Case studies are vital content marketing tools because they tell a compelling client story and provide the same authority as white paper marketing, but in a format short enough to capture most prospects’ attention.
The best method for gathering data and information to include in a case study, are interviews with the company publishing the case study, and with the featured client.
To unlock the most important kernels of information during a case study interview, try adding these five key case study interview questions to your list:
1. What challenges or needs did the client face in their industry that led them to look for a solution like yours?
This question can help to identify the problems the client faced which drove them to look for a new solution. Finding out why a client was dissatisfied with their prior solution, will help to build a compelling “before and after” narrative for the case study. As good follow up question is to ask about the requirements the client was looking for in a new solution.
2. During the implementation of the solution, what problems developed and how did you work with the client to solve these problems?
Aside from the initial problems, it’s also important to highlight challenges that occurred during the implementation of the solution. Integrating a new products or services into a business is never simple, and this allows the company to illustrate their high level of customer service, technical support and critical problem solving. Providing examples of how the company can solve problems and move ahead, will eliminate the reader’s fears and anxieties about implementing a new solution.
3. Describe your selection process and what you found most attractive about the company and its solution?
It’s helpful to know how the relationship came about. Did the client send out RFPs, did they evaluate 10 potential solutions before choosing this one? A case study writer can tranform this kind of information to make the company look like the top competitor in its market. Asking what the client found most attractive about the company’s solution, will get the client to state their goals, or what pressure points they wanted to address with the company’s solution.
4. What business processes does this solution enhance and how much does it reduce the cost to complete these particular processes? How much time does the solution save your employees?
This question will help the writer determine exactly how the solution is being used by the client and which areas of the business it affects most. The second part of this question, asking about time and cost, will hopefully generate some qualitative results, or benefits, such as increased productivity lower costs, and less opportunity costs. These answers will add a deeper story line to the case study, beyond the hard-number results such as return on investment or gross revenue.
5. What are three words that describe your experience working with this company and why would you recommend this company’s solution to your peers?
I don’t know how many times I’ve heard “We’re very satisfied with the solution,” from a client during a case study interview. To avoid getting this canned response, ask for three words to describe their experience working with the company. This should give them pause to stop and think, and generate a fresher testimonial. Asking if the client would recommend the company or solution to peers can help provide a response that’s aligned with the reader’s needs. For example, the client might answer “I would recommend this solution to companies seeking a competitively priced software provider with great customer service.”
The next time your company embarks on a case study be sure the writing process involves conducting blog interviews on the company side and the client side. Case studies built on targeted interview questions like the examples above, will result in a more valuable content marketing asset.
MARKETING MOCK INTERVIEW
Try a mock interview for marketing, answering typical questions and also getting tips on how you should answer. There are also other questions students have been asked at marketing interviews.
MARKETING BRAND MANAGERS need to be good at WRITTEN COMMUNICATION to write promotional briefs, PERSUASIVE to persuade colleagues to pursue a particular line of action, good at ANALYSING the pricing and key features of products, good INVESTIGATORS to be able to research the market, consumers and competitors, and well ORGANISED to manage stock levels and to plan withdrawal of products from the market.
Other skills and attributes include dynamism, verbal communication, an ability to work under pressure and to tight deadlines, numerical ability, flexibility, drive, creativity, imagination, presentation skills, team work, and, perhaps above all, the ability to influence others.
Employers will be looking to see how you can talk about and demonstrate marketing skills at your interview. The sort of evidence you could offer includes:
- Persuading: telesales vacation job
- Writing: for the university newspaper
- Organising: stage manager for a school or university play
- Analysing: constructing and analysing a questionnaire for a course project
- Making decisions: deciding how much of the student loan to take in your final year!
Before you arrive ...
Do lots of research on marketing: see our Marketing Careers Page See our Interview Reports for marketing many of the questions asked in these are listed at the end.
