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Universal McCann, Interview
Questions

30 Questions and Answers by
| Rachelle is a job search expert, career coach, and headhunter
who helps everyone from students to fortune executives find success in their career.

Question 1 of 30

What methods do you use to determine winning advertisements from the advertisement flops?

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Universal McCann, Interview Questions

  1. 1.

    What methods do you use to determine winning advertisements from the advertisement flops?

      The hiring authority is looking to see if you can readily identify what separates a winning ad campaign from a flop. When answering this question, try to take a more technical approach, discussing the tools you use to mine and analyze data, for instance. The interviewer will want to see your ability to think critically and pivot when needed.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "To prevent total advertisement flops altogether, I lean on A/B testing. I believe many answers can come to the surface when you take the time to test a few ideas and then measure the performance of each ad against each other. I rely heavily on data, but also make sure to compare the results of different channels, as one campaign may work very well on social where another will not."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "In my current role, I have pre-determined benchmarks for KPIs such as click-through rates and quality of acquired leads. Looking at the data surrounding these targets will help me to understand better if an advertisement is a win or a loss. When an ad appears to be a flop, our team will pull it right away and give a further push to the one that is performing up to expectations."

  2. 2.

    McCann enhances its clients' brand identities by creating designs that will leave an impression in their audience's mind. Can you describe how you've have helped a client to connect with their audience using their visual identity?

      Your interviewer may ask this question to find out what experience you have with helping to build on a brand's appearance in a way that will appeal to their buyer persona. You can answer by describing design conception and testing for various forms of content, such as logos, etc.

      It's not necessary to discuss actual design steps or tools to answer, but you do want to consider understanding the customer's identity goals and their audience as part of the planning and execution process.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I recently worked with a client that wanted to revive their brand's visual appeal. I developed a good feel for the brand through many conversations, interactions with the product, and even their audience. As an account manager, my job was to help translate that feeling into words. I liaised between the client and the graphic design team to create a logo, color scheme and overall concept for the website, social media accounts, and collateral. Everything had to be consistent - our goal was for the audience to recognize instantly, even subconsciously when they came into contact with the brand's materials. I helped the client to involve other departments of their organization and their audience through testing and polls. The engagement and backing of the many people associated with the brand made this facelift a success, and once final changes were rolled out, they were embraced by most."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I am often tasked with coordinating visual branding projects in my current position. To make these projects successful, I ensure that all materials and communications related to the project are delivered to the right parties and stored properly for future reference. While handling the project's administrative tasks, I'm essentially a second set of eyes to the designers and project managers. I speak up if I see something missing or not quite right, I help with reporting on information that's needed, scheduling conferences, and ensuring we meet deadlines."

  3. 3.

    What do you believe is the most significant upcoming trend in brand design?

      McCann is often on the cutting edge of brand design and industry trends. Show the interviewer that you can keep up, but also that you have a genuine desire to be in-the-know. Perhaps you read specific blogs or books, maybe you have a favorite podcast, or are part of a design forum where you can learn from industry peers. Discuss how you research trends, and what you believe to be the best trend in design right now.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I am very keen on researching trends in design, and am fascinated by how many themes come back around decades later. Right now, I believe the most significant upcoming trend in brand design is 1980's inspired logos and designs. What was once old, is new again! We will soon see more brands that offer bold colors, patterns, and maximalism."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "Shapes and designs have always been one of the most significant considerations in brand design. Through research and observation, I have concluded that the next significant trend in branding will be geometric shapes in a minimalist format. Consumers like modern yet sleek logos that easily work on a variety of platforms."

  4. 4.

    Do you have experience presenting research and survey findings to groups of stakeholders?

      Leading presentations can be unnerving, and the interviewer wants to know how well you do with a task such as public speaking and presenting. Walk the interviewer through your experience by outlining the types of presentations you have made, to whom, and how you felt the performance went, overall.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I have presented the results of approximately 40 customer surveys to a variety of clients. In these meetings, I like to have many visuals available to help the team and stakeholders understand the data very clearly. Most of the time, the company owner or a couple of executives are present, along with members of the clients' marketing team. Overall, I am very confident in my ability to present survey and research data in a compelling and easy to understand way."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "Being new to my career I have not given formal presentations; however, I have done mock presentations in school. I believe that with more experience, and additional training, I will be able to present survey and research findings in a very clear manner."

