When a company has a strong marketing team, you notice.
The company’s blog posts answer your burning questions. Their events are fun and lively. Customers post rave reviews, and the product’s features are always showcased in a humble, yet convincing way.
But that level of marketing excellence requires an all-star team. And to assemble your team, you need to be asking the right questions.
Below, we’ll cover 16 questions that get to the root of the skills top-notch marketers need to put your company at the forefront of customers’ minds.
Growth Marketing Manager
Companies, especially startups, rely on a steady flywheel of awareness, acquisition, activation, and referrals.
That’s where growth marketers come in 一 they create and sustain revenue-generating loops, a feat that requires both creativity and analytical skills.
To invent new strategies, growth marketers need a working knowledge of SEO, content marketing, email marketing, paid search, and paid social.
They are willing to think big but test small, allowing them to make the most of their budgets while innovating fast. Most often, utilizing a behavior interview is best to determine their thought process and problem solving abilities.
Question 1: From What You Know About Our Company and Product, How Would You Optimize Our Funnel?
Asking this question shows a candidate’s level of preparation right off the bat.
If the candidate has done a good job researching your company, they’ll be able to think critically about how to improve its growth loop. Plus, they’ll show off their creativity, storytelling abilities, and problem-solving skills along the way.
And while there’s no right answer to this question, there is a right track. You and your team have probably noodled on this question before, so have a sense of what answers are fantastic or way off-base.
Consider asking “how,” “what,” and “why” as the candidate responds. By asking probing questions, you can get to the root of their reasoning and test their decision-making abilities.
Question 2: How Do You Understand the Behavior of a Target Audience?
Growth marketers need to know their target market to brainstorm growth hacks that actually work.
Every growth marketer has a different way of studying customer behavior, so this question gives them a chance to walk you through their process.
Some common answers might be signing up competitors’ email newsletters, joining networking groups, or following the blogs of prominent people in your industry.
Candidates might even say they talked to customers directly or sent pointed surveys to get to the heart of what customers are really looking for in a company or product.
Take note of candidates’ ability to connect their research to both individual tactics and the bigger picture (generating revenue).
They should also reference experiments they’ve designed in the past, the metrics they’ve used to measure success, and how those results informed their future strategies.
Question 3: Can You Walk Me Through Your Last A/B Test?
Growth marketer candidates should be intimately familiar with structuring A/B tests and presenting results eloquently.
A strong candidate should demonstrate they are able to collect, interpret, and act on data.
Skilled growth marketers will craft a story around the insights they drew and articulate how they moved forward accordingly.
More numbers-focused candidates will emphasize metrics, whereas less technical folks will concentrate on qualitative outcomes.
Neither is good nor bad, but it’s important to suss out whether the candidate knows the basics of running and analyzing A/B tests in general.
Question 4: How Would You Growth Hack Omaha, NE?
What an unusual question, right? That’s the point 一 growth marketers need to be able to think outside the box.
There’s no templatized answer to this question, so candidates will have to think on their feet.
So look for ingenuity. Is your candidate coming up with interesting ways to attract residents? What about retaining them? Are they inclined towards testing out their ideas?
Putting them on the spot reveals how they perform under pressure and highlights their true resourcefulness.
Product Marketing Manager
Think of the best sales presentation you’ve ever seen. Chances are, a product marketer was the brain behind it.
Product marketing managers are responsible for messaging, positioning, and creating demand for a product.
PMMs promote launches of new products or features, help set the tone of sales conversations, and come up with ways to tactfully address competition.
Product marketing managers sit at the intersection of sales, product, and marketing, so need a comprehensive understanding of a company’s go-to-market motion and the world around it.
Besides synthesizing product capabilities into great copy, PMMs’ day-to-day might involve market analysis, consumer trends research, and deepening their knowledge of the competitive landscape.
Overall, product marketing managers need excellent communication, organization, and collaboration skills.
Question 1: How Do You Measure The Success of a Product Launch?
Product and feature launches should be a product marketing manager’s bread and butter.
But it’s important to think beyond the brand asset, Tweet, and one-pager pieces of the puzzle. Each of those individual tactics must contribute to a larger goal of generating hype and awareness.
Experienced PMMs will cite concrete KPIs that indicate launch health, like leads generated, web traffic, customer usage, trial signups, page views, and other channel metrics.
