Marketing specialist is another fancy job title big companies use to attract new talent. In fact, this is an entry level job. You should not start imagining all amazing duties you’ll take care of, and award-winning advertising campaigns you’ll design in this job. Simply because you won’t do that.
But I do not want to discourage you. Everyone has to start somewhere, and marketing specialist (whatever it means in a language of the particular company who advertises the vacancy) can be your gateway to a job of a marketing manager, marketing consultant, or even creative director, simply to jobs that are really interesting and offer more room to express your creativity. Let’s have a look at the questions you will face while interviewing for this job.
Why did you decide for career in marketing?
Try to talk about the value you can bring to the employer, with your skills and abilities. For example, you can say that you have a good understanding for the needs and desires of various demographic groups, that you enjoy drawing and creative work, and that you understand the importance of marketing for every single business.
Try to avoid connecting your job choice with the studies you’ve completed. Saying that you apply for a marketing specialist job because you graduated from market research, marketing, or economics, would indicate a must, not a desire. They should feel that you really want the job, and do not apply for it only because you’ve already invested years of life, and tens of thousands of dollars into your studies.
How do you imagine a typical day in work?
This depends strongly on the size of the company you’ll work for. If you apply with one of the big players, you should not get carried away with you imagination.
For the first year you’ll only help other people from the marketing department, conducting simple research tasks, analyzing data, and helping them with designs (they will assign you the tasks). Your prime time will come much later, if you stay in the company, and progress up the career ladder.
So in this case, I suggest you to say that you plan to actively participate on the work of your team, or the entire marketing department, and are ready to take care of any tasks your superiors will assign to you.
The situation differs in a small company, and small teams. Now you can talk about creativity, designing campaigns, working on your own designs etc. Read the job description carefully. The information should help you to understand what exactly you will do in the job.
What motivates you the most in this job?
Money is not a good answer. Talk rather about things you want to accomplish in marketing. In an ideal case, they should relate to the goals of your employer. Let me show you how you can do it.
You can say that working on interesting campaigns that have a potential to bring in a lot of money and reputation for the company motivates you. You can also say that you will learn a lot in this job, especially during your first years in marketing, and since you want to become really good in marketing and advertising, the opportunity to learn motivates you.
Where do you see yourself in five years time?
Try to connect your future with the future of their business. You can say that you hope to become a marketing manager, or a consultant, and that you hope to stay with them and help them grow.
The key is to convince them that you have some goals and a career plan (since each responsible employee will have at least a vague career plan), know what you are doing and why you are doing it.
Only in this case will you be able to overcome crisis of motivation (which always arrives at some point), and try your best every day in work–since you will know where you are going…
Describe a conflict you had with one of your colleagues, in your previous job.
If this is your first job application, the questions can go like: What would you do if you had a conflict with one of your colleagues from marketing department?
Conflicts do happen in every single workplace. The key is to not destroy the bridges, and to get the best out of every conflict, in terms of constructive results.
Speak about any conflict in a calm and cheerful voice. Ensure the interviewers that you are open to criticism, and can admit making a mistake. Conflict belong to the workplace. But they should not result in a situation when colleagues hate each another, and instead of working as a team they start competing…
Describe a situation when you reached a goal and tell us how you achieved it.
Many companies set monthly and yearly goals for all employees, including people from the marketing department.
Show the interviewers that you enjoy setting and meeting goals, that you even set them for yourself while trying to become better in what you do–be it in school, in work, in a sport.
Speak about your goals with enthusiasm. Clearly describe the milestones you set, and how you progressed from one to another. Do not forget to give credit to people who helped you on your way. This is very important, since it show the employer that you are a team player, and can give credit to the others.
Special tip: The goal you talk about doesn’t necessarily have to belong to the sphere of work. You can talk about your goal of graduating from the college, losing weight, quitting smoking, or anything else. It is your attitude that matters for the hiring managers.
Describe a situation when you were under pressure in work.
Pressure from your boss, from the deadlines, pressure you put on yourself. Many corporations of 21st century are based on the culture of constant pressure. Pressure to deliver, pressure to improve, pressure to always achieve more.
I do not consider this a good trend, but we have to play with the cards we were dealt. Here you have a few good options for an answer. First one is saying that you actually work better under pressure, that it motivates you to try hard and deliver your best (you can demonstrate this while narrating a situation you experienced in the past, when the pressure was high).
Second alternative is saying that you are naturally a calm person, focus on your job, try your best, and do not let the pressure to get to your head. Actually this is how we should react to any external pressure. Easy to say, hard to do….
Other questions for your marketing specialist job interview
- Why do you want to work for us, and not for one of our competitors?
- What is your greatest weakness when we talk about marketing?
- How would your best friend describe you?
- Why did you leave your last job? / Why do you want to leave your present job?
- Why should we hire you, and not one of the dozens other applicants?
- Describe a situation when you had to motivate someone in work (your colleague, your subordinate).
- Tell us about a time when you showed initiative at work.
- Describe a situation when you demonstrated creativity (for example when working on a marketing campaign, or on some project at school).
- Describe the biggest failure of your professional career.
- Tell me about a time when you felt overwhelmed with workload. How did you handle it?
Special tip: If you are not sure how to answer the questions from my list, or experience interview anxiety, have a look at our Interview Success Package. Up to 10 premium answers to basically all tricky questions you may face in your marketing job interview, including more than 30 scenario-based questions, will help you streamline your interview preparation, outclass your competitors, and eventually get the job. Thank you for checking it out!
You won’t face difficult technical questions in your marketing specialist interview, but it won’t be easy to succeed either. It will be difficult mostly because you will compete with many other people for the job (this is a popular job title, one which always attracts dozens of applications), and the margins will be thin.
Get ready for the questions you may face, especially for the scenario-based questions (the Achilles heel of many job seekers ), and try to make the best possible impression on the hiring managers. Success or failure is not a question of luck, especially when we speak about entry level jobs. Prepare better than the others, and you will succeed. I wish you best of luck!
* You can also download the list of questions in a simple one-page long .PDF, print it, and practice your interview answers anytime later: