Expert’s Guide to Interviews for Hiring the Right Marketing Talent

In this digital era, modern marketing has changed dramatically. Studies show that the average global consumer spends nearly seven hours a day online, so you need to meet your customers where they are. This means recruiting a marketing team that specializes in innovative and diverse digital strategies. Since the technology used to implement these strategies is always improving and progressing, you also need to build a team that stays ahead of the curve.

The changing face of the modern workforce means hiring managers are relying more on hybrid teams, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Even after this global health crisis subsides, about 62% of hiring managers believe their companies will continue to embrace remote workers.

As the workforce evolves, hiring managers face new challenges when assessing potential workers for their hybrid teams. Not only do potential marketing hires need to showcase specialized digital media skills, but they also need to demonstrate that they can work autonomously.

As you build your professional marketing team, here are some powerful strategies and marketing interview questions to consider while assessing potential hires.

Pre-interview strategies

Before you begin reviewing resumes and setting up interviews, you should determine what your company needs.

Take a good look at your marketing team and determine where the gaps are. Do you have plenty of skilled social media mavens but are lacking an all-star content writer? What type of worker would your team benefit most from: an independent  worker or a full-time team member?

There are so many facets to digital marketing that you’re not likely to find one individual who can do it all. You’re more likely to find several experts in different areas, and you should consider building your team with this in mind.  

Before engaging new workers, assess your current team and determine which skills you want to bring to your workforce. Your new hires should complement your existing team.

Maybe you already have an SEO expert, but you could really use an excellent email marketer who has demonstrated an impressive return on investment (ROI) in their previous work. Or maybe you need a driven marketing sales individual to bring it all together. The key is creating a team that will collaborate well together.

Whether engaging an independent professional or a full-time worker, you should always ask to review their portfolio first. Any digital marketing professional will have one ready to go as part of their job-hunting toolkit. This portfolio will help you determine standout workers and assess who has the real-life skills to elevate your team.

In addition to a portfolio, asking prospective hires to complete a short assignment related to the work they would be doing provides additional insight into whether they would make a good addition to your team. Even if you’ve reviewed their submitted portfolio, it still helps to see how they work through an assignment. This assignment is an especially useful tool if you’re hiring a remote worker and want to get a better sense of how they might work independently.

Essential interview questions to ask potential hires for your hybrid marketing team

When building your marketing dream team, you’ll want to ask questions that touch on their expertise in the field. Because you’re assembling a hybrid team, though, you’ll also want to ask them about previous experiences that would make them a good fit for this type of role.

Since your team might be working remotely in different spaces and possibly across different time zones, you’ll have to ask targeted questions to determine how they handle working independently. At the same time, you’ll need to know they can collaborate and communicate effectively with remote team members and managers.

Here are the essential interview questions to ask potential members of your hybrid marketing team.

1. What marketing tools do you consider essential to this project?

This question will help you feel out a potential hire’s knowledgeability about various marketing tools and their appropriate uses. This is an opportunity to discuss the tools and tactics commonly required for projects and gauge their comfort level with them.

Are you looking for someone well-versed in Google Analytics? Or maybe you’re seeking an expert in one of the alternatives on the market. You can also compare the software and programs typically used by your company against their list of essentials.

2. What is your preferred communication style when you’re on a remote team?

When you’re building a remote or hybrid marketing team, how effectively a new hire communicates and collaborates with others will determine their success in the role.

Asking about their communication style will let you know if they fit in with your current team. Does your team communicate mostly via email? Does your company rely on Slack? What level of responsiveness do you require from your workers? By learning their communication style, you can determine if they fit your team’s culture.  

3. If you face problems with a marketing campaign, how would you troubleshoot the issue?

Marketing workers require a certain amount of autonomy and self-reliance to be successful in the role. By having them walk you through their approach to troubleshooting any challenges that might arise during a marketing campaign, you’ll gain insight into how well they work independently.

4. How do you stay up to date on marketing practices, and what skills do you hope to develop?

In digital marketing, the technology and tools your team uses are continuously evolving. What was the norm one year could be obsolete by the next. As trends change, you want to build a team that is constantly learning what’s new in the industry. When interviewing potential hires, you should ask them how and when they learn about evolving technology.

Are they part of an industry organization that shares this information with its members? Do they opt to sign up for workshops, take continuing education courses, or attend conferences? Or do they have a mentor to help them develop their skills?

5. Tell us about a successful marketing campaign you worked on as part of a remote or hybrid team.

It’s common to ask a potential hire to walk you through a successful marketing campaign they’ve worked on. Since you’re possibly building a hybrid team, though, ask for an example relative to this experience. Have them share a previous success they’ve experienced while working remotely. Ask them for details about the project, from start to finish, so you can get an idea of their creative methods and how they approach a campaign.

6. Describe your ideal work environment.

Remote work is here to stay, but for many people, the last few months have likely been a period of adjustment. This is a great question to get a sense of how someone would operate on a day-to-day basis.

Sometimes, simply knowing someone has the experience and enjoys autonomy can give them an edge over other contenders for the role. You can also get a sense of how they fared working remotely by asking them about the experience. What did they like about it? What challenges did they have?

The world’s top marketers: On demand, on Upwork

Digital media is the future of marketing. As a hiring manager, you need to carefully assess potential hires to make sure individuals have the skills needed to elevate your marketing team.

This is especially important as the modern workforce evolves, and more companies rely on remote independent talent. In addition to specialized digital marketing skills, these individuals also need to be autonomous workers who can think critically and collaborate well with others.

Tap into Upwork’s global talent pool to help you connect with the top independent marketing professionals and create a dynamic team that will build your brand and your business.

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Expert’s Guide to Interviews for Hiring the Right Marketing Talent
The Upwork Team

Upwork is the world’s work marketplace that connects businesses with independent talent from across the globe. We serve everyone from one-person startups to large, Fortune 100 enterprises with a powerful, trust-driven platform that enables companies and talent to work together in new ways that unlock their potential.

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