You’ve just landed an interview for an exciting marketing role—congrats! Whether it’s a freelance project or a traditional, full-time role, you’re probably asking yourself, “How do I prepare for this interview?” After all, you want to knock the socks off the hiring team and prove you’re the right person for the job.
As you prep, you’ll review and rehearse your answers to common questions, but there’s a lot more that goes into acing an interview. To help you stand out from the crowd, we’ve collected the best tips and advice from our team of people operations and marketing career experts. Let’s dive in!
Marketing interview questions: how to prepare
Don’t wing it. Be prepared to answer questions that get at the heart of what you do, how you work, and who you are.
Interviewers want to make sure you’re capable of doing the job. Chances are they already believe you have the right experience since they’ve reviewed your resume or website and advanced you to the interview step. Now they need to learn more about your credentials and understand whether your working style and personality are a match for them and their team environment. Don’t be shy about revealing who you are and how you work best throughout the interview. Here’s what to prepare:
Your professional story
As a marketer, you probably have a good idea about branding. But what about for yourself? Many interviews begin with the oh-so-general request, “tell me about yourself,” which makes this a great place to start your marketing interview prep.
Asha Akinyele, People Ops Partner at We Are Rosie, says that you can craft a compelling answer by talking about the present, past and future. She shares the following framework, which she recommends to freelance marketers (aka Rosies) when they interview with our clients.
- The Present: “Recently, I’ve been working on…”
- The Past: “I’ve had a passion for ___ since…” or “I’ve been working in the ___ industry for…”
- The Future: “Looking forward, I strive to…” or “This role inspires me to ___”
General interview questions
Don’t overlook questions that may seem generic. Develop and rehearse updated answers that capture your most recent work and life experience. Think about questions like:
- Why are you interested in this role or project? Why do you want to work for us?
- Tell us about past professional experiences that would help you succeed in this role.
- What’s most important to you in a new role or career opportunity? What are you looking for?
Marketing-focused and role-specific interview questions
Analyze the job description or project brief and prepare yourself to talk about the skills and responsibilities noted, with examples from your previous work. Research the company and familiarize yourself with any publicly available marketing programs or campaigns. These steps will give you the insights you need to ace questions that probe your marketing know-how.
In addition to role-specific questions, these are common for a marketing job interview:
- How do you measure success?
- What platforms or tools do you use in your work?
- How do you collaborate with both marketing teammates and other departments?
For a freelance or consulting marketing role, the interviewer will want to dig into your ability to work independently and be proactive rather than reactive, with questions like:
- When you’re working on a project independently, how do you manage deadlines and deliverables?
- Tell me about a time you didn’t have a lot of direction on a project. How did you move forward and complete the project?
Questions for an enterprise or Big Tech interview
If you’ve made it to the interview stage for a marketing role with an enterprise or Big Tech brand, bravo!
For your interview prep, double down on the question above about tools and platforms. Tomeika McMillian, Talent Experience Lead for We Are Rosie’s tech opportunities, says this is an important one, since enterprise companies usually use many different systems in their day-to-day operations.
She also advises, “Hiring managers with Big Tech companies want to know problem-solving skills and the ability to think under pressure.” Be ready to discuss a time when you solved an unexpected challenge at work.
Another top query for enterprise and Big Tech companies is, “How do you handle tight deadlines?” In larger organizations, missing a deadline can have serious domino effects, so the hiring manager wants to understand whether your way of working meets those more general company needs.
Questions you shouldn’t answer
Most interviewers are aware of the questions they can’t legally ask, but as the interviewee, you should familiarize yourself with these too. Generally, these are related to the Equal Opportunity Employment Act, which makes it illegal to discriminate against a job candidate based on certain characteristics, such as age, race, religion, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, family status, and pregnancy.
“If one of these protected characteristics happens to come up during an interview, you can simply and legally decline,” says People Ops Partner Asha. “If you are choosing to answer, reframe the question to get to the root of their potential concern, then address that reframed question. This way, you can answer the question with grace and good information.”
