Three Marketing Interview Questions to Ask All Candidates


Marketing is a profession that is difficult to pin down with precise definition. Its scope is too fluid and extensive, and this makes things somewhat problematic when it comes to assessing potential marketing candidates. If you were interviewing someone for a mechanical engineering position, for instance, their engineering skill sets would generally suffice to demonstrate their ability to get the job done. You must take a different approach when it comes to hiring a marketing candidate.

In addition to understanding how marketing works and having enough knowledge of various marketing strategies, the candidate has to have the right kind of attitude to thrive in this industry. A career in marketing, for the most part, is not for the fainthearted. You must have the ability to deal with setbacks, to bounce back from rejections, and to still find the energy to forge ahead and convince people of the feasibility of your marketing strategy.

The following three marketing interview questions can help marketing recruiters identify if a prospective candidate has what it takes to do well in this field.

Why Are You Seeking a Career in Marketing?

It seems like a standard question, but it is a significant one. With this question, the interviewer wants to understand the candidate’s primary motivation for taking this career path and to check if they are here for the long haul. It would be to the company’s disadvantage, after all, if they were to hire someone with no passion for and no serious interest in marketing.

The interviewer also wants to know if the candidate has realistic expectations about a marketing career and if they are aware of the day to day responsibilities they would have to undertake. Also, the question seeks to discover if the candidate is capable of self-reflection and self-assessment, has ambition and intelligence, is articulate, and can get along with diverse people.

What is Your Idea of a Successful Marketing Campaign and Why?

Here is the candidate’s chance to demonstrate their understanding of marketing campaigns, their knowledge of past and/or current marketing campaigns in the real world, their familiarity with different marketing methods such as optimization techniques, A/B testing, lead generation, inbound and outbound marketing, using marketing analytics tools, and their ability to explain what makes a marketing campaign a success. The interviewer wants to understand how the candidate thinks, if they are logical and capable of looking at the bigger picture or if they have the tendency to get bogged down by details.

It is also important to know if the candidate considers the end consumer and cares about customer satisfaction, not just company profit. It is a positive sign if the candidate can show how well they keep up with industry trends and how they take those into account in drawing up their marketing plan.

How Would You Deal with Setbacks and Difficult Clients?

Presenting the candidate with a hypothetical problematic situation and asking them how they would resolve it or asking them to give an example of a real-life difficulty that they dealt with to their satisfaction can give the interviewer an idea about the candidate’s ability to remain calm and rational when things are not going well for them.

Stress and dissatisfied customers are common and regular occurrences in the marketing field, so it is essential that a potential marketing candidate doesn’t fall apart at the first whiff of trouble. It is several points in the candidate’s favor, of course, if they instead display the ability to overcome a charged situation with constructive solutions that can retain and even improve the company’s standing with consumers.

Asking these three questions and noting the answers can help interviewers sift through applicants and select candidates with an aptitude for marketing. There is, of course, no one right answer to any of the questions. The answers will vary according to the personality of the candidate, their background and experience, and the role they are applying for.

What interviewers generally look for, more than just ability and passion for marketing is someone with a broad outlook, who is quick thinking and easy to get along with and will fit in well with the overall company culture.

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