Interviewing Marketing Executives
When Interviewing CMO candidates, the best approach is to first ask open ended questions and then allow descriptive stories to emerge that reveal culture, interaction and expectations from the candidate.
- Which marketing metrics are most important to firms in general?
- Your last firm (job position) in particular?
- Which metrics were you most successful at improving?
- How were you recognized for that improvement?
- What specific goals or targets were used?
- How were these negotiated and by whom?
- What was the percentage change you impacted?
- How did you do it? Over what period of time?
- And how did your staff work with you?
- Why did they trust your plans and ideas that they supported?
- What mechanisms did you employ to gain consensus within your team?
- Across other related teams (sales, production, engineering, service, support)? What does accountability mean in the context of a marketing department?
- How is accountability managed between marketing and advertising?
- How is accountability managed between marketing and sales? Does the VP sales agree?
- How are results measured, communicated and interpreted?
- Are the people achieving the measurements the same people who own the data and report results?
- How did you come to trust those results?
- For you past firm, how did you understand the metrics which influenced sales volume?
- Describe the interaction of team roles that achieved results in your team?
- What experience selling or in sales management do you have?
- How did you establish credibility with VP of sales?
- What inputs and influence did you have with regard to sales models?
- What inputs and influence did you have with regard to the go to market strategy?
- Which systems and processes were established before you arrived?
- Which systems and processes were established by you?
- How do they interact or relate to each other?
Asking candidates about the attribution of credit across their team, and the cause-and-effect influence on internal performance metrics can reveal a lot. Having their thoughts on what was measured, its validity, and what could be measured, gives you insight to their ability to create value in your organization. Also it reveals potential synergies or conflicts when working with sales and product organizations