Another question that may be illegal: “How much do you make in your current role?” Requesting salary history information has been banned in many states and cities, so if you find yourself on the receiving end of this inquiry, we recommend pivoting the conversation toward your target or expected salary range. After all, you should be paid what you deserve for the work in question, regardless of what you’ve made in the past!
Get comfortable with behavioral and situational interview questions
Behavioral questions focus on your past experiences, behaviors, knowledge, skills, and abilities. They usually start with “Tell me about a time when…” or “Give me an example…”
Situational questions are similar, but instead provide you with a hypothetical scenario. Think about questions that start with “What would you do if…” or “How would you handle a situation when…”
These types of questions are popular among our clients at We Are Rosie, because they offer insight into how you’d operate in the given role. But don’t worry—the STAR method detailed below is a simple framework that makes it easy to show off how awesome you are.
The Star Method of Interviewing
STAR stands for Situation, Task, Action, and Results:
- Situation: set the stage by providing context on the situation or challenge you faced. Keep this part clear and brief.
- Task: explain your role and responsibility in the situation or challenge. No need to be wordy here, either.
- Action: talk about the specific actions you took to overcome the challenge—be sure to highlight the most impactful actions. Remember, don’t be afraid to use “I” even if it was a team project or challenge, and feel free to elaborate since this will show why you’re a fit for the role.
- Result: conclude by summarizing the results of your actions. Focus on the most impressive and impactful results, and quantify them wherever possible.
Here’s an example of a behavioral question for a marketing interview:
Question: Tell me about a time when you ran a successful advertising campaign that reached your goals.
- Situation: At the start of Q4, we were pacing below our revenue goal for the year, so it was an all-hands-on-deck challenge to meet our company sales goal.
- Task: I needed to come up with a new advertising campaign that would deliver our sales team with enough high-quality leads to help them close the revenue gap.
- Action: I reviewed the platforms we advertise on and the audiences available, and developed a strategy about who we could reach and where. Then I partnered with the creative team to develop ad concepts that would resonate with that audience and work well on the given platforms. We prioritized this work and turned it around within a week to launch the new campaign. Throughout the six-week campaign, I reviewed performance and we made adjustments to targeting, budgets and creative.
- Result: We beat our lead goal by 30% and maintained a low cost per lead. Our sales team’s pipeline grew and they were able to close the revenue gap before the end of the year.
For more behavioral interview question inspiration, we like this list from The Balance.
Other ways to build a strong response for your marketing job interview
The STAR method works well for behavioral and situational questions, but having a framework or process for all types of questions can be useful, too. As Asha says, it helps “provide structure and to-the-point answers. This will help you focus on the question at hand and avoid spiraling.”
Here are some components to a great interview response that you can mix and match depending on the question:
Pause: don’t be afraid to pause or tell the interviewer, “That’s a great question—I need a moment to think about that.” Then take a deep breath before you get into your answer.
Ask clarifying questions: make sure you understand the question and have all the information you need to answer it thoughtfully.
Share logical assumptions: if you don’t have enough information, you can explain any assumptions you’re making in answering the question.
Show your work: share your thought process to the interviewer and don’t forget to pause to see if they have any questions.
Share how you measure success: outline specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound goals that demonstrate how you think about and measure success in your work.
Tie it back to the role: many questions are about the role you’re interviewing for, so whenever possible, make connections between your answer and the opportunity at hand.
Questions to ask during the interview
A job interview is a two-way street, so you’ll have a chance to ask questions, too. Not only does this allow you to confirm whether the opportunity is right for you, but you can also use your questions to show off your personality, passion, know-how, and values.
“Having a list of questions to ask an interviewer makes you look interested and engaged—both qualities that an interviewer may be looking for,” explains Asha, who recommends asking questions that fall into at least two different categories: personal questions for the interviewer and job-related questions.
As you create your list of questions to ask during your interview, think about what you really want to know, like:
- How has the company supported your work-life balance?
- What’s the biggest challenge your team is facing right now?
- Why is this role open? Why now?
- What goals or KPIs will I own in this role?
- What budget will I have to work with?
- How will I receive feedback on my performance?
