15 Must-Have Interview Questions For Digital Marketers

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15 Must-Have Interview Questions For Digital Marketers

Content.co Editorial
Updated Nov 27, 2019

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:

Cheatsheet for Hiring Managers

Before Interview

  • Request for a web call instead of a phone call.
  • Prepare the interview questions.
  • Prepare the data set for the Case Study.

Phone Screen

  • Interviewee addressed the points asked in Interview Questions.
  • Elaborates on the past projects relevant to the question asked. Does not inflate the performance or the scale of the projects.

Case Study or Assignment

  • Identifies the problem accurately.
  • Provides a clear, realistic solution.
  • Candidate addressed i) objectives, ii) goals, iii) performance metrics, iv) targets, v) segments in the Case Study.
  • Communicates clearly, at a good pace. Presents the tradeoffs made for the proposed solution.
  • Is able to pitch, and persuade you to adopt the proposed solution.
  • Confirm with the interviewee if there are sections of the proposal that were streamlined or were not included because of the time constraint. It’s a plus if the interviewee proactively shares that information with you.
  • Demonstrates user empathy.
  • No typos, poor formatting or grammatical errors.

During Interview

  • Asked meaningful questions during the interview.
  • Interviewee followed up after the interview.

Interview Formats of Famous Companies

Airbnb

  • Phone screen with the recruiter or hiring manager
  • Phone or video interview with the team lead
  • Writing exercise with tasks to see how would you apply content strategy and UX writing to improve the user experience (Time: 3 Days)
  • Face-to-face interviews

Example question: What do you think is good content?

Stripe

  • Phone screen with the recruiter or hiring manager (30 min)
  • Written project (Two parts)
  • Face-to-face interviews (Half a day)

Phone Screen

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.

Written project

Part 1: Respond to inbound emails

  • Answer a set of example emails from potential leads inquiring about the company. Evaluated for your attention to detail, signs that research was performed, and for written communication and tone.

Part 2: Explain a technical product to a broader audience:

  • They are looking for the ability to communicate technical concepts in non-technical terms.

Face-to-face interviews

In-person interviews at Stripe involve a number of 45-minute chats with various members of the team.

Questions are designed to evaluate:

  • Sales tenacity: Can you sell? What are your strategies that have enabled you to close deals effectively and manage long sales cycles?
  • Communication: Would you be effective pitching the company to Fortune 500 clients, and would be you able to interact with internal teams?
  • Analytical skills: Are you a clear thinker? Do you have strong quantitative skills and can you apply them to growth initiatives?
  • Cultural fit

Doordash

  • Phone screen with the recruiter/hiring manager
  • 7 interviews (mix of phone and in-person interviews). This has included a phone call with the team lead and an in-person meeting with the direct supervisor.
  • Marketing assignment

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?

Lyft

  • 3 rounds of phone screens with the recruiter/hiring manager
  • In-depth case study
  • 4 in-person interviews (30 minutes each)

Case Study

You will be provided with a mock data set, and expect to present the case study in interviews.

In-Person Interview

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?

Source: Glassdoor

 

Interview Questions

Behavioral Questions For Freshers

Where do you get your news on digital marketing?

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:

  • Distilled
  • Ahrefs blog
  • Backlinko
  • Convince and Convert
  • Occam’s Razor
  • eMarketer (for enterprise teams)

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.

Describe the value propositions that you have helped to build and communicate. What was it, why did it matter, and what was the impact?

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:

  • Describe succinctly the problem that the target customer faces. 
  • Identify the value proposition that the candidate helped to build.
  • Mention clear examples of how the value prop was communicated, and the decisions they made to communicate it in the way they did.
  • Great candidates will be able to develop narratives to describe the problem and value proposition, and should have multiple examples to share.

 

Examples of how one would build working processes from scratch.

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:

  • Get the candidate to list the main tools they have used.
  • Question them on the ones that you have worked with: What were the constraints of the tools were or what workarounds they had to develop?
  • How did they move over from their existing process to the new one? What problems arose?

 

What were your promotion strategies? How did they perform?

This question helps you to figure out how resourceful and methodical your candidate is.

Look out for candidates who have a record of:

  • Tried and tested (but hard to do) approaches. eg. Reaching out to high authority sites for external links. You will want to question candidates to look for those who have developed processes to scale their strategies.
  • Creative methods. See if candidates have used methods that their peers in the same industries rarely try. eg. implementing employee advocacy for a growing startup, or getting less common platforms like Periscope, or Quora advertising to work for them.

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.

 

How do you structure and optimize complex online campaigns, and measure its impact based upon key KPIs?

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:

  1. Objectives eg. increase the customer base proportion of high-value customers.
  2. Goals eg. increase high-value product conversions.
  3. Performance Metrics eg. conversion rates.
  4. Targets eg. +5% clickthrough rates this quarter.
  5. Segments eg. new vs returning visitors.

