INTERVIEW GUIDE – Marketing and Communications

When recruiting for a Marketing or Communications role, employers look for subject-matter expertise, planning, creativity, and execution. This Interview Guide aims to identify a job seeker’s experience and proven tactics while allowing them to demonstrate their creative and follow-through abilities.

Pick and choose the questions relevant to your organization.

Interview Questions by Category

Initial Questions
  1. Tell me about your current or former employer. How would you tell a client about the firm’s services and products? (Listen for their ability to bring the story of the organization alive.)
  2. Discuss your career progress to date. What accomplishments are you most proud of?
  3. What were your primary marketing and communication responsibilities? Were these duties shared among a team? If so, who was on the team and who was accountable for each part of the marketing and communications function?
  4. Who was your target audience – new prospects, existing clients, businesses or individual consumers; and what were their main demographics? How did you identify these individuals or groups and how to best reach them?
  5. How often did you give presentations, and to what type of audience?
  6. What CRM was utilized, and how was it relied upon? What key information did it capture? What sort of activities did you support with this tool? Did your organization rely on marketing automation software (Eloqua, Hubspot, Marketo, or others)?
  7. Describe a successful campaign, and how the success was measured.
  8. Have you been involved in international marketing, including dealing with exporting, trade barriers, joint ventures, licensing, and transportation difficulties, among other things?
  9. How did you accomplish a successful marketing or sales campaign in the context of budget restrictions?
  10. Has social responsibility, such as environmental awareness, been part of your brand campaigns?
  11. For what type of internal communication you have been responsible? How did you communicate brand messages to non-marketing staff? What communication vehicles were most effective? How did you communicate organizational change?
  12. What are your thoughts on the concept that we live in an “over-communicated” society?
Branding
  1. Describe the brand of a company you worked for, and how it played out on all marketing and sales platforms: website, social media television, radio, print, contracts, letterhead, sales materials, etc.?
  2. What role did you play in establishing guidelines for a brand, or ensuring they were applied across many mediums?
  3. Have you been part of a rebranding process? If yes, what was your role? What steps did you take to introduce it? How did you determine if the rebranding was successful?
  4. How were elements of marketing integrated to communicate a message?
  5. How did your brand help turn prospective leads into actual customers?
  6. How did your brand differentiate you from your competitors?
  7. How does your personal brand align with ours?
Advertising
  1. On which advertising channels have you relied?
  2. Explain an advertising campaign that you designed and executed. What steps did you take and what were the results of the campaign?
  3. Have you ever managed multiple brands within one organization? If so, please explain how this was managed.
  4. Do you have experience managing an advertising budget? How big was the budget?
  5. Have you dealt with regional or industry specific campaigns? If yes, how did you research the material needed to expand your knowledge?
  6. What impact have the advertising campaigns that you planned had on revenue and sales? Can you provide an example? How was this measured?
  7. Have you managed or supported online advertising campaigns, like Google AdWords or other pay per click advertising options? How did you determine when modifications were required? How large a campaign (monthly spend) did you manage?
Website Content and Analytics
  1. Does your organization rely on its website as the primary sales or distribution mechanism?
  2. What contribution have you made to your company’s website in terms of content, design and / or functionality?
  3. Do you have writing samples? Describe the process used in creating the piece?
  4. What tone and voice do you rely on most often for the content you create?
  5. How frequently do you update website content? Explain the types of updates made. What sort of content management system do you use?
  6. How did you increase sales from your web channel? Did you have conversion goals? How did you get conversion data (ComScore, FireClick Index, etc.)?
  7. Do you like how your brand is projected on the homepage and why? Does your firm rely on various landing pages for unique customers? Please explain.
  8. Do you measure website statistics (visitors, traffic patterns, banner clicks, etc.)? How do you use this data to determine what improvements are required?
  9. Have you made use of any of the services that Google offers (ads, analytics, insights)? Have you used other clickstream data from Omniture, HBX or others?
  10. What tricks do you use to increase SEO (search engine optimization)? How do you use SEO best practices in your content writing?
  11. Have you managed multiple websites at once?
  12. Have you been responsible for managing an ongoing blog? How did you plan for content and develop a strategy to connect with the right audience?
  13. Were you responsible for the HTML / CSS coding?
  14. Do you consistently review competitor websites? How does that information help shape your marketing approach?
  15. Explain how you have tested website functionality on mobile devices, across browsers and operating systems. Did you rely on manual testing, or web-based browser testing tools such as Browserstack?
  16. Have you worked on websites that offer an e-commerce component? What was your role in the process? Did you use a common platform (i.e. Shopify, Big Cartel) or a more customized solution?
  17. Have you been responsible for the launch of a new website? If so, how did you ensure that content, design and functionality were ready within the timelines?
  18. Among the websites you rely on (personally or professionally), which ones do you like and why?
  19. Can you discuss user validation (A/B testing). Were you able to explore analytics in a deeper way, beyond visits and user paths and goal tracking? Did you conduct surveys?
Social Media
  1. What platforms are you familiar with? Have you used these personally or professionally? Specific to your business, how did you use LinkedIn? Did you rely on YouTube? Facebook? Instagram? Twitter? Tumbler? Google+?
  2. Did you converse with customers directly on social media? If so, how?
  3. How have you managed negative comments from disgruntled customers on social media? Please provide an example.
  4. How frequently did you make updates and what kinds of updates did you post? Please elaborate for each platform used. What measures of engagement did you rely on (clicks, likes, reaches, shares, purchases, etc)?
