interview tips for permanent Marketing and PR jobs

Before you head off to your marketing job interview, It’s essential that you read through all the interview preparation information available to you, and ensure that you’re fully prepared for your interview. In the current marketplace, employers can afford to be increasingly particular about whom they employ, so preparation is as important as cultural fit or skill set.

important points to remember when going for an interview:

• Know your CV inside out. You could be quizzed in detail on any aspect of your previous work history, education, experience or systems skills. Be prepared to discuss and provide lots of examples to back up this experience. 
• When giving examples ensure that you describe the situation or setting, outline what needed to be done, describe in detail the action you took (illustrate the skill clearly) and finally outline the positive results of your action, especially the benefits to the organisation – if you make the results quantifiable that is even better
• Ensure that you’ve done some in-depth research into the company that you’re interviewing with.
• Never speak negatively about a previous boss/colleague/company, always turn any negatives about your current/previous role into a positive, i.e. “I’d like to move to a bigger company as my previous company was quite small, however, this did mean that I had maximum exposure to all aspects of the business.”
• Don’t say you’re an expert in something, unless you really are as this could lead to repercussions further on in the interview process.

general Marketing competency questions you may be asked – always have examples prepared

• Give an example of when you have effectively implemented an initiative to improve internal communications across the business.
• Give an example of your involvement in the product development process and the tasks undertaken to ensure a succesful product launch.
• Give me an example of when you’ve had to use good communication skills to build relationships with the business, operations and suppliers at all levels of management up to and including board level
• Give an example of a situation where you’ve had to process large amounts of information quickly.
• What are the key factors involved in fully understanding any target audiences?
• Give an example of when you’ve had to educate the business regarding a brand change/update. How did you do this? How did you deal with any negativity?
• What should be the main differences within an ad campaign when targeting B2B and B2C audiences?
• How do you think your skills would be best utilised as a part of a small entrepreneurial team?
• How do you feel that you’ll add benefit to a large, well-established marketing team?
• Give examples of events you have organised, from small events to large conferences.
• What do you think are the most important factors to consider when in the initial planning stages of any event?
• Give examples of different CRM tools that you’ve used to implement and record statistics for direct marketing campaigns. Which of these has been the most effective?
• Give an example of when you’ve had to implement a campaign when you don’t agree with the ideas/process behind it.
• Give an example of when a project you’ve been involved in has generated negative feedback internally. How did you overcome this?
• Give an example of how you’ve used your marketing skills to ensure that your client base feels informed and looked after.
• Give an example of how you provided a service to an internal/external client that was beyond their expectations. How did you know what they expected? How did they respond?

competency questions you may be asked when interviewing for a PR position:

• Give an example of a piece of PR you’ve produced that has generated new business. Why do you think this is?
• Give an example of your experience in crisis management. What was the situation and what action did you take?
• Give an example of when you’ve dealt with a difficult situation with an internal stakeholder.
• What frustrations have you experienced using external PR agencies and how did you overcome them?
• Give examples of successful relationships that you have built with editors and journalists. How have you done this and what helps maintain these relationships?
• What can be the difficulties when generating PR for global offices when you do not have a complete understanding of the culture? How can you overcome this?

competency questions you may be asked when interviewing for managerial/supervisory positions:

• How would you encourage your team to generate ideas that are unusual, different and “outside the box?”
• How do you maintain a happy working environment for your team, where all members work together effectively?
• Give an example of when you’ve had to motivate others within your team?
• Describe a situation in which you were a leader of a team, and a conflict arose within the team. What did you do?
• Give me an example of a time when you recognised that a member of your team was performing below the required standard. What did you do?
• How do you cope with negative feedback to ideas from your colleagues?
• Describe the last thing you did to improve performance and /or productivity on your team.

questions asked about the company: 

Before your interview please ensure that you have fully researched the company with whom you are interviewing. The key points below are some areas where you should be knowledgeable:
• Who are they and what do they do?
• What is their mission statement?
• Who are the key people within the company?
• Have they won any awards recently?
• Research any recent press releases
• What are industry commentators writing about them online?
• How do they describe their company culture?
• What is their share price history?

questions you may be asked:

• What do you know about the firm and why does it appeal to you?
• What do you feel are the main issues facing financial services over the next couple of years?
• Why does this role interest you?
• Why do you feel that this company can offer you a career, rather than just a job?
• If you had an offer from one of our top 3 competitors why would you choose our organisation?
• What is the main difference in our products and services compared to our competitors that would attract you to our organisation?

questions you can ask the interviewer:

Sometimes at the end of an interview, your prospective employer may ask you if you have any questions. Here are a few that might be appropriate:
• What are the company’s short and long term goals?
• What do you like most about working for this company?
• What do you think is the most challenging part of this role?
• What issues, if any are they currently facing?
• What are the training opportunities within this role?
• Do you have any particular reservations about my application for this position?
• Ask the interviewer what their background is. Remember, people love talking about themselves.

Good Luck!