Top Marketing Interview Questions to Ask Candidates

Female marketing hiring manager writing down notes during an interview

If you have an open position on your marketing team that you need to fill, it can take time to find the right person for the job and the team. The interview process is an excellent way to narrow the field and zone in on the candidate you want to hire. Different companies look for different qualities and skills for a particular position, so some of your marketing interview questions to ask candidates might be tailored toward finding someone who meets those requirements.

However, you can also ask many common questions to assist you in your selection process. The interview is the applicant’s chance to showcase their abilities and personality. With the right questions, you can use the interview to understand better who the candidate is, their goals and motivations, and how well they might fit in with your team.

Here are some common, effective marketing interview questions to ask candidates, along with notes on why the question should be asked and what kind of answers you should expect from your candidates.

80 Marketing Interview Questions to Ask Candidates

General marketing questions

These questions allow the candidate to show you their industry knowledge and explain what interests them about marketing. They give the candidate a chance to talk about their prior experience and successes, and they should be able to give several concrete examples of their skills in action. These are important topics to cover since past performance is the strongest indicator of future success.

Here are some good questions to ask:

  • Why are you interested in a marketing career?
  • What do you feel are the three most important skills in marketing?
  • What are the components of an effective marketing campaign?
  • How do you stay current on the latest marketing trends and techniques?
  • How do you measure your success?
  • Discuss a challenging project you worked on that required collaboration from other teams. 
  • Tell me about your greatest marketing success.

Social media questions

Any marketing professional should recognize the importance of social media in the modern marketplace. If the role includes social media responsibilities, the candidate should be competent in using most or all major social media platforms. They should be able to give examples of how they’ve used social media to increase online presence and brand awareness in a previous job or internship. 

Their own social media use is of interest, too. If they lack a social media presence, personally or professionally, then they might not be a good fit for you. 

Ask questions like:

  • Which social media platforms do you personally use?
  • Which social media platforms are most important for our brand?
  • Describe your approach to managing a company’s social media profile. 
  • How have you successfully used social media for marketing in the past?
  • Tell me about a campaign you’re most proud of. 
  • Describe your process for deciding what to post.
  • What do most companies get wrong with social media?
  • What do you consider to be the most important social media metrics?

SEO questions

Search engine optimization tactics have evolved dramatically over the last decade, and they continue to change month by month. A strong SEO candidate will have a strategy for actively staying on top of the latest shifts and trends. They should comfortably describe various aspects of SEO and explain how they would use them to benefit your business.

These SEO questions will help you assess their skills:

  • What are your favorite SEO tools?
  • How do you stay current with the latest algorithm changes?
  • What are the most important ranking factors for a website today?
  • How would you improve our brand’s search presence?
  • In what areas are our competitors outperforming us?
  • What role do keywords play in SEO strategy?
  • Describe the difference between on-page and off-page SEO. 
  • If you were to get the job, what would be your first priority regarding our SEO?
  • Give some examples of SEO wins you’ve achieved in the past. 

Content marketing questions

You can’t have a comprehensive marketing program without content marketing. A strong content marketing strategy builds brand awareness and helps your company win customers’ trust. A strong candidate should be well-versed in various content marketing tactics, including long- and short-form content, blogging, audio, video, and downloadable content like infographics and white papers. 

Good content marketing questions include:

  • What are your favorite forms of content marketing?
  • What content marketing campaigns do you think could be most effective for our brand?
  • How would you use content marketing to help us reach new customers?
  • What do you think makes a great piece of content?
  • How do you measure the success of a piece of content?
  • What’s your approach to collaborating with other teams?
  • What content do you think is lacking in our industry?
  • How do you go about creating a content strategy?

Product marketing questions

Product marketing questions are a great way to test a candidate’s knowledge of the company and see if they came prepared. It’s not hard for a candidate to research before the interview. Those candidates who don’t bother better to understand your products, services, and target audience might show a lack of interest or passion for what your team does. 

Use product marketing questions to gauge a candidate’s communication, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills. A strong contender will know the steps involved in managing a product launch and be able to hit the ground running with your current and upcoming campaigns. 

Here are some product marketing questions to consider:

  • How would you describe our company’s target market?
  • What do you think of our current product marketing?
  • Who would you say are our primary competitors? What are they doing right/wrong with their product marketing?
  • How do you manage the launch of a new product?
  • How do you conduct market research?
  • How would you help our brand reach [new audience group]?
  • How would you respond to negative reviews of a product you were marketing?
  • What role does customer feedback play in your approach?
  • Can you give me an example of a product that you think was marketed incorrectly? How would you fix it?
  • What products do you think have the best marketing? Why?

Design questions

Design and marketing go hand in hand. Even if a marketer’s duties don’t include design work, they’ll almost certainly work closely with designers to plan, create, and execute campaigns. A good marketing candidate must have a basic understanding of design principles, a strong grasp of different media types, and the ability to communicate with creatives. 