 

Have you worked on a cross-functional project? How many people did this involve or across how many different teams?

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:

  • If a candidate has found ways to deal with complex finance approvals, it may mean that they have acquired good vendor relationships.

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.

 

Technical Questions For Freshers

How would you calculate the conversion rate of a campaign?

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.

 

How do you calculate customer lifetime value (LTV)?

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:

  • Average purchase value = Total revenue / Total number of purchases
  • Average purchase frequency rate = Total number of purchases / Number of unique customers

  • Multiplying purchase value and frequency gives you the value of the average customer:
  • Customer value = Average purchase value * Average purchase frequency rate
  • Average customer lifespan = Average number of years a customer purchases from your company

  • Multiplying average lifespan and value per customer will give you LTV:
  • Customer lifetime value = Customer value * Average customer lifespan

 

It’s a red flag if the candidate suggests improvements that do not iterate on small goals, but require significant resources.

 

Interview Questions for Experienced Digital Marketers

Behavioral Questions For Experienced Marketers

Give us an example of a go-to-market strategy that you implemented for a product. How did you learn about the user or end customer?

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:

  • Beta program
  • Quick focus group
  • Detailed survey
  • Simple A/B test
  • Multivariate test
  • User interviews

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.

 

Which marketing levers do you pull?

Good answers would include the following attributes:

  • Time: the time it would take to get done
  • Effort: how easy or difficult it would be
  • Investment: how much it will actually cost to complete
  • Profit or Potential ROI
  • Projected results

 

If you have an engineering team to support your work, how would you use them?

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:

  • Analytics. This usually helps to indicate how data-driven the candidate is in approaching marketing.
  • Surveys. Check with the candidate on the depth of the survey. Whether it’s a basic implementation like a Net Promoter Score feature, or a complex one.
  • Lead Generation Tools. These include calculators, comparison tools, interactive sites or other software widgets.
  • Third-Party Customer Interaction Tools. eg. Chat widgets like Intercom.

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.

 

Technical Questions For Advanced Digital Marketers

What digital marketing tools do you use? How did you select these tools?

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:

  • CRM: Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics
  • Marketing Automation: Infusionsoft, Hubspot, Marketo
  • Email Marketing: MailChimp, Get Response, Campaign Monitor
  • Social Media Marketing: HootSuite, Sprout Social
  • SEO: Ahrefs, SEMRush, Screaming Frog
  • CMS: WordPress, Contentful
  • Analytics: Google Analytics, Mixpanel, Google Tag Manager, Google Data Studio

Look for candidates who have:

  • Experimented extensively with the tools they list.
  • Have a good understanding of each tool’s strengths and limitations.

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.

How do you detect patterns in audience data? What reports or analytics matter to you?

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:

  • Highlight the e-commerce products that customers want at any given time.
  • Recommend the highest value products to customers most likely to buy.
  • Determine customers most likely to ask for returns.

These are good signs that candidates will be comfortable in data-driven environments:

  • Is able to form a unified message based on all the data sources shared.
  • Have worked with predictive models.

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.

Interview Questions for Marketing Managers

Behavioral Questions for Managers

How do you identify optimization potential and make best practice recommendations?

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:

  • Tests run to completion
  • Selecting the right KPIs
  • Avoiding test collision or duplicate tests
  • Using data to drive what to test and personalize

Great managers will outline tactics they have used to get people excited about optimization initiatives. Some tactics you may want to look for include:

  • Demos of successful optimization programs
  • Approaching the most receptive stakeholders / teams to get their buy in
  • Host events to share tests and personalization activities
  • Show that you understand what their KPIs are, and what they care about. Hint at the added ROI that would make a difference for them, and tie them to credible examples.
  • Let people guess which experience won or how much lift a personalization activity generated, and reward those who guessed correctly
  • Give credit to individuals who conceived of optimization ideas that produced big winners

How do you communicate recommendations to your management and your team using data and reporting?

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:

  • Sessions vs. New sessions
  • Revenue and Recurring Revenue
  • ROI or ROAS (Return on advertising spend)
  • Customer Lifetime Value
  • Customer Acquisition Cost

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.

Digital Marketing Certifications To Look Out For

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.

  • Google Ads Certification
  • Google Digital Garage Certification
  • Google Analytics IQ Certification
  • Hubspot Content Marketing Certification
  • Hubspot Inbound Certification
  • Facebook BluePrint Certification
  • Bing Ads Accredited Professional (BAAP) Certification
  • YouTube Certification
  • Hootsuite Social Marketing Certification
  • Certified Trade Show Marketer (CTSM)

 

Interview Questions in PDF

Download the cheatsheet and interview questions in PDF here.

If you found the digital marketing interview questions useful, you may also find relevant interview questions for content strategists in this post.

Interview Formats
Certifications
Interview Questions

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