You never know exactly which marketing interview questions will be lobbed at you in an interview situation, but as a smart and savvy candidate, you'll at least want to prepare for some of the more common ones.
To help, we've compiled a list of six common marketing interview questions that you may encounter, along with some advice on how to tackle each one:
1. Tell Me More About Yourself
This is a common interview question for any type of job—not just marketing gigs. And while it's straightforward, it's not always so easy to answer. There are a million things you could say about yourself, so how do you decide which ones to highlight here? Do you focus on your professional self, or your personal self? Is there something in particular they want to know about you?
Your best bet is to skip your life story and instead focus on some of your biggest career goals and accomplishments, while touching on your personal interests. Use this opportunity to concisely explain why you want the job and why you think you're perfect for it. Show them you'd be an asset to their team. Be open and honest, and let them get to know who you are as a person. There's a good chance they'll start with this question—and first impressions are everything! Also know that marketing interview questions typically get a bit harder after this one.
2. Can you describe a marketing project that you successfully planned and executed?
These types of marketing interview questions are very common. Talk about a project that you finished with positive results. Walk the hiring manager through the process, showing them how you think, plan, collaborate with others, execute, and follow up. Also touch on any challenges you were forced to overcome, and any mistakes you may have made along the way, and what you learned from them. Explain how the campaign was received, both internally and externally, and the recognition you received for it, if any.
Employers also like numbers. So, if possible, quantify the project's success using metrics. Put them into context to give the hiring manager a clearer idea of just how successful this campaign actually was. And remember, success has many definitions. It doesn't necessarily have to mean everyone loved the final product. It can mean that you personally felt fulfilled by it, learned from it, or felt proud of your contributions.
3. Can you tell me about a marketing campaign you were involved with that was not successful?
This is similar to the all-too-common "What's your greatest weakness?" question. Sure, the employer cares about your weaknesses and failures, but really, they want to know that you can (1) admit that you're flawed, (2) take responsibility for your actions and failures, and (3) that you learn and grow from your mistakes.
When answering this question, don't say, "I've never had an unsuccessful campaign!" Unless this is your first job out of college, chances are, that's simply not true. The employer won't be impressed.
Instead, they may see you as a dishonest person with a big ego, which likely isn't your goal. Even if you haven't worked on a campaign that failed, there's likely a project you've been involved with that could have gone better. Either way, briefly explain what went wrong (without placing blame on others!) and then focus on how you bounced back and what you learned from the experience.
4. How would you approach a big project if you were told you had a very small budget?
When it comes to marketing interview questions, there's a good possibility that you'll be asked one that is budget-related. Not all, but most companies are frequently looking for ways to save some money. Or, they may not have a ton of it to begin with.
Either way, there might be times in which you'll have a small budget to work with, should you get the job—and the hiring manager wants to know that you can be resourceful and creative in those situations. Be prepared to answer a question like this—and have some ideas ready for how you'd be able to run a campaign with few resources.
5. Let's say we were launching X service/product. How would you market it? What would your campaign look like?
It's not uncommon for a hiring manager to pose a question like this. No, they don't expect you to have the perfect answer, and they know in real life you'd have more than 10 seconds to come up with a fantastic plan or campaign. But this is their chance to not only get a better understanding of your thought process, but also to see how you work under pressure and think on your feet.
Don't let marketing interview questions like this trip you up. Stay calm, walk them through what your process would be, and offer a creative, but somewhat safe, response. Use this opportunity to showcase your skills and talents—and also to prove that you've done your homework and know what this company is looking for.
6. What about marketing do you love?
This isn't a trick question. Don't overthink it. This is a great opportunity to show the hiring manager just how passionate you really are about what you do. Just be honest and know there's really no wrong answer (well, unless you say something like, "I love how high-paying the jobs are!") As you answer this one, let your enthusiasm shine through. Smile! Let the interviewer know you mean what you say.
And if the truth is there's really nothing you love about marketing, then it may be time to switch careers! Take some time to practice your answers to these and other common marketing interview questions. Telling the company about your qualifications is easy, but talking about solving a difficult marketing-related problem is tougher. And getting the interview isn't easy, either: you'll need a compelling resume and cover letter to grab an employer's attention in the first place.
Buff up your resume with help from a quality resume builder like LiveCareer's free resume builder, and start putting yourself in position to answer more interview questions!