Jun 1, 2023

The Ultimate Digital Marketing Interview Checklist

by Digital Marketing Institute

If you’re new to the world of digital marketing, there’s a good chance you won’t have developed a specialty yet. However, if you want to specialize or have a unique set of skills to highlight, you should be prepared to discuss these – so long as it’s relevant.

It’s important to know that many jobs in digital marketing have a bit of a crossover, so you’ll want to demonstrate your knowledge across a breadth of topics.

So here's a handy checklist of things you should have some knowledge of to ace your interview. 

Know a Little About Online Advertising

Even if you’re not working in sales and advertising, it’s a good idea to understand the different ways that people advertise online.

For instance, you should know a little bit about Pay-Per-Click (PPC) marketing, a digital ad strategy where people pay every time an ad is clicked. It's effective as a well-crafted PPC ad can boost your brand awareness by nearly 80 percent. 

You’ll also want to be clear on the difference between using ads for branding, which typically incorporates things like YouTube ads and display ads, and direct marketing, which is more about a target audience and typically uses things like search ads. 

Google Ads is another thing you’ll want to be able to discuss, as it’s a common channel used in companies and agencies to create a mix of online advertisements aimed at specific segments of your target audience.

Show Off Your Writing Abilities

Digital marketing is all about communication – not only with your audience but also with a diverse range of colleagues and clients. Even if you’re not a copy or content writer, employers need to know that you can communicate. 

So think about instances where you've used your writing or communication skills. This could be simply helping to write the copy for a campaign or creating a brief for a creative agency. 

If you're on the tech end of things, you should show that you understand code, analytics, or even video. While this may not be 'writing' per se, the point is that you want to demonstrate your capacity to communicate in the relevant language.

Know the Lingo

You should be prepared to talk about the benefits of digital marketing over traditional marketing and the ways that the two can still work together to make a strong campaign.

Here are some points you may want to bring up to discuss the differences between the two types of marketing:

  • Traditional methods of marketing are still useful and effective (print or TV advertising) but are more powerful when used in conjunction with digital marketing channels
  • Digital marketing typically delivers a greater Return on Investment (ROI) than traditional marketing
  • Digital marketing generates more leads and can drive engagement  instantly
  • Digital marketing can be localized and personalized
  • Digital marketing campaigns can be easily measured using data, analytics and tracking
  • It's easier to optimize digital marketing campaigns or activities

It’s a great idea to have one or two outstanding digital or integrated marketing campaigns in mind if you don’t have a lot of your own experience to draw from.

Know About the Customer Journey

Customer journey map
Customer journey map

Being an effective digital marketer is all about understanding traffic flows – where your traffic is coming from, why it’s going away (if it’s dropping or shifting), and everything in between. So, having a good grasp of the customer or buyer’s journey is crucial especially when you're using multiple channels and combining traditional digital marketing.

You should focus on two key areas when talking to customers: retention and conversion. If you’re on the content or social end, you’ll want to also be discussing different activities you do to generate and nurture leads as well.

Always frame your points in the context of the user experience, and try to talk beyond ROI and profits when discussing the buyer’s journey.

Understand the Difference Between Digital Marketing & Traditional Marketing

Do you know the difference between a KPI (Key Performance Indicator) and API (Application Programming Interface)? How about a CRO (conversion rate optimization) or CTR (Click Through Rate)? 

There are plenty of acronyms that could be hurled at you out of the blue in an interview, so be sure to get familiar with them first.

Check out our all-in-one online glossary to familiarize yourself with the key digital marketing terms. 

Understand SEO

Search Engine Optimization, more commonly referred to as SEO is a way for a brand to get seen. It's a tactic that marketers use to make a company and its products or services more visible online. 

SEO is important because it drives traffic, which means more opportunities to convert prospects into customers. So the higher up you rank on a Google search (or Bing or Yahoo) then the more likely you are to get clicks. 

Some of the crucial areas of SEO are:

  • Keywords
  • Backlinks
  • Optimized content
  • Mobile-friendliness
  • Page speed

SEO is also becoming increasingly important in content creation. Understanding search intent helps create content that's relevant and useful. Check out our 'Guide to SEO Writing' for more info. 

Know the Key Tools & Resources

Talk in detail about the ways in which you keep your campaigns organized but also the tools you use to get the job done well. Choose one or two key tools that fit your specialty so you can discuss how they helped you to accomplish goals i.e. drive leads.

If the job requires in-depth knowledge of something, it should state in the ad, but even if not, would-be employers need to know that you are competent in using online resources and SaaS (Software as Service) tools to ensure efficiency.

  • Mailchimp is a popular and user-friendly tool for email marketing. It offers plenty of different templates and is very easy to use. Not only that but you can use it to create sales funnels for leads, nurturing and engagement.
  • MOZ is a reputable go-to tool for all things SEO and they’re committed to offering a well-rounded information base for people of all knowledge levels.
  • Buffer will help you manage all of your social media needs including scheduling, engagement and analytics.
  • SEM Rush and BuzzSumo help you figure out your optimal SEO by checking out competitors’ behavior and overall rankings.

This will demonstrate that you are adaptable, resourceful, and able to learn on your own (definitely highlight areas where you’re self-taught or have a certification to prove your knowledge). 

Get to Grips with Analytics

Digital marketing is all about measurement. In order to make a campaign or ad better, it's important to know what's working and what's not. This way you can optimize your campaigns or content so it's speaking to and directed at the right people at the right time. 

Most digital marketing roles require analytical knowledge. Whether that's simply using Google Analytics 4 to measure content performance or tracking customer journeys. So make sure you have knowledge of analytics and show evidence of gaining insights from data.

This could be as simple as analyzing the best times to post on Instagram so you increase engagement. 

Be Able to Engage an Audience

Depending on what end of the expertise spectrum you are in, you should be able to show that you understand exactly how to engage an audience.

Examples of important areas to know about are buyer personas (after all you need to know who you're talking to actually engage them), what channels deliver the best engagement rates (e.g. Facebook is the best social channel to drive traffic to your website), how to rank in search engines (this requires you to use SEO and content types (what content drive engagement, is it video, blogs or webinars). 

Ultimately you need to understand what attracts, engages, and influences an audience using digital channels. 

Your Digital Marketing Interview Round-Up

No matter what background or certifications you have, potential employers want an understanding of not just what you do, but how you do it. Here are some practical things you can do to demonstrate your knowledge, skills and passion.

  • Create a demo website or portfolio
  • Be active on social media (you don't have to be on all the networks, just choose one or two and participate)
  • Hone your soft skills and have examples of times when you used them (we're talking about things like collaboration, communication, creativity or problem-solving)
  • Be vocal about your accomplishments (you may not think they matter but people want real-life examples)
  • Make a list of your strengths and weaknesses (this is a common question in interviews)
  • Keep up with digital trends and developments through blogs, podcasts or webinars 
  • Use key digital marketing tools so you have a working knowledge of them (e.g. GA4, Mailchimp, Asana, Zoom or BuzzSumo)
  • Keep your LinkedIn profile and website up-to-date and relevant
  • Link your past experience directly to a job/position, even if it seems unrelated
  • Know the lingo and use it in the interview
  • Talk with passion about digital marketing

Good luck!

Boost your Digital Marketing Knowledge & Credibility

Interviews can be tough, so it's important to do all you can to stand out. The Digital Marketing Institute sets the standard for digital marketing and offers certifications that are informed and recognized by industry. Our Professional Diploma in Digital Marketing will not only teach you the fundamentals but explore key areas such as social media, SEO, email, analytics, strategy and much more. Save your place today! 

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