25 Questions and Answers Written by Professional Interviewers
Question 1 of 25
How do you assist clients who are unclear on their business objectives?
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If you are not sure what exactly a client is trying to accomplish with their business plan, your job will be a whole lot trickier! What are some of your strategies for solving this problem? Before taking on a new project, having your client fill out a questionnaire that lays out their business objectives and what services they need from you will help. Think about some ways you can assist your clients through doing your own target market research to help them define their audience. You can also help them understand trends in the market that could make them more profitable if they would be willing to make some adjustments to their original plan. There are many ways you can use your analytical skills to help businesses and clients. Give an example or talk about a project in one of your courses where you used research, analysis or collaboration to help clarify objectives and move forward.
Tell me about some of your past experiences that helped prepare you for this role?
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If you don't have professional work experience in the field, you can always talk about your transferable skills. These are skills that you may have gained working in another industry that will help you to be successful in this role. As you prepare for your interview, compare the job description with your resume side by side. What experience do you have in doing research? If you have conducted focus groups in school, talk about how it contributed to your research and how you interpreted the data. Your experience working in customer service will help you as your work with your team and with clients. Discuss your attention to detail and your ability to handle the task of preparing reports and organizing information.
How do you look for vital opportunities that can take your company to the next level?
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Research, observation and team collaboration are all important aspects of advancing a product or a company forward. Think about how you are able to notice these opportunities and how you influence this movement forward. Your role in a company is to continue to analyze data on consumers and competitors, which is one way you can find these opportunities. Looking at sales of a product or service is another way you identify where changes need to be made in order to get to that next level.
Public speaking can be scary, but with practice you will be a pro! You may be giving presentations to executives and board members as you take on new projects. While this may seem daunting, all you have to do is fine tune your communication skills and learn how to talk to your audience in a relevant way. Knowing how to present the information in the form of a story can be extremely helpful in order to help your audience understand why the information is important and helpful. As you gather the information for your presentation, try practicing your storytelling skills. Think about how you came up with your recommendations. How do all the pieces come together?
Consider the challenges of your future role. How will you go above and beyond to tackle the most difficult tasks? One way to show off your skills is to talk about your accomplishments from school or work. What did you do that made your last presentation a success? How did your research positively influence the visibility and reputation of a brand? Review the job description once more to help you highlight accomplishments that are relevant to the expectations. Talking about a successful project you put together with a team or how you excelled in your internship are great examples of that speak to why any sensible employer would want to hire you.
6. Why analyze the market? The answer may seem obvious to you, but how would you explain it? Break it down as if you were talking to a client. Some of your clients may not have the knowledge to know why analyzing their target market will be so important to their future business. By saying, "Market analysis will benefit your ability to make sound decisions as you develop your product," you have already shared one way analysis is helpful. You could continue by listing how researching changing technologies and competitor activity are beneficial as well. Give a brief explanation and be sure to use terminology that is relevant to your audience. Here is an answer example: "Market analysis will benefit your ability to make sound decisions as you develop your product,"7. Have you ever persuaded management not to release a product because of the research you accumulated? Whether you have experienced this or not, it's good to think about what you would do if you found yourself in this situation. Your communication skills are vital in working cooperatively with your clients. You will need to be able to explain data in a way that is relevant. Here is an answer example: "I discovered some data that showed areas that needed significant improvement before a product could be launched. I put the information into perspective by showing the management team how my research would affect the success of their product to help them get where they want to go."8. What was your most successful research project undertaken at your last position? Show off your skills through sharing your success! You can talk about how you worked with your team in solving a problem through creating a product. Breakdown the steps you took that made the project so successful. Share how you used examined internal and external factors to design a product that would be high in demand. You can also share how you used market analysis reports, surveys or focus groups to help determine how you would market your product. Here is an answer example: 9. What is your favorite aspect of market research? You play such a vital role in the development and growth of products and companies! What tools do you enjoy using the most? How have you contributed to the success of companies in the past? How have you helped prevent failure? You have the ability to identify threats that can harm operations and help companies see the shortcomings of products in order to improve them. These are all aspects that can make your job enjoyable. Share your favorite one and talk about why you enjoy that particular aspect of your research. Here is an answer example: 10. Why do you want to work for our marketing firm? Finding a job can be tough. It can seem like a numbers game at times; you send out 25 resumes and get one interview! Once you get to the interview stage, you'll want to do further research about the company. Start with the website, reviewing their mission, values and culture. You can read employee reviews to see what their experience was like. Do your homework so that you can respond confidently.
