It’s been, a long time coming but you’ve finally got the interview you’ve been chasing with that high profile digital marketing company. Land this job and your future look bright. Drop the ball during the interview, and you’re back to square. The best way to ensure you make the most of this opportunity is to prepare, prepare, prepare. And so to help you out we’ve compiled a list of 20 digital marketing questions you’ll need to be ready for when you walk into the office for your big interview. Of course, there’s no guarantee that these will be precisely the questions you’ll be asked, but experience indicates that at least some of them (and maybe quite a few) are coming your way.
Study These Questions and Answers to Prepare for Your Digital Marketing Interview
Research indicates that you’re likely to be asked most, if not all of the following questions during an interview with a high-end digital marketing company. Therefore it’s in your best interest to familiarize yourself with both the questions and the answers. Ready? Let’s begin
What is “digital marketing”?
Right out of the gate the interviewer is likely to test your overall understanding of the industry you’re trying to join. If you can’t provide convincing proof that you understand the business how can they trust that you understand the job? So if you’re asked to define “digital marketing” answer thus: Digital marketing is the process of developing and delivering a brand’s marketing initiatives across a variety of digital platforms. Those platforms typically include search engines, content platforms, brand websites and, to an ever-increasing degree, social media. Digital marketing efforts may also include lead generation, brand building, new customer acquisition as well as finding and developing new talent.
Why do you want to be a digital marketer?
Be straight with them here, to a point. If you are looking to break into the industry because you’ve heard of the potential for a great salary and benefits, then say so. At the same time though take some of the edges off the perception that you’re just in it for the money by providing evidence that you’d be a good fit in this type of job. Tell them about your long-standing interest in the potential of the web. How you’d like to make it easier for people to shop with their mobile devices or how the whole notion of driving traffic using social media marketing intrigues and excites you. This way they’ll perceive you as both pragmatic and engaged with the concepts in play.
How do you stay up to date on digital marketing news and trends?
Here they basically want to find out if you leave your job behind when you walk out of the office or if you read about and study the business of your own accord, on your own time. So familiarize yourself with some digital marketing resources like Mashable and eMarketer as well as Marketingprofs, Kissmetrics, and Moz. Make sure you spend some time on each site if you don’t already just in case they ask you specific questions about them.
What are useful digital marketing tools you familiar with?
Here the company will be looking to judge how much training they’ll need to invest in with you. If you bring a robust skillset to the table, you’ll be a more cost-effective hire for them than someone with a nice personality who needs a lot of training. The more of the following digital marketing tools you know, the better:
- Keyword discovery
- Alexa ranking
- Google analytics
- XML sitemap generator
- Favicon generator
- Google trends
How much do you know about our company?
Wrong answer: “Nothing really. I just found your ad online and decided to apply.” The right answer, of course, will be specific to the business. But in order to find the information to formulate that response, you’ll need to spend some time researching the company, if you haven’t already. At the minimum, you should know the year the company was started, who the principles are, who their main clients are as well as the services they provide. The more you know beyond that, the better.
How do you think your experience will help our company?
Talk up your skills but not to such a degree that you can’t deliver on your promises. Talk about how intangibles like drive and curiosity enable you to make the most out of the things you know and compel you to continually improve. They’re looking for people to help them gain a competitive edge. Your skills combined with your resourcefulness will help them do just that.
Where would you place yourself on a scale of 1 to 10 when it comes to digital marketing?
We would never encourage anyone to misrepresent themselves but if you believe yourself to be a 6.5 give yourself the benefit of the doubt and round it up to 7. If this is your first digital marketing job, you’re not going to be a 10 so get that out of your head. Play up your strengths, acknowledge your weaknesses and state your eagerness to learn and improve.
Would you say you can accept criticism?
A truly loaded question if ever there was one. You want to sound confident and open-minded without sounding defensive, so a measured tone is called for here. Perhaps something along the lines of: “I welcome criticism that’s driven by a desire to help me improve. I think everyone does. I also expect, since I would be new here, that I’ll make some mistakes and be criticized for them. That’s how you learn, and I’m all about learning and getting better.”
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
With this question, the interviewer is trying to ascertain whether you have a career plan or are just winging it to try and snag a big paycheck. Before you interview with any company in any industry, you should have an answer ready for this question. Your response should be measured but forward leaning, free of arrogance but confident and growth-oriented. Employers want talented people they’ll be able to rely on for the long haul. They don’t want to be wondering if one day you’re just going to move on without warning.
What’s the difference between inbound and outbound marketing?
Digital marketing efforts are commonly divided into 2 different camps: inbound marketing and outbound marketing. It’s crucial that you understand the difference between the 2.
- Inbound marketing is designed to invoke a response in the target audience in order to increase inbound traffic and generate conversions. Inbound marketing techniques are many and varied and include marketing through social media, e-newsletters, e-books, webinars, content marketing and SEO. Through these efforts, prospective customers learn about the brand and are given cause to connect with it.
- Outbound marketing represents a more traditional method of reaching customers that’s adapted, at least in part, to the digital environment. Instead of running print ads in newspapers you run either static or video ads on websites, contact consumers directly through promotional emails and perhaps, in a throwback to yesteryear, even place phone calls.
Why is online marketing overtaking offline marketing?
Because most people today spend more time online than they do reading newspapers, watching TV or listening to the radio. As such marketers need to adapt and go where the people are. Online marketing also allows you to do a better job zeroing in on a specific demographic, make corrections to live campaigns and transcend traditional geographic boundaries. Digital marketing also benefits from near instantaneous analysis of consumer behavior via analytics. Something that’s simply impossible with TV, print or radio advertising. While aspects of offline marketing like billboards and flyers are still relatively effective, they too are more blunt instrument than a precision instrument.
