As Marketing recruitment headhunters, we’re often asked for a list of the best Chief Marketing Officer interview questions.

Use our interview questions list to uncover a deep understanding of your CMO candidates’ approach, skills and culture. We’re sure these questions will also fire your own ideas for adapting them to your company’s unique marketing position.

Given that marketing as a discipline is so broad across brand, digital, CRM, social media, paid advertising, content (and many more), you’ll need to consider your own business marketing objectives and what skills, experience, and knowledge you need from this leadership position, to achieve them.

The questions are divided up into the different facets a great CMO possesses, enabling to you spot the best-fitted candidate from even the highest quality short-list.


What competencies should a Chief Marketing Officer have?

Preparing for the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) interview means grasping the business objectives and how they translate into marketing goals and tasks. Understanding these dynamics allows you to discern the skills and attributes necessary for the candidate to drive meaningful impact within the organisation. Questions such as whether the CMO will reshape brand positioning, amplify website-generated leads, revamp content strategies, or oversee sales and commercial functions are pivotal, especially for start-ups seeking relevant experience.

By addressing these questions and consulting with junior marketing team members, you can craft a skills or competency matrix. This tool aids in evaluating CMO candidates objectively, facilitating informed decision-making during the hiring process. Additionally, considering the personal attributes of potential CMOs, such as personality, cultural alignment (or divergence), and demonstrated values, is crucial. A successful CMO should exhibit a well-defined business vision, personal confidence, and the capacity to lead, make strategic decisions, and inspire others.

View our full guide about how to hire a CMO.


Chief Marketing Officer interview questions

Here is our guide to the best Chief Marketing Officer interview questions. This isn’t a comprehensive list, and you should add specific competency questions, but this list should offer some guidance for a Chief Marketing Officer interview.

General interview questions

  • What are your reasons for wanting to leave your current role?
  • What excites you about our business?
  • What might you suggest are your key strengths as a CMO?
  • What is your most impactful initiative as a marketing leader?  What impact did it make?
  • How do you measure the effectiveness of your work in your current role?  What KPI’s and data points do you look for?
  • What other business areas do you have experience in?
  • Why should I hire you?

Business related CMO interview questions 

  • What is your vision for this brand?
  • What is the first task you’d undertake as CMO?
  • What 3 objectives would you create for the marketing team?
  • What do you like v don’t like about our brand / marketing efforts? What improvements do you see?
  • How would you measure success of marketing in this business?
  • How would you design a marketing strategy for our business?
  • What are the latest marketing trends, and how will you incorporate them into our marketing strategy?
  • What is your assessment of our current market and competitor activity?

Metric related CMO interview questions

  • What KPI’s and metrics are most important to you? How often do you track these?
  • What type of analysis would you conduct within this business?
  • Have you used predictive analytics to forecast future marketing performance?
  • How quickly would you react to a dip in metrics?
  • Tell me about a time where you have had to decide between two competing metrics?
  • Are there any marketing metrics which you disregard and why?
  • What marketing metrics most align to our business objectives?

Stakeholder Manager / Relationships / Leadership

  • What is your leadership style?
  • What makes you a great leader?
  • How do you communicate well with your team and peers?
  • How you motivate other people? Give an example.
  • How would you manage a team that wasn’t meeting objectives?
  • Tell me about a time you had to influence your peers / CEO?
  • What do you think you can contribute to our senior leadership team?
  • How do you manage difficult dynamics on SLT’s / Boards?

Failure / Self Criticism / Self Awareness

  • Tell me about a mistake you made and how you handled it?
  • Give an instance where you have had a dispute at work with your peers. How did you handle it?
  • Give an example of a time where you didn’t meet objectives. What could you have done differently?
  • Give an example where you had to acknowledge you did not have the best idea.

Roadmap, Prioritisation & Decision Making

  • How do you develop a business case?
  • What steps do you take to put together a marketing strategy?
  • How do you measure performance?
  • How do you gain buy-in from Board members for your marketing strategy?
  • How do you react when a Board member disagrees with you?

Culture-related CMO interview questions

  • In what culture do you thrive in?
  • What are you hoping for in terms of culture in this business?
  • Which of our company values is most important to you and why?
  • How would you respond to an employee who was not living up to our values?
  • What is a non-negotiable for you in terms of company culture?

We have compiled a short guide for further reading: 5 questions to assess a candidate’s cultural fit

Chief Marketing Officer interview questions: summary

Intelligent People are a specialist marketing recruitment agency. If you need any more help with what Chief Marketing Officer interview questions to ask, contact us today. Since 2002, we’ve helped a broad range of companies, from global blue chips to the most exciting scale-ups, to hire marketing experts that build effective strategies.

If you need any more help with how to conduct Chief Marketing Officer interview questions, or you’d like a shortlist of quality CMO candidates, contact us today.


Chief Marketing Officer Interview Questions