Marketing is a field that involves creativity, strategic planning, ambition and ability. To help you prepare for your first career step into this discipline we’ve outlined below some questions to expect at interview stage and how you might go about answering them.
1. What types of marketing campaigns have caught your eye recently?
Regardless of what industry you might be hoping to gain a marketing/branding job in, you need to show your potential employer that you possess general awareness of marketing/branding/advertising in the world of today. Even if you’re being interviewed for a job in the engineering industry for example, it’s perfectly acceptable to talk about a campaign or advert you’ve seen in a totally different industry.
The employer wants to see that you have a general interest and passion for marketing and that you can recognise successful branding when you see it. Make sure you can back up your choice with intelligent reasons as to why a campaign was eye catching and use facts and figures too if appropriate.
2. How effectively do you think you can work within budgetary constraints?
To market products, you will need a budget and to spend money. This needs to be accounted for and therefore employers will want to hear reasons and logical thinking about how you might manage small budgets. This question also allows you to showcase your creativity. What could you do in order to spread the word about something which doesn’t involve huge amounts of cash? Perhaps you can draw upon some of your own experiences with budgets – for instance, organising an event or ball at your university; publicising your own blog or helping a charity with fundraising ideas and gatherings.
3. What do you think about how we market our current products?
This sort of question provides you with a chance to push your interview preparation by suggesting effective marketing strategies based on the research you have undertaken for the company you’re being interviewed by. It’s vitally important you look at what the company has been doing lately – where they’ve advertised, if they’re partnering with anybody.
For instance, you may have been impressed by a recent online campaign they ran – pick out elements that caught your eye and perhaps suggest other places where they could have marketed it. However don’t criticise their campaign - this is undermining and ineffective.
For instance you could say ‘I loved the advertorial you ran on the Time Out website – I could see this might have also been a good fit for users of Last Minute’. This in turn may open further discussion and gives you a chance to demonstrate your marketing passion and acumen.
4. Digital marketing is key in our organisation. What makes content successful and what do you think are the best ways to get people to link to our content?
Consumers and customers have so much content to digest these days, a company needs to make theirs stand out. An employer is not looking for a definitive answer here; they wish to see whether you are familiar with the terms and tools to create good content.
For instance, think about ‘traffic’, number of hits to a website, search engine ranking. You also need to demonstrate how active you currently are with online content. Are you blog posting? If not, what other areas are you concentrating on to keep up with trends?
Set up Google news alerts in specific areas so you can see what is trending. You can then use this in your content to generate a higher number of hits and thus encouraging more people to link and use your content.
5. What blogs, marketing periodicals and media do you regularly use or read?
An employer needs to see and understand how involved you are with industry trends. You need to demonstrate that you are taking responsibility for educating yourself and that you will be able to grow as a marketer.
Make sure you are au fait with at least 2 or 3 titles so that you can discuss and talk about them in detail. You could comment on editorial or news sections that you always look out for; or name influencers and retail analysts as you enjoy reading their thoughts and insights.