Job Interview questions Marketing & Communication jobs

A career in marketing will demand creativity, ambition, strategic planning and a problem-solving ability; therefore, interviewers for these positions will ask questions in order to recognise these personality traits and find the candidate that best fits the position.

Your ability to both adapt to marketing changes and support your theories is going to be tested so it is important to include facts, figures, measurements and an awareness of the psychology of marketing.

Marketing functions are often the heart of a company so most marketing interviews will hold more substance than many other types of job interviews. The best way to impress a company is to provide actual marketing tactics that the business would benefit from implementing. If you impress your interviewers with legitimately effective ideas, the company is far more likely to hire you so that you can put them into action.

Common questions for Marketing and Communication jobs to expect include:

  1. What types of marketing campaigns have you run in the past?
    Be specific when answering questions about your accomplishments with other companies. By simply stating, “I ran several online marketing campaigns” does not adequately show what you can do for the company.

    A more appropriate answer would be: “I started a social media campaign that used targeted advertising systems to market the company’s services to youth in North America.” In order to elaborate - this will further project your knowledge of different campaigns - use numbers that support the project such as, “Within three financial quarters, sales increased by 427% and brand recognition vastly improved by 10% within the target demographic.”

    Provide an example of a marketing campaign (either your own or someone else's) that you consider to have been very successful.

    As mentioned above, marketing demands a lot in terms of creativity. When answering questions such as this, it is important to make sure you include as much creative thinking in your response as there was in the actual project. When discussing a campaign that you felt was successful, make sure to include why you feel it was a success, what contributed to making it a success and point out key tactics that you can identify with, which made the campaign successful.
  2. How effectively do you think you can work within budgetary constraints?

    In times of economic strain, this question is most relevant for a marketing professional. As marketing is one of the most important functions within a company, when finances are tight a marketing budget, which may once have been limitless can be squeezed down to close to nothing. This is yet another area which will require a creative answer that also highlights your planning and ambition in terms of working under pressure.

    Also, the best way to answer questions about the future is to focus on accomplishments of the past. In other words, when asked about how you would deal with possible future scenarios, refer to your past accomplishments. Your answers should focus on successful campaigns with statement such as, “While I was with my previous company I initiated both low-cost lead generation strategies and several viral marketing campaigns using an almost inexistent budget to boost profits by 200%.”

    This question may be followed by an enquiry on how you went about launching these campaigns. This is an excellent opportunity to elaborate on additional skills and impress the interviewer with your knowledge of the industry.
  3. Provide an example of a marketing campaign that did not work out as you had planned and how you handled the situation.

    An interviewer will ask his question in order to assess how you handle a failed plan, as this is quite inevitable. It is important that you are able to recognise the key reasons why a strategy went wrong and what you learnt from the experience.

    Campaigns may fail for many different reasons, including: poor research and groundwork, poor planning and follow-through of objectives and goals or ineffective communication. Be open about why the campaign failed, take accountability and focus on what you learnt.
  4. What factors do you consider most important when attempting to influence consumer behaviour?

    When answering this question make sure to show how cultural, social, personal and psychological factors all impact consumer behaviour. Provide an example of a marketing campaign or project you developed and how you used these four key factors to develop and optimise your project.
  5. What are the biggest challenges a marketing manager faces today?

    Coming up with new and effective ways to market a product in such a tight economy is a tough challenge and these days customers have more power than ever. It is getting more difficult for marketing initiatives to effectively meet these new customer demands. Keep these and other factors in mind when tackling this question, relate your personal experience of the challenges you have encountered and discuss the creative ways in which you handled them.
  6. Additional questions to prepare for:

    What do you consider the 5 most important aspects of successful marketing?
    Tell me about a time when you successfully changed a customer's mind.
    How familiar are you with our target market?
    Off hand, what marketing strategies would you consider using for our product?
    Why are you interested in our product/service?

Preparation is key

An interview for a marketing position is one where preparation is of particular importance. In order to provide accurate answers you need to remember the specifics of past marketing strategies from memory and know as much as possible about the marketing strategies (and products/services being marketed) about the company you are applying for, its current economic climate, their target consumer, and best practices to reach them.

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