So you’ve landed yourself a sweet digital marketing manager job interview and you’re questioning whether you can just rock up or whether you should do your homework. Pro tip: do your homework!
I’ve sat in a wide range of marketing interviews, both as the interviewee and the interviewer. Having bagged myself a couple of Head of Marketing roles and one Group Marketing Manager role, I think it’s fair to say I’ve got my own perspective on what needs to be done to have a chance in those interviews.
Remember, if you get that sweet Digital Marketing Manager role to be sure to remember that GrowTraffic helped you out and we’re here to help you out further with various digital marketing tasks.
So the first thing I’d say is you want to go in confidently, digital marketing is the place to be. This is one of the main ways most businesses are able to get their products and services out to their customers and potential customers. Employers don’t just want your skillset, they need it.
Tell your story
When I’m interviewing people I like to understand how someone ended up sat in front of me and what their route in marketing has been.
When I first started out in marketing I started working for a marketing agency that exclusively worked with commercial vehicle manufacturers. When I was trying to find a new marketing role I struggled to convey the transferable skills I’d earned in this role because in many ways I felt like I hadn’t got a good breadth of understanding of different sectors. But as soon as I started talking about all the different types of marketing activities I’d carried out people could understand what I would bring.
Also, be honest and don’t sugarcoat it either. Too often I’ve sat in front of people who have been uncomfortable telling me something. We all have those parts of our career that are more difficult to explain. If you left because you had a problem with a manager or employer if you couldn’t perform in a role, if something in your personal life happened and it made your professional life difficult, just say it. It would be worse to get the job and for those half-truths to appear to be lies and they will.
Also, you don’t have to tell a linear story. I’ve made this mistake over the years. I remember getting all the way through a job interview and then the last thing I told the interviewer was about my experience with the We Buy Any Car launch campaign seven years earlier, explaining I’d written the creative brief and managed the animated creatives for the TV ads. He told me I should have started with that example first.
Explain what motivates you
Most business owners and execs I’ve met over the years don’t understand how marketers think. They often conflate marketers with salespeople and assume marketers will be motivated by money. Whilst I’ve seen many marketers jump ship for a higher salary, I’ve never known a marketer to be motivated by a bonus. If you’re not being interviewed by a marketer make sure you let that person know what motivates you and how you’d suggest they can get the best out of you. You might want to work for your family, in which case you might want to work more flexibly or you might be motivated by going on lots of holidays, at which point you might be happy with some more holiday allowance. This will help your future employers to understand how the package should be put together for you and also to work out if they will be able to motivate you.
Explain your digital marketing understanding and skills
Digital marketing is massive, it’s such a huge discipline that no one person can be an expert in all the specialisms in digital marketing. It’s important that you first demonstrate that you understand what digital marketing consists of, you want to talk about the different tactics that are used on a day to day basis. Think websites, CRO, UX, email marketing, content marketing, videos, infographics, blogs, SEO, PPC, display ads, social media posts, webinars blah blah blah. It’s all good. The key thing is you know that it’s about creativity and repeatability, KPIs and ROIs.
Also, whilst you need to be able to demonstrate that you’ve got knowledge of the tactics and strategies at hand, be careful not to rely on buzzwords or jargon. If it’s more appropriate, talk about Google Adwords rather than PPC and talk about Search Engine marketing rather than SEO.
Once you’ve got across what you know about digital, next you need to make it clear what you do, what your skills are. I can’t design for toffee – not even with Canva! I can bash out written copy hour after hour, but I know it’s not the best. I can lay down a mean strategy, think bigger than many people and can bring various people together in to make my plan happen. On top of that, I’ve been obsessed with SEO for the best part of my career and I naturally gravitate towards an organic/inbound marketing approach. That’s what I do.
Understand your interviewer’s audience and target market
I once got a Head of Marketing job because I was the only candidate that understood the company had two very distinct target markets.
As part of your research, you’re going to want to get a good understanding of their audience. You should be able to demonstrate not only that you understand the size of markets but also how you can best use digital marketing to get to the potential customers, what will resonate with them and what will get them over the line.
Talk to the people interviewing you
I once presented my research to the managing director and CFO of the venture capitalists who had just acquired the business. Unfortunately, my research was a bit more up to date than the data the MD was using when speaking to the VCs and this lead to some tension during the interview where the MD was defensively interrogating the data I’d used rather than listening to the rationale behind my thought processes.
It’s essential you target the people in the room. If you’re being interviewed by an MD you are going to want to go heavy towards stats and creativity, but demonstrate that you can work with them to facilitate their vision. If you are in the room with a brand manager or head of marketing I’d always suggest going heavy on-brand to demonstrate you understand what they’re trying to achieve and that you’re on board with it. If you’ve got a meeting with an MD and a senior marketer, be careful not to undermine the work of the marketing department whilst providing ideas about what you could achieve.
Remember you are interviewing them as well
I think this is the most important interview tip you’re going to get. What’s your gut feeling about the people interviewing you? What’s your gut feeling about the business? What have they done before and what has worked and what hasn’t worked? If they tell you’ve they’ve never done any marketing before, dig into that. I had an interviewer tell me they had never done any marketing for their business. Yeah, except the £3k they spent on PPC each month, the 4 posts they put out on all their social media channels each day, the bi-monthly newsletters they sent out and the 3 blog posts they set live each week. They perceived this as “not really doing marketing” when in fact this was exactly the type of marketing I would have prescribed doing for them. There wasn’t a lot else I’d have done.
Good luck! We’d be interested to hear your top tips about getting a digital marketing manager role – especially if you’ve just nailed that interview! Let us know in the comments below.
And remember – if you need any digital marketing services in your new role, especially traffic growth services, please get in touch!