Finding the right candidate for a job can be an extremely difficult undertaking. For one, they have to be skilled in the position for which they are applying and they also have to be a good fit for the overall dynamic of your company and culture.
If you are searching for an experienced marketer, it’s important to ask them relevant marketing related interview questions in order to get an accurate idea about their skillset. Not only that, but you should be asking them behavioral questions to understand how good of a fit they will be for your company.
In this article we will take a look at some of the best interview questions you should be asking all potential candidates for marketing roles. (If you happen to be someone who is applying for a marketing related role, you should be able to answer these questions without a problem.)
Before we get started it’s important to first break down the different types of interview questions you should be asking. It’s useful to categorize them in order to help you access the qualities and skills of your candidates more accurately.
The different types of interview questions include:
In order to gain an accurate idea of the prospects skill set and experience it’s important to start the conversation by asking them a little bit about their background and past work experience. Some of these types of question include:
“ Tell me a little bit about your previous career. “
This question should be aimed to find out a bit about the candidates previous work history, get the initial dialogue going and find out more about how long they have been in their field.
“ What kind of responsibilities did you have in your previous role?”
This question should push to see the kind of work they candidate was involved with in their previous role, what kind of responsibilities they had and their level of seniority.
“ What did you like or dislike about your previous/current role?”
Some people simply look for a new job if they are sick of their boss, the pay and the environment. It’s important to gain a valid understanding as to what the candidate enjoyed about their previous job and what they dislike.
Lastly you should ask the most obvious question and listen very carefully to what the candidate has to say.
“ Why are you looking for a new job or career?”
In order to get a better understanding as to why the candidate applied to the position, it’s good to straight up ask them and see what kind of answer they provide. The key here is to access their honesty and see if they want a change in their career or simply just need a job.
"What has been your biggest success in your previous roles?"
The answer will give you an idea on the type of person you have in front of you. What do find important, what do they consider success and how do they measure this.
These questions should be focused directly about the specifics around the marketing position, the candidates qualifications, experience in the field and skills related to the role.
“ Why did you apply for this specific role and what do you know about our company?”
With this question you are looking to see how much the candidate knows about the company and the actual role that they applied for. If they don’t have specifics about your company and the role they are applying for, chances are their level of interest is simply in having a job.
“ Do you hold any industry certifications and or licensing?”
Your candidate should be familiar with the standard marketing stack that is used by most marketers and firms. Having industry standard certification and licensing shows that they are professionals who take their career and skill set seriously. These aren’t always a necessity but it can’t hurt to have them and it gives you further insight into your candidate.
Common marketing certifications may include:
“What kind of marketing software and programs do you have experience with?”
This will give you insight into the candidates experience and level of knowledge when it comes to marketing. There’s a ton of different marketing software available and it’s important to know what your candidate has experience with versus the software that your company uses. If a candidate has never used any of the software that your company uses, they could have a steeper learning curve versus someone who has experience.
“Why do you think you would be a good fit for this role?”
The candidate should have a good answer to this question if they have truly looked at the role requirements and know why they could be a good fit.
“What are some struggles you had in your previous role and how did you overcome them”?
This question looks to assess the candidates ability to elaborate on how they perceive struggle in the workplace and what kind of attitude they approach problems with. It should give you some insight into their willingness to solve problems and make improvements.
"What has been biggest mistake you have made in any of your previous roles and how did you dealt with it"?
As a Marketer you will make mistakes, that is fine. With asking this question you will be able to see more about this persons personality plus how they deal with difficult situations.
Most people can learn the necessary technical skills it takes to become a marketing professional. You can find the most qualified individuals skill wise, but they might not be the best fit for your company from a behavior standpoint. So it’s extremely important to find out more about their behavioral temperament and how they interact with others.
Behavioral questions are meant to learn how a candidate responds to a specific workplace situation and how they plan to solve problems in order to achieve a successful outcome.
“Give me an example of how you worked under pressure or a tight deadline?”
If you have marketing deadlines and client presentations it’s important to know how the candidate will perform under pressure and tight deadlines. If they crack under pressure it leaves others to bear the burden. You should look for elaborate answers which show they have experience.
“How do you handle mistakes and work related stress?”
You should look for honesty from the candidate in this type of question. Listen to how they explain previous situations in which they have made mistakes, how they handled them and moved forward. Are they able to own up to their mistakes and learn from them?
“Give me an example of how you work within a team dynamic”
Most jobs require people to work as part of a larger team. In interviews for marketing related roles, you should access if the individual is sociable, enjoys working with others and is open to criticism. It’s also important you try to learn how self-aware they are and how you see them working with others in your organization.
“How do you handle conflict with other co-workers”?
Work related conflict between coworkers is bound to come up. You want to see how a candidate would respond to a potential argument and what kind of ways they would diffuse tension, come to an agreement and find a solution to a problem. This will give you insight if they are a leader or simply an employee.
"Can you give me an example where you show you being a self starter"?
Often you are looking for a marketer who can run with certain projects independently. If they have done this before they should be able to give you a good answer on this question.
You should ask the candidate specific questions about SEO and marketing processes. These questions are used to access their knowledge, what kind of work they have experience with in the past as a marketer and how much they really know about the industry. It’s important to ask specific questions to gauge their level of expertise in the field.
“What kind of SEO work have you done for clients in the past?”
You should have an interest in what kind of SEO campaigns they have run in the past, what kind of strategies the candidate has used in previous work and see what they think about SEO in general. The more banter they are able to give and talk about SEO, you will gain a better idea into their skill level.
“What SEO strategies have you used that you deem the most effective?”
It’s important to get an understanding of strategies that the candidate has used in the past that could benefit your company. This will also give you further insight into their skills and understanding of SEO.
“What kind of email marketing campaigns have you run in the past ?”
This isn’t a necessity, but an important component inside marketing related roles is knowing the importance that email marketing plays into the whole equation. If they have experience with email marketing campaigns and software that is a plus for you.
“Do you have experience with A/B split testing?”
A large part of marketing related roles is testing different campaigns, ad copy, lead pages, sales funnels and more. If the candidate has comprehensive knowledge of testing campaigns, this is a plus and lets you know that they are experienced.
“What is the average client marketing budget that you have been in charge of”?
This question should give you insight into the scale at their previous role and what kind of marketing budgets they experience running. It shouldn’t just be larger budgets, but experience with different sizes of marketing budgets.
Finding the right candidate for the job is no easy task. It’s important to note that there can be a significant cost to your company for mishiring people for a role they are not fit to be in. As such, it’s important to take the necessary time to find the right person for the role and make sure they are a good fit from a business standpoint and company culture.