Google+ The Marketing Survivalist: Don’t Give Me a Tour of Your Company. Give Me a Tour of Your Marketing!

Don’t Give Me a Tour of Your Company. Give Me a Tour of Your Marketing!

Did you ever go on one of those interviews that ended with a tour of the company’s facilities? You pass by rows and rows of cubicles… “This is marketing.” This is support.” “And this is our finance department.” You’re still so wound up from the interview that you couldn’t remember anybody’s name or department any more than you could remember the way back to the conference room you came out of.

The whole process seems at best anti-climactic. But more than that, it doesn't really tell me what I need to know.

Don’t get me wrong. Your people are important. After all, they are your biggest asset. (It says so right on your website.) I can already tell from our discussions that I am a cultural fit for your organization and I’m sure I will love working with the team.

What I can’t tell yet, and I am dying to know, is how much value I can really add. I’m sure I can fulfill the functions on the job description or I wouldn’t be wasting your time and mine. But you want someone who adds real value and not someone who just fills a slot on a chart. And, to fully understand my value-add, I need to get my hands on your marketing.

Just once, I’d like to be able to conduct the interview instead of the other way around. Here are a few questions I would ask:

1. What are your marketing KPIs?
2. Show me your website stats. I want to see what kind of traffic you are getting and where it’s coming from.
3. Tell me about your lead management process. Do you think it’s working well? (Please be upfront with me. I will keep everything confidential.)
4. Tell me about the relationship between marketing and sales. What opportunities do they have to collaborate?
5. What sales tools has marketing created for the team? How well are they being used? (I’d love to speak to a sales person)
6. What is your value proposition?
7. How are you generating the majority of your leads?
8. Do you have a lead nurturing program?
9. How does the organization feel about social media tactics like Twitter and blogging? (I need to know how forward thinking you are or if you are going to expect me to do the same things you’ve always done.)
10. What is your annual marketing budget? (Always good to know what you have to work with.)
11. Tell me about the marketing team. Who are the stars? Who needs coaching or mentoring?

There’s more, but this should give me enough details to know where I can make the greatest impact, or if I am better off looking for someone else who really needs me.

I know that many of the executives and HR managers who conduct the interviews may not be able to answer those questions. After all, one of the reasons they need someone like me is because they don’t have time for the details and they need someone who can steer the ship toward their vision. That’s why I’d prefer a round of interviews with several members of the team.

It goes without saying that I’d share my ideas and give my thoughts on the kind of impact I could have on your organization. In the end, you’d gain valuable insights even if we decided that I wasn’t the right fit. And, if I was, we’d both feel a lot more comfortable with the decision.

The other nice thing about the reverse-interview is that it’s a lot easier on the interviewer. No more sitting through a lot of rambling answers from people who aren’t qualified, can’t get to the point or just aren’t giving you enough info to get a feel for their fit.

What do you think? As a hiring manager or an interviewee, would this work for you?

All the best!
Melissa Digg Technorati Delicious StumbleUpon Reddit BlinkList Furl Mixx Facebook Google Bookmark Yahoo


  1. i'm glad to have visited your blog and good to know you! I find it interesting and informative

  2. Love this post Melissa! I agree the interview really should be more like a conversation with both parties asking questions.


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