How to Market Yourself at an Interview

How to Market Yourself at an Interview

Marketing has become a vital feature for most companies. With the growth of social media platforms, and internet usage, marketing has become more than paper and television advertisements. Companies spend billions of dollars in trying to outdo their competitors and that’s where you come in.

As a marketing executive or digital marketing executive, it is your job to create interesting, creative campaigns that will put YOUR employer ahead of the game. This could be at a marketing agency (think Emily in Paris) or as part of the in-house marketing staff. 

But first, you must get the job and this guide of questions asked at the interview will help you get hired.  

1. Describe yourself in one sentence.

Marketing executives are some of the most creative minds in the world. By challenging you to limit yourself to one sentence, companies are trying to gauge your level of creativity and enthusiasm for the position.  

Example Answer
I am a determined, passionate professional of three years who loves to shop and therefore knows exactly what customers are motivated by, which I can translate into a successful campaign.

2. Why are you interested in working for this company?

This is a question that interviewers ask to learn why you applied for a specific position. Research on the company is one of the essential steps for preparing for an interview. (For more essential steps, see our interview preparation guide). This research will help you to answer this question in a manner that will get you noticed and hired. 

Example Answer
Many companies are manufacturing make-up. But there are very few companies that are as focused on sustainability as QWERTY Company. Your commitment to environmentally friendly make-up that is also not harmful to the skin is one of the main reasons that I want to work for your company. In addition, your CEO’s statement on the ethics of cruelty-free testing has inspired me to always buy cruelty-free products.

3. Tell us about a successful marketing campaign that you managed.

As an experienced marketing professional, you would have had a few successful campaigns. You should talk about one that showcases your talents while also aligning to the interviewing company’s policies. Use the S.T.A.R. method (Situation, Task, Action, Result) when talking about your campaign so that it sticks in your interviewer’s mind.  

Example Answer
My previous company used to sell sporting items. While there are many successful, established brands that sell sporting items, the company was a smaller, local company. I based my strategy on the locality of the brand and began promoting the company at junior league and little league events in the area. This brought the company to the awareness of the local area but a wider population as well through the teams that the local teams played against. In addition, it built the idea that the company was trustworthy and convinced more locals to go to the company for their sporting needs.

4. Have you ever worked on an unsuccessful campaign? What caused it to become unsuccessful?

Like success, failure is an inevitable part of the experience. Companies understand this, what they need to know is if you can acknowledge your failure, and whether you have learned from it. This is what you need to talk about in your answer.  

Example Answer
A few years ago, I ran a digital marketing campaign that relied on the use of several influencers as brand ambassadors. While there were some sales, they were not as many as was projected in the initial plan. I did a check and discovered that some of the influencers were saying that they were using the product only because they were being paid to promote it. This caused our numbers to drop. While I managed to do some damage control and speak to the influencers about how they should promote the product, we were unable to reach the projected numbers. Since that day, I have made sure to speak to any brand ambassadors about the promotional requirements and have reviewed their promotional material ahead of time as well to ensure that there were no other issues.

5. How do you evaluate the performance of a campaign?

There are several quantitative measurements that help to measure whether a campaign is successful. A hiring manager will need to know that you are aware of analytical tools and how to use them and what metrics you use to measure success and whether those align with the company’s goals.  

Example Answer
For a previous social media campaign, we generated discount codes that were slightly different on the social media platforms. For every sale, we checked the data on what discount code was used in order to determine which social media platform had the most sales. In addition, we also used the inbuilt analytics of the platforms to see what platforms were performing well during the campaign period.

6. Briefly explain the relationship between marketing and sales and how you handle these departments.

This is a question that can make or break your interview. There are several opinions of the relationship between sales and marketing with some believing that they should be integrated while others think they should be separated. Try to get a sense of the company’s policy when you are applying for the role and see if you can frame an answer that is aligned with that.  

Example Answer
Marketing is the bringing of your product to the customers which can be converted to sales while Sales is the continuation of the relationship between the brand and the customer. While many believe that the two should be kept separate, I believe that a close relationship between the two is essential to convert a prospective customer to a sales customer and ensure that the customer has a satisfactory experience of the company.

7. How do you organize your time when working on several campaigns?

When you work in marketing, you are often working on several different campaigns at the same time. How you handle your workload and time is important to the company, as they need to be aware of your abilities in time management and your limitations as well.  

Example Answer
I try as often as possible to schedule my work so that every hour is spent wisely. In addition, in busy periods, I create an organized to-do list with the most critical tasks receiving first priority. I also consider what resources I might need and make sure that those are available in a timely manner so that no one is inconvenienced by me.

8. Tell me about a time when you had to handle conflict within the team.

When working in a team, there may be times when all members don’t agree on a strategy or idea. You need to know how to work with your team in order to get every member into agreement so that the work can be done efficiently. This question will also help the hiring manager assess your conflict-management skills and teamwork.  

Example Answer
There was a time when the team I was working with had a disagreement between two members. They both had different ideas on what the creative aspect of the campaign should be like. It created an uncomfortable environment for all team members of the team. I spoke to our team leader and called for a team meeting where we each had a round-table discussion on the two ideas and how to integrate both into the campaign. In the end, we created a design that involved aspects from both plans and was stronger as a result.

9. What's a successful marketing campaign that you enjoyed but didn't work on?

As a marketing executive you should be aware of all marketing campaigns. In this answer, you can speak about a campaign that had an impact on you or inspired you. You could speak about the big, fancy campaigns done by the established brands but if you really want to impress your interviewer, try to talk about a less well-known brand or company to show your knowledge of the field.  

Example Answer
One campaign that I particularly enjoyed was Virgin Airlines “Looking for Linda” campaign. This strategy was hugely successful but more importantly it combined a fun, interactive element with a sweepstakes that allowed the brand to grow.

10. What's your impression of the company's current marketing strategy and how would you improve it?

This is where the research aspect of your interview preparation once more comes in handy. Because if you were really interested in the job, you would learn about their current marketing strategies and come in with a bunch of ideas, right? So, prove to the hiring manager just how much you want the job by answering this question with a lot of research on their marketing strategy and one or two ideas of your own.  

Example Answer
The company’s current marketing campaign is very well done. The slogan “We take care of you” in particular has been a big hit. However, I would like to point out that your product is only geared to the female half of the population though it is useful for both genders. Therefore, I would like to introduce a men’s campaign as well, perhaps by using a celebrity athlete to endorse it on social media. This would be a great way to interest men and then we can also add an element of customer testimonials as well that would be a unisex effort.

Interested in learning how to answer common interview questions and answers? Don’t worry Cresuma has you covered with our common interview question and answer guide. For more interesting interview preparation tips check out our interview tips page. 

For a step-by-step understanding of how to get a job, our career guides page will lead you where you need to go.