Advice for a marketing management interview
These can differ depending on the type of position and company you are applying for, but in the list below you will find 6 key points to keep in mind when interviewing for a Marketing Manager role.
These points are a good reminder if you are currently interviewing for a marketing role or thinking of applying to one, and will help you prepare and give the best impression on the big day.
1. Research, research, research
When it comes to marketing interviews, the first step is always research.
Who is the company? What are their products? What sales channels do they use? How have they marketed themselves until now? Do they have a strong online presence?
All these questions can be answered with online and in-store research. Be sure to always check the company’s website and social media channels. Check out their online ads and videos, how do they brand themselves? Who are their target consumers?
Next, you need to check recent press releases. Have they recently launched a new product?
This will help you piece together a better understanding of the company and brand and help you in 2 ways (which we will cover later): finding a personal connection to the company or brand, and understanding the company’s marketing strategy.
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2. Reasons for applying
Why did you decide to apply to our company? Why did you decide to apply to this position?
These are some of the most common questions in any interview but especially when it comes to marketing roles.
Through your answers, interviewers are judging your understanding of their brand and products, and also your passion for them. Having done your research, try to find a personal connection between the company or brand and yourself. You might discover the company had more brands than you thought, and you frequently use their products. Or they might have sponsored events you are familiar with.
Whatever connection you can find will be a great example to share in the interview when asked why you decided to apply.
How your Morgan McKinley consultant can help: Prior to your interview, your consultant will be able to give you advice on the best way to handle difficult questions such as ‘What do you currently dislike about your role?’ or ‘Why do you wish to leave your current employer?’. The key point in this case is not to be negative about your current situation and focus on the positive reasons why you want to move on.
3. Show your marketing skills
Researching the company you are interviewing with will give you an idea of their marketing strategy.
Does the company have a strong online presence? Do they still use TV ads or billboards? Do they regularly have partnerships with other companies? Do they use celebrity endorsements?
Through your research, this will give you potential ideas for their marketing strategy, new areas to explore or a weakness they need to address and that you should share during the interview. Hiring managers will be evaluating not only your skills and experience with new product launches, marketing communications etc., but most importantly your strategic and planning skills.
Can you put together a strong marketing plan for them? Do you have experience looking at consumer insights and coming up with a strategy to target your specific consumers? What challenges have you encountered in the past? How have you overcome them and succeeded with a new launch or increasing brand awareness and therefore sales?
Any details you can share about past experience showcasing your particular skills and experience is important to the hiring manager and will help them better understand that you are suitable for the position.
Many candidates often ask, should I make a presentation of my plan and ideas? The answer is if you can, then yes you should.
Even a simple one that conveys your ideas will show that you have done the necessary research for the position and have come prepared to discuss them in person.
How your Morgan McKinley consultant can help: Your consultant will be available before your meeting to help you practice and come up with the best examples that showcase your marketing skills. Be sure to always break these down into three parts:
- Context: what was the situation at the time?
- Action: what decision/actions did you take?
- Outcome: what was the positive outcome? Share numbers if you can.
4. Show your leadership skills
It is a difficult task to assess someone’s leadership style within a short amount of time and oftentimes interviewers will use a combination of behavioural questions to determine whether your skills and experience match their requirements.
The following are common questions you may encounter:
- How do you motivate your subordinates?
- What challenges have you encountered as a manager? How did you overcome them?
- How have you helped your subordinates improve their performance? What changes have you implemented in your team? What were the results?
These may also come under the form of situational questions such as “Can you give me an example of when you…?” or “Can you describe your approaches…?”
Be ready to answer these questions with specific examples that showcase both successes and also trying times. It is important to also share the challenges you have faced in the past and explain how you overcame them.
These will demonstrate to your interviewers that you have the core skills which make a good leader such as decisiveness, passion, good communication and emotional intelligence.
How your Morgan McKinley consultant can help: When preparing with your consultant, be sure to ask about the culture of the company, the management style and what kind of leadership the position you’re applying for requires. This will help you better understand the type of management style they are looking for and help choose the best examples from your own experience to share during the meeting.
5. Have questions ready
Always prepare questions for your interviewer(s).
Interviews are not only a time for you to showcase your experience and skills, but also to better understand the company and position and make sure it is the right fit for you.
Open-ended questions are preferable over yes or no questions. Make sure to have 2-3 questions prepared before the interview on topics that are important to you and more questions will no doubt occur to you as well throughout the meeting.
Some good questions can be:
- Can you tell me more about the day-to-day responsibilities of this job?
- Can you tell more about the culture of the company? Of the team?
- What do you like best about working for this company?
- What is the typical career path for someone in this role?
6. Manage your stress by practicing!
Job interviews can be stressful.
However, with the right amount of preparation, you can manage your stress, come across as more confident, and better show your personality when face-to-face with your interviewer.
Practice won’t make you perfect, but it will certainly help. This is especially true for candidates who may not have experienced a job interview in many years and may be surprised at the behavioural or competency-based questions that are quite common nowadays.
Practice your answers out loud. You will be much more confident and your answers will be smoother during the real meeting.
How your Morgan McKinley consultant can help: We will make sure to schedule some face-to-face time before your interview to help you prepare and practice your answers. They will be able to help you remain clear and concise in your answers and also provide feedback with regards to your communication style and body language.
In conclusion, it is always important to research, prepare and practice for your interview and doing this will always put you ahead of any candidate who does not. We have seen more than one candidate who attends an interview without proper preparation and who, despite strong marketing and people management skills, not only failed but gave the interviewers a terrible impression.
Download our full interview preparation guide for free here!
Best of luck with your future marketing interviews and feel free to reach out if you have any questions.