These 5 Questions Are Keeping You From Getting Hired

by Richard Sellers June 2, 2016
June 2, 2016

Potential employers have five questions that marketing executives need to answer on the road to getting hired:


1. What are you going to do for me?


This is not a simple question. You must understand the personal motivation of each person asking the question to successfully answer it. For example, this question probably means:


What are you going to do for me to help…?



  • Everyone: …me continue to be employed?
  • CEO/Owner: …my company to make more money and reduce headaches?
  • Boss: …make my life better?
  • CFO: …to reduce costs…increase profits?
  • Peers: …not cause me problems?
  • Subordinates: …me progress and enjoy my work time?

On your way to getting hired, every nuanced variation flows from a single thought: Why is it good for me to hire you?


2. What problem are you going to solve?


Every company has a fundamental problem that needs to be solved.


Sometimes it’s easy to discover the problem by reading the job spec, researching the company, or determining why the predecessor was fired or the next-in-line executive wasn’t promoted into the spot you’re interviewing for.


Sometimes, however, it’s hard to know what problem the decision maker has decided that the candidate must solve. It can be hidden in the job specs in a long list below the superman descriptions or not included because H.R. isn’t even aware of the requisite.


3. How can I remember you?


Marketers are usually easily identified vs. sales executives and database experts, but within functional categories there’s often a sameness to the résumé and LinkedIn profile and an off-putting “I can do everything” attitude.


To be remembered, you need to focus…to be the person who can do something specific because your work emphasizes categories, sub functions, and other facets that make you a proven expert that directly links to the problem to be solved and benefits to be delivered.


In addition to this focus, a little originality is a benefit. You’re different and have a different approach. You also can have a quirky result buried in résumé bullets or even a personal hobby. I was curious recently to talk with a senior executive who plays the ukulele.


4. Do I want to work with you?


It helps to presell your personality before meeting for an interview, even over the phone, by adding a little personality and compassion to your résumé and LinkedIn. I continue to react positively to résumés that talk about:



  • Being selected, especially by peers.
  • Being rehired by previous bosses and clients.
  • Helping direct reports get promoted, which is seldom mentioned.

5. Do you want this specific job, company, people, and location?


I can only want to hire you if I think you want to work with me. Admittedly, this is tough for the hiring manager to determine since most executives on the path to getting hired will be positive about company, position, people they meet, and location..


To communicate your desire, drop a few short comments about information your found researching the:



  • Specific job.
  • Company.
  • People you’re talking with.

    • There is a lot of overlap between being liked and communicating that you like the company.

Preparing for these five questions will help you get your next job offer.


Of course, there are thousands of questions that have been asked regarding getting hired, including these:


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