Don’t be afraid to ask follow-up questions to see if a candidate can also brainstorm levers to pull if a launch isn’t performing as well as they’d hoped.
Question 2: What Product Do You Believe is Marketed Poorly, and Why?
This classic product marketing manager question forces candidates to take a stance, back up their point of view, and flex their branding skills.
Pay attention to the way they talk about the product’s main features, and what they would do to elevate the current messaging.
Are they talking about what’s missing in multiple channels (email, social, paid ads)? Do their explanations for what they would do differently make sense?
Have they tried a campaign before that could translate to better results for this product, and why do they think that will work in this case? How would they solicit feedback on their new strategy from other teams or customers?
Great PMMs will address all of these sub-questions within their answer, giving you an accurate reading on how they might handle a new project.
Question 3: Your Sales and Finance Team Tell You They Are Going to Raise Prices. How Would You Inform Customers?
Price increases aren’t uncommon, but telling customers about them is never fun.
Product marketing manager candidates should come up with a clear, succinct way to communicate this change.
Their plan should show they’ve empathized with the customer pain of paying more but can tie price adjustments to the additional value customers get from product features, greater stability, and more.
Bonus points if a candidate thinks of creative ways to demonstrate ROI or to delicately address competitors’ pricing in a conversation.
Content Marketing Manager
A content manager is responsible for 一 you guessed it 一 content.
For most SaaS companies, this means content marketing managers oversee the creation of social media posts, blog posts, whitepapers, ebooks, and case studies.
As you might expect, great content marketing managers are great writers.
But beyond that, they need to feel comfortable juggling high-level content strategy with in-the-weeds writing, editing, and keyword research.
And to get the right things done on time, content marketing managers must have a knack for project management.
Question 1: What’s Your Process For Creating a Blog Post?
Content marketing managers can’t just be copywriters or editors; they need to set the company’s entire content strategy.
So if a candidate says they write a post based on a provided outline, consider that a red flag.
Terrific candidates, on the other hand, will talk about how they review their backlog of relevant keywords, skim industry Google News alerts, or elicit customer-facing team feedback to get topic ideas.
Then, they’ll discuss how they outline a piece in line with a style guide and other elements that are valuable from an SEO standpoint, such as headers, meta descriptions, and word count.
With a solid draft in hand, most content marketing managers will have a defined review and publishing process to guarantee the post is ready for publication.
Extra points for candidates who bring up KPIs they’d track post-publication, such as site traffic, SEO ranking, backlinks, and clicks.
Question 2: What Company Does Content Marketing Well?
To keep your company’s content relevant and exciting, content marketing managers need to be curious about what their peers are doing and how they are doing it.
Keeping an eye out for new trends, topics, and channels shows that the candidate is driven and likes to stay ahead of the curve.
Candidates should be able to cite several businesses killing the content game and explain how they did it.
Ask if candidates have ever tried some of the same strategies they’ve seen other companies doing. The candidate’s answer will provide insight into how they think about risk, apply their knowledge, and measure their success.
Question 3: How Do You Determine The Right Style and Tone For a Piece of Content?
Every company has its own style and tone, and even that might flex depending on distribution channel.
As candidates answer this question, see if they bring up the need for companies to establish and follow a style guide. Are they curious about yours?
Ask them to share specific examples of situations where they’ve modified their own style to fit a company’s new branding, or worked with a staff writer to get their tone right.
Their responses should show that they are conscious and protective of company branding, and are adept at adapting pieces of content to reflect that style.
Digital Marketing Manager
Digital marketing managers set, execute, and measure online marketing campaigns in an effort to boost brand awareness and drive conversion.
To achieve these lofty goals, digital marketers are more technically oriented, with expertise in SEO, email marketing, web development, and social media skills.
They should be highly interested in emerging technologies like AR or Web3, looking for new outlets to post or amplify brand content.
Digital marketing managers must be adept at analytics, and use those numbers to optimize digital advertising funnels and conversion rates.
Question 1: What is The Most Difficult Challenge Digital Marketers Have to Overcome?
If your company isn’t operating in a brand new industry, digital marketers will face a healthy amount of online saturation.
Good candidates are likely to surface this issue right away, but also provide suggestions for staying competitive.
Exploring new trends, trialing new techniques, and scheduling time to conceive new ideas are all signs of a seasoned digital marketer.
Privacy is another problem that digital marketers are up against. Ask them what tools they’d use to stay compliant and how they might approach campaigns differently as a result.
