This Interview Questions for Digital Marketers guide is different from the typical guide. The focus here is to inform hiring managers all that we know about hiring digital marketers, based on our experience working with successful companies and startups, and point out the important things to look out for. It will cover:
Example question: What do you think is good content?
Phone screens at Stripe tend to be informal. They are looking to give candidates an overview of Stripe and the position, as well as to get an introduction to you. At this stage, they will want to understand your professional background, and your motivation for applying.
Part 1: Respond to inbound emails
Part 2: Explain a technical product to a broader audience:
In-person interviews at Stripe involve a number of 45-minute chats with various members of the team.
Questions are designed to evaluate:
Example assignment: Ideas for growing Doordash in the Boston market, i.e, what ideas do I have spreading the DoorDash brand through Boston? What communities could I leverage on to enable growth?
You will be provided with a mock data set, and expect to present the case study in interviews.
Example questions: Design an experiment for a product that’s not Lyft. What would you build, and why? What would be your metrics for success? What parts of your day to day at your current role do you really enjoy or dislike? How would you A/B test this? What strategies do you have to grow the partnerships for Lyft?
Good candidates are genuinely interested in their domain, and it would be reflected in the news sources that they follow. You can also quiz them on a recent news story that they picked up from the channel, to see if they have followed these sites closely.
Great candidates would likely follow blogs that cover more advanced topics, including websites like these:
Ask the candidate where they found these news sources, and they may share other digital communities, Slack or Facebook groups that they are involved in. These will also help to give you a better idea of the candidate’s passion for the topic.
This question helps you to understand if candidates have clarity of thought and are able to articulate the benefits of what they promote well.
Good digital marketing candidates will be able to:
This question helps you to find candidates who are a cultural fit for your team.
Candidates from young startups would typically have set up the tools or workflows for the marketing channels they cover. For those from larger companies, ask them what workflows they have with their vendors that they managed to establish successfully. Good candidates would have a lot of experience solving the challenges they face in executing strategies in each channel, and would have stories to share of how they tested out systems, workflows or tools to help them.
To figure out how deeply they were involved in building those processes:
This question helps you to figure out how resourceful and methodical your candidate is.
Look out for candidates who have a record of:
Candidates should be able to provide 1-2 key metrics to indicate how their strategies have performed, and explain the key determinants for that performance over time. Focus less on the performance, and more on the metrics and the reasoning that the candidate provides.
Great candidates will be able to bring up past campaigns as examples and explain specific aspects of the measurement or interpretation that were challenging.
Candidates should be able to tie the campaigns back to:
If your company is large and requires complex workflows eg. regular use of engineering team resources, approvals from finance, get buy-in from the business teams, you may want to look out for someone who has worked in similar environments in the past.
What to look out for:
Tip: Quiz them on the tactics they have used to work effectively with different teams.
What are three things we can do to improve our product or service from a marketing standpoint?
Great candidates would be able to demonstrate that they have performed some research on your company, and suggest actionable, small-scale improvements.
A good suggestion would be something like, “I’ve done some research on SEMRush and I noticed that there’s a topic cluster which could have potential for us to generate new leads. This might be something that wasn’t on the company’s radar because the search volume on related search terms were weak. However it looks like it has been starting to pick up. I looked through the ranking blogposts for these queries, and here are some actionable ways that we can introduce new content that would help us to rank better…”
It’s a red flag if the candidate suggests improvements that do not iterate on small goals, but require significant resources. Or candidates who suggest projects that have an unrealistic timeline or budget. These are indicators that the candidate might be inexperienced.
Conversion rates can be calculated by dividing the number of conversions by the total ad interactions during a specific time period. If there were 10 conversions from 1,000 ad interactions, the CVR would be 1%.
Great candidates would point out how conversion rates are calculated on specific platforms. For example, your conversion rate may be higher on Adwords if you choose to track more than one conversion action.
Something similar to this definition, “An estimate of the amount of revenue an average customer would generate over the course of their relationship with the company.”
The candidate should be able to walk through these formulas to get to LTV:
In learning about the customer, experienced candidates should be able to mention more than one of these methods, and state which aspects of the product will be addressed by each program:
Candidates shouldn’t be expected to have conducted the user research themselves, but should have a good understanding of how that data is processed. Pay attention to the kinds of insights that can be captured from the data.
Good answers would include the following attributes:
It’s incredibly valuable to have marketers who are experienced with the product building process, and are in the habit of iterating quickly and delivering feedback efficiently to product teams.
Check with the candidate on types of collaborative work he or she has done with engineering teams:
Ask them a follow-up question: Do they use pre-built tools or do their engineering teams build the tools entirely? What are the reasons?
You’ll want to get a sense of how resourceful the candidate has been. If a candidate has few development resources available to them but able to pull together enough to launch several marketing products, it’s a huge positive.
Those in product-focused companies may have access to more resources, so you can check with the candidate on the size of the engineering teams they worked with.
Good candidates would be familiar with the ecosystem of tools available. They should be comfortable with naming the tools they use in each key marketing function and spell out the strengths and weaknesses of the tools they have used. Candidates should be able to articulate the stack they use depending on their key function:
Look for candidates who have:
Answers from scrappy candidates would likely include both well known tools as well as more arcane ones that the candidate picked for custom use cases.
Great answer: “Our team uses tools A, B and C on a daily basis. We moved away from D to C during the time I was at the company. Main reason we made the switch was to make use of Tool C’s workflows to assist us in our referral programs and NPS surveying, and because we saw a lot of value in the integration with A in helping us to manage our marketing leads. It has saved us hours from having to enrich leads manually.”
Average candidates would recite a textbook list of tools. You can follow up with questions on the limitations of a tool to find out the depth of experience they have with using it.
Here you can list a few scenarios and see what the candidate would recommend. Good candidates would be able to share with you the common data problems they may face in those situations.
A few possible scenarios:
These are good signs that candidates will be comfortable in data-driven environments:
For optimization potential, the candidate should respond along these lines, “I would outline each step in the activity execution process. From how we should gather data, to the information that we report. This way it helps everyone involved focus on what to measure and which audiences to serve. Which will help us prioritize our optimization roadmap and report the right data.”
Experienced managers will likely point out the importance of governance to identify good optimization initiatives. Question the candidate to dig deeper into the measures taken to ensure that:
Great managers will outline tactics they have used to get people excited about optimization initiatives. Some tactics you may want to look for include:
Candidates should be able to explain the method they use to deliver recommendations. An emphasis should be placed on the metrics they apply to different stakeholders in the organization. For example, what’s applicable to senior management would be KPIs such as:
For their own team, the metrics that matter would be how they have improved iteration by iteration. If they work on weekly sprints, it helps to show week-on-week performance and progress next to the goals set, so that their team have clear feedback on the impact of their initiatives.
For candidates who are not from startup marketing or digital agency backgrounds, these certifications help to establish that the candidate has the right knowledge and background. They shouldn’t be deemed mandatory for the position however, as you can evaluate them with case studies or live assessments to demonstrate that the candidate understands his domain well.
If you found the digital marketing interview questions useful, you may also find relevant interview questions for content strategists in this post.
This interview questions guide focuses on informing digital marketing hiring managers on the top how-tos and important things to look out for, from successful companies and startups.
Karen Ngui, Head of Strategic Marketing & Communications DBS, and her team discuss their success in better connecting with customers through their franchise, SPARKS.
As Director of Content Marketing and Social Media at Autodesk, Dusty DiMercurio oversees their award-winning publication, Redshift. Get a behind-the-scenes peek into how he works with industry experts and journalists to create best-in-class content.