Illustration of three people working at a desktop computer, collaborating.

Why this matters:

It can be challenging to know which new marketing hires will stick around and achieve their best work, but a candidate who gives good reasons for wanting to join a specific company has a better chance of both succeeding and staying. Candidates can use this chance to explain the reason for their current transition, outline transferable skills, or showcase some of the industry research they’ve done prior to the interview.

What to listen for:

  • Thoughtful discussion of the company’s unique attributes
  • A well-researched answer that explores brand reputation and current opportunities
  • Summary of previous positions, subjects, or activities that piqued their interest in marketing

Why this matters:

Content management systems, project management platforms, SEO tools, design tools, and other software enable marketing professionals to move the needle for their brand or clients. It can be helpful to know which of these tools the candidate has experience using — and which they’ve found to be successful.

What to listen for:

  • A facility with digital marketing, publishing, project management, or design tools
  • General comfort with technology
  • A willingness to learn new systems

Why this matters:

Marketers are continuously learning, researching, and growing in their roles. Some companies disseminate information through meetings, in-person training, or teleconferences. Others share PDFs, slideshow presentations, and videos. Clients may conduct hands-on training with marketing teams to ensure their branding comes across in a very particular way.

What to listen for:

  • A detail-oriented approach that involves learning about target audiences and pain points
  • Indication of learning style, whether visual, verbal, experiential, or asynchronous
  • Initiative and a desire to gather as much information as possible to hone one’s craft

Why this matters:

A generous marketing budget doesn’t always suggest a successful campaign. But a tight marketing budget can indicate a flair for creativity and problem-solving — especially when the campaign was successful.

What to listen for:

  • A positive attitude in describing the situation
  • A lack of complaints, despite the constraints built into the question
  • Flexibility and creative problem-solving

Why this matters:

Candidates have all different definitions of “success,” based on values and personal experiences. Whether it’s traffic, sales, brand recognition, or achieving greater market share, a marketing professional should track one or more metrics to self-assess performance.  Candidates can also use this opportunity to discuss personal “successes,” such as problem-solving, obtaining a promotion, leading a team, receiving recognition, or learning.

What to listen for:

  • Enthusiasm in describing the campaign and its success
  • Individual contributions that led to process improvement, revenue, savings, or goals met
  • An example commensurate with the position, demonstrating leadership or creativity

Why this matters:

Marketing involves a good deal of experimentation. No matter how capable a firm is, situations are bound to arise from time to time. Marketing professionals must be flexible enough to handle a crisis, whether it’s missing a target, losing potential revenue, an irate client, or a public relations disaster.

What to listen for:

  • Analytical skills and emotional intelligence in describing challenges and opportunities
  • Self-awareness and leadership in accepting ownership of results, without blaming others
  • Focus on the solution, with a commitment to ongoing learning

Why this matters:

Marketers are often asked to adapt to market (or client) expectations, accommodate leadership/client whims, switch directions, problem-solve, and generally do more with less. This question explores the candidate’s resilience and adaptability to these kinds of changes.

What to listen for:

  • Positivity and a lack of blame
  • The ability to take changes in stride
  • A willingness to adapt and come up with practical solutions

Why this matters:

Even the most junior marketing professionals are often tasked with leading smaller initiatives, or components of a larger campaign. This question will reveal the candidate’s aptitude for leadership — along with the requisite ownership and accountability it entailed.

What to listen for:

  • A sense of ownership and accountability
  • Demonstrated success with responsibility and delegation
  • Team building abilities

Why this matters:

Successful marketing professionals understand the importance of goal setting, devising an action plan, and measuring success. Personal goal tracking demonstrates soft skills like patience, organization, critical-thinking, and determination that are highly relevant to the role.

What to listen for:

  • Specific experiences with benchmarking, goal setting, and measurement
  • Description of the situation, actions taken, and results achieved
  • Drive and the willingness to work through a process from start to finish
chatting over desk with laptops and coffee

Contact a sales specialist

By submitting this form, you agree that we may use the data you provide to contact you with information related to your request/submission and LinkedIn's products and services. If you are a LinkedIn member, you can control the messages you receive from LinkedIn in your settings. If you are a guest, you can unsubscribe from LinkedIn marketing emails at any time by clicking the unsubscribe link in the email. Your data will be used subject to LinkedIn's Privacy Policy.