If you’re about to conduct a series of marketing job interviews, carefully considering how your business approaches the hiring process, rather than allowing it to happen organically, will pay dividends in helping you choose the ideal candidate to join your organisation.
At Kindred Recruitment, a specialist marketing recruitment agency for London and beyond, we’re well-versed in helping our clients conduct successful interviews for marketing roles, from entry level jobs to directorial positions.
Here’s our advice for getting the best out of your time with potential new recruits.
Job interviews are a two-way street
A marketing job interview is a mutually beneficial process. Not only does a face-to-face meeting allows you to meet candidates in the flesh, it’s also a great opportunity for potential recruits to get to know your brand and consider whether they’d accept the role, should it be offered.
Create a great first impression by including a guided tour of your workplace (showing candidates ‘down-time’ areas like staff rooms, canteens and chill out zones as well as working spaces) along with introducing potential recruits to as many staff members as possible, preferably including all members of the team in which the role would be based.
It’s also a great idea to tell interviewees about the perks of working with your company; can employees bring their canine companions to work, for instance, or do you offer free gym memberships and have regular dress down days?
Ultimately, candidates want to understand the values and culture of your organisation, where they would fit, how their role would contribute to the company vision and how the job would help their career develop in the long term.
Addressing some of these concerns within the interview with time to ask questions that focus on working within the organisation in a wider sense, not just specifics about the role, will both help you stand out from the competition and help candidates fully imagine themselves in a position
Build a bespoke marketing job interview
Building a bespoke interview process tailored to the role you’re hiring for will yield far better results than a generic ‘one size fits all’ approach.
For an entry level position, a one-hour, face-to-face meeting with a prospective hire along with a guided tour and the opportunity to meet the team may be enough. For a mid or director level position, however, you may want to devise an interview process that includes a lunch or team building activity, solving a problem in real-time or delivering a presentation on a predetermined subject.
Should I ask competency questions?
Interviewing for a marketing job should include a set of practical, standard marketing interview questions, but in order to tease out more information from your candidates, you may choose to include a set of ‘competency questions’ too – real-life examples from candidates to back up their answers.
Often, eager-to-please interviewees will pre-prepare responses that give interviewers the information they’re looking for, rather than spontaneous,100% honest responses.
Asking for true-life examples will help candidates focus, in real-time, on tangible evidence from their personal and professional lives which, in turn, will shine a light on their capability to fulfil a role and potential value within your organisation.
Ask a second set of questions
Any good candidate will prepare for their marketing job interview by rehearsing answers to some common marketing interview questions, so it’s often much more revealing to submit your interviewees to some secondary questioning in order to receive truly spontaneous responses.
If you ask a candidate one of the most common interview questions for marketers, perhaps to describe a recent successful project they’ve managed, for instance, their response will usually focus exclusively on the positives of the task. Asking whether there were any challenges and how these were tackled, or whether they would do anything differently with hindsight, can be much more revealing, particularly when the candidate’s response is unrehearsed.
Often, the answer to your interview question is less important than a candidate’s ability to think on their feet and communicate effectively in real time.
How to prepare for a marketing job interview – for employers!
Great candidates invest a large amount of time preparing for interview, and great employers should afford the same consideration when preparing to occupy the other side of the table!
Little can be gained from an interview if either party is ill-prepared, so take the time to thoroughly review CVs, covering letters and LinkedIn profiles, along with having a full understanding of the position on offer including its responsibilities and where it fits within the wider organisation, metrics for success and financial compensation.
Be kind to candidates
A marketing job interview doesn’t end when the candidates leave the room. If they’re keen on the job, they’ll be waiting eagerly to hear whether they’ve been successful and receive details of the job offer.
It’s important, therefore, to manage expectations professionally through your recruitment agency who will keep candidates up to date with the outcome of their interviews and can invite candidates you’re interested in back for a second meeting quickly to keep the momentum going throughout the process.
Providing feedback quickly for all unsuccessful candidates will also help you to paint a professional picture of your organisation and is hugely beneficial for jobseekers.
Whether you’re a rookie interviewer or seasoned at the art of selecting the right candidate for your marketing role, Kindred Recruitment will advise on the interview process, giving guidance on the number of stages to include through to suggestions on presentation topics and skills testing in order to find the most relevant candidate for the job.
If you’d like further advice on how to attract top marketers in London please call the team on 020 3742 2266.