You’re sitting in a marketing interview, its all going well until…”any questions for me?”
Interviewing for a marketing executive or marketing manager position? Some marketers dread the part where the interviewer asks them ‘do you have any questions for me?’ You needn’t. This is a chance to show that you’ve done your research on the company and remain interested in and engaged with the role. With the right preparation, it could make you a stand out candidate. It’s also a chance to ask some of your burning questions and learn if the role and company are a good choice for you as well. What is attractive about the position? What isn’t? Remember a marketing interview is always a two way process.
It’s usually better if your interview runs like a fluid conversation – so don’t be afraid to ask questions about the role, where appropriate, as you discuss various points during the course of the interview. The final: “do you have any questions for me?” can work as a last chance to ask about any topics you’ve not yet been able to broach. A less experienced interviewer might not give you the chance to fully showcase your worth – and this is the time to make sure you have covered all bases.
The kind of questions you ask can vary massively depending on the role and company you are going forward for. An interviewer will expect different questions from a marketing director than from a marketing executive – it goes without saying. It’s usually best to think up 4-5 questions ahead of time, with the aim of asking 2-3 at the end (hopefully some will be answered or covered during the course of the interview). Here at MarketingMoves we’ve found out 10 more general potential questions you could ask your interviewer sourced from our consultants and candidates:
1. What would you like the person in this role to have achieved in their first 6 months? / What’s the most important thing I will need to accomplish in the first 90 days?
Show that you are results driven, ambitious and focused on achieving a high level performance in your next role. This question will also give you a clearer picture of exactly what the role entails and whether or not you will want to take on the new responsibilities.
2. What do you like about working at X company?
Turn the question round on the interviewer. You don’t want to put them on the spot too much – but hearing first-hand about their experience of the company could be beneficial. If you’re feeling brave and the interviewer seems fairly open and candid – you might want to ask if there is anything they don’t like. Keep it light-hearted and proceed carefully.
3. What’s the structure of the marketing team? How is the relationship with sales?
Hopefully you’ll already have covered this during the job interview or even in the job specification you received ahead of time. However, if you’re still unclear on where you fit in the marketing team or how closely you’ll be working with Sales – it’s definitely worth finding out.
4. Is this a new position? If not, what did the previous employee go on to do?
This is useful knowledge to have – in a new position you are likely to have more freedom in shaping the role, with a more established position you may have more guidance and procedures in place. If the past employee went on to progress in their career – this is a good sign.
5. What are the company’s growth plans for next year and where do you see this role contributing?
It’s important to make sure you’re joining a company that is ambitious for the future and moving in the right direction. Likewise for you to feel fulfilled by your role you will want to make sure you will be able to make a real difference and will be a valued member of the team. An interview is a two-way process – they are choosing you, you are choosing them.
6. How is success measured in this role? How will I know I am succeeding?
Again show your ambition, convince your interviewer that you are someone that will strive to achieve big wins. For the sake of your future career you will want a company that properly measures, pays attention to and rewards your achievements. The strongest marketing CVs we receive at MarketingMoves contain quantifiable achievements, e.g. generated x number of leads, increased social engagement / event attendance / website traffic etc by x%.
7. What’s the company culture here? Why does the culture here appeal to you?
Culture fit will be really important for how comfortable you feel in your next role. Often this question is answered very much by the book by interviewers who will tell you the company’s official line. Hence you need a personal take on it. You don’t want to hear about what the company wants their culture to be, you want to find out what it is really like.
8. What is the most challenging part of this job? / What is the biggest challenge someone will face in this job in the first 6 months?
You don’t want to go into a job with rose-tinted spectacles – there will likely be big challenges and some serious graft ahead of you. Get an idea of the challenges you’ll face and the support you’ll have. If you can explain how you have dealt with similar problems before – this will be a strong selling point.
9. How fast is the process moving on this role? What would the next steps be?
This might seem a little forward and it’s true that some candidates only ask this if they feel the interview has gone well. However knowing the next steps and likely timeline can be very useful information and we feel it’s a fair question to ask regardless.
10. Do you have any hesitations about my fit for this role?
This is a brave question indeed – and there are mixed feelings in the MarketingMoves office about whether or not it’s a good idea. For some, this gives you a chance to firefight against any misconceptions or concerns an interviewer may have about you, and lessens the chance of you receiving feedback you feel is unfair since you can push back on the spot. Others feel this puts your interviewer in an awkward position and can create an uncomfortable atmosphere. It might even reinforce their doubts if you are unable to answer well. You may want to play it by ear.
It’s really up to you to find the kind of questions that you feel comfortable asking, which show you in a positive light and which will best help you understand the particular role and company you are going forward for. Remember that it is in the interviewer’s interest to give you the information you need to go into a new job open-eyed and make sure you are not missold a role. First impressions are important but so are the final moments of your interview – leave a positive lasting impression.