"I was impressed when I found out about your community involvement. That is a value that is extremely important to me as well. Your mission stood out above a lot of the other companies I researched."
You can also talk about a recent news article or award they won. When you talk about mission statement or community involvement, list a few aspects that impressed you. Sometimes companies will offer PTO for volunteer hours. If that's impressive to you, say so! "Wow" them with your research! Here is an answer example: "I was impressed when I found out about your community involvement. That is a value that is extremely important to me as well. Your mission stood out above a lot of the other companies I researched."11. Are you able to offer a flexible schedule? Before going into the interview, do some research on the company, employee reviews and the job itself. Often you can find out about what to expect with hours or potential travel. If you are working for a growing start-up company, it's likely that you be working long hours. Consider telling them, "I've worked under tight deadlines that required me to work longer hours. I have no problem being flexible, coming in early or staying late as needed." Here is an answer example: "I've worked under tight deadlines that required me to work longer hours. I have no problem being flexible, coming in early or staying late as needed."12. Tell me about a great product that could gain more attention in the marketplace. How would you market the product differently? Think of a product you enjoy that few of your friends know about. Is there anything about it that you think could be improved upon? There are many great products with poor branding that could use a few simple tweaks to enhance their visibility and desirability. Gathering more data about the market and competitors could greatly improve a product's label or packaging and increase sales. Talk about a local beverage company or beauty product. Does it have a funny smell? Does the packaging look cheesy? What factors could be improved? Then, think about the research approach you would take get the information to help you make changes in the right direction. Here is an answer example: 13. Tell me about your last research project. How did the results help influence management? Think about how you interpret and explain data when presenting to the management team of a company. Talk about the topic of your research and your process. Next, talk about how you presented it to the management team, or your class, depending on the situation. What tools did you use to make the information easier to digest? Graphs, tables and written reports are useful tools. As you talk about your findings, explain what you used to analyze the data and why. Statistical software can be another helpful tool to help you interpret your findings and make recommendations. Explain how your findings will work out in the best interest of the company. Here is an answer example: 14. What was the toughest project you've worked on in the past? "My most difficult project was early in my career where I needed to make recommendations to a company based on my research. I wasn't confident in my findings or my skills because I was worried about making mistakes. I almost missed the deadline because I conducted one last focus group to confirm my findings. In the end, I was able to make recommendations that helped the business modify their product to increase sales by 20%."
Depending on your experience level, you may give an example of a school project. This example touches on a few different challenges that can occur during your market research: knowing the best tools to use and when to use them and meeting deadlines. In your example, talk about how you overcome difficulty and if possible, talk about a success with results that can be measured. Here is an answer example: "My most difficult project was early in my career where I needed to make recommendations to a company based on my research. I wasn't confident in my findings or my skills because I was worried about making mistakes. I almost missed the deadline because I conducted one last focus group to confirm my findings. In the end, I was able to make recommendations that helped the business modify their product to increase sales by 20%."15. How would you determine if the price of X product is truly the deciding factor for the consumer? There are many aspects of a product that make it valuable to its target market. First, you need to understand the buying habits of the consumer. Typically a product is designed based on a need. Some consumers will pay anything for a product. However, they may choose a particular brand because it's more reliable, durable, tastes better... the possibilities are endless. In our rapidly evolving marketplace, you would need to analyze the product against its competitors. How are they doing in sales? What do the competitors have that they don't? How do their prices compare? Here is an answer example: 16. In your experience, what are some of the tools that have been the most helpful in your market research? As a market research analyst you will use a variety of tools to help you gather and analyze the data you find in your research. Depending on the type of market research you may need to use different tools. Show your understanding of how you use these methods to understand your target market. Give an example of a tool or two that have been valuable.
"Using Marketer's Almanac and County Business Patterns have helped me work with a client who was building their online business. There are a lot of great tools that you can use for free that I've found through basic research. It depends on what information you are looking for. It all starts with asking the right questions and having a few go-to tools to get your research started." Here is an answer example: "Using Marketer's Almanac and County Business Patterns have helped me work with a client who was building their online business. There are a lot of great tools that you can use for free that I've found through basic research. It depends on what information you are looking for. It all starts with asking the right questions and having a few go-to tools to get your research started."17. How do you handle conflict in the workplace? When issues arise between you and a coworker, it can be a huge distraction, which can hinder productivity and cause significant stress to you and your team. In the same way that you need to be knowledgeable about market research tools, you also can benefit greatly from relational tools that will aid in conflict resolution. Give an example of a time when you successfully navigated a situation with a coworker. Start out by explaining the problem and then focus your attention on the steps you took to resolve it. How did you avoid drama? Were you able to stay calm and professional? How? Here is an answer example: 18. What is your favorite technique in determining the validity of a product's price? Let's start with assessing value. If a product is valuable to its market then it deserves a price. Here's an example of one technique some have found very helpful in this situation:
"Forming a comprehensive pricing strategy through creating a market research study will help you get answers directly from your target audience."
