When I got a LinkedIn message from a recruiter at Overstock I was immediately intrigued. The recruiter was looking to fill a mobile marketing manager position – a space I have a lot of experience. Having worked in mobile marketing for a major retailer for two years, I had never considered Overstock as an option for a job change. I didn’t really know much about what they were up to or what they were doing out in Salt Lake City, Utah.
My current job was definitely going well, but I was open to new opportunities and wanted to keep my interview skills sharp, so I replied to the LinkedIn message. Luckily, the job requirements Overstock listed were almost 1:1 with my current responsibilities. After a couple back and forth messages expressing my interest and exchanging pleasantries, we agreed on a time to chat over the phone for 15 minutes.
This introductory call is for the recruiter to see if you meet the minimum requirements for the job, but it’s also a time for the interviewee to ask questions, get to know the recruiter and job requirements a little better.
The recruiter asked the usual screening questions of, “Are you willing to relocate?” and “How much do you currently make and how much would you expect to make if you moved to Overstock?” Which, now btw is illegal to ask for salary history.
As interview preparation, I looked up recent news articles about Overstock to see what was going on in the company. I researched commonly asked interview questions and practiced my answers. And I started networking on LinkedIn to increase my chances of standing out from all those being interviewed for the position. I found that I had a connection that worked there and I called him to chat about his experience. It was definitely helpful to hear his perspective and learn more about the company.
A week later I spoke with the hiring manager for about 30 minutes on the phone. He asked more in-depth questions about my experience and qualifications for the job. “What strategy do you use to get app downloads?” and “How do you find qualified people to download the app?” were a few of the questions I fielded.
Two weeks later, I was in Utah for a morning of Overstock interviews. For those who haven’t seen it, Overstock’s campus is beautiful. The CEO is very energy conscious, so the building is environmentally friendly, which recruiters make a big selling point out of. Frankly, it’s quite an impressive place. They have classes in an on-campus greenhouse about how to make fresh salsa from vegetables grown there. Yoga classes and an on-site health clinic also seem to be an employee favorite. The day I went they happened to have a dunk tank out in the courtyard where employees were taking turns at trying to sink the CEO. Overstock definitely has a tech company feel and culture and it seems to work well for them.
The morning started out with a campus tour, after which I was escorted to a room where all the interviews would be. I interviewed with 2 director level folks (directors of social media and email), 1 VP (marketing), and an SVP (marketing and analytics) who grilled me on my analytical and strategic chops..
Some examples of Overstock interview questions:
- What is a marketing campaign you’ve run that you’re most proud of?
- Tell me about a success you’ve had in driving app downloads?
- Which metrics would you look at to determine if a control group of customers performed better or worse than the test group?
- What is a feature that you would add to the company’s app to make it better?
- How do you measure if an app download generates incremental revenue?
- If hired, would you be able to maintain your opinion of certain marketing strategies even when senior leadership may push back?
- How do you envision using certain marketing channels in marketing campaigns?
Some interviews were more serious and others were fairly casual and friendly. I was a little caught off guard by some of the analytical questions and I didn’t feel my answers quite made the cut. I didn’t feel that I showed I had the marketing analytics acumen they needed for this position.
I found out a few weeks later that I didn’t get the offer. In the end, I had a great interview experience at Overstock. Overall, I had the impression that Overstock is trying to redefine itself in a competitive world of retail. They are the only retailer to accept bitcoin and recently developed an app with innovative Augmented Reality (AR) features. The company also appears to be doing a lot to attract top talent from across the nation, not just locally, and it seems to be paying off.