200 Powerful Marketing Interview Questions To Hire The Best

Powerful marketing interview questions to hire the best Building a strong marketing team isn’t easy. A key part of sorting out marketing candidates starts with asking the right interview questions. In this post, you can find a list of marketing interview questions to ask candidates that are applying for all different types of marketing roles.

What’s The Goal Of All These Questions?

The idea behind the questions on the following lists is to ask things that are specific to learning about a candidate’s capabilities for specific marketing functions. For any role, you need to know:
  • How does this candidate learn best? You can't learn marketing in college. you need to be keeping current or you're outdated. So, it’s helpful to know how they keep themselves sharp and devise smart strategies for the company to help support them.
  • Does this person understand the purpose of marketing? The goal of marketing is driving profitable customer action. It’s surprising how often candidates miss this point.
  • Showing they’re a strong fit for a specific type of role: If an applicant doesn’t know what it is they are applying for (beyond a role somewhere in marketing), that might be a red flag.
Ultimately, the idea is to find people who will be the best fit for what your company needs.

15 General Marketing Interview Questions

Marketing is an extremely diverse field, and there are many types of positions and jobs that fall under the marketing department. You can ask the following marketing interview questions to for any general marketing position
  1. Tell me how you got started in your career?
  2. What makes you passionate about this work?
  3. How has your skillset grown over time?
  4. Are there skills you’d like the opportunity to develop in the future?
  5. How did you learn about this open position?
  6. What can you tell me about our company?
  7. Why are you leaving your current position?
  8. What do you consider to be your core strengths?
  9. What motivates you to succeed?
  10. What publications and blogs do you read?
  11. What was the last book you read?
  12. Who's your favorite marketer and why?
  13. In your own words, what's the goal of marketing?
  14. What's the definition of [INSERT TERM] to you?
  15. If we asked you to improve [INSERT METRIC] by [INSERT PERCENTAGE] by [INSERT DATE], what strategies and tactics would you use to achieve that goal?

20 Marketing Manager / Director Interview Questions

Good teams need good leaders. In order to hire the best leader for your marketing team, start by asking the following marketing interview questions to identify the right qualities for a manager-level position.
  1. Have you managed staff before, and if so, for how long?
  2. How many people reported to you?
  3. Describe your leadership style.
  4. Tell us about a time you helped a struggling employee succeed.
  5. What is the first thing you’d do if hired for this position?
  6. Tell us about a time when you were responsible for setting a strategic vision and overseeing a team to execute it. What were the results?
  7. When faced with reasonable pushback from team members, how do you respond?
  8. Describe a time when you were faced with a conflict in regard to decision-making and helped lead the charge toward a positive outcome.
  9. How do you convince other executives about the value of marketing?
  10. When marketing campaigns or projects fail, how do you respond?
  11. Which metrics do you consider most important for gauging success?
  12. Which marketing software platforms do you have first-hand experience with?
  13. Are you comfortable using large amounts of data to guide decision-making?
  14. Which channels would you say this organization should focus on? Are there any we are not using but should, or those we are using but shouldn’t, in your opinion?
  15. Are you familiar with our industry?
  16. Who would you guess are our biggest competitors, and what might you do to help differentiate us in the marketplace?
  17. Describe a time when you had to oversee a major project from start to finish and the results it produced.
  18. Talk about the most successful campaign or project you ever worked on.
  19. Have you ever taken a risk on a new tactic or idea? If so, can you tell us about a time when a risk paid off?
  20. Which software platforms do you prefer, and why?

10 Marketing Intern Interview Questions

Good interns can be immensely valuable when you find a motivated candidate. All of us have to start somewhere, so it’s important to be prepared when you’re trying to land an internship position. Here are some questions you can ask a marketing intern candidate.
  1. What interests you in a marketing career?
  2. Have you ever worked in an office before?
  3. Do you have any experience working with [INSERT SOFTWARE]?
  4. Is there anything in particular about our company or industry that interests you?
  5. Have you had previous internships or relevant work and volunteer experience?
  6. How has your college coursework prepared you to succeed in this role?
  7. What would you most like to learn about marketing in your time with us?
  8. Tell us about something you achieved in school that you’re proud of.
  9. Ultimately, what type of position would you like to secure in the industry?
  10. What do you hope to get out of an internship with us?

