Marketing Interview Questions & Answers

Updated 5 June 2020

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Marketing is a popular career choice around the world.

On a basic level, a marketer’s job is to encourage consumers to buy a product. The role extends further to identifying consumer demand for a product or service, and working out ways to encourage consumers to purchase (and keep purchasing).

A marketer must also be able to measure their successes and failures, and take appropriate action.

Given the spectrum of roles and responsibilities within marketing, an interview can often be in-depth and include behavioural, situational, competency, technical and brain teaser questions.

Employers want to ensure their next employee has a passion for marketing, fits the company culture and demonstrates the potential for growth within the role. Candidates are also expected to show commercial awareness, excellent interpersonal skills and the ability to think strategically.

In today’s world, many marketers will work extensively with online content and platforms and will rely heavily on analytics. An awareness of technology and online trends is a must.

Here are some key interview questions you can expect at an interview for a marketing position:

Ten Marketing Interview Questions and Answers

1. “Talk About a Time You Had to Market a Product and Your Team Didn’t Hold the Same Values or Have the Same Ideas as You. What Approach Did You Take?”

To answer this question, you need to demonstrate:

  • That you are open-minded; open to the opinions and ideas of others
  • That you can manage disagreement and come up with solutions
  • That you can ensure differences of opinion don’t cause delays

The interviewer wants to find out how you work with people who don’t necessarily operate in the same way you do, and might hold different beliefs and values to you.

Example answer:

When I was working at [X Company] on [Project Y], the team members had very different ideas on how to approach the campaign.

"I encouraged the team to focus on the product and how we should define it rather than our personal opinions. By focusing on the product rather than our differences (which were based on different values), we worked together as a coherent team.

2. “Using a Real Example of a Product You Have Recently Marketed, How Were You Able to Prove Return on Marketing Investment?”

To answer this question, you need to demonstrate:

  • Your understanding of how to measure attribution
  • Your ability to interpret data
  • Your focus on return on marketing investment (ROI)

ROI measures the amount of revenue that is generated from individual marketing campaigns (compared to the cost of the campaign itself). You calculate ROI using the following equation:

ROI = (sales growth – marketing cost) / marketing cost

The employer wants proof that you have the skills and abilities to get results, and that you can measure those results. They also want to know that you have an understanding of the financials involved in marketing campaigns and can handle basic maths.

Your answer will vary depending on the product you are discussing but you could talk about social media engagement, website visits, ad clicks, attendance at events, responses to a direct mail campaign, etc.

You should be prepared to discuss the specific revenue numbers involved (assuming those aren't confidential).

3. “Tell Me About a Campaign You Are Particularly Proud Of; Talk Me Through the Product and Your Target Market.”

To answer this question, you need to demonstrate:

  • Your understanding of product and target market
  • Your passion for strategy and its deployment
  • Your ability to select the most appropriate marketing tools for a specific campaign

The employer is checking your understanding of product and target market; they also want to see that you get excited by a great campaign.

When preparing for your interview, make sure you revise all the details of a particularly successful campaign that you were involved in. You should talk about the product and discuss the marketing mix.

Talk about your strategy, what went well and why you are proud of the campaign.

4. “In Your New Job, You Find an Excel Spreadsheet Containing 20,000 Entries that Hasn’t Been Updated for Three Months. How Could You Work with This Spreadsheet to Provide Yourself with a List of Leads?”

This is a case study question, so you will be shown the spreadsheet and given all the information you need to formulate your answer.

For this particular question, the spreadsheet includes the company name, industry, company size, why they became classed as a lead, whether they made an order and, if yes, how much the order was for.

To answer this question, you need to demonstrate:

  • How you would use statistical analysis to interrogate the data
  • That you can look at more than one variable at a time when it comes to data
  • That you can work logically and methodically, and are not overwhelmed by large amounts of data

The employer wants to see that you are confident in making the data work for you and can identify a strong set of leads to move forward with.

You will be expected to discuss your answer in some detail. First, you could look at the leads who placed an order and compare them to those who didn’t.

Make sure you don’t just focus on one variable at a time, but consider the bigger picture. Demonstrate your knowledge of Excel and your ability to move data around to get the answers you need.

5. “A Company Has an Excellent Click Rate on Its Social Media Posts, but Website Orders do not Reflect the High Level of Traffic Landing on the Website’s Homepage. Talk Me Through How You Would Investigate This Issue Using Google Analytics and A/B Testing.”

To answer this question, you need to demonstrate:

  • Your understanding of Google Analytics and A/B testing
  • Your ability to make considerations for improvement and take a methodical approach
  • Your knowledge of technical marketing terms

This is a technical question – the employer is testing your working knowledge of platforms like Google Analytics, and your understanding of the relationship between a product, an advert promoting the product and a website selling the product.

