How to succeed in a CRM interview
Here you are scrolling through LinkedIn and you see your next great career-enhancing role; lovely stuff! You click apply and low and behold, a recruiter is on the phone and whisking you off to an interview; even better.
You know, however, that you have sometimes struggled in interviews environments in the past, and are now unsure how to approach it.
Luckily, you read this blog just in the nick of time, and everything is going to be just fine. Here are some top tips to sail past all other candidates, and give a good enough account of yourself.
1. The Mindset
This might sound corny, but if you’re worth your weight in gold the interview should be a two-way process, and they should be just as concerned about selling themselves to you as you are to them. Ultimately, in CRM, the great candidates are in demand and often can choose between opportunities.
Go armed with your own questions, and don’t be afraid to ask about the people you would potentially work alongside – the days of the panel interview grilling are hopefully over.
That being said, there are a few businesses that still see interviews like an Alan Sugar parody where they hold all the cards. If you go to an interview like this, I’d be questioning whether it is your dream role after all.
2. The Detail
If you are in CRM/Retention and you’re going in to a role that focuses heavily on life time value on the spec, for Pete’s sake please go armed with the detail on how you have focused on KPIs around this!
It is amazing that, even at manager level, there are a lot of candidates who give top line answers that will not satisfy the hiring manager’s curiosity and understanding of your skill set.
Make a point, for example, “I developed a new process to calculate lifetime value.” However, that is the top line. Beyond that, you need to demonstrate specifically how you calculated it, what process you went through, and crucially, what the result was.
For instance, “We were able to determine that we had calculated lifetime value wrongly, and by identifying it correctly were able to ultimately incur £700,000 of additional revenue a year.”
Remember also to make sure your answers are relevant to the business model you’re interviewing for.
3. The Tools
CRM Marketers are increasingly sought after for specific tool knowledge.
If you’ve been working with Salesforce Marketing Cloud (the most in-demand product at the moment), it might be worth explaining that you have worked with this tool. If you are an advocate, then demonstrate why they might want to implement it themselves.
The CRM Marketers who are also consultants will be able to demonstrate the importance to a business in a different way than those not conversant with different platforms.
4. The Terminology
If you are interviewing with a general marketer or especially a non-marketer, you’ll probably need to think about how you explain your role.
It’s all very good speaking to your recruiter about your role in the way you speak about your role every day, as they will have learnt what the acronyms stand for and can read between the lines.
However, if you’re speaking to a CEO and saying terms like ARPU (Average Revenue Per User), you’re going to have to demonstrate what you mean.
If you’re talking about commercial metrics like churn reduction, you have to demonstrate their importance. Just treat non-marketers like dummies.
If you’re speaking to a Head of CRM, but working on a particularly technical role with Salesforce Marketing Cloud, then realistically you need to explain what the different platforms within it do.
5. The Other Stuff
There’s a lot of other stuff which is not necessarily specific to CRM/Retention that you need to ensure you’re doing also to create the right impression. Dress appropriately for one.
If you’re interviewing at a bank then suit up, and if it is a startup, then dress down, but stay smart!
Make eye contact with the person you’re speaking to. Don’t be late. Take along some examples of campaigns you’ve been working on if you want to. And most importantly of all, do your homework!
3Search is an award-winning UK recruitment consultancy, specialising in marketing, digital and tech positions. Whether you’re seeking new talent or looking for your next career move, we can help. Learn more at 3Search.co.uk