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Interview Tips for Marketing Professionals
As with any interview when attending a marketing interview preparation is key – it helps you stand out from the crowd and prevents you from nerves on the day.
The range of questions presented to you in a marketing interview should provide a great opportunity for you to show off your skills and experience – they are not designed to trip you up or trick you. It allows the company to see whether your skills match their requirements and fit with their existing marketing department.
The most common skills that marketing line managers are looking for in the interview are:
- Strategic thinking
- Analytical abilities
- General understanding of marketing concepts
Be sure to demonstrate your abilities in these areas and provide examples where appropriate. Luckily, in most interviews (especially marketing) there is no right or wrong answer, but instead the interviewers are looking for unique answers that are well thought out and demonstrate as many of your skills as possible as well as your creativity. This is particularly true when answering the dreaded ‘case’ questions. Despite evoking the most stress in an interview, interviewers will always throw these at you because they allow them to see your thought process and skills.
Different Types of Questions to Prepare For
A typical marketing interview will include a variety of different types of questions. These include questions on business situations, creativity, and general marketing.
BUSINESS SITUATION QUESTIONS
With Business Situation questions you need to demonstrate your ability to:
- Make logical decisions based on the data presented
- Analyse data quickly and identify any relevant trends
- Assess the relationship between sales, profit and market share of a particular brand
Typical business situation questions will usually provide you with some information on sales and market share and you will be asked to assess the situation and advise on areas of weakness or areas that may need to be looked into.
E.g. As the brand manager for a product the sales have been constant for the past 3 years and have not increased. However, the brand’s market share has been increasing at a steady rate. What is happening to the brand and what would you do about this trend?
How to tackle this
When answering business situation questions, begin by focusing on any other competitors facing the brand. Have new competitors come on the scene? Have they introduced new products or changed anything about their existing product, like a decrease in price?
Interviewers will often welcome you asking more questions in this situation – it demonstrates your desire to get the full picture. It is also acceptable for you to make assumptions as long as you explain your assumptions in your answer.
Some of the questions that you get asked in a marketing interview may seem a bit odd but interviewers are looking for ways to challenge your creativity and see how you think on your feet.
Interviewers will sometimes ask obscure questions to test your ability to link creativity to strategy so when asked to come up with quirky ideas try to remember to think strategically and take time to consider your answer.
E.g. Your product is a drinking bottle but suddenly bottled water is banned by the government – how else could plastic bottles be used?
This is a very unlikely situation but allows you to get your creative juices flowing!
GENERAL MARKETING QUESTIONS
Take time to prepare for a whole host of questions as your interviewer could ask you about anything and you want to avoid being flustered and unprepared. Be sure to come across confident and un-phased by the questions.
Yolk Recruitment has come up with some questions we feel are important for you to think about before your interview.
Questions Regarding Your Personal Qualities
- What are your salary expectations?
- What accomplishment are you most proud of?
- Tell me about yourself
- How do you cope under pressure?
- Describe your leadership/management style
- What are your three most important accomplishments?
- Tell me about a time you failed?
- What are the two most creative ideas that you have generated in the last two years?
- What is your greatest weakness?
- What appeals to you about marketing?
- What do you look for when choosing a company to apply to?
- Why do you want to work for Company XYZ?
- Competency Based Questions
- Provide an example of each of the following: Leadership, Analytical abilities, Creativity, and Teamwork
- Give an example of where your involvement in a group made a difference?
- Discuss an example of a situation when you had to persuade a person of a different view to agree with you on an issue
- Identify a brand that you feel is marketed well. Why is it marketed well?
- Identify a brand that you feel is not marketed well. Why is it not marketed well?
- Tell me about a web site that markets consumer goods well and why?
These questions are just a guideline to a wide variety of possible interviews. Think of more specific questions that relate to the position you are going for. For example, if you are going for a Brand Manager position, consider the questions they would ask you about your knowledge of repositioning a new brand in the market.
Remember if you need any advice or guidance before your interview, get in touch with your Yolk consultant who will be happy to help.