Question 2: If You Had to Drive Traffic to Our Site Immediately, How Would You Do It?
Although this question may sound impossible to the layman, effective digital marketers will have some tricks up their sleeves—particularly those that have worked at a startup.
Digital marketers that have generated an online presence from scratch learned quickly what works and what doesn’t.
Candidates may default to paid advertising, which makes sense given that it takes a while for SEO and social media to pay off. But make sure they know how to achieve results while staying frugal.
Question 3: How Do You Structure Your Marketing Budget?
Digital marketing managers work with some of the biggest budgets in your organization, but that doesn’t mean they should be lax about how they use it.
In fact, you should prioritize candidates who take their budget seriously, allocating a percentage of their budget to outbound and inbound campaigns, organic marketing, and paid advertising.
Press candidates on how they devised that breakdown, and what changes they’d make if tasked with hitting certain KPIs.
Thoughtful candidates might even ask about your goals upfront or might slip in some extra research they did on your company to help them justify their answers.
Field Marketing Manager
If a company’s ever invited you to watch a basketball game, sent you a swag package, or hosted you at an industry dinner, you’ve experienced field marketing at work.
Field marketing managers have the fun job of working “in the field,” connecting prospects to sales teams in meaningful ways.
Field marketing strategies range from putting on a company’s own conference, attending other conferences, reserving booths at trade shows, hosting exclusive events, or executing direct mail campaigns.
Usually, field marketing managers are responsible for a region or vertical, designing events that appeal to those specific types of customers.
Great field marketing managers are budget-conscious, so collaborate closely with sales teams to ensure the activities they choose to host or participate in will have the greatest ROI.
If their team is small and they have the budget, field marketing managers may contract outside agencies to help facilitate events.
Question 1: How Do You Acquaint Yourself With a New Industry?
Field marketing tactics can vary greatly by industry, and what works in one doesn’t always work well in another.
Field marketing managers need to put themselves in customers’ shoes, and one of the best ways of doing that is talking to customers directly or speaking with customer-facing teams.
Look for an answer that incorporates reading about current events in the industry, connecting with colleagues or partners to swap tactics, and bouncing ideas off of customers or internal teams.
Researching what types of field marketing competitors engage in is beneficial as well, so long as the candidate doesn’t advocate for copying exactly what the competitor does.
Your company’s field marketing should match the uniqueness and originality of your brand.
Question 2: What is Your Day-of Approach to an Event?
Coordinating events is stressful, but the day of an event is even more nerve-wracking.
An awesome field marketing manager will have a step-by-step (even hour-by-hour) plan that’s communicated to everyone involved ahead of time. Their plan should encompass everything about the event 一 down to how they keep track of vendors, goodie bags, and equipment.
To take this question a little further, ask what they would do if something went wrong. Do they get flustered or can they roll with the punches?
Seek out candidates who commit to preparation, but are realistic about the fact that unforeseen things happen and can problem-solve on the go.
Question 3: How Do You Measure The ROI of a Field Marketing Event?
Measuring the outcomes of field marketing campaigns can be challenging, as there isn’t necessarily a one-to-one attribution for lead generation, signups, etc.
That said, there are KPIs field marketing managers should be tracking.
If a field marketing manager is analytics-inclined, he or she might talk about how to set goals prior to an event, and what to measure before the event, like landing page visits, event registrations, or mentions of the company or event on social media.
Experienced candidates will then dive into event engagement KPIs like attendance, social media check-ins, event app usage, live poll responses, and more.
If they’re extra tech-savvy, they might bring up social listening, in which AI determines audience sentiment on LinkedIn, Instagram, or Twitter.
Also, take note of what the candidate says they do post-event or activity.
To get the most bang for your buck, your field marketing manager should anticipate sending attendee surveys and measuring an event’s direct influence on customer acquisition, generated leads, and meetings booked.
Strengthen Your Interview Process
Deciding on your marketing manager interview questions ahead of time will not only speed up your interview process, it’ll ensure you’re hiring the best talent.
To get to the point of scheduling an interview, your recruiting teams need to be monitoring your pipeline and nurturing active and passive candidates. A good method to keep the process moving swiftly and strategically is to have applicants perform a 1-way interview.
And once the interview happens, you need a platform to help you collate feedback and make an informed decision quickly. Chatkick does all this and more. To learn how Chatkick can improve your hiring process, sign up for early access today.