A good and committed brand manager is key to building and sustaining brand recognisability. So, you must ask all the right questions during the hiring process. In a sea of questions, which ones reveal important skills? Which ones lead you to the perfect applicant?
We’ve compiled a list of questions to help you screen your ideal candidate and improve your candidate experience. After posting open job opportunities, we’re here to help you identify each applicant's skills, red flags, and expertise.
What Technical Questions should you ask a Brand Manager in an Interview?
Hiring managers employ technical questions to gauge a candidate’s skill level, information processing, and overall technical ability which is normally mentioned in the job description. Let’s discuss some examples.
Q) What is your experience with brand positioning and differentiation?
A candidate must begin by reflecting on their understanding of what these phenomena are. A good brand manager will know how to evaluate their brand's position and competition in a crowded marketplace. Their answer must confirm they know how to develop unique selling propositions and messaging that make the brand stand out.
Q) How do you ensure and maintain consistency across brand touchpoints?
A good response demonstrates an applicant’s understanding of brand consistency. The potential brand manager must have an excellent grasp of the company identity and brand guidelines. They must highlight how they ensure consistency in messaging, identity, and brand voice.
Q) What is your strategy to stay updated with the latest industry trends and changes?
While there is no set strategy to market research and learning, a good response will reflect curiosity, adaptability, and a genuine interest in industry trends. The candidate must display a commitment to professional development and familiarity with industry publications, leading giants, and experts who feed changing trends.
Other possible technical questions you can ask:
- Have you ever led a rebranding campaign? If so, how did you go about it?
- What are your tools to measure the success of a brand campaign?
- What are your opinions on brand partnerships and the value they add to brand presence?
What Technical Skills should a Brand Manager have?
A competent brand manager should possess several essential technical skills. Firstly, proficiency in brand measurement and analytics is crucial to make data-driven decisions and optimize brand strategies. This includes developing KPIs, tracking performance, and enhancing campaign effectiveness. Additionally, market research skills are vital to gain insights into industry trends, consumer behavior, and competitors, enabling managers to tailor campaigns to their audience's preferences and establish a distinctive brand identity. Moreover, the ability to define and maintain brand voice and tone across all platforms ensures effective messaging and better connections with the audience. It’s important to follow up on this after the brand voice is communicated to the applicant as part of the onboarding practices.
What Behavioural Questions should you ask a Brand Manager in an Interview?
Behavioural questions help understand an applicant using their past experiences, to predict their future behaviour or learning. Here are some examples you can use.
Q) Can you tell me about a time when you had to work with another department to execute a branding campaign?
The ideal brand manager will have excellent collaboration and cross-functional skills. This question aims to assess how well the candidate can work with other teams. Those may be marketing, sales, growth, or HR; to execute a successful branding campaign. Additionally, the idea must reflect how well they manage communication, fix goals, and ensure meeting deadlines.
Q) Walk us through your management strategy to stay within budget and time constraints for a brand campaign.
A good answer will indicate a thorough and step-by-step procedure to stay within budget and deadlines. While there is no winning strategy, a good answer will reflect organization, ability to develop clear KPIs, crisis management, and more. It’s better if the candidate includes an example of a past brand campaign that reflects their management strategy.
Q) Describe a time when you had to use previous data to devise a creative and original branding campaign. How did you arrive at the concept?
This question analyses an applicant’s ability to use data-driven insights to drive their decision-making, market research, and collaboration skills. It also measures how creative and authentic they are in designing unique campaigns for the brand. A good brand manager will also account for the type of audience they work for; hence, the answer should reflect that.
For more behavioural questions, consider:
- Elaborate on a time you had to change the brand campaign strategy or idea after work on it had begun.
- Can you tell us about your most successful brand campaign?
- Recount a time when you had to make a difficult decision regarding brand management. What was the decision and how did you navigate it?
You Can Also: Generate Free Interview Questions to find the best behavioural questions for your brand.
What Behavioral Skills should a Brand Manager have?
A competent brand manager should possess essential behavioral skills to excel in their role. Collaboration is crucial as brand managers work with various departments and stakeholders to execute effective brand strategies. This skill helps build strong relationships within teams and fosters the creation of unique and seamless branding solutions. Additionally, having a strong vision is vital for setting a clear direction for the brand, guiding decision-making, and planning for future goals and potential crises. A brand manager with crisis management skills can effectively respond to negative publicity or feedback, minimize damage, preserve brand reputation, and ensure customer satisfaction, essential attributes for navigating challenges in the brand's growth trajectory.
What Soft-Skills Questions should you a ask a Brand Manager in an Interview?
Soft skill questions are a necessary ask as they help you assess how flexible and adaptable candidates are to multiple situations. Let’s discuss some examples.
Q) How do you go about setting and clarifying expectations, goals, and roles to your team members?
An ideal candidate will talk about their approach to teamwork and leadership. Their answer will reflect an ability for goal setting, time management, and smooth communication. A good leader will not only set and clarify goals, but also motivate their team to meet them. Therefore, a crucial component of this answer is gauging how inspiring and riveting the candidate can be.
Q) What is your approach to handling negative feedback or criticism from clients or followers about your brand?
A good brand manager will carry the ability to take constructive criticism and feedback. Therefore, a valuable answer indicates a manager’s ability to face negative feedback or upset clients with professionalism. They must display empathy and take accountability for any mishaps. Criticism should not be taken as an issue; instead, a good candidate holds it as a learning opportunity to grow and better performance.
Q) How do you persuade stakeholders to buy into a branding strategy or initiative?
This question attempts to gauge a candidate’s business and communications skills with external partners or clients. Additionally, the candidate should demonstrate their ability to develop a clear strategy, communicate effectively, tailor their approach to each stakeholder, address concerns, and build trusted partnerships.
To assess more soft skills, you can also ask:
- How would you react to a situation where you found out a co-worker was dishonest at work?
- Tell us about a time you encountered conflict with a colleague or team member and how you got through it?
- How do you prioritize multiple branding initiatives, projects, and deadlines?
What Soft-Skills should a Brand Manager have?
A successful brand manager should possess essential behavioral skills to excel in their role. Leadership is paramount, as they must lead and motivate their team to work towards common goals and create a thriving environment. Effective communication is vital for delivering brand values to the audience, stakeholders, employees, and clients, using straightforward and consistent messaging. Moreover, emotional intelligence plays a crucial role, enabling them to refine leadership and communication skills while understanding consumer and stakeholder needs and fostering a positive work environment. Alongside technical expertise, a good brand manager recognizes the importance of EQ when collaborating with teams and crafting the brand identity. These skills combined empower the brand manager to drive the brand's success and create a meaningful impact.
Red flags to look out for when Interviewing a Brand Manager
- Limited Data Analysis Skills: Inadequate data analysis skills may lead to inaccurate decision-making and hinder brand growth.
- Lack of Experience with Measurement and Management Tools: Incompetence in using measurement and management tools can result in suboptimal planning and ineffective adjustments to brand strategies.
- Hazy Understanding of Collaboration: Poor collaboration abilities may damage relationships with stakeholders, partners, and clients, leading to miscommunication and delays.
- Lack of Time Management Skills: Insufficient time management can result in delayed projects and rushed, subpar results, impacting the brand's overall representation.
- Lack of Strategic Thinking: Brand managers without strategic thinking skills may struggle with effective communication, market research, and goal prioritization, hindering brand performance.
- Risk-Aversion: Being risk-averse can lead to unremarkable and overused brand campaigns, limiting the brand's ability to stand out and gain traction.
Now that you have read our guide, the perfect brand manager is just an interview away. If you’re looking for more advice, our complete hiring guide can help!