I recently got asked if I had any good questions to ask when recruiting for a Maketing Manager, including of yourslef...
If you’re a business looking to recruit into your marketing function, I would in the first instance ask if it’s really a Marketing Manager that you need? If you’re not sure, this article from Watertight Marketing explains what skills and qualities to look for in a Marketing Director – I would read that first and establish if you need someone of that seniority or not, and then work your way back.
Once you’ve done that, it’s worth then having a think about other things like:
Also, especially if you’re setting them some tasks to prepare and present at the interview, how will you choose between candidates if they all appear suitable and an even match?
This is where scorecards can come into play (unless you trust your gut which is no bad thing). I’ve yet to write a blog about scorecards, but any recruiter worth their salt could show you some examples there. And, on the subject of gut feelings, the book BLINK by Malcom Gladwell is a really good one to read with regard to that.
Will you require any? References of course come with their own set of constraints about what you can and can ask for, or what an employee is obliged to give. See some guidance from .GOV here »
The other thing to think about is who is doing the interviewing? If you’re lucky enough to have a marketer on your team already, then the deeper detail of the questions and the answers you get back will be easier to interpret and challenge by that person.
If you don’t have a marketer on your team who can help with that detail, then you should consider outsourcing recruitment to a specialist.
It’s also worth doing a bit of research on the kind of resources that are out there to help candidates prepare for interview. If you know what they are being advised, then you can look out for it, which would reassure you of their commitment to getting this job. See Monstor.co.uk for example »
So I’m not a recruitment specialist, but I do know that asking the right questions, and understanding what you can tell about the candidate from the answer you get is a real skill. Their answers will tell you a lot about what kind of person they are too. For example, let’s explore this question:
Their answers: This question is designed to provoke a myriad of questions like ‘Who is the page aimed at?’ and/or ‘Has it been optimised for SEO?’.
If they don’t ask questions like this, then either they lack the knowledge needed to address the questions/situation or are simply making their answer up. Question their answers back and see how they work though the problem.
If they pick a side, ask them what they think the objective for the homepage might be, and how they think the website would meet those objectives. Tell them that one of the designs performed well against those criteria and the other on something else. Then ask them to comment. This way you can start to determine how they make decisions and choices about marketing activities when it is not possible to get completely conclusive data.
Other things to look for: While this question may at first appear around design, it is in fact about managing conflict of interest.
Here’s another question:
Or, ‘What do you know about us and which aspects of our business inspire, motivate or excite you?’
Their answers: What you are looking for here is not just an articulated answer, but their body language too. Are they animated? Excited? Forthcoming with ideas about what they might do if you hired them?
There are dozens of questions you could engineer to test how they answer. Here’s a few more (without the reasons for asking or notes about what you are looking for in an answer – see if you can add to those yourself):
And finally, I would say there’s one more really important step in the recruitment process you need to have finalised before you even advertise for your role. The Job Description.
Without one, you’re unlikely to attract the right candidates in the first place. So, it may pay you to work with a recruiter who specialises in marketing recruitment to get that right.
Notes: Some of the content and question examples I have used here were from an article by HubSpot in 2014. I’ve since tried to find the article link but have been unable. I thank Hubspot for the article anyway and many more similar articles can be found on the web.
Image courtesy of @pikisupersatr at Freepik: Office vector created by pikisuperstar – www.freepik.com
Helps small businesses stop wasting money on marketing. Watertight Marketing Certified Practitioner, MCIM Chartered Marketer and mentor.