There follows some of the questions that might be asked of students at interviews for marketing jobs. General interview questions are not asked here, so you might also like to try the general or multiple choice interviews as well for standard interview questions that can be thrown at any candidate, also our answers to 150 common interview questions. Click on "First Question" to begin. Think carefully about how you would answer, then click on "Show Answer Tips" to get an idea of how you should be answering.
Other questions students have been asked at marketing interviews
If you have been to an interview or assessment centre recently please fill in our interview report form to help other students.
About your study, work experience and skills
- Why did you choose your degree subject? What do you like about it. What do you find difficult? (Taylor Nelson Sofres)
- Why I had chosen to study at Kent?
- Why did you choose your ‘A' levels?
- How important do you think it is to be right? (Cable & Wireless)
- Detail a current affairs story about which you feel particularly strongly. (Cable & Wireless)
- How confident did you feel in your own ability before starting a job? (Cable & Wireless)
- What can you bring to our company? (Barratt Homes commercial)
- What experience from past roles could you utilise in this job? (Investaco)
- What experience do you have with data cleansing? (Investaco)
- Which bulk emailing and database software are you familiar with? (Investaco)
- Describe yourself in 5 words. (MORI)
- Why shouldn't we hire you? (Barratt Homes commercial)
- Based on your previous work experience what can you bring to the company? (Pfizer)
- Do you have any questions for us? (Barratt Homes commercial)
- Based entirely on my application form: wanted to know about skills, abilities and competencies. No questions about BP or the industry. At start of interview had to give 5 minute introduction on myself. (BP)
- They hadn’t seen my application form so I ended up repeating myself, which was annoying because I would have liked to explain and develop stuff I wrote on the form. (Mars)
- See our Answers to 150 common interview questions page
Questions about the organisation. Make sure you do LOTS of research! See our Commercial Awareness page for help with answering these questions
- Why do you want to work for us? (3M, MORI, Barratt Homes, & Taylor Nelson Sofres, Investaco)
- Why do you want to enter marketing? (3M)
- Why do you want market research? What area are you interested in and why. (MORI)
- Why do you want to go into market research? (Taylor Nelson Sofres)
- How is your degree relevant to Market Research? (Taylor Nelson Sofres)
- Who else have you applied to. (Taylor Nelson Sofres & MORI)
- What do you know about our company and what we do? (Investaco)
- What do you think you would do when you begin to work for us? (MORI)
- What do you like about our company? (Barratt Homes commercial)
- What would you like to get out of working with us? (MORI)
- Why do you think you are particularly suited to/what appeals to you about marketing? (Cable & Wireless)
- What do you look for in choosing a company/job to apply to? (Cable & Wireless)
- Tell us about a recent marketing campaign of our company and how it contributed to our brand identity? (Orange)
- What relevant skills for market research has your degree subject provided you with. ? (Taylor Nelson Sofres & MORI)
- Here is our current market segment how would you address targeting smaller pharmaceutical companies in order to get them to look at our products? (Pfizer)
- How would you advertise to pharmacy? (Pfizer)
- What attracts you to working for SME companies over larger companies? (Investaco)
Competency Questions. See our competency applications and interviews page for help with these.
- Give an example of when you were a leader in a group.
- When have you demonstrated leadership skills? (Mars)
- Can you mention a time when you have utilised your leadership skills? (Barratt Homes commercial)
- Give an example of when you have had to motivate people.
- When have you had to persuade a group. (Mars)
- Give an example of when you worked effectively in a team.
- When have you demonstrated teamwork skills? (Mars)
- When have you had to deal with negative criticism. (Mars)
- How do you deal with difficult customers? (Pfizer)
- Tell us about a circumstance when you adapted to a changing situation? (Orange)
- Give an example of when you have met resistance to your opinion. how was it resolved?