Here you should demonstrate your understanding of how marketing tools like Google Analytics and A/B testing can help a marketer understand the movements of a user once they land on a website. You should offer up ideas on how to implement changes to the website to convert better.

6. “Tell Me About What You like to Read. How Do You Consume Information?”

To answer this question, you need to demonstrate:

  • That you stay up-to-date with marketing changes
  • That you are genuinely interested in marketing (e.g. that you subscribe to top marketing magazines or blogs)
  • That you know where to look for industry news

The employer is asking this because they want to give you the opportunity to prove that you stay up-to-date with new trends and technologies.

Talk about the marketing publications you read or listen to – magazines, newspapers, websites, blogs and podcasts.

Give an example of a change you have read about recently – perhaps a change in a Google algorithm, for example, and discuss how you acted on this new information.

Did you do further reading to fully understand the change? Did you talk about it with your peers? Maybe you even wrote a blog about it yourself. This is your opportunity to show that you have a passion for marketing.

7. “How Many Mars Bars Can You Fit in a Ford Focus?”

To answer this question, you need to demonstrate:

  • Your ability to think laterally
  • Your ability to remain calm and think on your feet
  • Your creative brain

This is a brain teaser question; it is designed to test your ability to stay calm, think logically and get to an answer methodically.

In this case, you might first estimate the volume of a Mars bar and then estimate the volume of the car. You might consider how many Mars bars would fit in the glove box and use this to estimate the total.

There is a correct answer to this question but it is extremely unlikely that the employer will know it; they are focusing on your approach.

Make sure you speak your thoughts out loud when answering, as the interviewer will be interested in your thought process.

8. “Which Platforms Should We Be Focusing on This Year?”

To answer this question, you need to demonstrate:

  • Your expertise when it comes to making judgements on content for campaigns
  • Your up-to-date knowledge of marketing platforms
  • Your knowledge of the company

This is a bit of a trick question, in that no marketer would be able to pinpoint platforms without knowing more about the product the company wants to promote or more details on the campaign.

In your answer, you could talk about up-and-coming platforms (perhaps a new blog or podcast series). You could mention recent stats that demonstrate a shift in the popularity of social media platforms (e.g. ‘Instagram is overtaking Facebook when it comes to the under 30s’, etc.). Or you could talk about the company and its products, noting the platforms you think are strongest for the brand.

However, be sure to stress that platforms should be considered on a campaign-by-campaign basis. A good marketer will carefully consider their platform choices based on the target audience(s) for the particular campaign.

9. “We Are Due to Launch a New Product in a Couple of Months. Tell Me How You Would Launch It.”

To answer this question, you need to demonstrate:

  • Your creativity
  • Different marketing strategies and how to bring them all together into one cohesive campaign
  • Your knowledge of the business and its core product offering

Focus on coming up with something different and fresh to make you stand out from the other candidates, but don’t neglect core marketing tactics.

Concisely present your answer focusing on the marketing mix as a guide, giving the interviewer a step-by-step of how you would market the product.

Make sure you ask key questions so you have an understanding of the product before answering.

10. “Have You Ever Rescued a Failing Campaign and Made It Successful? How Did You Do It?”

To answer this question, you need to demonstrate:

  • Your understanding of ‘unsuccessful’ and ‘successful’ when it comes to campaigns
  • Your ability to stay positive and work around a difficult situation while coming up with solutions
  • Your confidence in leading a team or being a strong team member

The employer is keen to understand how you measure success and how you can work with others to achieve your goals.

Talk about why it was considered that the campaign was failing, and what the criteria were for success.

When talking about how you turned things around, discuss the marketing tactics used, new strategies employed and your contribution to the team.

Final Thoughts

To prepare for a marketing interview, ensure you:

  • Know the company inside out

  • Understand what the job entails

  • Know who you are speaking to (ie who you are being interviewed by)

  • Are up-to-date on the latest industry news (company mergers, new technologies, platform developments, new blogs and podcasts)

  • Brush up on any marketing software you haven’t used for a while

  • Practice the question styles (brain teaser, case study, situational, behavioural, competency, technical)

  • Use your recruiter (if you have one) – find out as much information as possible about the role and what the employer is looking for

When faced with a marketing interview, it is essential that you are thoroughly prepared. Thinking about strong examples to use in your interview will help you give succinct answers.

For example, you will likely be asked about campaigns you have worked on. When preparing for your interview, think about the campaigns that were successful, those which had issues and those where team members clashed – and consider your response to these scenarios.

Further Reading

You may be interested in these other WikiJob articles:

General Interview Advice

Introduction to Marketing and PR

WikiJob’s Marketing and PR Forum

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