How to Interview the Best Digital Marketing Talent

customer experience digital marketing recruiting

Digital talent is a vital part of any modern marketing program. It’s an essential pillar that your marketing depends on, and you need the best possible people filling digital positions.

But in order to get those people, you need to understand their mindsets, tell them what they want to hear, and be able to distinguish between good and great candidates. Here’s how you can do it on your own (or get the help of experienced digital marketing recruiters).

Keeping Up with the Pace of Digital

digital marketing recruiters race

Digital marketing recruitment and interviewing is more difficult than ever.

It seems like every week some new technology or channel emerges that’s essential to your marketing. Even companies that rely primarily on traditional media are dependent on analytics tools, supporting online campaigns and more. In fact, that’s probably why you’re looking to hire better digital talent in the first place.

You can’t be an expert on everything. If you’re already overwhelmed by the whirlwind of change in digital marketing, how can you meaningfully communicate with the rare individuals who are innovative and savvy enough to stay ahead of the game? Poor digital interviewing capabilities could cause you to miss a great opportunity, hire the wrong person, or scare off top talent.

In order to do better online marketing, you must be able to accurately vet web marketing talent and get the right people in your organization.

Interviewing for Digital Positions

Interviewing a top digital performer is, in many ways, similar to interviewing any other A-level marketer. You’ll want to ask, and be prepared to talk about, past results, opportunities, industry trends and personal challenges (read our blog post on Interviewing Top Marketers for more on that).

But some aspects of a digital interview call for a special approach. No matter how marketing-minded you and your hiring team may be, it’s unrealistic to expect everyone involved to understand the technical details and high-level digital strategies that are a top digital marketer’s daily bread and butter.

Since digital covers such a wide spread of functions and has permeated every aspect of modern marketing, there is no perfect one-size-fits all approach.

Digital Results

Top-performing marketers are primarily interested in one thing—success. And digital marketers have the luxury of working in an easily illustrated marketing environment when it comes to results. With unprecedented ability to track marketing spend, optimize campaigns and demonstrate ROI, plan on diving deep into your candidates’ past successes (and struggles).

But don’t just ask about the numbers; they only tell half the story. Inquire about their optimization methodology, their testing strategies, and the circumstances that led to the decisions they made.

Test Digital Translation Skills

It’s fine (and even expected) that you’ll have a hard time understanding and keeping up with the content of your candidate’s discussions. So don’t hesitate to ask for clarification or elaboration on any subjects that come up in your interview.

It’s not enough to be personally competent in advanced digital strategy—the best marketers must be able to translate that understanding to the rest of their team. If they’re unable to coordinate with coworkers or consistently miscommunicate with managers, they will fail no matter how talented they are.

But also understand that these explanations can take time (and may raise more questions).

Provide the Right Tools and Information

digital marketing recruiters data

Many organizations like to give their candidates specific tests to evaluate their ability to handle common situations. In the case of a digital marketer, that could mean a lot of things depending on the position they’re interviewing for.

If you decide to do some kind of exercise like this concerning an actual or theoretical scenario involving your company, it’s essential that you offer the appropriate context and information if you want a useful assessment.

A digital marketer’s decisions are driven by data—if they don’t have the right information, they can’t make the right choices. But too often interviewers unfairly expect grand insights and answers while failing to provide essential data.

In order for this kind of exercise to be successful, be prepared to offer appropriate analytics results, limited access to your web properties, or whatever is required to make a reasonable answer.

Getting Help In-House – Or from Digital Marketing Recruiters

If you’re at least a medium-sized business, it’s possible that you have experts in-house that can assist your interview prep. IT specialists web development team and any other digital specialists, from social media managers to site designers might offer some good insights or suggest useful interview questions.

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