An interview is enough to get freshers sweating.  And when it’s a field like marketing, where there is cut-throat competition, need you ask? But you need not be intimidated. Although different industries follow different marketing tactics, the selection process is almost always the same. Your marketing knowledge and core ideas are tested in the interview. Preparation is the key to success in cracking anything. Let’s be prepared with the questions and answers below!

Sell yourself in a few sentences

This is your elevator pitch. Few sentences and no time to think. Here, the hiring manager is judging you on how quickly you can think on your feet and come up with a convincing answer. This shows your selling ability and the capacity to react to consumer responses. It will be beneficial if you could prepare this answer beforehand at home itself. Zero down on a few power words that describe you the best. But remember to back them up with examples from your professional/academic life. Most importantly, be yourself and be honest.

How would you market our product/service?

A clear indicator of how important your research is before you land up for an interview. Keep in mind that you should not blame or criticise what the company is doing currently for their marketing efforts. Pick out one of their well-performing advertising or marketing campaigns, and try to modify it as per your knowledge expertise. What different could you have done to maximise its output? What other strategies would you have adopted to make it more engaging or popular? Be careful and don’t pick out any faults with how they did it.

Tell us about a successful marketing campaign

Now, if you’re a fresher, then this is a typical question to gauge your knowledge on current industry happenings. You need to read up on the latest marketing campaigns that interested you and those which proved to be very positive for the brand. However, if you’re an experienced professional, the recruiter is looking for a campaign that you were a part of/you drove. A successful marketing campaign consists of the following elements: target audience, the unique selling proposition (USP), the call-to-action message, the execution and the post-campaign analysis. Make sure you walk the recruiter through all the steps of the campaign including the part of how you tracked the results. Don’t hesitate to admit if it failed. Rather say, you used the lessons learnt from it to better the future campaigns.

How do you respond to a negative comment/review on the brand?

This is a part of ORM (Online Reputation Management), which is also a part of your responsibility as a brand/marketing/sales manager. It’s important as a brand custodian to put yourself in the shoes of the customer and understand what problem he/she is facing and make him feel important by acknowledging the complaint immediately. This will result in the customer feeling positive about the brand and its customer service. Even if you are not able to resolve the issue, you can make amends by offering discounts etc. This will create a win-win situation and result in positive brand loyalty.

How would you launch a new product?

Here, the recruiter is looking to test your creativity, planning and management skills. Launching a new product in the market means to pay attention to the timing, the market and the competition. They all need to be kept a tab on. Before launching, there needs to be a pre-launch marketing campaign that will promote the product and create a build-up around it. That mystery element will help gather more awareness. The market conditions need to be analysed such that maximum of it is captured. Timing should also be perfect such that the launch of your product doesn’t clash with any other product.

Is communication with sales and marketing team important?

This is to check how well you understand marketing and sales as an integrated effort. A lot of times it so happens that the marketing and the sales guy are never in touch with the product teams and vice-versa. This leads to a loophole in the marketing plan. Effective communication is important within the organisation so that the marketing campaign flows seamlessly. The inputs from the sales team will help the product team improvise on the product characteristics thereby helping the marketing team plan its campaign well. This will ensure that you get a better knowledge of the product, its marketing and its sales as well.

What if your budget is reduced to half?

As a marketing and sales professional, your knowledge of finance should be sound too. You need to know how to handle media budgets for the brand and the recruiter is just checking whether you will let the product quality or marketing get impacted if the budget is not enough. You need to assure the recruiter that you would think of innovative ideas to still market the product without compromising on its efficiency.