Kipp Bodnar
September 6, 2018

Interview Questions that Build Better Marketing Teams

Guest: Kipp Bodnar - Chief Marketing Officer, HubSpot

The notion of a CMO building or rebuilding a marketing team is not an unfamiliar concept, especially on Renegade Thinkers Unite. Thinking back to the insights provided by Paige O’Neill, hiring a new team can be one of the first major tasks a CMO has to tackle in their first 100 days. When faced with this challenge, CMOs should always focus on designing a team that will align with the strategic goals of the company and that fills the current HR gaps. But one element of the process that is often overlooked is the interview—and more importantly, the interview questions. That’s where Kipp Bodnar comes in.

As a wine enthusiast, mechanical watch aficionado, and host of HubSpot’s “The Growth Show,” Kipp Bodnar, the CMO of HubSpot, loves learning from the people he interviews and encounters. Kipp’s recent article, “The Ultimate Guide to Marketing Interview Questions From HubSpot’s CMO,” made waves in the marketing community, discussing the best questions to ask in a marketing interview. On this episode, Drew turns the tables by asking Kipp to respond to the questions he wrote. Drew and Kipp also explain the best ways to hire for senior-level leadership positions and share how new professionals can prepare for the hiring process.

Click here to learn how to add these great insights to your own interviews.

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What You’ll Learn

The best marketing interview questions achieve these goals

Hiring top talent starts with asking the right questions. Kipp is an expert in sorting out expert applicants from the general pool, and he suggests CMOs use marketing interview questions that do the following:

  • Encourage open-ended responses
  • Identify if an applicant can problem solve
  • Discover if an applicant can simplify a complex topic and notice great marketing in other brands

The best applicants will demonstrate a high level of humility, motivation to learn, and an ability to listen. Getting great answers only comes from great questions. To hear the full list of marketing interview questions, be sure to listen.

Follow this advice when considering a senior-level leadership applicant

Hiring for a senior-level position is much different than hiring for marketing team members. Kipp shares his process for hiring leaders throughout his conversation with Drew. Kipp explains that during a 2-week hiring process, he will spend 20-30 hours with the applicant in a variety of settings (dinners, presentations, panel interviews, etc.) He says that if you’re going to be working closely with this applicant for the next few years, you must understand the essence of what that person is all about.

How can new marketing professionals prepare for an interview?

Preparing for an interview doesn’t have to be stressful. Kipp shares 5 main things an applicant can do to prepare for the interview process. Here they are.

  1. Become familiar with the company’s products/services
  2. Seek out and talk with existing company employees
  3. Do content research
  4. Understand the culture
  5. Come with questions of your own

The hiring process is a “unique mix of buying and selling,” as Drew explains. These insights from Kipp on marketing interview questions can help make the process smoother and more effective.

Timeline

  • [0:29] Drew explains the format for this episode of Renegade Thinkers Unite
  • [2:51] The fine art of interviewing and hiring for a marketing team
  • [4:00] Use this question to know if your applicant can problem solve
  • [8:28] Use this question to see if the applicant puts the opinion of the customer first
  • [12:14] This question determines if an applicant can pull info from a set of data
  • [17:09] Is this applicant able to understand what good marketing is all about?
  • [21:04] Can this applicant seek out and absorb information on their own?
  • [28:16] Follow this advice for hiring a senior level position
  • [30:20] These traits help people make the senior-level cut
  • [34:24] Follow these tips for preparing for an interview
  • [36:46] The main relationship between marketing and sales
  • [39:20] This one question is what Kipp hopes for in every interview

Connect With Kipp:

Resources & People Mentioned

Connect with Drew

Quotes from Kipp Bodnar

The essence of marketing is taking something that you have all the inside knowledge of, and distilling it down for an audience that's going to have very limited familiarity with it.
Marketing today is one of those things where you have to have a deep passion and joy for the work you're doing.
To be great in marketing today, you know what you have to do? Learn, and learn constantly.

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