Congratulations! You’ve landed a job interview. You made your resume stand out from the pile and were chosen to move on to the interview process. That fact alone should make you feel confident in your skills as a marketer.
Many marketing roles, especially entry-level marketing roles, receive hundreds of applications. But often, fewer than 10 candidates will make it to the interview process. You’re one of them, so this company believes in you. They’re rooting for you, and they want you to do well so they can fill the role and get the help they need. All you have to do is prove them right in the interview.
Here’s how to prepare for your interview, what to expect from the process, and how to answer the most common marketing interview questions that will come your way.
How To Prepare for Your Marketing Interview
The marketing interview process can contain several steps. There’s often an interview with a recruiter, a skills test, an interview with the hiring manager, and sometimes an additional interview with other team members like the marketing manager. But, you can prepare for each step in the same way.
Before you go into any round of an interview, study the company’s website and re-read the job description at least twice — once the night before and once the morning of. The job description is like a cheat sheet for acing the interview. You should make connections to the skills and experience listed in the job description in every answer you give.
In addition to appearing competent, you should also focus on being likable. Hiring managers want to know that you’ll fit into the team and get along with co-workers. So, take a deep breath, do some confidence building exercises, and go into that interview as your authentic self. Let your personality shine through so the hiring manager knows they’ll love seeing you at work everyday.
9 Marketing Interview Questions and the Strategies You Need To Answer Them
Some of the questions you encounter in your interview will be specific to the marketing position you’ve applied for, but there are also some common marketing interview questions that every marketing candidate should expect. Here are questions you should be ready to answer.
1. Tell Me About Yourself.
Many interviewees prepare for specific questions only to be thrown by this very broad question. This question, or any question like it (think, “Tell me a little about your background,” or “Why would you be the best candidate for this job?”), allows you to give your elevator pitch.
Explain why you’re passionate about marketing, how your past roles or education have prepared you for this role, and why you would be the best candidate for the job. Highlight your unique skill set and make connections to the skills mentioned in the job description.
2. Why Are You Leaving Your Current Role?
This question is as much about your career goals as it is about your fit with the company culture. Explain what the marketing position you’re applying for offers that your current role doesn’t (i.e., more opportunities for advancement with a bigger company or an ability to work with a wider variety of marketing strategies).
But, as you answer this question, you also need to show that you’re a good team player. Don’t talk badly about your current company, boss, or team. You might be leaving because your boss is a tyrant, but the person interviewing you doesn’t need to know that.
3. What Interests You About This Role?
This is your chance to show off your knowledge about the company you’re applying for. Explain why their product is interesting to you and why you want to help them market it.
This is also a good chance to talk about the type of company you want to work for. If you applied because you’re excited to be part of a fast-paced startup, talk about that. If you wanted an opportunity to join a large, established company with a lot of room for growth, tell your interviewer.
Also, tell them what excited you about the job description. Whether it was because you love email marketing, want to be part of new product launches, or like to do in-depth research on target audiences, something made you click that “apply” button.
4. Tell Me About a Time When You Ran a Successful Marketing Campaign.
This is a situational interview question. The recruiter or hiring manager wants you to give an example based on your life experience. If you’re looking for your first job as a recent college grad, you can give examples based on your school work, extracurriculars, or internship experience.
Don’t be afraid to think outside the box. If you worked a customer service job through college, talk about how providing excellent customer service increased word-of-mouth marketing for your company and led to more inbound leads. Or, explain how your interactions with customers increased sales conversion rates. If you’re applying for a social media marketing job, you can talk about how you increased your personal social media presence and gained more followers.
Any metrics you can add here will help demonstrate that it was a successful campaign. For example, you might say, “When I worked in customer service, my customers spent 20% more on average,” or “I increased my social media presence from 500 to 3,000 followers in six months.” Be specific, but be honest. Lying in your interview or on your resume could set you up for failure in the long-term.
5. Tell Me About a Time You Helped Launch a New Product.
Another situational interview question, you can answer this one in much the same way as the previous question. Explain your role in the launch, talk about the outcome of the product launch, discuss why it was successful, and go into detail about anything you would do differently next time.
Again, for entry-level roles, you can draw on your experience in school, internships, or part-time jobs to come up with an answer.
6. Tell Me About a Time When a Project You Were Working on Went Poorly.
Not every question will be an opportunity to brag, some will be an opportunity to reflect. The interviewer wants to know that you’ve learned from your negative experiences, so come up with an example where you were able to turn the situation around or where you learned an important lesson that you were able to apply to a future project.
7. What Marketing Tools Have You Worked With in the Past?
This is purely a skills-related question, and it’s one where studying the job description will help you. Make connections to the tools mentioned in the job description. If you don’t have experience with the exact tools listed, talk about similar marketing tools you’ve used and why they will help you figure out the new tools more quickly.
For example, if you’re applying for a job as a marketing analyst, and the job asks for experience working with Pathmatics, you can state that, while you haven’t used Pathmatics, you have used similar analytics tools like OWOX BI and Insider. Similarly, if you’re trying to get a job in digital marketing and you don’t have experience with SEMrush, you can talk about other SEO tools you’ve worked with like Ahrefs and Google Analytics.
8. What Do You Consider the Best Practices for Digital Marketing?
This is another question that’s meant to test your skills. Explain your knowledge of SEO, email marketing, and social media marketing strategies, and talk about how you would adapt those strategies for the company’s target audience.
There are a lot of elements to a successful SEO or email strategy, so feel free to focus on the aspects that are most relevant to the role you’re applying for. You can talk about writing successful email subject lines, building a strong SEO backlinking strategy, or creating consistent branding across different digital platforms. As long as you’re showing off your marketing skills and making connections to the job description, you’re doing it right.
9. Do You Have Any Questions for Me?
Having the right answers to common marketing interview questions is important, but so is asking the right questions. At the end of your interview, the person interviewing will ask if you have any questions. This is your chance to learn more about the company and the marketing team, and this part of the interview is not optional. You must ask questions.
Consider asking about the company culture, the marketing department’s five-year goals, the most important skills you can bring to the job, and the next steps in the interview process.
If you’re interviewing with a recruiter, you can ask for tips for the next round of interviews. But, you shouldn’t ask about vacation time, pay, benefits, or how long it will take for you to get promoted. You’ll have plenty of time to ask those questions after you get the job offer and before you accept.
After the Interview
The interview doesn’t end when the final question is asked. After you hang up the phone or walk out of the office, you’ll need to follow up. Send a thank-you letter to the person who interviewed you. You can send a handwritten note, but these days it’s more common to send an email (or a LinkedIn message if that’s how the recruiter initially reached out to you).
In your note, thank the recruiter or hiring manager for their time, tell them how much you enjoyed learning about the company and the marketing team, and emphasize that you would love to work with them. This is an often overlooked part of interviewing, but companies want to hire people who are enthusiastic about the job. So, tell them you love the company and want to work there in both your interview and follow up.
Rock Your Interview and Land the Job
Success is 90% preparation. By practicing for your interview and planning answers to common marketing interview questions, you’ll be ready to prove that you’re the best marketing candidate for that company. So, sit in front of your mirror, practice your answers, and project confidence. All your hard work will help you get work!
If you need more resources as you prepare for your first marketing job, Scholars is here to help. Learn more about top companies and tips for interviewing on our podcast and blog. Or join our community to get access to the largest hub of information for students and recent grads — including information about new job opportunities.