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5 smart questions to ask at a marketing job interview

Every interview ends with the question “do you have any questions for us?”. So how do you use that moment to seal the deal on the next interview?

The “Do you have any questions for me?” question is not just a polite habit. At this crucial moment in the interview, hiring managers are trying to judge three things:

  1. How clued up are you on their company?
  2. Do you understand what it takes to succeed?
  3. How curious are you? — an important trait in a discipline like marketing

Your goal at this moment is to seal the deal for the next interview and equip yourself with more intel on their criteria for making a hiring decision.

Two Approaches

There are two approaches to this classic interview moment. The first is the “satisfy my needs” approach. For example, “What kind of training is there?”, “What marketing platforms do you use?” or “What kind of progression is there from this role?”. These are all valid questions. But they’re more about you than the interviewer.

The second approach is the “understand their need” question and is much more impactful. The most successful candidates use this moment to demonstrate their curiosity for what the interviewer is looking to achieve in the role. 

5 Killer Questions

Here are five questions that take the “understand their need” approach.

1

What are your marketing team’s challenges?

Try to understand what the interviewer is trying to achieve by hiring this role. How does it fit into the broader plan for success and where are they struggling? This question is even more punchy if you can show you’re aware of their specific opportunities. “I saw last quarter’s group results were down 20%. What kind of expectations does the business have of marketing this year?”

2

What do you see as the role of marketing in your business?

It can be helpful to understand the structure and role of the marketing team as different sectors vary. In FMCG businesses marketing often “own” the P&L so have a big voice, compared to in financial services where marketing can be seen as a cost and might have less influence.

3

What behaviours do you want to see more of in your team?

A great way for you to work out if the role is a good fit for you, and also for the interviewer to give you clues on which of your personality traits would be most relevant to talk about. By positioning it around their needs you can also learn more about the culture of the team and where you might shine. Zigzag’s profiles include our Zigzag Culture Match™ assessment which can help you prioritise roles that are a good match for you.

4

What do you hope the marketing team will look like in a year’s time?

This shows that you’re looking ahead and ydou are thinking about how you can add value to the team. It also gives you an opportunity to learn what a more senior marketer thinks the future looks like, which will be useful in preparing for further interviews.

5

What will be the biggest challenge for me succeeding in this role?

Once you’ve shown your fascination in their needs, you have an opportunity to find out what objections you might need to overcome before they’d hire you. Embrace their answer to this as an opportunity either to address their doubts or learn. Don’t get defensive. If they ask you back, you know what you need to address. If they don’t you’ve learned something valuable to steer your job search or development plan.

Of course, all of these questions should be tailored to your conversation. And make sure you do the prep to make sure your questions are curious rather than naive!

By taking the “Understand their need” approach you will have shown that you’re committed to the role, that you understand that your success depends on their success, and that you’re a curious marketer who will add value straight away to their team.

 

Good luck!

 

Do you have other winning questions that have served you well? 
Send them into us at hello@zigzagapp.co.uk.

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