5 Traits Employers are Looking for in a Marketing Specialist

Updated: May 10, 2019



It’s an exciting time to join the marketing profession! Nearly every day, new technology disrupts old forms of media and advertising. Not only that, today’s consumers have high expectations.

They won’t settle for boring or lazy marketing strategies. If you’re someone who thrives on innovation, you can look forward to a playground of creative opportunities.


Ready to start your marketing career? We want to help you make the best impression during your interview. Learn the top five traits employers are seeking in a Marketing Specialist and how to make sure they shine through in your answers.


1. Collaborator


Modern marketing requires the skills of many creative professionals. Marketing strategists, web developers, graphic designers, copywriters – the list goes on. Working together effectively is critical for success. In addition, marketing touches every aspect of an organization, so you’ll probably collaborate with individuals throughout your company and external vendors. Employers want to see that candidates work well as part of a team and can communicate professionally.


Questions they might ask to see if you’re a collaborator:

• Tell me about a challenging project that required a team effort.

• How would you deal with a coworker who’s not helpful or nonresponsive?


How to show them you’re a collaborator:

• Talk about when you worked as part of a team, what your role was, and how you contributed

• Share a time when you interacted with people different from you and how you built trust

and relationships

• Describe how you communicate with a team to keep the project on track and an instance when you took a leadership role


2. Storyteller


In a crowded online space, it’s never been more important for marketers to understand the power of a good story. Marketing is about creating an emotional pull that’s also memorable. But don’t worry, you don’t have to do a song and dance at the interview! Employers want someone who can share a story that captures interest quickly, educates the audience, and leaves a lasting impression.


Questions they might ask to see if you’re a storyteller:

• Tell me about yourself.

• What is your greatest strength/weakness?


How to show them you’re a storyteller:

• Respond to several of your interview questions with a prepared story that has a memorable

and interesting aspect

• Talk about your motivation for pursuing marketing with an animated story that shows

your enthusiasm

• Practice any stories with friends and family to get feedback on your body language and tone


3. Adaptable

The speed of change in the marketing field is unprecedented and it’s not slowing down any time soon. To be an effective marketer, you must be flexible and anticipate change. Equally important, you need to explore new trends and technologies, so you’re prepared for what lies ahead. Employers want to see that you’re open to new ideas, have a sense of curiosity, and the motivation to seek out new ways of doing things.


Questions they might ask to see if you’re adaptable:

• How do you handle competing priorities?

• Where do you see yourself in five years?


How to show them you’re adaptable:

• Talk about a time when you were in the middle of a project and the priorities changed drastically, then explain how you handled the changes

• Share how you stay updated on the latest marketing trends (identify specific thought leaders, companies, podcasts, websites)

• Convey your excitement for learning and growing and describe your continuing education plans


4. Creative

When we say creative, we’re not just talking about coming up with great ideas and concepts for an ad campaign or YouTube video. You also need to be creative in stretching the marketing budget, trying new tactics, or seeing your audience in a new light. Sometimes time and financial constraints give rise to the most creative ideas. Employers want to see candidates who are natural problem-solvers. In other words, they want individuals who view problems as creative challenges.


Questions they might ask to see if you’re creative:

• What’s your greatest accomplishment?

• How do you handle pressure or challenges?


How to show them you’re creative:

• Share your proudest creative moment, whether it was a great idea, design, strategy, or solution

• Talk about a situation where you were under pressure to solve a problem and how you

came through

• Describe a time when you thought outside the box or offered a different perspective to your team


5. Good Cultural Fit


As we discussed above, marketing team members collaborate with individuals throughout the organization. The Marketing Specialist is often in the position of asking for help. You might need budget information from Finance, blog approval from Legal, or brand guidelines from a graphic designer. If you’re not operating within the cultural “rules” of their workplace, it’s harder to get

your job done. Employers want to know that you’ll be able to quickly and effectively navigate

their culture.


Questions they might ask to see if you’re a good cultural fit:

• How would your friends and family describe you?

• How would you create positive work relationships with your coworkers?


How to show them you’re a good cultural fit:

• Learn as much as you can about the company culture by researching the company website,

social media, any online reviews – and incorporate this knowledge into your answers

• Share an example of how you adjusted to a new work environment and how you learned to understand the culture and expectations


Now that you know what employers are looking for in a Marketing Specialist, you’ll be better prepared for your next job interview. Keep these five traits in mind as you think through your answers and you’ll be one step ahead of your competition.

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