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.

General background

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:

Communications

  • What is the goal of communications?

  • How do you boost a company's visibility in the market?

  • What makes a pitch engaging?

  • What skills do you need to succeed in communications?

  • How do you build relationships with members of the media?

  • How do you work with industry analysts?

  • How do you measure the success of your outreach efforts?

Content marketing

  • What is the goal of content marketing?

  • Tell me about a time you created a content plan. What was the outcome?

  • How do you build and manage an editorial calendar?

  • Describe your experience creating blog posts, email newsletters, landing pages, and videos.

  • What types of content do you love creating the most?

  • How do you ensure that all content is on brand?

  • How do you handle tight deadlines?

  • How do you measure the success of your content efforts?

Digital marketing

  • What is the goal of digital marketing?

  • Tell me about a time you created or implemented a digital marketing strategy. What was the outcome?

  • Which digital channels do you have the most experience using?

  • How do you increase conversion rates and improve the cost per lead?

  • What analytics tools do you use to monitor real-time traffic data?

  • What skills do you need to succeed in digital marketing?

  • How do you measure the success of a campaign?

Email marketing

  • What is the goal of email marketing?

  • How do you ensure your email strategy aligns with the company's overall messaging?

  • How do you establish a positive and ongoing relationship with your audience?

  • What tools do you use to monitor email analytics?

  • What experience do you have running A/B tests and performing audience segmentation?

  • Tell me about a recent email campaign you managed. What was the outcome?

Product marketing

  • What is the goal of product marketing?

  • How do you become an expert in the market, customers, and the product itself?

  • How do you write positioning that clearly conveys the customers' problem and how the product solves it?

  • How often do you communicate with the product team during the development process? What about the sales team?

  • Describe a recent go-to-market you were involved with. What was the outcome?

  • How do you prepare for customer demos, webinars, and other external-facing presentations?

  • How do you measure the success of your work?

Social media marketing

  • What is the goal of social media marketing?

  • How do you build online communities?

  • What makes a piece of content likely to go viral?

  • Which social channels do you have the most experience managing?

  • Describe a recent social campaign you planned. What was the outcome?

  • What analytics tools do you use to better understand your audience?

  • How do you measure the success of social activities?

Leadership skills

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?

Final tips

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.

Good luck!


Related articles

Marketing dictionary
© 2020 Aha! Labs Inc.All rights reserved