  5. Did you rely on platforms that helped you manage your social media such as Hootsuite, TweetDeck?
  6. Did your company have a social media policy for internal employees (i.e. no posting photos from corporate events)? If so, please explain. Did you develop or oversee the policy?
  7. Have you done any advertising (promoted tweets or Facebook ads) using social media? Was it successful? Why or why not? What did you learn from these campaigns?
  8. Have you developed a social media account from scratch in a professional capacity? How did you develop a voice and establish an approach to take with the content on that platform? How did you get buy-in to this approach internally? How did you approach getting followers and developing a community?
  9. Can you give me an example of a corporate social media account that you admire? What is it that makes it so valuable or useful?
Product Marketing
  1. What product lines have you represented and who was your target customer?
  2. What research was conducted, and what objectives were established?
  3. What distribution channels were in place?
  4. Were you involved in product development, refinement, or product strategy including pricing, distribution and product changes?
  5. Did you plan testing for price points and customer touch points?
  6. What product education was required?
  7. What steps did you take to increase customer engagement or gather feedback that influenced the product’s feature (surveys, focus groups, etc.)? How much did your competitor influence?
  8. Did you do any work in data analysis to help refine the product or understand the market in a better way?
  9. On what measures have you rated? How was success defined?
  10. How did you work with the product development team or product manager?
Trade Shows and Events
  1. Did your company exhibit your product or service at trade shows? If so, which ones?
  2. Did you host customer receptions?
  3. Were you responsible for organizing and / or staffing the sales force or experts onsite to engage with prospects or customers? Did you prepare key messaging?
  4. Did you rent or own a booth? Have you been responsible for booth design? What size of booth space has been the largest that you’ve worked with (tabletop; retractable banner, outdoor banners, etc.)?
  5. Did you negotiate contracts and / or manage vendor relationships?
  6. Have you managed show logistics like transportation, set-up and dismantling, electricity, equipment rentals, and other elements? Have you hired third party contractors for booth setup? Have you managed logistics for events in Canada or internationally?
  7. Did you give out marketing collateral or represent your organization by speaking with visitors at these events? What was your role? How did you handle situations in which you didn’t know the answer to a question from a visitor?
  8. How did you measure the success of a tradeshow, and how did you convert leads into sales? Did you provide management with post-show reports?
  9. Outside of tradeshows, did you host events for your customers? What was your role? How big were the events and how often did you host them?
  10. Have you ever dealt with a complaint or criticism from a client or customer while working at an event? How did you handle it and what actions did you take?
  11. Have you been responsible for pitching or organizing speaking engagements for your sales force or experts?
  12. Were you responsible for organizing events for internal team members? If so, what types of events did you plan and how often did they take place?
Public Relations
  1. How was public relations used to manage your firm’s reputation?
  2. Tell me about your experience working with the media to obtain coverage of a milestone or news item? Did you issue press releases, hold press conferences, share the news on social media, etc.?
  3. What media win are you most proud of?
  4. What type of enquiries did you field from the media?
  5. Did you research, write and edit press releases, promotional videos, handouts, speeches, articles, or annual reports?
  6. Did you organize photography or video production?
  7. How did you use the website or social media for PR purposes?
  8. What was your role in online community management?
  9. What was your role in community relations? Did your firm sponsor events, sports teams, golf tournaments, charity events, etc. to create good will? In your opinion, how effective were these sponsorships?
  10. Have you ever represented your organization as a spokesperson to the media or provided interviews? If not, have you coordinated media interviews for senior executives?
  11. How have you dealt with negative media coverage or press enquiries about an issue impacting your organization?
  12. Did you ever have to manage a crisis (product recall, fraud)?
Sales and Database Marketing
  1. How was the marketing team involved in increasing sales revenue? Did you influence selling techniques or sales presentations? Please explain.
  2. Were you responsible for ordering promotional items for clients and / or customers? Which items were most popular? Which items were most impactful, and why? What was your price point for promotional tools?
  3. What software was in place for the sales force to track clients and leads? What data did you draw from to build marketing campaigns? How did you incorporate the sales team into the development or execution of these campaigns?
  4. How did you send marketing materials to customers (direct mail, email, client meetings, etc.)?
  5. Are you familiar with any email marketing or marketing automation tools? How have you used those tools as part of your marketing efforts? Have they been effective?
  6. How do you measure the success of an email or direct marketing campaign?
  7. Have you been responsible for identifying key performance indicators? How did you share the information with others? How did you react when results were not what you expected?
  8. If you’ve used marketing automation tools, have you developed sophisticated dynamic content, behavior-driven campaigns or drip campaigns? How did you measure if they were effective or make changes to improve their success?
  9. How have you used a CRM or sales database information to create marketing campaigns? Have they been effective? What lessons have you learned from their success or failure?
  10. How did your firm establish practices to respect consumer privacy, and to adhere to anti-spam legislation for email marketing?
Bilingual Marketing
  1. Do you have experience developing marketing materials in more than one language, or languages for specific markets?
  2. When producing marketing materials, do you rely on third party translation services or do you translate your own material in-house?
  3. Have you experienced issues with the message being changed or lost in the translation? What adjustments have you made to deal with this issue?
  4. How have you overcome layout issues caused by language requirements?
  5. How do you verify the translation (ensuring it’s linguistically and culturally appropriate)?