Before you step into an interview, it’s essential to prepare yourself for the potential marketing interview questions that you’re likely to face, and help you stand out from any other candidates for the role.
And here at Herd Digital, we coach the candidates we work with through the interview process every day. This includes coaching them through the typical questions they’ll face, and what the interviewer is really looking for when they ask these questions. And today, we’re sharing all those secrets with you.
What they’re really asking: Give us a summary of your professional experience.
When an employer asks this, they aren’t really interested in just hearing about your first introduction to marketing. What they really want is a quick summary of your career to gain a greater understanding of your experience.
Example Answer: “Well I first started in marketing after graduating from university with an internship at XXX company as a Paid Search and Social Executive.
After a year I felt like I had learned all I could from this position and moved to a Senior Biddable Account Executive role at XXX company, which allowed me to learn cross-channel paid ads.
Now I’m looking for a Manager position, where I can start to pass on what I’ve learned in my career.”
What they’re really asking: Will you be able to copy this success for us?
Your interviewer will be searching for a new employee who is the best fit for the job at hand. And while there are never guarantees with hiring new employees, finding someone who can demonstrate success in a very similar position from previous experience is as close as it gets.
The step above demonstrating past success, is detailing how you’re going to replicate this success for your new employer.
Example Answer: “In my previous role I was the go to person for SEO strategy for ecommerce clients, because of my success working with XXX client. Due to my in-depth competitor analysis, keyword research, and the content gap analysis of XXX client, I was able to grow their organic growth by 200% over 6 months.
This is something I am confident I will be able to replicate for your business, due to how similar your needs are to my own experience.”
What they’re really asking: Will you be able to do the job at hand?
To see the depth and variety of your expertise, you can be asked about your experience working with digital marketing tools, software, platforms, or channels.
Example Answer: “I’ve previously worked with SEMrush and Screaming Frog for data analysis and keyword research. Although I am confident my skills would be transferable, and that I would quickly adapt to any other data analysis tools your business uses.”
What they’re really asking: How well do you work with others?
Your skills and experience aren’t the only important thing. Equally important to the business is making sure you’ll be a cultural fit for the business who will work well with the others in your team.
Example Answer: “On a previous paid social campaign I worked on, myself and a colleague disagreed on which social platforms would be best use of the small budget we had to work with. We both had valid arguments, so we ran A/B tests to find out which was better. This was the most practical resolution of our disagreement, and led to the most efficient use of the budget, and gave us the greatest ROAS.”
What they’re really asking: How much development do you do in your own time?
Businesses are most interested in employees who are proactive with their own learning on their own time. Because it shows dedication to your career and eagerness to learn and progress.
Example Answer: “Continuing to learn and develop my marketing skills is something I’m passionate about. I’ve recently earned XXX qualification in my own time to help cover my existing gaps in my SEO knowledge.”
What they’re really asking: Why do you want to work for us?
This is a common question for agencies to ask to see if you’ve done your research, and in turn, how much you want to work at the business.
However, you may not be able to find out information on the clients an agency currently works with. If that’s the case, your next best option is to find out about their past clients, through case studies or articles on the company website and social media.
Example Answer: “I can see that you’ve previously worked predominantly with Sports clients. And your case study on XXX highlighted just how effective your company is when working with these businesses.
This is something I’m especially passionate about, and is an industry I have been looking to move into and gain experience in.
What they’re really asking: Why should we hire you, out of everyone?
While the business is interviewing you, they’ll also be interviewing multiple other candidates with similar skill sets to yours. So questions like this are your opportunity to make yourself stand out.
So revisit the job advert, and make sure that you understand exactly what the business is looking for. As well as which of your skills and experience is the most important for you to discuss in your interview.
Example Answer: “With my strong background in both Paid Search and Paid Social, I think that I’ll be able to bring my varied skill set and expertise to the Paid Search Manager role that you wouldn’t be able to get from someone with only Paid Search experience.
Additionally, I can see from your company socials that you’re a business that’s passionate about social responsibility. I think I would be a great cultural fit for the team, and I;m excited at the prospect of getting involved with some of the great initiatives your business is involved in.”
What they’re really asking: Why would you be a good fit for this particular job?
This is one of the most typical interview questions that you’ll doubtlessly have heard. But your answer for this should entirely reflect on the job you’re applying for.
If you’re an amazing trampolinist, that’s great. And while it might impress the interviewer, it won’t make them more likely to give you the job. Instead, you should focus on the skills or experience that the job advert asks for.
