Great marketing hires need to have the right mix of skill-fit and culture-fit to be successful at your organization. Behavioral interview questions, like the ones below, allow you to understand how your candidates have performed in their past roles—which is a strong indicator of how they’d perform in your role. While you will want to tailor your marketing interview questions to the specific role and company for which you’re hiring, here are four ideas to help you get started.
Tell me about your ideal marketing tech stack.
If your organization has a heavy reliance on marketing technology, this question can help you gauge your candidate’s comfortability and familiarity with those technologies. Let the candidate walk you through their ideal tech stack. Note the general product categories (content management, marketing automation, social media marketing, etc) and the specific technologies they’ve used (WordPress, Marketo, Hootsuite, etc). Ask follow up questions to see if they’ve used specific technologies you’ve already implemented, and how comfortable they are with those. Lack of experience shouldn’t necessarily be a deal-breaker, as the candidate could easily adapt to a new product with some training—or you could potentially benefit from switching vendors.
Tell me about the most successful [lead generation/email/social media/account-based marketing] campaign you have ever run.
This is a play on the tried-and-true behavioral interview question, “Tell me about your proudest accomplishment.” Pick an area the candidate should have extensive experience with, and learn all the details about planning, launching, and measuring the campaign. It’s crucial that you understand the candidate’s specific role in the campaign, to be sure that they are recounting their own success, rather than that of a colleague. Verify their answer during reference checks by asking their manager and a colleague if they remember this campaign, the candidate’s role in it, and the results achieved. This can give you an idea of what you could expect the candidate to accomplish at your organization, if hired.
Tell me about a time a [lead generation/email/social media/account-based marketing] campaign completely failed.
This is another way to ask about your marketing candidate’s potential weaknesses, and to learn more about a candidate’s culture-fit. If a mistake was made, ask how and when they caught it, what they did to remedy the situation, and what they’d do differently in hindsight. Let’s say you’re looking for an email marketer who’s detail-oriented. If the candidate tells you about a campaign they sent out with a broken call-to-action, make sure they’ve learned to always test links and buttons before sending emails out.
With marketing candidates, you may also find that the failed campaign was simply a test that didn’t pan out as expected. If you value marketing team members who take risks to test new campaign ideas, a candidate who failed in this manner may be a great fit.
Can you complete a short assignment?
Rather than asking a candidate to tell you about a specific skill, ask them to show you. Give them a short assignment they would work on if hired.
Here are a few examples:
- Write a 500-600 word, search engine optimized, blog post on a topic related to our business.
- How would you respond to the following customer complaints through Twitter? [Insert real customer complaints you’ve received.]
- Create an email nurturing campaign with 5-10 touch points to send to a lead that has just [downloaded eBook, watched webinar, etc].
With these types of assignments, you have the added bonus of showing the candidate what they’d be working on in the role, so they may better evaluate your opportunity. Candidates who are a great fit are more likely to be excited about these challenges, while those that are not a great fit will ideally self-select out.
Learn more interview best practices in our eBook Top Interview Tips: The Employer’s Essential Handbook.