It’s easy to be wooed, swayed, enticed by what seems to be a great career opportunity. After all, we all remember how we felt when we were asked to the high school prom. But, put emotion aside and and prepare to interview the interviewer to make sure all that glitters really is gold. Some questions to pose:
- How do you define marketing? If they say it’s all about flyers and donut boxes with logos then run away as fast as you can.
- What’s the reporting relationship? If marketing reports to sales, then dig deeper with your questions. Marketing these days is often peer to sales and even pushes sales to greater performance.
- What do you expect of marketing? I expect marketing to lead and transform organizations, to challenge and innovate, to engage audiences and drive revenue. Many organizations may not see it the same way.
- How is the team staffed? If the staff is mostly made of graphic designers and marketing ops personnel then it’s a sign that marketing is about fulfillment and not leadership and transformation.
- Is there a central marketing budget? No central budget means no belief that marketing can make a difference.
- Is the marketing leader a member of the executive team? If not, they should be. Marketing leaders today should be looked-upon to connect sales, service, operations to create great customer experiences that acquire and retain customers and get them to spend more with you.
- What are the typical marketing activities? Activities should be focused on digital, visual and mobile marketing, lead generation, engagement and conversion, knowledge-transfer, data-driven decisioning.
- What metrics do you track? Among other things, you should expect to hear about conversions, the conversion funnel, customer experience metrics, website behaviors, traffic sources, cost and revenue per lead and sale, buyer behaviors. Be very suspicious if you don’t get concrete answers to this question.
- What’s the relationship between marketing and IT? There needs to be a bond, for sure, but marketing needs to own the strategy that drives technical development and innovation, not the other way around.
Your next role should fit as comfortably as an old pair of slippers. Make sure that happens by asking all of the right questions upfront to make an informed decisions and avoid day-1 surprises. They’re interviewing you but, remember, you’re also interviewing them.