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10 Marketing Executive Interview Questions

You've ben sifting through your Marketing Executive CV's and you're ready to start your interviews! But what are the best interview questions for a Marketing Executive position? When interviewing for this position, you want to be sure that you’re hiring the best talent possible.

Marketing encompasses so many skills and responsibilities, so you need to know the best way of getting the most out of your interviewees. Here’s 10 Marketing Executive Interview questions to ask when recruiting for your next trailblazing marketer.

1. What area of marketing do you feel you excel at the most? (Digital, traditional, in/outbound, content etc.)

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Self-awareness is a useful trait for marketers to possess. Your candidate should be aware of their strengths in order to apply them successfully. Marketing is a broad field that encompasses a lot of different key skills.

Ideally, your candidate should have experience in all areas of marketing, but the chances are they specialise in one particular area. Ask them about it. Ask them why they excel the most in that area, and what evidence there is to back it up. What are their achievements working in the area?

Should you wish, this is a good opportunity to ask them about what they believe themselves to be worst at. This is a sensitive subject but one that quality candidates shouldn’t be afraid to approach.

Just as everyone needs to know their strengths, they must also know their own weaknesses. Acknowledging weaknesses allows candidates to work on them and improve themselves. This leads to more well-rounded marketers.

Doing this allows you to identify whether the candidate is weak at any important areas of your role.

2. What’s the most successful marketing strategy you’ve implemented?

One of the main duties of senior marketers is creating and implementing marketing campaigns and strategies. Try encouraging your candidate to detail their most successful marketing strategy. Ask follow up questions like; was this strategy conceived and implemented by them? How successful was it (with tangible figures)? How long did it take to implement? What was the budget?

You want to find out everything about the strategy to get an idea of what they can do for you. Their answers to these questions should demonstrate their ability to strategise and implement creative campaigns.

In fact, if they’d like to name more than one, even better! CVs alone don’t cover the true value of experiences and achievements, they only tell you highlights. Getting more detail from your candidate on the specifics of their achievements and experiences gives you a more rounded an impression.

3. Have you ever saved an unsuccessful campaign and made it successful? How did you do this?

Everything doesn’t always goes to plan. It’s inevitable that some strategies and campaigns won’t be as successful as others. Good marketing executives acknowledge this and learn from it. Ask them what their least successful campaign was and why it was unsuccessful. Ask what they learned from it and what they would change in the future.

Along with the previous question, this gives you an indication of what their criteria for success and lack of success is. Are they aspirational or content? Do they consider anything less than gold standard a failure? Consider these things when analysing the candidate’s personality and work ethic.

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4. What are the essential traits of a good marketer?

There’s no definitive answer to this question. Depending on the marketing role, the most essential traits for your candidate will vary. This is a good opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge of your role and the necessary skills to succeed in it. Look for answers like, “I believe (X skill) is most important overall in marketing, though for your role in particular I believe (Y skill) is essential”.

This shows an understanding of marketing as a whole as well as the opportunity at hand. Encourage your candidate to expand on why they believe the skills they named are important in your business, and how they would apply those skills to the role.

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5. What’s your view on the relationship between marketing and sales? How do you think these departments should integrate?

There’s often a lot of discussion around the relationship between sales and marketing. Some believe they should be tightly integrated with little boundary, whilst others think they should be kept mostly separate.

Consider the sales-marketing relationship in your business. How do the sales and marketing funnels integrate? Do the departments work closely together or do they rarely interact?

Your candidate’s answer should reflect your own business structure. If the candidate’s beliefs don’t match up with your business structure, they may not be suited to the opportunity. Test their flexibility. Ask if they’d be able to adjust to your model along with evidence to back this up.

6. What’s your view on targeting social media in 2018? What platforms do you believe should be a specific focus?

This is one of the most important Marketing Executive interview questions. There’s a lot of recent debate surrounding the use of social media for marketing in 2018. Though social media over the past few years has seen a huge rise, many believe that the usefulness of social media for marketing is dying out. Certainly there is a great deal of saturation in terms of platforms. There are more popular social media sites than ever, and sites like Facebook are currently losing steam.

