As a marketing professional, you feel like you’ve done it all. You have the degree, and you have an impressive resume. You also created campaigns, built brands, and figured pricing strategies. In short, you’ve done it all. Now, you’re ready to take your marketing skills to the next level as the Vice President of marketing.
But before you can move up, you have to get past the interview. The dreams of many marketing professionals have died on an interview room floor. Don’t be that candidate. Step into that interview room with confidence and ready for anything. To help, we've prepared this list of interview questions the interviewer might ask during your interview. Nail these, and you’ll stand out from the crowd.
What Do We Do?
Many interviews have come to a screeching halt when a candidate can’t successfully answer this question. If you’re interviewing for a VP of marketing, this is the baseline question for any candidate, so you should be ready to answer this question in detail.
Nailing the answer to this question is as simple as researching the company. What are their main products or services? What does their brand project to the outside world? How do they compete and stand out in the marketplace?
One crucial point, this question isn’t the place for you to throw out all your great ideas about moving forward. Being asked this question is your chance to make it clear that you care enough about the company to understand what they are doing now. There’ll be plenty of time for you to toss out your big ideas.
The Multitasking Question
Being a marketing genius is one thing, but convincing your interviewers that being a marketing genius for many things will get you the job. This is the question where you get to talk about your time management and your ability to delegate tasks successfully.
Don’t be afraid to talk about how you learned the importance of juggling by dropping the ball on a project long ago. What did you learn from your failure? How do you ensure that you can keep your eye on all the projects at the same time?
Sell Us Something
This question has tripped up many candidates who come armed with facts and figures and think they’re ready to drive a company’s marketing department but have forgotten how to create the emotional connections necessary to push a product.
Be ready for this question in some form, and do the salesman’s job on a small scale so your potential employer is confident you can perform on a larger scale.
Your interviewer will want to see basic selling techniques, how you can create urgency and emotional connection to a product. Remember how to make someone want something. If you can’t do it for something as mundane as a pen or a chair, why should you be able to do it for a large company?
What Would You Do On Day One?
This question is a tough one and has caught many hopeful Vice Presidents of Marketing flat-footed. There’s no defined and perfect answer to this question. Instead, it’s a chance for you to show off what kind of leader you are. Before you answer, think about the company's philosophy towards its work and workers.
Would you begin by getting to know your team, assessing their strengths, and understanding their goals? Or would you hit the ground running and implement broad changes and set new company goals and drag your new team along with you?
There’s no right answer, but how the company handled change in the past gives you a clue about their corporate culture and the kind of leader they expect.
Tell Me About Your Biggest Mistake
One of the trickiest questions you’ll get because it can feel like your future employer is asking you to make a case for why they shouldn’t hire you. Don’t think of it this way, instead think of it as a way to suggest to your employer that you’re strong enough to admit your mistakes and learn from them.
Don’t be flip when answering the question. Instead, show how you’re capable of learning and growing on the job. Talk about how you learned to deal with difficult employees or bosses, for that matter. Turn your failures into victories because that’s what life is about, after all.
What Are Your Favorite Tools?
What kinds of cutting-edge tools will make you a better candidate. We never stop learning, so what cool new thing are you watching? Is it a blog, a piece of software, or even a book by someone who has unique insights into your field?
Think of this question as a way to show off your creativity, and most importantly, your curiosity. This is your chosen profession, so let your employer know you care enough about it to keep learning on your own time.
Plan Something For Me
It may be a conference, it may be a product launch, but at the end of the day, this is what you’re going to do for this company. You should want this question because If you know your stuff (and we know you do), it gives you the chance to outline how you work.
What elements of planning are the most dangerous? Which parts of a job can you safely delegate? You shouldn’t be thinking on your feet. Enter the room prepared to convince your next bosses that you can do this and also no one on the planet can do it better than you. It is your time to shine.
Be The Boss
The Vice President of Marketing is a big job, and it’s going to be a big step up the ladder for you. Don’t let the opportunity pass by not preparing. You should enter an interview knowing as much about the company as the people sitting across from you.
You should have a clear vision of what it is you offer, what you’re capable of, and how you can help your potential employers meet their goals. Don’t just convince your interviewers that you’re the right person for the job, but convince them that they can’t live without you. That Vice Presidency will be on its way in no time.
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