Make sure this is the job for you…
Remember, when the job interviewer asks you “Do you have any questions?” this is your chance. Don’t come back with “no, you’ve covered everything”. There’s always more to be asked. If you don’t use this opportunity to close off your queries, ask your questions and REALLY understand what this company/job will do for your Paid Media career, then I might as well go home.
By all means, ask the “So what are the next steps?” or “Is there anything you’d like me to further elaborate on?” or any from our list of general questions you should be asking at job interviews. But if you’re in pursuit of a specialist career, there are many more important questions to poise. Questions you really should really know the answers to, to know if this is the company to take your Performance Marketing, Paid Search or Paid Social career further.
The last thing in the world you want is to choose, yes choose, to accept an offer for a Paid Media job that you’re not going to like in a couple of weeks or even a month’s time. Or even, one that could be detrimental to your career! Dare I call it a red flag job?
So, what should you be asking?
It’s difficult to categorise the questions as they can come from every angle. Never feel afraid to ask questions. If the company is not willing to answer them it would raise a red flag to me – perhaps even offer to sign an NDA which should cover-off any confidentiality reasons to giving those additional insights.
Company policies and processes…
I spoke with Chris, the interim Paid Media Team Lead at agency, Evoluted and he suggested asking about policies and processes. These should flush out any red flag situations. It will highlight how much thought and attention has been invested to ensure employees receive the support and opportunities they deserve.
Q. What resources and initiatives are in place for Personal Development and Training?
- Do you have work hours reserved each month for PD?
- Is there a budget for new training courses/events or an existing library of resources?
- If there is an event or course you want to do, how will the company support you in attending it?
Q. What is the work-life balance like and what processes are in place to maintain a healthy and happy workforce?
- Are you expected to do overtime or be contactable outside of work hours? (If there’s overtime is it paid, and how is it tracked?)
- What should you do if you feel like you’re struggling or need support?
Q. What can I expect from my first three months in the role?
- You want to hear about an onboarding process, a chance to get familiar with the team and accounts before being thrown into the deep end.
- How many clients can you expect to be managing when you first join and how will this change over the 3 months?
- Do they mention anything regarding training, socials or monthly reviews
Q. What opportunities are there for career progression within the business?
- Monthly 1-1s and annual pay & performance reviews are a must.
- Follow up by asking what a monthly 1-1 or annual review usually consists of.
- Ask when the last pay and performance reviews were and when the next set will be.
Focusing on the job itself…
Chris’s colleague, PPC Specialist, Alisha shared the question below as it shows what the interviewer likes about the workplace but could also reveal other benefits of working at the company that might not have been shared.
Q. What do you enjoy the most about working at the company?
Other questions I’d specifically like to ask the hiring company if I were being interviewed for a Paid Media job are:
Q. How has Paid Media been done previously?
- Lots of possible scenarios. If inhouse, there might be an established team you’d join or perhaps it’s outsourced to an agency/contractor and you’re the first specialist hire. Or at an agency, are you the first hire in the team? Has it been delivered under someone’s umbrella and they’re still in the team but in another role and you’ve got to pick up their reins? Or is it an expanding team, doing exceptional work but under-resourced so you’d be a valued new addition to this team? These are VERY different scenarios and good to understand before starting!
Q. Is my role/career path an individual contributor role or involves people management?
- Were you hoping for people management? Or maybe you don’t want to lead a team.
Q. What’s the split of work for paid search, paid social, display, Amazon etc?
- Does this play to your strength? If it doesn’t, how can the company support you, with additional training or are there other members of the team with those skills already?
Q. What type of client work is there and what budgets are involved?
- Are clients SMEs or enterprise brands? Are we talking six-figure budgets or just £100’s here and there? It’s good to get a gauge of the scope and scale of work you’ll be walking into.
Q. What are the goals for this role and paid media in general?
- Are they realistic? Is senior management invested in paid advertising and do they understand the metrics? In reality, do you think you’re up for the challenge?
Q. What cross-over collaboration is there with other channels?
Q. Who has sign-off on strategy, campaigns, and budgets?
- Understanding the decision-making process can be helpful. It can be frustrating if seeking approval is a time-consuming, convoluted process.
Q. How many clients will I inherit to service?
- I’ve heard of agencies with a huge portfolio of clients (50+) per team member. I’ve no idea how they’re able to service them or provide any quality of service. You just wouldn’t ever see this clientside but if at an agency, you’d have to keep your eyes open as to how many clients you’ll be expected to service. IMO up to 5 is reasonable, more I’d begin to question how.
Q. Are there account managers on those accounts?
- Again in reference to agency Paid Media jobs. Some agencies assign account managers to clients. For some Paid Media folks this distances them from direct client contact, whilst others enjoy that they’re shielded from being client-facing. Just knowing how the agency structures its team can be helpful.
Q. Will I be expected to get involved in the pitching of new business?
- Pitching for new business is very different from executing paid media campaigns. Better to know if this is part of the role, as it’s not the case for every job although as you become more senior it’s more likely.
You shouldn’t ever feel afraid from asking questions during an interview. It’s not the Victorian age where you must doff your hat and be grateful for every morsel. You can take a lot more control in your career as a Paid Media professional by asking any of the above questions to your interviewer. Their answers will build a more true reflection of the job opportunity if you’re lucky enough to get a job offer. You can then consider if you really want it and if it is offering you the career move you’re looking for.
Good luck and if you’re looking for support with your digital marketing career journey, either specialist or holistic digital marketing jobs, take a look at our job board or email your CV to our recruiters at firstname.lastname@example.org! Alternatively, follow us on social media for more tips and tricks to help with your job search.
Other career development articles you might be interested in reading are:
💼 What questions should I be asking at an SEO interview?
💼 How to successfully ask for a pay rise