Ask your candidate what they think about the use of social media in marketing. Do they believe it should still be a major focus? How do they believe it should be utilised? Where do they see it going in the foreseeable future? What platforms do they believe should be focused on? Your candidate’s answers to these questions should shed a lot of light onto their knowledge of social media and current technology usage.

Your candidate should understand that different platforms have uses for different businesses. They should provide insight into what social media sites they believe to be on the rise for social media marketing potential.

Importantly, they should also tell you where they believe is best to target for your audience specifically. This shows great understanding of your business, your market, and your target audience.

They should know who your target audience is, and where that audience gathers. Their insight into the future of social media may indicate their ability to plan and strategise. It should show you they’re an adaptable forward-thinker.

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7. What’s your impression of our business’s current marketing?

Of course, one of the things that every interviewer looks for in candidates for all roles in knowledge of the company. Especially for senior roles, you’d expect candidates to have done significant research on your business before coming to the interview. They should have a good understanding of the ins and outs of what you do and the market you’re in before they start. That way they have a head start and a good knowledge base to build on.

Encourage your candidate to tell you what they can about your business. In particular, ask them to tell you about your current marketing and what they think of it. Any good marketer should be able to analyse your marketing from an outside perspective and in relation to your market and competitors.

Finding a balance is important here. You don’t want to ask your candidates to do free work for you. Instead, you want to gauge their knowledge of the opportunity and their potential to grow your business.

8. What’s your favourite marketing campaign that you weren’t involved with?

This question probes your candidates’ knowledge of external marketing campaigns.

Quality marketers take inspiration from businesses around them both in creativity and implementation.

Ask your candidates what their personal favourite campaign was and what business carried it out. What impressed them the most about it? What about the marketing specifically interests them and why?

Consider giving an example of a marketing campaign that you personally like to work with. This allows your candidate to compare and contrast campaigns, how they feel they were implemented, and how they achieved their goals.

Many candidates will give examples of some of the more famous marketing campaigns. Campaigns from large FMCG companies like Coca-Cola, McDonald's, and Dairy Milk are well known and likely to be mentioned. Look for more specific marketing knowledge. Candidates who give examples of less well known marketing campaigns from smaller businesses show a deeper knowledge of the marketing industry.

9. Who do you identify as our biggest competitor? How do you think you can help us overtake them marketing wise?

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Competitor analysis is a great skill for senior professionals to have, especially Marketing Executives. By being able to accurately analyse your competitors, you can improve your own business practices and marketing.

Keeping up with the industry is vital for success, especially in terms of creative, up-to-date marketing.

Through their research of your business, your candidates should also have a good knowledge of your competitors. Can they identify your main competitors and tell you why they are your biggest competition? If so that’s a good sign.

Allow them to expand upon their answer by telling you what your competitors are doing well and how you they can help you improve to overtake them and stay ahead of them.

10. What’s the most difficult decision you’ve had to make? What was difficult about it? How did you resolve the situation?

Everyone has to make tough decisions. It’s a fact of life. This is especially true in the business world. Being able to adapt and prevail when tough decisions need to be made is an excellent trait for Marketing Executives.

Talented professionals take tough decision-making in their stride and make informed, sensible decisions at crucial times.

Ask your candidate what the toughest decision they’ve had to make was. Why was this the most difficult decision? What options did they have available and what did they decide on? What was their process for solving the issue and what was the outcome of their decision?

Their answers should tell you what kind of decision maker they are. They should show you how they react under pressure, and what measures they take to resolve issues.

The Most Effective Interview Questions for a Marketing Executive

These are just a few of the marketing executive interview questions you can ask your candidates. It’s important to remember that you shouldn't be too rigid with your interview structure. Try and let conversation flow. Create a dialogue. Use exercises and make the interview more dynamic. This will let your candidates shine.

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