  5. 5.

    What should an agency not do when working through the naming and slogan creation process?

      You may answer generically by explaining common blunders made during the naming process. If you've been involved in any company brand-naming blunders, you can talk about them individually and include what you learned through your experience.

      Don't be afraid to take ownership while describing a situation where you've been involved in a mistake as related to this example or any others. Being open to sharing a story that paints you in a less than perfect light and showing how you grew from the experience is often perceived as a positive.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I can tell you what not to do from an experience I've had. I was working on one of my first branding projects that included naming the company, and I was very excited. So excited that I let my vision overtake the clients. Part of the reason for this was that I thought the client needed to update their approach, and I was sure that once they saw my ideas, they'd realize the error in being too conservative. What I hadn't realized was that they wanted to be conservative because their industry as a whole, was as well. My edgy ideas didn't go over very well. The client didn't 'get' the name my team, and I came up with, and neither did their customers. All of the design and the slogan had to be redone resulting in delays, and my client was not happy. What I learned from this was that I needed to do a better job understanding my clients and keeping them involved in all decisions. During branding projects, my job is not to change my client's mind, but to help them to become the best version of what they truly are."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "Some things that an agency should not do when creating a name, slogan, and other elements of a brand are fail to complete trademark and other research to ensure that they won't infringe upon any of those that are already being used by another company. Skipping this step can cause both an agency and their client a huge loss in time and resources. Next, a company should not give their brand a name that doesn't bear the meaning of the product or service they provide. It's much easier for consumers to select a company if the name implies the solution that will be delivered. For new brands, it could mean the difference in their ability to break into their market."

  6. 6.

    McCann believes that in order for visitors to have an enjoyable experience on a website or an app, its functions and formatting should be human-centric. How does this tie into the big picture when it comes to digital strategy?

      Your answer to this question will help the interviewer see into your philosophy behind user experience, its impact, and the importance in digital strategy. First, tell the interviewer how your beliefs in user experience align with the companies digital strategy. Then explain exactly how it complements other areas of the plan as well as the direct impact it makes.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "The experience on a company's digital platforms needs to be human-centric and designed to fit in with the customer's needs. I know this from experience because I've seen campaigns where a company placed a lot of focus on collateral or different kinds of content, but when the customers made it to the website, whether because it was unattractive or they couldn't figure out how to use it, they quickly lost interest. When sufficient thought isn't given to matching the target audience's preferences to a digital platform's functionality and feel, it can contradict all other messaging and branding that's been convincing until this point. They lose trust or become confused, and this causes them not to go to the next step. In this situation, the final result for the company is negative, and they suffer a loss in sales."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "Website and app experiences that are designed with customers in mind are an essential part of digital strategy. The online platform may be the first or only place where the customer gathers an impression of a company, then decides whether or not to make a purchase. When user experience is well-planned, the website or app can become a place of comfort for the customer and allows them to feel connected with the brand. It also makes decisions easy for the customer. Being able to intuitively navigate a site to learn about product details and pricing, for example, or seamlessly follow calls to action and complete purchases lowers the resistance and pushes sales to the finish line. Finally, the positive experience creates new opportunities because happy customers often return and refer others."

  7. 7.

    With which advertising vehicles are you most familiar: billboards, print, digital, broadcast, or other?

      The interviewer wants to be sure that you bring the required expertise to work at Universal McCann. Be prepared to discuss the advertising vehicle with which you are most familiar. If you have a portfolio of work, be sure to bring it with you to the interview, ready to show examples of the most impactful ad campaigns you have created throughout your career.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "The bulk of my career is with traditional print advertising including magazines and billboards. I have spent the past three years pivoting my career more towards digital ads; however, my greatest strength remains in print advertising. I look forward to bringing my years of experience to work for McCann; strengthening your reach in the print advertising and traditional media sectors."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I am most familiar with digital content and advertisements geared toward social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn. With that said, I have excellent copywriting skills that apply to other advertising vehicles such as billboards, television, and print."

