NEW YORK: Job interviews are stressful. Now imagine if every question and nervous answer could be seen in real time by TikTok users.
That's exactly what Small Girls PR is doing with one enthusiastic candidate. The agency was inspired to conduct an interview on TikTok after Miranda Belanger, who really wants a job at the agency, turned to the short-form video platform to get the New York-based firm's attention.
In her first video, Belanger said, "I want to land my dream job. So, there's this PR agency called Small Girls PR and they're really edgy. They do really cool campaigns that I've been following for years. I thought, 'What's edgier and what's cooler than this video going viral and them seeing it on TikTok?' I submitted a resume but they do things out of the box -- and this is out of the box."
After Belanger posted her TikTok, the agency's inboxes were flooded with notes from friends, brand marketers and employees pointing them to it. Belanger's video has racked up more than 176,000 views and has appeared on TikTok's influential For You page.
Small Girls PR CEO Mallory Blair said she was delighted when she saw Belanger's video.
"A large part of our job at Small Girls PR is creatively breaking through to new audiences to raise awareness for our clients, so we're amped to see candidates demonstrate that they can think unconventionally like we do and employ the same experimentation with new platforms as we do," said Blair. "We'll always encourage this type of out-of-the-box approach to grabbing your audience's attention."
Of course, it would have been easy for Small Girls to email Belanger and set up a typical interview, but Blair said there's value in meeting your audience where they are. So the firm responded on TikTok.
"We've never asked, nor had, a candidate offer to share their experience in such a transparent way, so we were intrigued by the idea of giving TikTokers and aspiring PR pros a peek into how we work and what to expect from an agency interview," Blair said. "Besides that, thousands of people were rooting for Miranda, and we wanted to allow those who helped her get our attention the opportunity to follow along."
So how does a job interview on TikTok work? One part is ordinary: Small Girls is asking real questions a candidate would expect on any first call.
"We're not doing any prep work or communication with the candidate behind the scenes, so what you're seeing play out in real time is the entire conversation," Blair explained. "While we love this approach to getting our attention, we also want TikTok interviews to be comparable to other mediums so every candidate has an equitable experience with us to land a job."
Small Girls used TikTok's Stitch feature, which enables users to splice several seconds of a published video into a newly created one to keep track of questions and responses in order. Eight videos have been exchanged: Small Girls has made three and the candidate has produced five. They've received a collective 264,000 views, 50,000 likes, 1,500 comments and 6,000 shares.
#stitch with @mirandabelanger3 ?? From application to interview ??? pov - Ariana Grande
Small Girls does not have an immediate opening at Belanger’s level of experience, but it accepts applications on a rolling basis and has a history of making room as opportunities present themselves.
So what’s next after the first round on TikTok? A panel interview with team leaders via Zoom.
Interviewing via TikTok has allowed Small Girls “to quickly gage a candidate’s ability to get a point across succinctly, and it gives us a glimpse into their personality,” said Blair.
Yet one thing that worries her about the format is that the agency can’t gauge how a candidate thinks on the fly, since the back and forth allows them time to formulate a response.
In the future, Small Girls will experiment with arranging times for candidates to view new questions and ask them to respond in 30 minutes so it more closely resembles the Q&A format in a live interview setting, Blair said.
“I initially posted my TikTok as a way to stand apart from the crowd,” said Belanger. “I'm thrilled with what it has turned into. I love any opportunity to share the interview and hiring process with those new to the PR Industry.”
This isn’t the first time Small Girls has gotten creative to find talent. Last year, the agency outfitted dogs in uniforms to advertise local job openings in New York.