You can have the best product in the world, but unless you market it properly, you won’t succeed. We live in an era of information overflow. People are extremely busy, and 90% of them simply do not have time to analyze different products, and to think about their purchases in-depth. They buy what they see on TV, billboards, or online ads. And of course what their budget allows them to buy. They purchase what they need, or desire, or at least that’s what they think, whereas many such needs and desires come from outside, created in their minds by smart marketers.
In any case, marketing has become extremely sophisticated and data-driven in the recent years. Working as a marketing analyst, you will be responsible for collecting, analyzing, and interpreting data. What will happen in an interview for this job? And what you have to do and say to succeed in the meeting with the hiring managers? We will try to find the answers on the following lines.
First of all, marketing analyst is an entry level job. They expect you to have an undergraduate degree from market research, marketing, statistics, or similar field, but no previous experience is required (though it is a plus). You will learn almost everything on the job, and though it sounds super-sophisticated, your job actually won’t be that difficult. Hence they have no reason to ask you some tricky technical questions in the interview. They will inquire mostly about your motivation, career goals, expectations on the job, and about your attitude to some situations you may experience in the job. Let’s have a look at the questions, one by one.
Why do you want to work as a marketing analyst?
You can start by emphasizing the importance of data in the marketing of 21st century. Without knowing your customers, and without analyzing each campaign in detail (tracking clicks, conversions, lifetime value of the customer and other indicators), businesses are just throwing money away, walking in the dark. You’d love to have an impact in your professional career, and realize that as a marketing analyst you can have a big impact on the success of the business. This alone motivates you, plus you like the job description, and for sure you will enjoy doing the job.
You should also try to connect your personality and skills to the profession. Say that you are good around computers, and have been working with PPC campaigns and Google Analytics for years, not to say computer programs for data analysis or MS Excel. What’s more, you have good attention to detail, do not mind repetitive work, and enjoy a fast-paced workplace of a big corporation. Hence you see the job as an ideal choice, at least at this stage of your professional career.
How do you imagine a typical day in this job?
The most important thing is to avoid fancy expectations. Of course, it sounds great when you tell your peers that you “work in marketing”. They immediately imagine you presiding the entire campaigns, designing ads and putting a dent in the universe… But nothing can be further from truth for 90% of all jobs in marketing.
In reality, you will spend vast majority of your time in front of a computer screen. Working with certain datasets (which you may create, or simply receive from someone else), and certain software programs and online tools (for tracking different steps in the sales funnel), you will try to interpret the data, or simply come up with certain numbers (ROI of each campaign as the most important number). You may or not present your findings during team meetings, it depends on the organization of the marketing department. But you will spend your days in front of a computer screen, and that’s exactly what you should say when explaining your expectations. Now it doesn’t mean that it is a bad job, or anything else. You likely spend most of your days staring at some screen anyway, so now you will at least get paid for doing it :).
What is your experience with MS Excel (or any other software program or data analysis tool)?
As I’ve already said, you will learn the job during your training. But they expect you to have at least a basic knowledge of Excel, or similar software programs. Tell them how long you’ve been working with the software, and the principal functionality you used–analyzing data sets, creating charts, time rows, and other outputs. Stress that you have experience with the majority of mathematical and statistical functions of the software.
And if they ask about some program or online tool you have no experience with, ensure them that you are a quick learner, have high computer intelligence, and have worked with a variety of tools over the years. And since the interfaces are pretty similar every time, you are 100% sure you will quickly learn to work with any programs you may need in your job of a Marketing Analyst.
This job is quite repetitive. What do you plan to do to stay motivated?
Collecting and analyzing data in various tools and software programs may seem like a lot of fun. When one does the same things for weeks and months, however, perspective changes. Hiring managers are aware of that, and wonder how you plan to stay motivated, and deliver the expected results, day in day out. You have a few options for a good answer.
First one is focusing on the future. Marketing analyst is an entry level job, and you definitely do not plan to have it for five years. You hope to climb the career ladder, ideally in their organization, eventually getting more interesting roles in their marketing department, roles that offer room for creativity and self-realization. But you also understand that everyone has to start somewhere and learn the basics–that’s how things work in every big corporation, and this step just cannot be skipped. Hence you will try your best, because a vision of a better future will motivate you.
Another idea is actually saying that you prefer repetitive jobs. Not everyone likes constant intellectual challenges… For sure you will have to learn a lot at the beginning, but once you get the grasp of the job it will become routine in a way. And that’s exactly what you prefer–to take care of your job, without unnecessary pressure, and leave the office with a clear mind at 4pm every day. Last but not least, you can talk about goals you have outside of work, things that motivate you to try hard enough simply because you need money to pursue them–supporting a family, buying a house, and so on, and so forth.
Tell us about a time when you struggled to communicate something (for example an information of a technical nature) to one of your colleagues. How did you eventually get your message over?
Every data analysis is pointless unless we can interpret it, and implement our findings in managerial decisions, when it comes to marketing campaigns or anything else. As I have already said, you may present your findings in team meetings. And some people won’t have an idea about the technical terms, or even some KPIs you present. That’s why it is crucial to know how to get your message over.
Whether you narrate a situation from the past, or say what you would do in such a situation (you can opt for this one lacking previous working experience), you goal is to ensure them that you understand the importance of getting your message over, and will do everything to make it happen.
You can say that you use charts and time rows, as well as comparisons, to demonstrate your point. What’s more, you always try to adjust your language to the knowledge and specialization of your audience. Talking to sales people you won’t use the same language as you’d do talking to data analysts and statisticians. Last but not least, you are patient in the meetings, and make sure that people got your point (you may ask them some follow-up questions to be 100% sure). That’s the attitude they seek in a great candidate for this job…
Other questions you may face in your job interview for marketing analyst position
- Do you have any experience with social media marketing?
- In your opinion, what role does the analysis of the campaigns of our competitors play in the role of the marketing analyst?
- Tell us about a time when you had to meet a tight deadline.
- How would you describe your analytical skills?
- Give us an example of an occasion when you used logic to solve a problem.
- Have you ever worked on a project that was a failure?
- Where do you see yourself in five years from now?
- Why should we hire you, and not one of the many other applicants for this job?
Marketing analyst is a fancy job title which typically attracts many applications. It is not unheard of to compete with fifty or even one hundred people for a lone vacancy in this case, especially when the economy is struggling and many people are looking for a new job. This alone makes the interview difficult, because even when you prepare well and have something on your resume, it isn’t easy to stand out among so many other candidates.
In any case, luck favors the prepared mind, and job search is a game of numbers. Try to prepare for every question I mentioned here, and do not forget to check also other resources online and offline. And try to learn from every interview, because most likely you won’t succeed in the first one. If you continue trying, however, and prepare for your interviews, sooner or later you will get the job. I wish you good luck!
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- Market research analyst interview questions
- How to overcome interview nerves
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