How to win over a sceptical marketing interviewer


How to win over a sceptical marketing interviewer

Karen Lloyd candidate, interview, job search...

The Trump family are rarely out of the headlines these days.  Watching Ivanka Trump being received with scepticism and in some cases outright scorn at the G20 summit recently got us thinking.  It can be very difficult when you are placed in an unfamiliar situation and are met with scepticism or even outright scorn by others (regardless of whether you think it’s deserved or not).  

Surprisingly, it is not all that unusual to find yourself in this position in a marketing interview.  You have had a first interview with a hiring manager, and it has gone great.  Now it is time for the second interview with a senior member of the marketing team, perhaps a Senior Marketing Manager or Marketing Director, and in walks “scepticism on legs”.  

There could be multiple reasons behind their scepticism; it could be they prefer another marketing candidate (even if the hiring manager is championing you), or they may feel your experience is not quite the right fit.  It is important to remember that it is not always about you; they may want the manager to prove themselves for example, or just be playing bad cop.

Your challenge is to work out how to win over a sceptical marketing interviewer.  Sometimes, your Recruitment Partner can give you a heads up which will allow you to prepare in advance, however most of the time you need to think on your feet in the moment.

Our top tips to win over a sceptical marketing interviewer
  1. The good news is that your usual marketing interview preparation can help.  Your knowledge of the company and showing a passion, whether it is for the brand, the ethos or the product can go a long way to overcoming scepticism.  Particularly as to whether you really want this marketing job or not.
  2. Be friendly and open – easier said than done but do not let a sceptical interviewer (who may come across somewhat antagonistically) put you on the defensive.  They can be testing your response under stress, so try to keep your demeanour on an even keel.  Even if your knees are knocking under the table!
  3. Know your stuff.  One of the best ways of proving yourself to a sceptical interviewer is to know your achievements and stats inside and out. This could be marketing campaign results, success of a marketing strategy on the wider business performance, or product launch metrics. Demonstrate your successes and draw synergies with the new company and this marketing job role for best results.
  4. Stay confident.  As we said, the root cause of the interviewer’s scepticism may not be personal.  You have an advocate in the hiring manager.  Use this to help build your confidence – confidence breeds confidence in others.

​At heart, the message is don’t panic.  Stay true to yourself and do not be shy about detailing your achievements in previous marketing jobs, and why you want this particular marketing job.  If you are genuine, then this will come through in the interview, and you will win over a sceptical marketing interviewer, regardless of their initial stance.

If you need a new challenge, or your marketing job hunt is not going to plan, check out our latest jobs or register for job alerts to receive our latest marketing jobs direct to your inbox.