Chief Marketing Officer Interview Questions to Ask

A hiring manager interviews a chief marketing officer candidate.

When hiring a chief marketing officer (CMO), you’re searching for high-performing candidates who can lead and inspire your marketing team. These professionals oversee your marketing plans, track your budget, and drive revenue. It’s critical to ask chief marketing officer interview questions that help you discover which candidates are likely to thrive in your open role.

In this article, we share four types of questions to ask candidates in your interview, including:

  • technical questions
  • skills-based questions
  • situational questions
  • behavioral questions

This way, you can be sure to get the necessary skills, personality, and experience details that you need to make an informed hiring decision. Ready to find a great-fit candidate to lead your marketing team? Here’s what to ask.

Technical Interview Questions

Some of the most essential chief marketing officer interview questions to ask candidates — especially the high-level professionals you’ll be interviewing for a CMO position — test candidates on their technical knowledge of the job. These are the marketing concepts and tactics your CMO should know coming into the role, such as the basics of strategy, budget management, and branding.

To gauge your candidates’ technical acuity, ask the following:

  • How would you design and implement a marketing strategy for our business?
  • How would you manage our marketing budget?
  • What metrics would you use to measure the return on investment of various marketing campaigns?
  • What is an example of how brand strategy supports a strong marketing campaign?
  • What marketing tools and technology are you familiar with?
  • How could our team leverage marketing tools and technology to improve our marketing efforts?
  • What marketing channels can be used to attract and retain our customers?
  • How would you implement the latest social media trends in our marketing campaigns?

Skills-based Interview Questions

Not only do you want to know which technical skills candidates possess, but you also want to understand their ability to communicate, offer creative solutions, and be a dependable leader, among other valuable soft skills. Effective skills-based chief marketing officer interview questions include:

  • Tell us about a time you had to solve a complex marketing problem. What was the situation, and how did you solve it?
  • Give an example of a highly successful marketing campaign you created. What made it a success?
  • How do you like to lead and motivate your team?
  • Describe a time that you mentored an employee. How did it impact their professional development?
  • What is an example of a time when you used data and analytics to influence a marketing decision?
  • Describe a time when a marketing campaign or strategy you created failed. What did you learn from it?

Situational Interview Questions

CMOs will need to make split-second decisions that can impact the success of your marketing program. This is why it’s important to hire candidates who are creative and quick-witted. The following situational interview questions will help you evaluate how well your interviewee can use their creativity and critical thinking skills to address a hypothetical situation that will likely happen in their role:

  • If one of our competitors launched a similar product, what steps would you take to ensure we stayed ahead of the competition?
  • If we had limited marketing resources and had to choose between investing in leads and search engine optimization, which would you prioritize and why?
  • If you inherited a marketing team with low morale, how would you turn the team around?
  • Suppose we had an unintentional brand crisis. What would be your strategy for handling the controversy?
  • In what ways would you experiment with innovative marketing approaches and tactics to stay ahead of the curve?

Behavioral Interview Questions

While situational chief marketing officer interview questions focus on hypothetical scenarios, behavioral questions uncover how the candidate has responded to various scenarios that have happened in the past. These questions can be used as an indication of how the candidate might behave in similar future scenarios or serve as a jumping-off point for a discussion about what they’ve learned as a result:

  • Describe your experience in creating and implementing marketing strategies. What were your most significant accomplishments?
  • Tell me how you manage teams and work collaboratively with other departments to achieve your marketing goals.
  • How would you describe your leadership style?
  • How have you successfully communicated your vision to your team and upper management?
  • How have you resolved conflicts with team members or other departments

Work Culture Questions

When hiring a CMO, it’s important that the candidate enjoys and fits into your company culture. This ensures that whomever you hire will mesh well with their team and perform optimally. You can interview for culture fit by asking candidates the following questions:

  • If you could choose your ideal work environment and team, how would you describe what you’re looking for?
  • What were the best parts about working in your previous role? What were the worst parts?
  • If your employees were to ask for a better work-life balance, how would you respond?
  • Which of our company values speaks to you most and why?

Other Chief Marketing Officer Interview Questions to Ask

Don’t forget to open your interview with a few questions that make candidates comfortable and break the ice. These could be simple questions, such as “How did you find out about this position,” or, “What attracted you to working in the marketing industry?” Then be sure to close the interview by asking if the candidate has any questions for you about the job or the next part of the process. This leaves the floor open for the candidate and helps to leave the interview on a positive note.

Also, be sure to use an interview checklist so you can be prepared to interview candidates and know what you will be asking in advance. This will also help you keep the interview running smoothly, ensure you ask candidates the same questions so it’s easier to compare answers, and reduce pre-interview stress.

Find Your Next Great CMO

Now that you have a list of strong chief marketing officer interview questions, it’s time to create your job post and get interviewing. Sign up for a free trial with Monster to reach over a million qualified candidates today.