Example Answer: “My greatest strength would have to be my data analysis ability: Which is why I will be a great fit for this Technical SEO Manager position. I have extensive experience in using analytics tools, and my own data analysis skills, to create actionable outputs for clients.
It’s this experience I’m looking forward to further developing, and achieving great results for your clients.”
What they’re really asking: What mistakes have you made, and how have you learned from them?
This question isn’t one generally people like answering. But it is another opportunity for you to show why you’re the right candidate for the role: By showing how you recognise your weaknesses, and actively work to overcome them.
Example Answer: “One of my biggest weaknesses is my technical SEO skills and experience. I’ve recently earned certifications in technical SEO to round out my SEO skill set.
And while I’m a content focused SEO without much need for technical SEO, I’ve earned this certification to gain further insight into SEO and hopefully improve my own work.”
What they’re really asking: Will you be a cultural fit for the team and business?
It’s important to show some personality in the interview, and give the interviewer some perspective on what you are like as a person.
After all, when they’ve hired you, they will want to make sure that they will enjoy working with you and you will enjoy working with them.
Example Answer: “Outside of my work I’m passionate about travelling. I’ve set myself the challenge of exploring at least two new countries a year. I’m really into my fitness and I’m also a very sociable person. I’ve recently combined these by joining a running club on the weekends.”
Before you start looking at the marketing interview questions that you might face, there are a few quick, but essential steps to take to prepare for your marketing interview.
Doing the appropriate research on a company before your interview is essential to impress your interviewers. This means look at their social media, and their websites.
You’re looking for insights into their company culture, the clients they’ve worked with, and any case studies or portfolios they have on the company site.
Before your interview you should do some background research on your interviewers (if you know their names). This will help you to find common interests, create a personal connection with the interviewer, and learn who they are.
And if you’re worried about being creepy, don’t. They’ll be used to interviewees looking at their LinkedIn, and it will actually reflect well on you to show you’re doing your homework.
You should aim to learn everything you can about the job, so it’s always a good idea to go over the job advert to look at the skills they need and the responsibilities of the role.
This will help you to know what to talk about in your interview, and what questions to prepare potential answers for.
Your body language and how you say things in your interview can be just as important as what you say.
So it can be well worth your time to think ahead of time and practise how you’re going to show that you’re engaged with what the interviewer is saying: Sitting with an open posture, shutting off distractions, and practising non-verbal gestures.
For more information, have a look at our guide on how to master your interview body language here.
Asking your interviewer questions is an essential part of the interview process, showing your interest in the company, the interviewer themselves, and the opportunity at hand. It’s a great way to separate yourself from the other interviewees and is an expected part of the process.
Not asking the interviewer questions can actually count against you in an interviewer’s eyes: Showing you’re not interested, or you’re eager to get out of the interview.
Examples of questions to ask in a marketing interview include:
For more examples and tips, read our guide here on the best questions to ask at the end of the interview.
Before heading into your marketing interview, it’s worth reviewing some of the interview techniques that you can use to improve your performance in the interview.
One of the stand out techniques for us that we coach the candidates we work with here at Herd Digital, is the STAR interview technique.
The STAR method stands for Situation, Task, Action, and Result. What this actually means is:
Having a structure and framework for answering interview questions is essential to giving the best answer you can. It allows you to use real examples from your professional experience that prove why you’re right for the role.
As Alexis Wilkie, Associate Director of Herd Digital with 10 years of marketing recruitment experience summarises, “The STAR method is so important because it stops you waffling and gives you the structure to answer any questions, even ones you haven’t prepared for.”
For more information on the STAR interview technique, read our full guide here.
The interview questions you’ll face can be broken down into three categories:
1. Technical marketing questions.
Questions around this area will generally be used to gauge your technical ability to perform the task at hand. They may ask you to draw on past experience, or to provide answers to hypothetical scenarios. As such, they are often the most complicated and difficult to answer. These questions will look like:
2. Experience and background questions.
These questions are focused on your previous experience throughout your career and across your professional experience. The interviewer will ask these questions to gauge your level of expertise with tools, software, and technology you will use, as well as to gauge your soft skills. The questions will look like:
3. Cultural fit questions.
These questions are designed to provide the business information it needs to decide whether you have the right values and attitudes to be a cultural fit for the business. These questions will look like:
Now you should be ready for your marketing interview. If you’re ready, and looking for your next role in marketing, have a look at our open vacancies here. And we will personally help guide and support you through the recruitment process.
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