What are some interview questions for marketing managers?
Marketing managers play an important role in helping drive business growth. These folks promote a company's brand, products, and services and ensure that the company is reaching the right customers. Marketing managers do this by planning and overseeing a variety of marketing activities — from conducting market research and creating buyer personas to building winning programs and campaigns.
The best marketing managers are collaborative, empathetic, and organized. These traits are important because the role aligns the different marketing functions (such as content, digital, and product marketing) and requires working closely with cross-functional groups (such as product management, sales, and customer support). Marketing managers have a deep understanding of their target audience and know how to craft compelling messages about how the product or service addresses customers' needs.
If you are interviewing for a marketing manager role, expect to be asked probing questions on a variety of topics — ranging from your background and specific marketing expertise to your leadership skills.
Most interviewers will start by asking a series of high-level questions. The purpose is to learn more about your background, goals, and why you applied for the position. Although seemingly general, these background questions are a great opportunity to show your experience as well as any research you have done into the company and its target market.
Here are some questions you might hear:
Can you tell me about yourself?
What is the goal of marketing?
What makes you passionate about this work?
What do you do in your current role?
Why are you applying for this role?
Why do you want to work at this company?
What have you learned about our company so far?
What are your long-term career goals?
Marketing skills and experience
Besides answering questions about your background, you will also need to demonstrate your marketing expertise and how you will apply your skills to the role. Be prepared to discuss common marketing topics such as setting strategy, gathering ideas and requests, planning programs and campaigns, and building marketing roadmaps.
Here are some questions aimed at uncovering your marketing knowledge and experience:
What do you think distinguishes good marketing managers from great ones?
How do you ensure that your marketing activities are aligned with the overall marketing strategy and goals?
How do you become an expert on the products or services you are marketing?
How do you gain a deep understanding of your target audience?
What channels and platforms do you use to reach potential customers?
How do you collect and evaluate requests and feedback?
What does a typical workflow look like for you? How do you automate workflows or standardize review processes?
What marketing tools and technology do you typically use?
Tell me about a recent program or campaign you planned. What was the outcome?
How do you report on progress? How do you measure the success of a campaign?
Specific marketing functions
While many marketing managers are generalists, some people have particular areas of focus such as communications, content, digital, email, product, or social media. Or, you may be applying to a role at a larger organization that has a marketing team broken out by discipline.
Depending on the focus of the role you are interviewing for, here are some specific questions you can expect:
Social media marketing
Interviewers will also want to make sure you can make decisions, unite a marketing team, and influence cross-functional groups.
The following questions explore your ability to lead others:
How would you describe your leadership style?
What types of people do you work best with?
How do you motivate people?
How do you handle disagreements with a teammate?
Describe a time when you influenced people who did not directly report to you.
How often do you meet with cross-functional teams? How do you communicate the marketing team's goals and progress to these groups?
How do you communicate with senior leadership?
Questions for you to ask
The best interviews are a conversation. You want to demonstrate your skills, but also to determine if you would truly enjoy the role and thrive at the company. Come prepared with thoughtful questions you can ask your interviewer, and jot down any follow-up questions that come to mind during the meeting itself.
Consider asking these questions to learn more about the company and the role you are applying for:
What are the marketing team's current goals?
How often do you set new goals? How do you report progress and to whom?
How do the marketing activities support the overall company strategy?
Is there a marketing roadmap? Is it accessible to everyone on the team?
What types of new customers are you hoping to reach?
How does the marketing team work with senior leadership?
What is the best thing about being a marketing manager here? What about the biggest challenge?
What is the process for onboarding new marketing managers?
You will likely get a curveball question or two that you did not prepare for. If this happens, first pause to make sure you understand the question. You can always ask for clarification if necessary. Then think through your answer in a logical way. Even if you are not sure exactly how to respond, interviewers will want to see that you are able to be analytical, creative, and flexible under pressure — important traits for any marketing manager.
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