10 Entry-Level Marketing Interview Questions

Hiring marketers at this level is similar to adding an intern. At this point, you’re primarily looking for potential and candidates who are motivated and have a strong willingness to learn.
  1. Tell us about your university and internship experiences.
  2. Which skills do you have that would best fit this position?
  3. Are there any areas where you feel you could improve?
  4. Where would you like to see your career in three years?
  5. Describe a time when you made a mistake and how you handled it.
  6. What do you feel separates you from other recent graduates?
  7. Can you tell us about a volunteer experience you enjoyed?
  8. How would you define the goal of marketing?
  9. What attracted you to this job specifically?
  10. Tell me about your best friend.

20 Copywriter Interview Questions

Copywriting does not come easy to most, it is an analytical skill and is a crucial part of any marketing team. Let’s go over some questions to ask a copywriting interviewee to make sure they would be a good fit for your team.
  1. Do you consider yourself a writer first, or a marketer first?
  2. Tell us about a creative campaign you wrote, starting from conception to execution.
  3. Are you familiar with search engine optimization?
  4. In the past, how have you measured the effectiveness of your copy?
  5. Is creativity or driving sales more important to you?
  6. How well do you handle tight deadlines?
  7. Are you comfortable with ambiguity, or do you prefer detailed creative briefs?
  8. How skilled are you in adapting your writing to a brand’s voice?
  9. Have you worked with designers in the past?
  10. Which types of copy have you created in the past (web copy, blog posts, PPC ads, social media posts, white papers, ebooks, video scripts, etc.)?
  11. Are you skilled at explaining complex ideas in language anyone can understand?
  12. Who are some of your favorite writers?
  13. What’s the best ad you’ve ever seen, and what did you appreciate about it?
  14. Tell us about an effective campaign you planned and executed.
  15. What’s your top tip for handling a difficult client?
  16. Are you able to produce clean copy without much editing?
  17. How much time do you spend writing headlines for a typical piece?
  18. Do you consider yourself more of a technical writer or creative writer?
  19. Do you have experience developing and using personas?
  20. How comfortable are you with interpreting creative briefs?

5 Product Marketing Interview Questions

Product marketers need strong copywriting skills, and must understand the product development cycles and how to angle it to their target audience. Here are some questions you can ask a product marketing interviewee.
  1. How familiar are you with our product?
  2. How would you market an existing feature of our product?
  3. How would you position [INSERT PRODUCT] to a millennial audience? How would you market that same product to a baby boomer audience?
  4. If presented with a new product or feature to market, where would you start your research?
  5. Are you comfortable interviewing experts to learn about subjects you need to write about?

10 PR Interview Questions

When you’re interviewing a PR candidate, some important characteristics they should encompass are outgoing, extroverted, and personable. Here are some questions to ask a PR interviewee to make sure they fit the mold.
  1. What attracts you to PR specifically?
  2. How comfortable are you talking to new people?
  3. Do you have experience working with the media?
  4. How would you pitch [INSERT PRODUCT] to a journalist at [INSERT NEWS OUTLET]?
  5. Which news sources, blogs, and media outlets do you follow in our niche?
  6. Are you able to stay calm under pressure?
  7. Tell us about a time when you had to de-escalate the conversation during a crisis.
  8. How much experience do you have planning PR strategies?
  9. What are your thoughts on using content marketing and social media for PR?
  10. What do you feel is the true purpose and value of PR?

15 Graphic Design Interview Questions

Here’s a tip: never ask a designer if they can make something “pop.” Ask these questions instead.
  1. Describe your design process for starting new projects.
  2. In your own words, what do you think quality design should achieve?
  3. Have you worked as part of a marketing team before?
  4. How do you respond to feedback and criticism?
  5. What are your top three brands design-wise?
  6. When stakeholders or clients don’t understand something about your design, how do you explain your decision-making?
  7. How much guidance do you like to have before starting design on a project?
  8. Are you comfortable collaborating with other team members, like copywriters and project managers?
  9. Are you capable of turning around quality work on tight timelines?
  10. Tell us about a time you missed a deadline (it happens sometimes) and how you handled it.
  11. Tell us about your favorite project you’ve ever worked on, and what you enjoyed about it.
  12. Who are your design heroes?
  13. What was the creative energy like at your last place of work (stagnant, restricting or open, agile, inviting, etc.)?
  14. Which niche within the design industry are you most excited about (illustration, branding, animation, etc.)?
  15. When it comes to design, do you consider creativity or effectiveness to be more important?

