A Marketing Manager will drive your company’s efforts to make sales and realize profits. A talented candidate will demonstrate the ability to understand your products and services, identify your target audience, and create and deliver messages that will effectively promote your brand. This role is at the center of a highly collaborative process so look for a candidate who understands how to work productively with your marketing, executive, creative, and finance teams.
A high value Marketing Manager is one who can readily grasp your business goals and devise the right message for the right audience through the right channels. In a crowded marketplace, a uniquely creative marketing vision will help your brand stand out above all others. Consider your candidate’s proven leadership skills, critical thinking skills, technical expertise across all productivity and design software tools, and knowledge of emerging consumer trends and behaviors.
General interview questions (such as “Can you tell me about yourself?” and “Why are you looking for another job?”) are a great way to get to know your candidate’s personal history, interests and goals. However, be sure to add inquiries specific to the role they’re interviewing for, so you can gain valuable insights into their likelihood of success in that position.
Below are Marketing Manager interview questions to help you get started:
What is your opinion of our company’s current marketing efforts?
What you want to hear: This question allows you to assess how well your candidate prepared for the interview by studying all publicly available information. Listen for a candidate who is familiar with your products and services, can readily explain your current brand messaging across digital and non-digital channels, and has a grasp on what they believe to be your overall marketing strategy. The key is for your candidate to continue by outlining what they view as being strengths or weaknesses in the existing plan, and offering ideas for how they would approach making changes or improvements.
Red flag: A candidate who cannot provide a substantive response to this question is waving a red flag. Lack of diligence when preparing for the interview, or the inability to evaluate a current campaign, are strong indicators that the candidate is not well-suited to lead your company’s marketing program.
What innovative marketing strategy have you been wanting to try?
What you want to hear: A strong Marketing Manager stays current on all marketing technologies and trends. Your candidate should be able to provide details about the resources they turn to for up-to-date information, including conferences, chat rooms, publications, and continuing education courses. Listen for a high level of enthusiasm when your candidate discusses advancements in the field and identifies the strategy they would like to try for the right marketing assignment.
Red flag: The marketing field moves at an extremely fast pace in light of constant advancements in technology and rapidly shifting consumer trends. A candidate who does not demonstrate the interest in staying current on advancements, or the inquisitive mind to experiment with such advancements, is a high risk for delivering marketing plans that fail to effectively reach your audience and maximize sales.
How do you measure the outcomes of a marketing strategy?
What you want to hear: A marketing strategy will be translated into advertisements, article and blog content, brochures, promotional materials and the like. Great care will be taken to ensure the graphic design and copy are well executed for delivering the desired message. But that’s only half the battle. An experienced Marketing Manager will explain that each channel of message delivery must be measured for success or failure. For example, when running print ads with coupons you can track redemption rates; for digital channels you would want to track such measurables as cost per click (CPC), cost per acquisition (CPA), click through rate (CTR).
Tell me how you would run an email marketing campaign?
What you want to hear: This question is an opportunity to assess how a candidate uses processes to accomplish a given task. Listen for a candidate who can take you through each step of devising and executing an email marketing campaign. For example, critical steps would include meeting with all appropriate parties to strategize the purpose and goals of the campaign; determining the metrics by which success or failure would be measured; establishing a budget for the campaign; utilizing legal and cost-effective techniques for compiling an email list; and considering key email drafting concepts such subject lines, body content, calls to action (CTAs), and A/B testing.
Red flag: Be certain that your candidate utilizes process models to stay organized and account for each key step when developing a campaign of any kind. A haphazard approach to development is a high risk for errors, omissions, and subpar outcomes.
What motivates you to do your job every day?
What you want to hear: Top Marketing Managers love the work of marketing. A strong candidate will be energized by the intellectual challenge of matching the company’s messaging goals with the right marketing campaign strategy. They will welcome the creative challenge of design and copy development. Their inquisitive mind will constantly review measurables such as A/B testing results to sharpen the campaign elements. And they will enjoy being a leader of a highly collaborative process.
Red flag: A candidate who is motivated by anything other than the satisfaction of building and executing successful campaigns may lack the drive and focus to maximize your company’s marketing opportunities.
Tell me about a leadership moment you had when a creative department clashed with the business department on strategy or approach?
What you want to hear: Marketing campaign development is a highly collaborative process. Not infrequently, ideas, requests, and goals of one department will clash with those of another department. For example, the business executives may have design ideas that the creative department deems unattainable within the given budget, or the business executives may require completion deadlines that cannot be met without more creative staff. Look for a candidate who can explain how they considered each department’s concerns and arrived at a viable solution that kept the project moving forward.
Red flag: A Marketing Manager who cannot effectively navigate conflict within or between departments lacks the leadership skills needed to keep your marketing efforts moving forward in a timely and productive manner.
Every interview question can help get you closer to the right fit for your Marketing Manager position.
Be sure to keep an eye out for candidates who:
- Bring a highly diversified marketing background
- Utilize effective process models to complete projects in a timely and accurate manner
- Are strong leaders to ensure maximum individual and team productivity