- How does the company live up to its values?
- When was the last time the company asked for feedback from the team? Can you tell me about a change that was implemented based on that feedback?
What if you’re interviewing for a contract or freelance marketing role?
Depending on the scope of the position, the questions listed above might work well. For example, if the opportunity requires you to embed into the team, then company culture, values, and feedback processes will impact you, so it makes sense to ask about those. There are a few other elements you may want to probe too:
Confirm the scope of the work
Make sure you clearly understand how much work is involved and/or how many hours you’ll be required to work, so you can determine whether the assignment fits your needs.
Ask about benefits
If it’s a long-term and/or full-time contract role, get clarity on what benefits are available to you. Will you be able to access the same perks and resources as full-time employees? Note: If your role is through a community or service like We Are Rosie, then that service will likely administer your pay and benefits instead of the client you’re working with.
Understand how independent you’ll be
Some contract and freelance roles require a lot of collaboration. Others take more of a consulting approach, and you’ll more or less be on your own. Ask questions that will help you gauge whether you’ll be set up for success, such as:
- What resources will be available to me? Are there strategies and guidelines that I will be able to refer to, e.g. brand guidelines?
- Why are you in need of my skills and services at this time? What work has been done previously in this arena?
- Who will I report to and/or collaborate with?
- How does your team collaborate and run day to day?
- How will I receive feedback on my work?
- Are there certain days/times that you would expect me to be available? Can I work on my own schedule?
More advice for contract and freelance interviews
Be prepared to discuss everything at once. Ithica Williams, Senior Client Partner at We Are Rosie, says that even her Big Tech clients keep the interviews to a minimum (usually just one!) when it comes to flex roles. Take advantage of the time by prioritizing your most thoughtful and revealing questions.
A few more tips for your next marketing job interview
Q&A prep is just one part of getting ready for your marketing interview. Don’t forget these important steps.
If the interview is remote, make sure you have the tech setup squared away before the interview.
- Do an internet speed test. Make sure your connection is strong enough for a video call.
- Master whatever platform the interview will take place on. Create an account before your interview and get to know the interface.
- Set up your space. Have a clean and clutter-free background, or adjust the background settings on the platform so it’s blurred out. Ensure you have enough lighting so you’re clearly visible on camera.
For both remote and in-person interviews, add these steps to your prep process.
- Know your own resume. Make sure you can walk through what’s on your resume without referencing it.
- Learn about your interviewers. Google them and take a peek at their LinkedIn profiles so you know a little about them and their careers prior to the interview.
- Dress for success with a polished and professional look. Remember that “professional” can mean many different things, and can also depend on the role and company.
- Stay focused. If you’re on a remote call, it can be tempting to look at something else on your screen, so set up your screen without any distractions (full-screen mode with notifications silenced can help). Don’t forget to silence your other devices, too.
- Show that you’re engaged. Provide affirmations while the other person is speaking by nodding your head. You can also ask clarifying follow-up questions that show you’re actively listening.
- Send a thank you note. Whether it’s hand-written or a short email, a thank you note reiterates your interest in the role and can remind the interviewer about your conversation—especially helpful if they’re interviewing many candidates all at once. Here’s Asha’s recommended template for a short but sweet thank you note after your job interview:
Hello <Interviewer’s Name>,
Thank you for taking the time to interview me <yesterday/Friday/etc>. I enjoyed our conversation about <specific topic you discussed> and it was great learning about the <Job Title> position overall.
It sounds like an exciting opportunity and a role I could excel at. Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any additional questions.
I look forward to hearing from you soon.
Conclusion: You’re ready for your next interview!
Landing an interview for a great career opportunity is equal parts exciting and nerve-wracking. But, following the tips in this guide, you’ll be ready to answer the toughest questions, ask thoughtful follow-ups, and present yourself in a professional and engaging manner. So, put those nerves aside and show ‘em why they’d be lucky to have you. You’ve got this!
If you’re a marketer in any season of your professional life, you can join the We Are Rosie community for more career advice, networking, upskilling, and opportunities with the biggest brands and agencies in the world.