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March 10, 2022

Hiring a Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) is a difficult, yet crucial responsibility. In this post, we are going to cover various questions to ask chief marketing officers during the interview stage.

The CMO Toolbelt

A CMO will have their own ideas for various tools to use to help them get the job done. So you should be looking for a technically savvy person. Just look at this digital landscape from chiefmartec.com:

questions to ask chief marketing officer

Hard to see? Exactly!

How do I hire a CMO properly?

Although searching for qualified applicants can be difficult, there are several methods that can help.

Aside from just questions to ask chief marketing officer candidates, you should do the following first. Click To Tweet

Assess the talent of your marketing team

An internal search is the best place to begin when looking for a great CMO.

If you have someone who is a leader within your organization, you may not need to be looking out for the market.

The programs, systems, processes and procedures are already familiar to current employees. It would not be necessary to spend too much time training the new employee.

It is important to assess the current gaps in your marketing department before you decide to hire externally.

What are the issues that need to be addressed? These factors will help you find the right leader for your company.

Post a clear, creative job posting

You must create a job description that encourages applicants to apply for your CMO position to attract the best candidates.

While you can always fill out the details during an interview, you want to communicate important information to draw attention to the candidate.

These are the most important things to include in a job description that is attractive:

  • Potential for the job and potential for growth.
  • A description of the company culture.
  • A clear set of job responsibilities that have an impact on the organization.
  • Statements about flexibility, work/life balance, and creativity.

Questions to Ask Chief Marketing Officers During an Interview

Now that you have a better understanding of how to find the right candidates for your job, it is time to interview them.

Below is a list with unique interview questions for CMOs that will filter down potential CMOs to a select few.

Research on Company

How would you improve the company’s image?

This question will verify if the candidate has ever studied your brand.

They should have a general understanding of the current brand to them and your customers through market research.

Answer

Customer-centric solutions are the best. Your company exists to provide meaningful service to customers.

The CMO should discuss how they will implement a system that exceeds customer expectations and creates a positive brand image.

Strategy

These are the challenges facing our company. These are the challenges our company faces. What resources do you need?

This question should give you a good idea of the candidate’s ability to meet your expectations. This will also help them to get on the right track.

They might have an idea of how to improve your business, but they may not be aware of the most important challenges you face.

Answer

The interviewee should take some time to reflect on this question. Next, they should create a strategy that inspires buy-in among the rest of the organization.

The plan should monitor progress through metrics, analytics and optimization, as well as status updates.

The strategy should include a timeline and a goal.

Adaptability

Can your describe a time when you had to work with someone with a different perspective than you?

This question will give an indication of the potential CMO’s ability to pivot.

They will work with people from different perspectives and personalities, especially if they are part of a larger company.

This will reveal the person’s self-awareness and ability to keep a positive outlook even when things don’t go according to plan.

Answer

The best answer is that the CMO seeks out to understand others FIRST. When both parties try to get their way, nothing can be achieved.

The ideal CMO will be patient and ensure that the other person feels valued before moving on.

Leadership

How can you maximize the talent in your team?

True leaders can raise their team members to new heights.

This question assesses the CMO’s ability to get the best out of employees for the company’s good and each employee.

Answer

The best CMOs will recognize that each member of the team is motivated by something unique.

Interviews will be more successful if you get to know your employees personally.

Each team member will be in the best possible position to succeed with the valuable CMO.

The best business leaders will focus on the strengths and weaknesses of each employee.

Intuition

Describe a time you were put on the spot by someone. How did you handle it

This question may also be asked of the candidate.

This question will require the potential CMO to use intuition to answer it. However, it will also give you a glimpse of their ability to make quick decisions in the face a dilemma.

Answer

No matter what the CMO may say, you should feel confident in their answer. Intuition is not just about making the right decision with little information, but also having courage.

The ideal answer should be descriptive and show you how others feel about it.

Sales

What is the ideal sales and marketing relationship?

For your company to succeed, sales and marketing must have a seamless relationship.

This question will give you an insight into the CMO’s plans to combine the two roles.

Answer

The CMO should foster a culture where sales and marketing departments can get along well.

The ideal answer will give you a clear picture of how the groups will interact, their dependence on each other, and how they will work together to achieve company goals.

Emotional Intelligence

How can you connect with different personality types?

Influence is a sign of high emotional intelligence. This question will give you an idea of the candidate’s ability to understand other viewpoints.

Answer

This answer should be a large part of the CMO’s listening skills.

A good example of how a CMO built a relationship with a difficult personality type could also be helpful.

The CMO should also be able to explain how they motivate others.

Critical Thinking

Can you think of a time when you had the need to make a decision quickly? What was the result?

The CMO may not always have the resources and time to make a decision.

This question measures the CMO’s ability to make critical decisions under pressure.

Answer

This will give you a good idea of the person’s thinking process under pressure.

You should feel as if you are in the CMO’s mind at a certain point in time.

The answer should include details about the issue, the decision rationale and the consequences of the decision.

Experience

What’s the most successful marketing campaign that you have ever launched?

Learning from experience and doing it again is the best way to gain experience.

This question will give you a complete picture of the CMO’s success at a particular time.

It will give a glimpse of what they might be capable of and show how long the candidate has been reaching a target audience.

Answer

A great answer should be descriptive and summarize the entire campaign. The CMO should explain the problem or goal at the beginning.

The campaign should be creative and include new ideas. It should also describe how the CMO brought other people in to achieve the feat.

The interview answers should include information about the measurable results of the campaign such as sales, customers gained, or an increase in social media followers.

Conclusion

The above should give you ideas for questions to ask Chief Marketing Officers during the hiring process.

Using these questions will help you gauge their abilities in a CMO role and better understand them as a candidate.  Click To Tweet

Good luck with this crucial hire for your team!

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