  8. 8.

    How do you learn and grow when it comes to branding, design, and marketing?

      It is essential for McCann that their team members are interested in continuous professional development. Discuss with the interviewer what you do to make sure you are on top of industry trends. Talk about what you do to keep yourself educated on new design techniques. Show the hiring authorities at McCann that you have a desire to expand your design knowledge continually.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I agree with McCann that continuous professional development is critical to my success. In addition to my degree, I recently earned my Brand Management Certificate. I enjoy taking online courses and workshops, ensuring that I remain up to date on the latest branding, design, and marketing trends."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I do a lot of reading, educating myself on topics related to marketing, design, and branding. Also, I grow and learn by committing to at least one online course per quarter. This past month I took a workshop on the psychology behind brand colors and other design elements."

  9. 9.

    In your opinion, how are promotional messages best delivered on social media?

      What are your thoughts when it comes to excellent delivery of promotions, on social media? A lot of social media efforts are free; however, this low cost means that there are so many ways to approach these platforms. Therefore, it's easy to muddle your message. Discuss with the interviewer, the types of promotional messages that are working best for you right now.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "My favorite method of delivering brand and promo messages right now would be influencer marketing. I prefer making connections with micro-influencers who get real, highly-targeted engagement. I believe micro-influencers are an excellent way for many brands to affordably get their name out there while ensuring their message is not lost in the crowd."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "The best promotional messages are delivered using crisp, professional video. I am a huge proponent of video promotions because they uphold the purpose of ads, yet - are delivered in a way that social media users feel it belongs naturally in their feed."

  10. 10.

    What are some traditional marketing methods, compared to digital marketing, that are still highly effective when incorporated and why?

      The interviewer intends to find out what marketing methods you're familiar with outside of the digital space, which you find to be most useful, and their outcome in your campaigns.

      When answering, mention only methods you employ, backing your response with meaningful examples. If your professional experience has been focused primarily on digital, you can state this. Then without over-generalizing, mention non-digital methods that are heavily in use to-date and why you believe that is.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I work with various clients that sell retail products. While loyalty campaigns can be digitized, they still provide consumers with the option to clip coupons and hold physical reward cards that can be swiped or punched during visits to accumulate points or take advantage of promotions. Loyalty cards provide exciting experiences for consumers when they check out at the cash register. Being awarded for shopping and saving money is satisfying and makes them want to return. Even more popular are coupons. By providing the customer with a coupon, you're providing an incentive to shop in a place or buy an item they may not have otherwise. Because of the discount, customers are empowered to try the product - and if they like it, it's a win on both sides."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "Traditional marketing tactics that are very effective include referral programs, telemarketing, and mailpieces. They can be overlooked, considered too aggressive, or old-school for some marketers' taste, but they do still work. Referral programs, for one, work because word-of-mouth is still one of the most popular and natural ways that people hear about products and services. A happy customer will already sing your praises, but if given an incentive to tell others about you, they become more motivated. Telemarketing is effective because when you get a prospect on the phone, you have their undivided attention for at least a few seconds. This undivided attention helps you break through to consumers that have learned to bypass electronic communications due to being constantly overwhelmed by a sea of text in emails, on social feeds, etc. Mailpieces work similarly. Since many companies have opted out of sending marketing materials through the mail, there's now less competition, and it can be easier to get a prospect to read a letter."

  11. 11.

    Research is an integral part of the brand development process. What is your analytical experience as it relates to brands?

      McCann is looking for candidates with some level of brand analytical experience. Your experience may be related to any phase of the process, as long as it is relevant to brand development or brand evaluation.

