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5 common marketing interview questions (and how to answer them)

Posted in Candidates

Yikes: marketing interview questions can feel daunting. But - as you already know - preparation is the key to interview confidence. And while your interviewer may ask one or two curveball questions designed to make you think on your feet, swotting-up on the most common marketing interview questions will help you ace your moment under the spotlight.

1. What do you think would be a successful strategy for selling our product/service?

The principles of marketing hold true across a huge array of industries and audiences. With this question your interviewer is looking to assess your understanding of different marketing strategies and how they apply to the organisation you are hoping to join.

Aim to communicate your knowledge of innovative marketing strategies and show that you have a solid knowledge of the company you are interviewing for. For bonus points show awareness of the cost implications of different strategies and how you might demonstrate the cost-effectiveness of a specific campaign.

Don’t be afraid to (constructively) critique the organisation’s previous marketing campaigns, if you have a clear rationale for doing so. But go easy. The person interviewing you may have played a key role in delivering the campaign you are analysing. Ripping it to shreds is unlikely to be well-received.

2. How do you respond to a negative social media review?

These days bad press can spread like wildfire. Do you have the timely diplomacy skills to contain it? With this marketing interview question you’re being assessed to see how you can turn a negative customer perception of a brand in to a positive one. The right attitude and the right message together with an awareness of communicating brand values at every customer touch point is crucial in today’s brand-conscious world. Incorporate real-world examples into your answer if possible.

3. Tell us about a successful marketing strategy you have worked on

This is your time to show off your professional expertise. It’s super-important to try and quantify the impact of your efforts. For example: you could state that your campaign directly increased sales by 15%. Or that you managed to trim marketing spend by 20%. Make your answer measurable and you’re on to a winner. Oh, and to really nail your answer, show that you understand how to measure the success of different types of campaigns.

This marketing interview question is also a test of your communication skills in general. Aim to summarise key facts with clarity and brevity. For help with that, use the STAR formula to structure your answer:

  • Situation - What was the challenge and context?
  • Task - What was the specific task you had to achieve?
  • Action - How did you respond?
  • Result - What was the outcome?

Be specific. Be precise. Be emphatic about your positive impact. Show the interviewer that you know your stuff and can deliver results.

4. What about an experience of a campaign that wasn’t successful?

Newsflash: you’re not expected to be perfect. There can be a lot of trial and error in marketing and it’s important to show a potential employer that you can analyse a campaign to see what went wrong and - crucially - learn from it. Again, use the STAR formula outlined above to structure your answer and be as specific as you can.

5. Describe a time where you have worked collaboratively on a campaign where team members had contrasting ideas on how to market a product or service. How did you cope and what was the outcome?

Sometimes you may have to work with other colleagues - whether from the marketing department or otherwise - to brainstorm campaign ideas. It may be your job to keep the ship on the right course in terms of honouring brand values and ensuring the collaboration doesn’t veer wildly off track in terms of brand identity or the way you approach your target audience.

Emphasise your ability to keep a firm eye on the desired outcome of the campaign and exercise diplomacy in constructively steering conversations towards a positive outcome without treading on anyone’s toes. Likewise, you need to show that you are able to receive negative feedback on your own ideas without getting upset. The best marketing departments have no room for ego.

Over to you...

As the big day approaches, taking the time to rehearse answers to the most common marketing interview questions will help you feel more confident. That stands you in good stead to knock those interviewers’ socks off. You’ve got this.

 

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5 common marketing interview questions (and how to answer them)

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