20 Social Media Marketing Interview Questions

Narrow down candidates who actually know how to do marketing on social (rather than just know a lot about social media) with this list of inquiries:
  1. Do you have a strong grasp on basic marketing principles?
  2. How would you rate your creative writing skills?
  3. Which social media channels do you have the most expertise with?
  4. Do you have experience with audience research?
  5. Which social media content types do you have experience creating?
  6. Have you ever been tasked with running a social media campaign, from ideation to execution to measurement? And if so, what were the results?
  7. Do you have previous experience managing online communities?
  8. Have you reviewed our business’s social media presence? If so, are there any specific things you’d recommend changing?
  9. Tell us about a time you were confronted with a social media crisis, and how you handled it.
  10. Which metrics do you consider most important for measuring social media success?
  11. Which blogs and news sources do you read to stay on top of social media trends and changes?
  12. How familiar are you with running contests on Facebook without running afoul of that platform’s guidelines?
  13. Do you have experience blending organic and paid social strategies?
  14. Which social media platforms are your favorite for personal use?
  15. What’s your opinion on using social media for customer service?
  16. Are you familiar with Facebook’s guidelines on promotional posts?
  17. Which social media marketing and management tools have you used in the past, and which have been your favorites?
  18. What are your favorite brands on social media and what, in particular, do you think they do well?
  19. In your own opinion, what can social media do to impact business outcomes that other channels and tactics can’t deliver as well?
  20. Do you have experience managing a social media calendar?

20 Content Strategist Interview Questions

Content strategists will typically plan, develop, and manage content for websites and other digital media platforms. These questions will help you find a strategist who fits what you need.
  1. In your own terms, how would you define content strategy?
  2. What do you think separates excellent content from average work?
  3. Describe your process for generating new content ideas?
  4. Have you ever conducted a content audit?
  5. How would you rate your knowledge of search engine optimization?
  6. Would you describe your writing style as more clear, or more complex?
  7. What types of industries and businesses have you worked with previously?
  8. Which types of content do you have the most experience with (websites, blog posts, video, social media, etc.)?
  9. Tell us about a content project that went wrong and how you recovered from the experience.
  10. Do you prefer strategic planning or executing work yourself?
  11. Are you better at tackling big-picture problems or handling deeply detailed tasks?
  12. Tell me about the last book you read.
  13. What sorts of side projects do you do outside of work?
  14. Are you familiar with how to use a CMS and common content marketing software?
  15. Define the difference between voice and tone.
  16. Can you describe your editing process?
  17. How do you measure the effectiveness of content?
  18. How would you approach content planning for a new website project?
  19. Do you have a basic knowledge of UX?
  20. Are you comfortable with presenting ideas, concepts, and campaigns to clients/internal stakeholders?

15 Marketing Analyst Interview Questions

A marketing analyst does a lot of research, analysis, and forecasting in order to be successful. That being said, here are some questions you can ask your interviewee to see if they fit the role.
  1. Explain the difference between causation and correlation when it comes to marketing activity and results.
  2. Explain the difference between, and importance of, qualitative and quantitative research.
  3. When presented with a large amount of data to analyze, where do you start?
  4. Tell us about a time where you had to explain the meaning and relevance of complex data to an audience unfamiliar with data analysis.
  5. Which tools do you prefer for gathering marketing data?
  6. How much do you know about predictive modeling and analytics?
  7. Do you have a specific story you can share about a time where you found a particularly interesting data-driven insight, and it make a substantial impact on a business?
  8. How do you respond when you’re asked to figure something out under a tight time constraint?
  9. Describe your level of comfort and experience with data visualization.
  10. Have you used a CRM before, and if so, how would you describe your level of expertise with using one effectively?
  11. When a team member struggles to understand complex data, how do you help them grasp your insights?
  12. Have you produced reports before, and if so, what do you think makes a marketing report most useful?
  13. When management wants to move in one direction, but data says the team should go another way, how do you approach that conversation?
  14. How skilled are you in challenging your own assumptions?
  15. What sorts of processes or techniques do you follow to separate meaningful insights from all the noise in large data sets?