      Some areas brand analytics come in to play is in identifying target audiences, developing creative and selecting channels. These are examples, and your brand analytics experience may include other areas.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I am excited about the possible opportunity to put my brand analytical skills to use to meet the brand development needs of McCann's clients. My previous projects have allowed me to gain extensive experience in evaluating and monitoring clients' brands. Through my analyses, I have been able to identify opportunities for clients to improve their brand positions. My brand analytical experience helps me identify what measures need to be looked at to make careful brand development decisions."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "As an active team member on a brand development team, I was tasked with making recommendations on target customers and providing analytics to support them. While working towards developing my recommendations, I learned the importance of 'telling a story' through the analyses. The ability to look at 'the numbers' and build a 'story' is an important skill to have in the Brand Development process as it can help McCann's clients make the necessary strategic brand decisions."

  12. 12.

    What is the most important KPI for an advertising client?

      Advertising clients look at a multitude of KPIs when they invest in advertising efforts. When it comes to digital, some crucial factors are:

      - Click-Through Rates (CTR)
      - Cost Per Action (CPA)
      - Conversion Rate
      - Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC)

      ...and many more! Then, when it comes to print or traditional advertising, the KPIs change slightly, and there is more focus placed on things like response rates. Discuss with the interviewer what you believe to be the most important KPI for an advertising client.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I believe that the most important KPI for an advertising client is the Conversion Rate. The entire reason we launch effective advertising campaigns is to gain a larger customer base. Other KPIs are significant; however, I believe Conversion Rate to be the most important one."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "In my opinion, sales revenue it the true indicator of an advertising campaigns efficacy. Every advertising client should be able to know and understand if their inbound marketing campaign has brought them more business."

  13. 13.

    When have you led a team in creating a new digital strategy campaign for your company or a client? What was the outcome?

      The purpose of this question is to find out what your innovative potential is. It's also meant to uncover whether you have the necessary skills to drive change and influence various players involved in evolving digital strategy campaigns.

      When you answer this question, it might be tempting to rehash overhaul processes you've learned from past situations, but this is not what you want to do. You'll want to talk about your ideas and actions that have driven change.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I was once working on a large account where the client had been using the same strategies for a very long time. Their marketing team was all hard-to-convince, tenured employees who had success in the past. But as times were changing, they were losing traction. They didn't know what to do because it seemed their product remained the same, and as did their audience, but they were losing market share. They had been advertising on the same channels forever and somehow; they failed to notice their audience spending time on new platforms and adapting to new technologies. Rather than try to convince my clients with presentations, pie charts, and the traditional means, I gathered them together for interactive discussions. They all filled out forms about major purchases they'd made over the past five years, then shared them out loud. What we found from their stories was that in their personal lives, they had been receptive to new technology. For some reason, however, they believed their customers had not. Through this exercise, I connected them to the hard data I had to present and convinced them it was time to try new things."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "As a marketing coordinator with a startup, I had noticed that our digital strategy did not involve enough paid promotion. The company was operating on a very tight budget, and the business leaders would almost immediately shut down any ideas involving inorganic growth without any consideration. Rather than trying to argue this point, I took the initiative and became highly active on our company social media pages. As a result, we were receiving double the amount of leads through them after just one month. I shared this information with the sales team first, and they immediately became supportive of making enhancements in this area. With their backing and proof from my initial efforts, I was able to convince our leadership that a small investment in social media advertising had the potential to double the influx of leads, and I gained their buy-in on making it part of our strategy."

  14. 14.

    McCann is looking for candidates with a variety of experiences in consumer advertising. What types of consumer advertising projects have you worked on in an agency environment?

      Hiring managers at McCann would like to understand better your experience working in consumer advertising. Your response to this question will help managers determine if you are a good match.

      Talk about different projects or roles you have had working for advertising agencies. Projects or tasks can include writing, creative or media buying. When talking about your experiences, mention what skills you have attained through your various roles.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "While working at a few different marketing agencies, I have taken on various roles including writing and project management. My writing experience has helped me develop my communication skills across different mediums including print, radio, television and digital. My project management roles have allowed me to gain a holistic view of consumer advertising. As a project manager, I was able to understand better the process of developing consumer advertising campaigns and the role of each group within the
      agency."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "My advertising agency experience as it relates to consumer advertising includes roles in media buying and the art department. My work in the media buying department allowed me to understand better the different advertising vehicles available and the factors to consider when choosing media. While working in the art department, I learned how the creative needed to be tailored to the media vehicle and target market to deliver the message to the end consumer effectively."

