Interview Tips for Marketing Jobs

Marketing job interviews should be viewed as marketing exercises. They're more like presentations than interviews. We've put together some navigational aids for your interview.

Interview  techniques

Structure your interview exactly like a presentation, and use your presentation skills:

  • Speak to your interviewers like an audience. Get their attention. Make sure they're listening.

  • Engage the interviewers, make eye contact, smile where appropriate.

  • Be friendly and outgoing. Reticence can be mistaken for lack of communications skills.

  • Your speech should be fluent and unforced. Try to maintain a natural rhythm of speech and phrasing, like addressing an audience.

  • Be confident in fact, not in theory. You should show real competence and strong identity, like a market image.

Interview questions

Whatever your role in marketing, you can expect a range of penetrating technical questions. Each part of the job is a guide to the requirements of the interview:

Methodologies: Marketing methods are key issues. You must be able to provide clear answers regarding the use of marketing techniques, issues related to the methods, and examples of your work in these areas.

Promotions: Critically important in marketing, your portfolio of promotions must be relevant to the position, and show experience at the appropriate level for the position. Research the employer's own campaigns, and model your examples as good matches to their work.

Budgets: If you're in a position where budgets are an issue, you must be able to show both good examples and strong technical knowledge in budget management, particularly expenditures and your billing ratio to expenditure. Another big issue will be the size of budgets you've worked with. Your abilities in this area must be credible, and well documented. You can use actual financial statements, but don't breach client confidentiality or disclose any sensitive information.

Market research: This can be tricky. Market research methods can vary enormously, and marketers naturally use many different methods. You may or may not be familiar with the employer's methods. Your examples will need to show at absolute minimum good industry-standard work in this field, either as your own research, or research related to your marketing.

Accounts: Handling marketing accounts is extremely sensitive, and it's also an area where interviewees come unstuck. If your role involves direct account management working with clients, your examples will need to show a good track record. Your work with accounts and your role working with clients will need to be described with a strong positive spin on outcomes.

Merchandising: This can be a main line of business in some marketing agencies. You need to prove your own merchandising experience is appropriate to the position. The best method is to draw appropriate parallels between your work and the employer's, stressing the similarities either directly or by analogy with the position.

Advertising: Advertising is a major component of marketing campaigns. It's often important to marketers that you have the ability to cover all aspects of a project yourself. You must present your examples in this area in context with your other work. Clearly outline your role and involvement in advertising issues.

Get the information and presentation right, and you get the interview right.