20 SEO Interview Questions

SEO is very much alive and well, and spans a diverse set of skills and disciplines. Ask these questions when you’re trying to find the perfect SEO candidate.
  1. What is the purpose of search engine optimization in your own words?
  2. Do you have experience with front-end development?
  3. Are your specialties primarily in on-site, off-site, or technical SEO?
  4. Describe your typical keyword research process.
  5. Have you ever encountered a website that received a manual penalty from Google? If so, how did you approach resolving the issue?
  6. Have you ever made a major mistake with SEO? If so, what happened, and how did you correct the issue?
  7. If you had to build an SEO strategy from scratch, where would you start?
  8. What the most important trends you see developing for SEO over the next six to 12 months?
  9. Tell us about a time where you successfully increased a website’s traffic to a significant degree using your SEO skills.
  10. How do you learn new tactics and information regarding SEO?
  11. Do you have experience combining both organic and paid search strategies?
  12. When compromises need to be made between content, UX, and SEO, how do you approach tough conversations to ensure the application of SEO best practices without hurting other aspects of the site and business?
  13. How important do you consider search engines other than Google for SEO?
  14. Do you know how to properly apply rel=canonical tags?
  15. Tell us about a time where you needed to drive major SEO improvements with limited resources, and how you achieved your goal.
  16. Do you understand how to properly use 301 and 302 status codes?
  17. Do the words “Panda,” “Penguin,” and “Hummingbird” mean anything to you?
  18. Do you know how to structure content to capture Featured Snippets?
  19. How familiar are you with the various elements of a typical search engine result page on Google?
  20. Which ranking signal do you consider most important to focus on?

20 Outside-Of-The-Box Interview Questions

Yes, technical skills are important to ask any job candidate, but so are the creative, personality-type questions. Start asking these unique questions to any candidate to learn more about them.
  1. If you were a television character, who would you be, and why?
  2. What would the book about your life story be called?
  3. You can choose one superpower. Which would you choose, and why?
  4. Do you care more about things or experiences?
  5. What’s your biggest personal goal outside of work?
  6. When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
  7. If I asked your best friend to describe you, what would they say?
  8. In 60 seconds, tell us how many things you can do with a paperclip.
  9. On a scale from 1 to 10, how would you rate your level of weirdness?
  10. If you had the choice between being rich or being happy, which would you choose, and why?
  11. Name five albums you’d take with you, if you had to live on a desert island.
  12. If you could interview one famous person from history, who would you choose and why?
  13. What would you do with your time if you didn’t need to worry about money?
  14. If you were going to start your own business, what would you do, and why?
  15. What’s the worst thing that’s ever happened to you on the job and how did you handle it?
  16. How would you approach selling a ketchup-flavored popsicle?
  17. If we gave you $100 to make a customer’s day, what would you do with it?
  18. If you could change one thing about this interview, what would you change?
  19. What’s the most unconventional solution to a problem you’ve ever come up with at work?
  20. If you’re faced with something you want to do, and something you need to do, which task would you tackle first?

Assessing An Interviewee’s Answers

Say a candidate appears to nail the interview. That’s it, they’re hired, right? Not quite. Follow a few tips to read between the lines and accurately assess an interviewee’s questions.

Look Closely At Work Samples

In addition to what a candidate says they can do, look at what they’ve actually done. Ask to see some samples and cross-reference what they said they’ve done, with their real output.

Get References

Similarly, take the time to call references. If someone is good at what they do, they’ll be more than willing to tell you what makes them worth hiring. Ask the following questions:
  • How do you know [CANDIDATE]?
  • Have you worked with [CANDIDATE] before?
  • How would you describe their strengths and weaknesses?
  • Has [CANDIDATE] ever been promoted before?
  • How would you rate this person’s communication skills?
  • Do you know why [CANDIDATE] may have left a previous position?

Beware Of Red Flags

If a candidate seems deficient in certain skills or otherwise doesn’t feel like a good fit, carefully consider how much you can compensate for, and whether or not someone just can’t cut it. Remember the statistic from early in this post: a mis-hire can cost you five times that person’s salary.

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Sign up for your Free Calendar today! This blog post was originally written by Ben Sailer in 2018. It was revised in December 2023 with contributions by Brier Gurholt.
About the Author

Ben Sailer has over 14 years of experience in the field of marketing. He is considered an expert in inbound marketing through his incredible skills with copywriting, SEO, content strategy, and project management. Ben is currently an Inbound Marketing Director at Automattic, working to grow WordPress.com as the top managed hosting solution for WordPress websites. WordPress is one of the most powerful website creation tools in the industry. In this role, he looks to attract customers with content designed to attract qualified leads. Ben plays a critical role in driving the growth and success of a company by attracting and engaging customers through relevant and helpful content and interactions. Ben works closely with senior management to align the inbound marketing efforts with the overall business objectives. He continuously measures the effectiveness of marketing campaigns to improve them. He is also involved in managing budgets and mentoring the inbound marketing team.