What’s the difference between direct marketing and branding?
Here again, they’ll be testing your overall knowledge of marketing, but this is actually kind of a softball question. With branding, you cast a wider net in the hope of raising overall awareness of your product or service. With direct marketing, you target a specific demographic by way of things like search ads and shopping ads.
Do you think the days of traditional marketing are numbered?
Here they’re trying to judge whether you’re a thoughtful type or maybe just overenthusiastic. Someone simply out to impress the interviewer with their love of digital marketing will likely say what they think the interviewer wants to hear: “Yes, I think traditional marketing will be history in 5 years!” You can, however, provide a more well-rounded picture of yourself by giving a more considered answer: “While the future of digital marketing is no doubt bright, I think it’s unlikely that traditional marketing is going away anytime soon. People still read flyers, look up at billboards, watch TV, and a few even read newspapers.” That kind of answer will demonstrate that you’re capable of seeing the big picture and aren’t just a cheerleader.
What is a “responsive website”?
The migration from fixed online platforms like PCs to mobile devices has meant that websites need to adapt to the new, smaller screens otherwise much of their content will be inaccessible or simply unseen. Responsive website design sniffs out the type of platform being used to access a site and reformats content to fit it. The viewer still gets all the content they would if they were using a PC but that content is reformatted to fit the specific smartphone or tablet screen.
What is Pay Per Click or PPC advertising?
Here they’re testing your knowledge of digital marketing basics. At its heart, PPC advertising is an affordable way to increase traffic flow to a website. With Pay Per Click advertising the advertiser pays only when someone clicks on their ad. Google, (the undisputed leader in PPC advertising) typically opens up PPC advertising to a form of auction wherein the highest bidder will receive the most prominent positioning for their ad.
Do you see any limitations in online marketing?
Sure. Everything has an upside and a downside. Some of the limits of digital marketing include the potential for consumer burnout caused by online advertising overload, the intensity of competition for eyeballs online and the potential for either misreading or simply not reading what the analytics are trying to tell you.
AMP stands for Accelerated Mobile Pages and is an initiative of Google’s ostensibly aimed at making it easier for developers to create fast loading, attractive web pages for mobile devices. AMP is an open source initiative that touts itself as the key to a more enjoyable mobile experience. AMP pages are also cached for free on Google’s own servers at no cost. Keep in mind though that if a website is already designed with mobile in mind and loads plenty fast there’s really no need to migrate to AMP as the design and content restrictions imposed by Google may outweigh any miniscule increase in loading speed.
What is AdWords Remarketing?
In many cases, people visit a website, browse a bit and then drift away. Until now those casual visitors – visitors that couldn’t quite make up their mind or people who were interested but maybe ran out of time on their lunch break – would likely have been lost. With AdWords Remarketing you’re able to reconnect with those people via targeted ads that remind them of the interest they showed in your product or service.
What do you consider the best way to increase traffic to a site?
An effective SEO campaign has to be at the top of the list when it comes to ways to increase website traffic. But because bad word of mouth can undo an otherwise effective SEO campaign one needs to be sure that there is plenty of engaging content in place as well for the new visitor to sink their teeth into once they decide to visit the site. That’s called ensuring a good user experience, and it’s key to generating shares, likes and the kind of engagement that makes the digital marketing world go round.
What do you think is more important: likes, shares or engagement?
With everyone focused on likes and shares engagement often gets lost in the sauce. Engagement has to do with actually converting visitors into customers which is, after all, the point. Who cares if you have a thousand likes if none of those likes bought anything? So in the digital marketing realm engagement is king.
As we said at the top there’s no way to know precisely which of these questions will be asked in an interview with a digital marketing company. Some companies may touch on most of them, others only a few. Still, it behooves you to brush up on all of them just in case.
Digital Marketing Interview Tips
To round things out, we’re going to provide a few tips on how to ensure you’re always well informed so that your interview with the digital marketing company can be as productive as possible.
- Update your LinkedIn profile – Everything in your LinkedIn profile should be as up to date as possible. It should also be comprehensive and clear regarding your skills and qualifications for the type of work you seek.
- Contribute guest posts – A great way to boost your credibility is to guest post now and then on various blogs in your chosen industry. They don’t have to be earth-shattering pieces that redefine the paradigm, but they should be informative and well written. This is a useful asset to tout during an interview.
- Be sociable – You’ve got a Facebook account, Twitter account, SnapChat account, Instagram account and more, use them! Just be careful not to say anything controversial as that could come back to haunt you. Focus instead on facts and fun.
- Put your knowledge to use – Talk about how the things you learn from following industry leaders can help you be a more valuable asset to the team. And always speak regarding the “team” while minimizing the use of “me” and “I” unless specifically asked about yourself.
Remember: lies in the interview room have a way of coming back at you. It doesn’t make any sense to build yourself up into something you’re not. You’ll eventually be called out on it. Instead, talk up your strengths, acknowledge weaknesses and, as we said earlier, state your willingness to learn.
The Bottom Line
The questions you’ll encounter during your job interview at the digital marketing company will be designed to ascertain what kind of person you are as well as what type of skillset you have and how the two can be combined to help the company. You’ll be asked specific questions related to the job you’re applying for and don’t be surprised if the interviewer tries to throw you off balance a bit to see how you handle the unexpected. If you study the above questions and answers, get plenty of sleep the night before the interview and maintain an even keel during the interview you should be alright. Good luck!