person about to be interviewed
Apr 17, 2019

3 critical interview questions you MUST answer to win the job

By Matt Dodgson

Co-Founder - Recruiter & Marketer

Let’s be honest. Interviews can be tough and stressful.

And part of the difficulty comes from not knowing what to expect. That’s why it often takes a few interviews for us to ‘warm up’.

Ok, some people are naturals at interviews, but for the vast majority of us, it can seem quite unnatural.

For a start, talking about yourself doesn’t come easy for most people. Especially when we have to blow our own trumpet. Perhaps that’s our Britishness, but I suspect it’s more to do with not doing it on a daily business.

A typical day as a Marketing Manager doesn’t involve telling people what you did, how you did it and how brilliant the results were. People would probably think you were a show-off or a bit odd!

It’s no secret that the more you practice something, the better you get at it. And the same goes for interviews.

But at its simplest level, there are the 3 interview questions you MUST answer to get the marketing job you’re interviewing for.

Now these questions aren’t necessarily the questions you’ll hear directly from the interviewer. But they’re questions that the interviewer will be subconsciously thinking about.

However, there’s good news.

Knowing and thinking about these questions gives you an advantage in the interview.

In the interview you can take charge and draw those questions out. And by drawing them out, you can knock them over one at a time with great answers. Securing your dream marketing job in the process.

Interview Question 1. ‘Can we work together?’

Subconsciously most interviewers are thinking; can I work with this person? Will they fit in with the marketing team? Can they collaborate with the wider business? Are they going to ruffle any feathers?

Getting on with people is crucial to being effective at work and enjoying it. So part of the interview is getting across the ‘real you’.

That means building a relationship with the interviewer throughout the interview. Simple phrases like, ‘How are you?’, ‘How’s your week been?’, ‘What are you doing this weekend?’ at appropriate times opens up a less formal conversation.

It also helps to drop in some personal details to give them an insight into your motivations and what makes you happy. But by being too ‘vanilla’, you’ll not get this across. Be honest about who you are and don’t try to give answers that you think an interviewer wants to hear.

To take charge, ask questions like ‘what’s the culture of the business?’, ‘how do you work together as a marketing team?’, ‘what type of character will do well in this role?’

Then use the answer the interviewer gives as an opening to discuss your style and personality, indirectly reinforcing the fact that ‘we CAN work together.’

Interview Question 2. ‘Can you complete the most challenging aspect of this job?’

In every marketing role, there are challenges.

It could be the messaging, measuring results, launching into new markets/verticals, improving the relationship with sales, generating more leads……the list could go on.

And in B2B marketing especially, it’s all about directly or indirectly generating revenue. And in most businesses there’s rarely a perfect system in place.

So to take charge, ask the question directly to the interviewer. ‘What’s going to be the most difficult aspect of this job?’

Because once you understand that, all you need to do is demonstrate your experience or ability to overcome that challenge.

If you can convince the interviewer you can complete the hardest aspect of the role, then it’s fairly likely you can complete every aspect of the role.

Interview Question 3. ‘Is this the right job for you?’

The last thing anybody wants, whether you’re interviewing for a new marketing job or looking to recruit into your marketing team, is for the recruitment process to fail.

As a job seeker, you don’t want to move jobs frequently, and as a hiring manager, you want a stable marketing team.

So a key question is whether or not the job is right for you in the first place. That could be simple things like location, salary or title. Or it could be less tangible things like cultural fit, career progression, and challenge.

But be careful of these warning signs throughout the interview process. 

More often than not this question isn’t asked directly. But sometimes a question like, ‘why are you looking to leave your current employer?’ is achieving the same aim.

As an example, let’s say you’re interviewing for a similar level role and with a marketing team of 2 people. And you say you’re leaving your current company because there’s no career progression. How do you think that will be received?

The ideal situation would be interviewing for a marketing role where you have the majority of the skills but where there’s also room for you to grow. That way you remain with the company for the long term and feel like you’re developing yourself and your marketing skills too.

Whatever the situation, though, you have to be direct about why you want the opportunity and that comes close to the end of an interview when you summarise your feelings.

‘Well, I’ve enjoyed meeting you today, thanks for inviting me in. The role sounds great. With the skills I’ve got, I feel I could make an immediate impact. And taking the business into some new international markets looks like a fantastic challenge. One that excites me.’

So, if you’ve got a marketing interview coming up, focus on these three questions. Because if you can answer these questions well, you stand a great chance of getting the job.

And if you’re struggling to get interviews in the first place, use these 5 tools to enhance your marketing job search.