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Hiring Marketers: The Three-questions Interview

Norman Guadagno

Finding good marketers is harder than it should be, whether you’re a CMO hiring someone for your team or hiring an agency. 

The interviewing process, especially, is often fraught with uncertainty, lacks precision and is highly subjective. The best interviewers realize that capitalizing on that subjectivity is a proven strategy for making informed hiring decisions.

Having worked as both a client-side marketer and in the agency world, I have seen a lot of very different approaches to interviews. From highly structured and formal interviews to more free-form styles; from interviews that focus on practical experience and problem solving to those that try to understand work styles and individual strengths. Given all of these approaches, I have tried to create a way to focus specifically on marketers and the questions that seem to make a difference. 

So there is no confusion: I am not suggesting these questions as a substitute for understanding skills, experience, and other objective qualifications. If you want to hire someone to lead demand generation, it helps if they have done demand generation in the past. (Likewise for any specific discipline within marketing, from creative to social to traditional product marketing.) Make sure you find the most highly qualified people and agencies, and then consider the following to guide your final decision. 

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Norman Guadagno

Norman Guadagno is senior vice president of marketing strategy at Wire Stone, an independent digital marketing agency based in San Francisco.