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As the HR manager or recruiter for a SaaS startup, hiring the first marketing manager can be a challenging task. Not all marketing managers are made the same. Some have experience creating ROAS-based (return on ad spend) campaigns but are weak with organic, and some are strong on demand gen and sales but struggle to develop a powerful brand and message.
Most companies require an effective balance of both inbound and outbound strategies to meet company objectives, and there's no better way to find out if a marketing manager has experience doing that than through decisive interview questions.
At Pillar, we have a library of over 1000 interview questions that are sequenced by job title and level to help you find the best candidate for the job! Here are a few examples to help you before your next marketing manager interview:
1. Tell me about your past experience managing marketing teams?
2. What strategies have you used in the past to drive lead generation and profitable customer acquisition?
3. How would you measure the success of a marketing campaign - whether inbound or outbound?
4. Describe your biggest marketing success and the ROI that it generated for your previous company.
With the right set of interview questions, you can evaluate candidates' skills, experience, and cultural fit for your organization - we've included these and many more in our interview intelligence dashboard, you can drop them into your interviews with a simple click of a button. Here are a few more:
Entry-level Marketing Interview Questions
1. What motivated you to pursue a career in marketing, tell me about how you started in this field.
2. Describe a marketing campaign that you created and managed- What were your contributions, and what was the outcome?
3. What tools do you use to stay up-to-date with the latest marketing trends and technologies?
4. What metrics tell you a campaign has been a success or a failure?
6. How do you collaborate with cross-functional teams, such as sales, product, and customer success, to achieve marketing objectives?
7. Have you ever followed a product roadmap?
What if you're hiring a technical marketer? Technical marketers play a pivotal role in marketing automation, SEO, and analytics. Here are some questions you should ask:
Technical Marketing Interview Questions
1. Describe your experience with A/B split testing and how you have used it to optimize marketing campaigns and make them more effective.
2. What data do you use to inform your marketing decisions and strategies?
3. Explain your understanding of SEO- how have you implemented it in your previous roles?
4. Can you walk me through your process for developing a marketing automation campaign? Where do you begin?
5. How do you use social media channels, SMS, and other mobile channels to drive engagement and conversions?
Hiring a marketer is no easy feat, but it's an essential step in building a successful SaaS startup. By asking the right interview questions, you can gain insight into a candidate's technical expertise, experience, and cultural fit for your organization. Hopefully, these questions from our interview intelligence software will help serve as a guide for hiring your next marketing manager.
As you're hiring, remember that there are many differences between each type of marketer. A marketing specialist is typically an entry-level marketing professional who focuses on executing specific marketing tactics - such as social media marketing, email marketing, content marketing, or search engine optimization (SEO). They spend most of their time reviewing performance, analyzing data, and reiterating until a campaign is successful.
On the other hand, a marketing manager is a more senior-level marketing professional who oversees the strategy and manages a team of marketers with varying skill sets. They are responsible for setting marketing goals, developing marketing plans, allocating budgets, and ensuring that all marketing initiatives are aligned with the company's overall business objectives. Marketing managers are also responsible for collaborating with other departments, such as sales, product development, and customer service, to ensure a cohesive and integrated approach to marketing - which means that they need to be skilled at handling each core function of their job.
Marketing specialist job interview questions and answers will look very different too - for example, an IC-level marketer may be asked something like:
Q: Tell me about an unsuccessful marketing campaign that you managed. What made it unsuccessful?
A: I once managed a content marketing campaign for an online store that was focused on driving traffic to their website. Unfortunately, the campaign failed to gain traction due to a lack of a well-defined keyword strategy, clear goals, and reasonable objectives. Also, we wanted to drive 100% of sales from organic but only had the budget to create 2 posts per week.
Whereas, a marketing manager's questions and answers may look more like this:
Q: When you created your last email marketing campaign for sales, how did you create the strategy, identify the core tasks, and delegate the responsibilities to each person on your team?
A: First, I identified the core tasks that needed to be completed and created a timeline of when each task should be done by. Then, I delegated the responsibilities to each person on my team based on their skills and experience. Once all tasks were complete, we tested and reviewed the campaign before launching it live. Finally, we analyzed the results of the campaign and made changes as they proved successful.
One of the biggest things that many HR managers struggle with within the interview process is identifying what to ask in the first couple of interviews to know whether or not the candidate is a good fit for their team.
An easy way around this challenge is to ask the person they're directly reporting to what the most important objectives in their role are. For instance, if you need to hit world-class growth numbers set by the board, then 3xing revenue is probably at the top of that list, if you're trying to win organically, then the set of objectives is completely different.
Marketing interview questions with answers should be defined by what the marketer you're looking to hire must accomplish in their first few months to prove successful at the role. Once again, a senior marketing manager's interview questions and answers may look like this:
Q: Describe your approach to launching a new product in an unfamiliar market.
A: My approach to launching a new product in an unfamiliar market begins with understanding the needs and wants of my target demographic. I would then develop comprehensive marketing strategies that encompass all channels - from social media to influencer marketing, content creation, and paid advertising.
If you're a Pillar customer, we try to make this process as easy as possible for HR teams and recruiters. Y'all are super smart, but you may not always know exactly what to ask to know if a candidate is going to be the best fit without a thorough investigative process on the role.
That's why we created our interview intelligence dashboard to provide all of these resources in one place.
Let's switch to another aspect of the interview - the assignment. Once a candidate has made it through the first few interview steps, they'll need to complete an assignment or task to make sure their level of competence is up to par.
When it comes to digital marketing interview assignments they should be comprehensive and allow you to evaluate the candidate's knowledge in different areas of digital marketing. Some example interview questions and assignments could include:
Q: Use what you know of our product to create an entire social media campaign that you manage from start to finish. What strategies will you use to maximize reach and engagement?
A: I would begin with conducting market research on our target demographic. I would then identify the social media channels they are most active on and create an effective content strategy tailored for each one. To maximize reach and engagement, I would focus on creating engaging visuals, leveraging influencers, and utilizing paid advertising.
When they've completed the assignment, have a few digital marketing interview questions prepared to go into detail about the hypothetical campaign that allows you to see their thought process.
When interviewing a marketing manager, situational interview questions are one of the best ways to understand how they would handle different scenarios. I like asking "how" questions that are attached to real scenarios so that I can follow up on their responses with additional questions that help me see a clearer picture of their strategy and thought process.
A great situational interview question for a marketing manager is: "During your last direct-report performance review, how did they respond to your feedback?" Another is, "Tell me about your worst direct report at your past company (please leave their name out of the story), how did you coach them to success or help them find another role that was a better fit?"
These sales and marketing manager interview questions should be core to every interview as they help us understand how a person dynamically handles people, failure, and challenges that must be overcome to achieve success.
If you'd like to see how the Pillar team can help you implement questions like this to make better hires, book your demo to chat with someone on our team. We've helped customers cut time-to-hire and hiring costs in half over the past 12 months and we'd love to show you how we can help you do the same!