Assess their design knowledge by asking the following:

  • What role does design play in a marketing campaign?
  • What makes for a strong design?
  • Is good design objective? Why or why not?
  • Which brands do you think have mastered design?
  • How do you communicate your vision to a team of designers?
  • What’s your process for giving design feedback?
  • What would you do if you were working with a designer who just didn’t seem to be executing on the vision?
  • How do you ensure a brand’s design is consistent from one channel to the next?

PR and communications questions

Communication is the bedrock of a marketer’s job. Strong communication skills are a must in order to create campaigns that resonate with audiences, not to mention being able to communicate with the numerous team members required to get a campaign off the ground. 

Look for a candidate with strong written and verbal communication skills. Being able to communicate well under pressure is a plus. Pro tip–if a candidate cannot communicate well during the job interview, it’s not a good sign for their ability to communicate on the job. 

Here are some good interview questions about communication:

  • Describe your communication style.
  • What is your preferred method of communication with team members?
  • Describe a time when you had a miscommunication at work. How did you handle it?
  • How do you ensure your colleagues have the information they need for a marketing campaign?
  • What are your favorite tools for communicating with customers?
  • How would you communicate a piece of unwelcome news to our audience?
  • How would you describe our brand voice?
  • What role does PR play in a company’s marketing strategy?
  • Describe a successful PR campaign you worked on in the past.
  • How would you handle a PR crisis?

Data analytics questions

Analytics has become an increasingly important part of the marketing field. Data analysis can help you better understand your market, analyze your marketing efforts’ effectiveness, and increase your campaigns’ ROI. These questions will help you test a candidate’s data analysis skills and understand how they’d apply them in a real-world setting to help your business.

Ask questions like:

  • What are the most important marketing metrics?
  • What are your favorite tools for data analysis?
  • How should data analysis be used to inform marketing strategy?
  • How do you use data to segment an audience?
  • Has there ever been a time when the data surprised you? 
  • Have you ever had to use data to change a decision-maker’s mind?

Candidate-specific questions

In addition to probing to learn about marketing candidates’ skills, you also want to learn more about them as a person. Finding out things like what drives them and what kind of work environment they prefer will help you decide whether your company seems like a strong match for their preferences. 

Candidate-centric questions can also help you judge whether they’re likely to succeed in the role. For example, are they data-driven? Growth minded? Numbers oriented? All of these things could be defining factors in whether a candidate will be in alignment with the job’s requirements beyond just the technical skills. 

Here are some example questions to use:

  • What motivates you in your job?
  • Tell me about one of your hobbies.
  • What makes you stand out from other marketing candidates?
  • Where do you see yourself in five years?
  • Why are you leaving your current job?
  • What do you like/dislike most about your current position?
  • What does an ideal day of work look like for you?
  • What is your 30-second elevator pitch for why we should hire you?

Creative interview questions

A good marketer can make paint drying on a wall sound interesting. You can learn much about the candidate’s ability to pique an audience’s interest by asking unique interview questions and seeing how they respond. You’ll be able to tell right away which candidates are natural conversationalists and which ones might not be so polished and passionate. 

Creative interview questions are also a great way to find out how well a candidate can think on their feet. This skill is valuable when doing everyday marketing tasks like giving presentations and making important decisions on a deadline. 

  • What is your most unique attribute?
  • How would you market [name a random object]?
  • How do you persuade a difficult audience?
  • How do you overcome buyer objections?
  • If you were given $1,000 to use on marketing our product, how would you spend it?
  • Same question, but with $1 million?
  • What would you do if you had to choose a career other than marketing?

Hire the Best Marketing Candidate With Our Staffing Experts

You can use these marketing interview questions to ask candidates or create similar ones and use questions specific to the job or company that you feel are important. Don’t only listen, but watch how each candidate reacts to the questions. Personality comes out not only in how a candidate communicates verbally but also in their appearance and demeanor. The candidates who stand out will have sharp answers and look and act professionally, regardless of what you ask them. 

If you’ve been struggling to hire the best candidates for your job, 4 Corner Resources can help. As an experienced marketing headhunting firm, we’ll interview and screen candidates so you don’t waste your time.

Contact us today to see how we can help you secure the perfect marketing candidate.

Pete Newsome

About Pete Newsome

Pete Newsome is the President of 4 Corner Resources, the staffing and recruiting firm he founded in 2005. 4 Corner is a member of the American Staffing Association and TechServe Alliance, and the top-rated staffing company in Central Florida. Recent awards and recognition include being named to Forbes’ Best Recruiting Firms in America, The Seminole 100, and The Golden 100. Pete also founded zengig, to offer comprehensive career advice, tools, and resources for students and professionals. He hosts two podcasts, Hire Calling and Finding Career Zen, and is blazing new trails in recruitment marketing with the latest artificial intelligence (AI) technology. Connect with Pete on LinkedIn