an in-person interview with me and has not yet signed up on1 the Smiley360 website, that’s an immediate red flag. Think about it from your hiring manager’s perspective: if a candidate does not care enough to take two minutes to sign up and poke around, you bet that candidate does not know what it takes to manage that community. Managing a community means being a community member yourself.
3.Memorize the numbers. Knowing the size of the community you would be working with will give you a better understanding of the company’s processes, problems, goals, and opportunities. Much of the numbers will be publicly available or discernable through some research, such as Facebook fans, Pinterest followers, and number of forum members. Look at how many times the team is posting on these platforms, and how much engagement their content is getting. If you can recite these numbers, you will impress your interviewer with a more informed conversation about the community.
4.Brush up your online presence. A hiring manager will Google you when considering you for a position. Make sure your social media accounts are consistent with you as a person and that they look alive and fresh. Make sure a prospective employer can find something, and that what they find is positive and flattering.
5.Practice basic interview etiquette. Confirm the date and time of your interview a day or two before you’re scheduled to meet. Arrive ten minutes early, and no earlier than that. Don’t be late. Bring a copy of your resume and writing samples if needed. These are the fundamentals of attending an interview that, if forgotten, can start your interview off on a bad note.

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