1 Tell Me About a Project You Worked on That Failed or Didn’t Meet Expectations. What Happened and What Did You Learn?
Nobody is perfect, including product marketers! This question is meant to understand some of the challenging experiences from your past. More than that, it’s also meant to uncover how you respond to difficult situations.
What Are Companies Looking for When Hiring Product Marketers?
Product marketing can look slightly different at every company, but it often sits at the intersection of a number of disciplines and functions, including, but not limited to, customer success, marketing, product management, and sales. If you’re thinking of switching into a career in product marketing, experience working with these teams or serving in these roles can be extremely valuable and marketable.
Regardless of where you’re coming from, there are certain skills and competencies that can make you a great product marketer:
Communication skills: Product marketers must be effective communicators. Whether it’s preparing launch communications, writing a great new blog post, putting together a customer presentation, or working with a cross-functional team, product marketers must know their audience and communicate with them in a way that resonates. Product marketers also need to know how to create tight, clear, and compelling messages that sell products or communicate a vision to stakeholders.
Customer insight and empathy: Product marketers must know the customer inside and out. They must use empathy to deeply understand what their customers do, what they care about, and what challenges they face. And they must use this research and knowledge of the customer to work with product and development teams to build products that solve these customers’ challenges and craft messaging that resonates. They also must understand the market or industry as well as the competitive landscape, so they can help the team stay one step ahead. While you’ll develop customer insight over time, you can bring empathy to the table even as an entry-level candidate.
Collaboration skills: Product marketers are constantly working with stakeholders across organizations and must be effective at collaborating with diverse groups of people to achieve a goal or objective. To do this, they must have a working knowledge of what different roles entail.
Process and project management skills: PMMs must be good at managing processes and projects. During a product launch, there are lots of different activities and deadlines to hit. Having good project management skills—including organization, time management, and leadership—ensures you can stay on track and help others do the same.
Prioritization skills: Product marketers often have multiple projects and demands on their hands. Whether it’s launching a product, conducting customer research, or working on sales training, there are always going to be multiple competing priorities. Knowing what’s most important and how to focus your efforts is critical to success.
If you have these skills, or can develop them, and have a desire to be a product marketer, how can you nail your interview and land that first product marketing role? As the saying goes, “failing to prepare is preparing to fail,” which means you’ll need to start with all the important aspects of interview preparation such as:
Conducting thorough research on the company
Conducting informational interviews with employees to learn about the company culture and the team
Reviewing your past experiences and skills, and developing some stories to bring to the interview
And finally, you’ll want to make sure you prepare to answer common interview questions, but also product marketing–specific ones. To help with this, I’ve come up with some questions that you might expect in a product marketing interview as well as advice on how to answer them and example answers.
What do you think are the three essential skills for a career in marketing?
This is your opportunity to demonstrate to your interviewer that you understand what skills and abilities they’re looking for in a candidate. Your answer to this question should reference some of the skills that were outlined in the job ad like this:
“First of all, I think great communication skills are essential. A marketer needs to understand the requirements of the client and be able to present ideas and concepts. Being able to stay organized and work in a fast-paced environment is also an essential skill. I think being proactive and trying to anticipate client needs is also very valuable.”
MARKETING INTERVIEW Questions & Answers! (PASS your Marketing Executive Interview!)