  15. 15.

    Universal McCann, helps companies to build brand identities that accurately represent their core values while creating a lasting connection with their target audience. In your opinion, what is the best way to build a brand across digital platforms?

      When asking this question, your interviewer wants to hear about your knowledge of digital loyalty branding from a generalized perspective, and about the experience you have in this area. You can speak to today's standard methods and provide your opinions on them supported by market research or past professional projects.

      Don't divert into specific aspects of branding that are not directly related to the question. When speaking of a connection with the audience, you should refer to the emotions a brand evokes and the resulting relationship to their audience.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "While researching online brand loyalty campaigns in the past, I've found the first place to start is by studying the audience and their preferences. Once I've learned these, I need to concentrate on advertising efforts where they spend most of their time online in their preferred formats. Next, relatable messaging raises their awareness and interest in the brand. For example, if I wanted to promote a new video game to the tween demographic, I wouldn't try to reach on lifestyle blogs or conventional TV. Studies show that this demographic, 10-13-year-olds that love video games spend a large amount of time on YouTube, SnapChat, and newer video and photograph sharing platforms that are emerging. In my opinion, finding the audience across various platforms where they already feel most comfortable is the best way to stay in front of them, generate and hold their interest."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "In my opinion, the best approach to digital branding campaigns online is setting the foundation of what our brand truly is. What is the heart of what we do and what is our message? Next, we must ask who is moved by our message, or who is our audience? What platforms and apps do they use and hang out on, online? What motivates them and how do they make decisions? All of the answers to these questions will allow us to build a strategy to catch their interest in our brand. To retain this interest and build loyalty, I've experienced that it's effective to take cues from campaigns that have already made an impact on our audience, while testing new designs, copy, promotions, etc. that are consistent with the feel of or brand, but we also need to keep things from getting stagnant, excite, and delight. Long-term consistency in our messaging and targeting to meet our audiences' expectations over a long period to build trust is crucial."

  16. 16.

    If you could only pick one area of focus to build on and connect with a target audience, what would it be, and why?

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  17. 17.

    Storytelling has become an essential part of connecting with audiences of all kinds, and using it to market to potential customers is no exception. How can we use big data to employ this tactic in a way that resonates with their audience?

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  18. 18.

    What are your top two most effective social media advertising methods?

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  19. 19.

    Most of McCann's client advertise through digital channels. Which digital channels are you most familiar with and what has been your experience using these particular channels?

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  20. 20.

    McCann has worked with some of its clients on their content marketing strategy, which is an essential aspect of brand development. What role do you think content marketing plays in developing brands?

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  21. 21.

    An essential first step to the marketing strategy building process is conducting a market assessment centered around the Customer, Company and Competitor. Of these three, which do you feel you are most confident at assessing?

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  22. 22.

    As you may know, we help clients plan marketing strategies from start to finish. What do you believe are the critical stages of creating and implementing plans in digital strategy to ensure their success?

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  23. 23.

    What is an example of a small detail that can make a big difference in marketing?

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  24. 24.

    What steps would you take to build lasting relationships with our clients and clearly communicate what we can offer to our clients?

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  25. 25.

    What do you find to be the most difficult aspect when helping clients build their marketing strategies?

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  26. 26.

    Describe your experience working with digital advertising.

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  27. 27.

    In your opinion, what are the most significant factors to a successful brand design?

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  28. 28.

    What have you done to increase your knowledge and experience working in consumer advertising in an agency environment?

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  29. 29.

    Describe a time when a video marketing strategy you worked on was not as successful as you hoped. What lessons did you learn from the experience?

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  30. 30.

    Helping clients with their brand strategy is one of the first phases of brand development. How can your experience with brand strategies be of value when working with McCann's clients?

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