Blog

News

Find a job

Nail Your Next Job Interview: Channel Mad Men's Don Draper

Nail Your Next Job Interview: Channel Mad Men's Don Draper

Mon 31 Oct 2016

Ahh, Don. Star of AMC's hit TV series Mad Men, the effortlessly suave Don sat at the epicentre of advertising's Madison avenue in his heyday. Boasting an ego the size of a skyscraper, Don created campaigns that gripped the imagination of America.

Don is a master of office theatrics. Over 7 seasons, in countless scenes, SCDP’s Creative Director lights up board meetings and dominates client pitches. Content, delivery, timing - the man is all over it.

Which is why we could think of no better role model (albeit a fictional one) to provide inspiration for nailing your next job interview. By channelling Don Draper, you'll have every opportunity to capture attention, covey your passion and land the job.

Here's how Don Draper does it...

1 - Exhaustive Preparation, Sweating The Small Stuff

Draper’s showstopper moments may look effortless, but only with hard graft and depth of research does the ad legend find the right solution. In an interview situation, you’re never sure which direction things could turn. Do your homework properly and you'll never run out of steam.

2 - Finding The Story ‘Hook’

A personal story. An example that encapsulates an idea. An image or a prop. Don structures his conceptual ideas around something memorable that he knows will stick in his subjects’ mind. Your hook could be a project you started, a notable encounter or a change you inspired. Far more memorable to talk in specifics than in generalisations.

3 - Impeccable Delivery: Slow, Steady, Assured

Mastery of oration sets Don apart from everyone in every room he’s ever in. Nothing can rush him, and his tone draws in all who hear him speak. Never forget your interview is a a performance – testing your delivery as much as your knowledge. (Aside: Interested in boosting your delivery? Bill McGowan’s Pitch Perfect could be just the book for you.)

4 - Respectful… To A Point!

Client meetings are Don’s playground. Poor Pete Campbell - account manager - was never quite sure what his creative director would say or do next. Civility comes as standard, but by pushing the boundaries Don earns true acclaim. Careful with replicating this one – whilst bold risks may pay off, they could equally cost you the job!

5 - Readiness To Walk Away

No opportunity is too great for Draper to turn down. Money, fame, prestige – whatever the prize, Don sees when he's being baited. Establishing the mindset of ‘being ready to walk away’ allows you to be far more critical and unbiased. Ultimately, you’ll allow yourself to make the right decision.


Got the interview skills down to a Draper-esque T? Put them to practice by applying for one of our current jobs. Otherwise, perhaps you need to browse more of our interview advice

  • Testimonial 1

    Pentasia is an industry leading recruitment consultancy and a strategic, long-term partner... we have been impressed with their specialist expertise, industry reach and professionalism throughout.

    CEO, BGO Group
    View more testimonials
  • Testimonial 2

    The Pentasia team were fantastic to work with. From initial contact through to my final job acceptance, my consultant was there every step of the way. I thank him for his professionalism.

    Director of Marketing
    View more testimonials
  • Head of Brand

    Pentasia are easily, head and shoulders above the rest. They got me the right role, without sending me out on any fruitless interviews. I would recommend them to anyone.

    Louise, Head of Brand - June 2016
    View more testimonials