How to get the best out of your candidates
Interviews can be immensely powerful tools in the recruitment process. However, in reality they are often muddled and murky and failing to draw out the information you really seek.
The interview process is more than ascertaining qualifications which can be done in moments. They are about honing in on that talent who is passionate and driven which you hope will spell growth for your business.
A successful interview requires knowing the right marketing interview questions to uncover truths. Carefully planned interviews are an opportunity.
At the heart of this is a question-driven dialogue. It’s not a straight-forward Q&A session. Questions should be viewed as a springboard to two-way conversation which is revealing and enlightening.
Before we move on to these springboard questions, let’s delve into the approach you should take to interviews in a little more detail.
In an interview you need to take an individualistic approach to the candidate. Yes, you can have your set of marketing interview questions to prompt, but no two interviews should look the same.
The purpose of the interview is finding out if this particular individual has the X-factor to drive your marketing function.
It’s easy to go through a list, parroting questions. At the marketing director level this is a fool’s game. A well-rehearsed candidate will simply be able to real off their own parroted answers that nicely tick the boxes. But this doesn’t tell you about who they will really be on the ground in the role.
Therefore you need to view your questions as discussion prompts which require case study back-ups drawing on knowledge from their personal experience. You need to be gauging how they think, how they act, how they manage and how they lead. You need to be looking at the subtext of their answers.
To select the best candidate you can select the right questions for each candidate from the marketing interview questions below. Don’t attempt to cram them all in but choose the ones best suited to drawing out the attributes you need to witness:
Often the skill of the marketing director is in the relationships they nurture. They can develop the snazziest media campaigns but if their interaction with sales, leads and clients is less than personable then they won’t deliver.
What you’re looking for: Here you are looking to see if their approach (friendliness, persistence, professionalism etc.) matches your business branding. A marketing director should be a perfect mirror image of your brand in human form.
This question is a probe. You’re not actually seeking a set answer, i.e. A or B. You’re looking to see how they approach the problem. You want to find out how they go about getting the information they need, it’s not about the design per se.
What you’re looking for: You need to pay attention to the questions they ask which should focus on things such as target audiences, branding, testing and relationships. If they do come out and pick one, there should be some clear justifications. Do they focus more on data and logic or people pleasing?
This question is about how well they understand the importance of analysis and metrics, as well as their leadership capability. On the face of it, it’s a chance for them to sell themselves well.
What you’re looking for: Passion, commitment and leadership approach. You’re looking for what they can bring to your business that you really need.
This is all about marketing data and how they can use it to the greatest advantage, legally and ethically.
What you’re looking for: You’re looking for an approach which sits easily with you but may unearth a way of looking at the data that is different. It’s about their confidence with statistical analysis and managing lead scores.
The end goal is, of course, a successful campaign. However, there is no set route to achievement. You’re asking how they will drive your marketing team.
What you’re looking for: What is their route? Has it proven successful? How aware are they of any pitfalls? Do they reflect and adapt?
Here you’re getting down to the nitty-gritty of potential value they can add to your specific business.
What you’re looking for: How well they know you as an outsider looking in based on their experience and knowledge. You’re looking to see how well they understand your customer base. You’re not looking for them to come up with a complete run-down of the way your business marketing is conducted today.
We’re heading into strengths and weaknesses. Expect a parroted answer to start with. What you need to do is lead them on from this to uncover what this looks like in practical terms with real genuine examples.
What you’re looking for: Self-awareness and a problem-solving approach. You’re looking at how you will balance their attributes with the rest of the marketing management team.
This question is all about industry awareness and the ability to reflect and develop. It’s a great conversation starter and will uncover information about the individual character sitting in the interview chair. Expect the discussion to form around brand trust development and issues such as content development.
What you’re looking for: An outward-looking perspective that goes far beyond the brands they simply like.
The candidate will need to focus on specific areas. You want to probe why and specifically what tactics they will employ. This then needs to be used as a launch pad to determine how this has actually worked out in their experience.
What you’re looking for: You’re looking specifically for the how in how they do things. This isn’t about the why, but about how they practically do it. You’re also looking to analyse their thought process.
This question isn’t about them demonstrating how they could get your team to work their socks off and succeed in the whole lot. It’s about how they problem-solve and hone in on inbound marketing that is based on quality over quantity. Specifically they should be looking at how to ascertain where to focus your efforts.
What you’re looking for: You’re looking for a conscious thought-process which evaluates the situation and comes up with a plan which demonstrates leadership ability.
You want a marketing director who is at the cutting edge of the industry, responding to trends, changes and opportunities. Marketing is a fast moving niche and you want to know how your business will always be adapting to industry changes.
What you’re looking for: You’re looking for discussion about current trends, where they get their information, and how they respond to information they obtain.
You’re putting the candidate on the spot here to understand a great number of variables. You’re looking at how they deliver information (positive and negative). You’re looking at their knowledge of your business. You’re looking at their knowledge of content marketing and previous successes. You’re looking at their passion for driving change.
What you’re looking for: You want them to request further metrics before they launch in to their answer. You also want them to probe about company goals. You want to hear that they’re getting on board with you and your business.
Often a relationship with stresses and strains, this isn’t about unearthing a set answer. It’s about an understanding of this situation and how they respond to it.
What you’re looking for: It’s important here that you hear about how they are able to unify behind a common business goal, and how they achieve this within their own team. You’re looking for a clear understanding of the marketing responsibility to sales and vice versa.
It’s essential that your marketing director is capable of being the leader of the ship, formulating and enacting a clear plan. You don’t want them to simply go through the motions, you want something unique delivered with passion.
What you’re looking for: Here you are really looking for the X-factor, their creativity and their innovation. You should also be witnessing passion in action.
This is a broad question which examines how well they know themselves, where their passions and expertise lies, and why they believe they are successful.
What you’re looking for: You’re looking to uncover their passion and their drive. This is where you really look beyond qualifications to their proven attributes and personality. Look for positive and enthusiastic body language. You’re looking for infectious passion and a clear understanding of marketing return on investment.
The most productive interviews don’t get hung up on the questions. They become carefully focused discussions. Much of the information and evidence you’re trying to garner will come about from free-flowing conversation which engages.
Remember, your marketing director needs to be an exceptional communicator. This alone is an attribute you want to see in action.
Additionally, insuring the interview is an open discussion, rather than a strict list of marketing interview questions, gives you an insight in to the relaxed personality that you will get to know. This enables you to see if they are a good addition to your team and business.
We are interview experts, and work to deliver you individuals who don’t simply meet a job spec, but excel your business to the next level. Get us on board with your executive recruitment. Call on 0203 582 2663.