Designing questions that will help you to understand what people are looking for and how much they are willing to pay for a certain product will help you to evaluate if you are selling a product for the best price. Here is an answer example: "Forming a comprehensive pricing strategy through creating a market research study will help you get answers directly from your target audience."19. Tell me about a time you made a mistake. How did you handle it? No one wants to admit weakness in an interview. However, if you are able to frame your response properly, you can show off more of your strengths than weaknesses. Here is an answer example: "I sent an email at work without proofing it and then later realized that there were two people copied who were not suppose to know the information I shared. As soon as I noticed, I spoke to my boss and asked what I needed to do to resolve the situation. At that point, all I could do was apologize and learn from my mistake. Ever since then I am extremely careful to double check everything, whether it is an email, report or the status of a patient in critical care."20. If you were working with a company struggling to sell a product, what would you do to help them? Let's say you're meeting with a CEO of a startup trying to sell a new health beverage. They have already branded it and put it on the shelves, but sales continue to remain low. Where would you start? In answering this question, you want to show the interviewer step by step how you would work with the CEO to increase sales. That's the ultimate goal. Show how you understand all the contributing factors. Using an example like the one listed above may help you in your explanation. You could respond with, "I would start from the beginning, doing market research on competitors to see how and why they are successful, breaking it down to ingredients, taste, packaging and branding." Prepare a solid example before your interview so that you can show off your knowledge like a pro! Here is an answer example: "I would start from the beginning, doing market research on competitors to see how and why they are successful, breaking it down to ingredients, taste, packaging and branding."21. How do you stay up to date on the latest market trends? Following market trends for your industry will help the company and investors. Routine research on products or services the market is already using will keep you up to date. Talk about your online market research, surveys and your attention to trends that provide the information your company will need to stay competitive. Here is an answer example: 22. How do you stay organized? As you collect data, you will need to stay organized. Knowing where to put this information and how to interpret it is very much dependent upon your ability to stay organized. Do you use a calendar to keep track of deadlines? Do you keep a to-do list? Do you spend time each morning planning out your day? Do you take notes during meetings? Are you accustomed to having an assistant who helps you out? Give a few examples that show tools that help you to accomplish goals, meet deadlines and take care of details. Here is an answer example: 23. What factors do you think determine a success marketing strategy? Be prepared to explain each factor and why you think they are important to putting together an effective marketing strategy. There are several that are important, but we will share the three we believe to be most essential:
1) Know your customer
3) Economic environment
For your response, talk about these three factors or others that you find important when assessing and constructing a marketing strategy. How do they fit together and ultimately affect the success of the product? Here is an answer example: 24. How would you revamp our current product lineup? You may first want to ask some direct questions to make sure you have all the information you need before giving your recommendation in this scenario. First, you want to be knowledgeable about the product. If the interview gives you an example, saying that sales have been low, that gives you a place to start. Think about how you would measure the effectiveness of their current strategy. Just because sales are low doesn't mean that they are marketing to the wrong demographic. Explain the process you would recommend. Once you have all the data, how would you decide what needs to be different in order to boost sales? What is your experience in this area? Here is an answer example: 25. If you are Budweiser, trying to launch a new beer to compete with craft beers, where would you begin your research? Now is a time to put your knowledge to work! What are the steps you take in your research? Here is a sample example:
"First, you will want to gather as much information as you can about your target audience. Initially, you may not be certain who that should be. By researching the other beer companies you can find out their target audience and buying habits. In order to compete, you will need to identify what is missing. Is there an untapped market? How can you access them? Knowing that craft beer is becoming a trend, you will also want to investigate the latest news and stay up to date." Here is an answer example: "First, you will want to gather as much information as you can about your target audience. Initially, you may not be certain who that should be. By researching the other beer companies you can find out their target audience and buying habits. In order to compete, you will need to identify what is missing. Is there an untapped market? How can you access them? Knowing that craft beer is becoming a trend, you will also want to investigate the latest news and stay up to date."
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