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7 Important Marketing Interview Questions (And How to Evaluate Answers)

 

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The field of marketing has evolved over the years. A professional industry that focused on sales projections and messaging now encompasses a wide range of subtopics that include digital marketing, social media expertise, segmentation, email marketing, and various innovative new topics. Marketers have to potentially be comfortable with leading projects, establishing a new digital marketing unit or analyzing sales projections – it is becoming a full-stack job, and managers now have to assess how well these professionals are at adapting to new technology and implementing various concepts.

The need for good marketers is increasing. Between 2016 and 2026, the demand for marketing managers is expected to grow ten percent, faster than the national average. However, there are some specific skills that hiring managers should be looking for in marketers. According to Smart Insights, digital marketers are the most sought-after marketing professionals at 39 percent. The article also noted that McKinley found that 90 percent of all marketing roles require some type of digital skill. Therefore, due to the increasing blend of technology and marketing, managers should look for digital skills in marketers they hire.

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Part 1
Examples of Marketing Interview Questions

While statistics and trends are relevant, one of the most significant components of the hiring process is the interview. Excellent questions will reveal if a candidate is a right fit for a position. Read on for examples of excellent marketing professional interview questions.

The Basics

These are the questions that will start the conversation about their experience, why they are looking for a new role, and how they view themselves in the industry.

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    1. A. Tell me about your career up to this point. How has your current role evolved since you started?

      This is an excellent way to start the conversation if they have taken a past role and made it their own. If managers are wondering if a candidate will take the initiative, the answer to this question can give them all they need to know.

      B. Why are you looking to make a career change?

      This question is the “are they going to speak ill of their manager” behavioral inquiry. An answer here will reveal maturity, ethics, and ambition.

      What to Look for in Candidates:

      — These questions touch on the worker’s relationship to their last place of employment.

       

      — Candidates should be able to talk about how they left (or are planning) to leave their department in a much better position than they found it.

       

      — Individuals should describe how their presence and work benefitted their team.

       

      — Candidates who mention promotions or expansion of duties should get a second look.

    2. What made you apply to work here?

      This gets at the ambition and motivation of the candidate. It also informs the manager if they have done their research on the company and what qualities it values most.

      What to Look for in Candidates:

      — The third question readily reveals if a candidate did their homework.


      — They should mention how they feel their skill sets can help the company, and discuss how the mission and principles line up with their own.


      — This is the time for them to detail how they fit into the company’s culture and future vision.


      — An answer including these points shows their preparation and how much they care about the position.

Skill-Based

These questions will likely depend on the job the candidate is interviewing for. However, knowing the various experience and skill-level of marketers, all of these questions will likely apply.

  1. What are the most important skills you have learned that you would utilize in this position?

    This inquiry lets managers know the skills this candidate deems are the most important and allows them to expand on how their experience with them can be useful in the role they are interested in.

    What to Look for in Candidates:

    — This question allows candidates to go into the details of what they know and how they can bring those experiences to the company.


    — A savvy candidate will match up their skills with those mentioned in the job description and go the extra mile to discuss brief situations in how they dealt with similar settings.

  2. Tell me about a marketing project in which you had to coordinate and manage a diverse team of people to achieve deliverables.

    Managers can use this question to get at how much leadership experience this candidate has, and hear about their thought process in leading a marketing project from start to finish.

  3. Tell me about a campaign with which you were involved that did not go as well as expected. What do you think went wrong?

    This question is an important one. Managers need to know how marketers will handle a crisis. Something is always bound to go wrong, and these professionals need to be ready and flexible enough to handle it swiftly. Candidates should be directed to walk through each part of the process thoroughly.

    What to Look for in Candidates:

    The 4th and 5th questions directly assess leadership. An exceptional candidate will be transparent about the challenges they faced, their leadership style, how they motivated their team, and what the results were. Managers should pay close attention to see if candidates mention how they managed conflicts, difficult employees, and tight budgets. Marketers have to be multi-faceted, and these questions touch on flexibility and leadership.

  4. Describe a time when you owned the operation of an (email, content marketing, or social media) from beginning to end.

    The process asked about will depend on the job description, but this is a bit more of a specific drill down compared to the second question. Interested candidates should be able to talk about a time when they knocked it out of the park and how they did it. A great follow-up question would be to ask how they would adapt their strategy for the job they are interviewing for.

    What to Look for in Candidates:

    — This question is when managers can get down to the nitty-gritty and see if this candidate is truly meant for the job. This is where candidates should mention the technical aspect of the specifics of running a digital or online campaign. They should talk about the technology they used and the planning process. They may not be experts, but their description here should make managers feel comfortable.

  5. Give an example of a goal you had to achieve, the metrics you used as benchmarks, and the approach that you implemented. Did you meet the goal?

    A successful marketer knows how vital goal-setting and benchmarking is. Marketing professionals have to constantly think about how they will track the progress of a campaign and assess its success. Therefore, this question gets to the heart of whether this individual has experience with this skill.

    What to Look for in Candidates:

    The last question is one of the most essential. As a marketer, candidates should mention their specific experiences with benchmarking and goal-setting. Their answer should satisfy these inquiries:


    — How did they go about setting benchmarks?


    — What tools did they use to do this?


    — Did they meet the goals?

    Even if they did not achieve their goals, the fact that they took the time to go through the process is critical.

Part 2

Marketing Interview Best Practices

  • Try out Case-Study Based Questions

    An excellent way to assess a candidate’s skill or fit is to ask them scenario-based questions. The detail in which they answer these will let managers know about their thought process and their approach to various situations. This is perfect for leadership and managerial roles in the marketing space.

  • Have Them Develop a Project

    This method could be a springboard for many of the questions above. Some managers have candidates create their own marketing campaign and present it in front of them as part of the interview. This is an exceptional way to get even more detailed answers and find out how candidates would react in various situations.

  • Watch for Those Who Ask Questions

    An interested candidate will always ask questions. This step shows they have done their homework and are genuinely engaged in becoming a part of the company. The more insightful the question, the more prepared the candidate has shown themselves to be.

  • Are They Willing to Learn Something New

    Everyone may not be current on all of the latest technology, but candidates should be ready to learn. No one knows what new social media application or graphic design software will enter the industry; therefore, managers should ask questions getting at a candidate’s comfort level with learning new tools and concepts.

Managers need to ask questions that assess how flexible, adaptable, and confident marketing candidates are for the roles they are seeking. Everyone is different, so managers should include various types of questions to gather the information they need. There are a lot of components to the hiring process, and asking the right questions and knowing the correct answers to look for from candidates are some of the most significant. While digital skills are a must, soft-skills such as problem-solving, listening, public speaking, and research are crucial to success. The right questions will reveal how the soft and technical skills candidates can potentially bring to a marketing position.

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