- When have you used your initiative to achieve a goal? (Barratt Homes commercial)
- What obstacles have you overcome? (BP)
- Can you give us an example of a time when you overcame an obstacle in order to achieve something. How has this influenced your approach to obstacles you face? (Barratt Homes commercial)
- How do you build new relationships in the workplace? How do you maintain those relationships? How do you develop those relationships? (Barratt Homes commercial)
- How do you feel at the start of the term about the work and pressure that you face?- and at the end? how do you manage your work? (Cable & Wireless)
- How do you manage your time? (Taylor Nelson Sofres)
- Do you ever have more than one piece of work on the go at any time? (Cable & Wireless)
- Have you got customer service experience? How I dealt with problems such as irate customers?
- How do you cope under pressure? (Orange)
- What is your greatest strength? (3M & MORI)
- How would your friends describe you? (3M)
- What are your weaknesses? (MORI)
- What are your strengths and weaknesses? (Investaco)
- How do you convince someone you are right even if they are adamant that they are right?
- How confident are you in dealing with numbers?
- How could you quantify the results of your actions? (BP)
Tests. See our tests page for practice tests
- Numerical test lasted 21 mins. Verbal test lasted 15 mins. Numerical test consisted of interest rates, exchange rates, GDP. Verbal test were short business related passages. Had to answer from true, false and cannot say. (3M)
- Verbal test: multiple choice questions asking the individual to read a press release about a company then highlight the points which were correct. 20 minutes. (MORI)
- Numerical test – issued by a company called SHL. Get 3 example questions which are gone over with you for mistakes. 40 mins. long. Taken with two other candidates. 35 questions. Based on analysing data from groups. Calculators provided. (Taylor Nelson Market Research)
- Numerical test – 35 mins. Mainly questions from graphs and tables i.e. percentages. If maths is not your strong point then do practise numerical tests as it was very difficult. See our practice aptitude tests. However they do not expect you to answer them all. Most people answer about 10-15. They did state that it depended on your strengths i.e. if you had strong qualitative skills but performed poorly in maths test – not to worry. (Taylor Nelson Market Research)
- Numerical test – 35 mins. I found the test very difficult despite being confident at maths. I had to answer 3 example questions with the interviewer present and that made me very nervous and aware of the time I was taking! Mainly questions from graphs and tables i.e. percentages. (Taylor Nelson Market Research)
- Numerical, statistical, attention to detail, personality and report writing tests. Each between 15-25 minutes. (Market Research Interview) (Mori)
- Numerical 35 minutes Verbal 25 minutes. (BP)
- Situational Judgement Test took about 10 minutes: asking which course of action you would take out of the multiple choice answers. (Barratt Homes commercial). See the personality questionnaires tab on our tests page for help with SJTs
- Logic/numeracy test. Lasted 35 mins. Had a set of cards and had to work out missing information by working out the pattern. I was sent a practice test in the past that followed the same format, so I knew what to expect.
Analysing your own personality & deciding what ‘colour’ you are. (Mars)
GROUP EXERCISES AND OTHER COMPONENTS. See our teamworking page for help with these
- We had to introduce ourselves to all other applicants and interviewers at start of assessment. (BP)
- Case study and presentation: we had to read a case study and results from a survey and present the results to 5 members of staff as a group. (market research)
- We were given a case study, and had to prepare for a 5 min presentation and then questions. We only had 30 mins to prepare and the case study was about 20 pages long. We were given a tour of their building which is really impressive. After this we were given some more notes on the previous case study and 15 mins to prepare answers to 3 questions. Then as a group we all had to discuss the questions and come up with an action plan for 20 mins. (Unilever internship)
- Case Study: Read short (1/2 page) of info and had 15 mins to prepare ideas. Then asked what it was about, what were the short, medium and long term implications, how could I resolve the problem, what would my priority be etc. Discussion lasted another 20/25 mins (but it seemed much longer!) (Mars)
- Lunch and non-assessed team exercises, factory and head office tour. Dinner with bosses. (Mars)
- Group discussion: group of 8 candidates sat around a table and discussed a business proposal whilst 8 assessors sat around edge of room taking notes on us. Lasted about ¾ hour. (Mars)
- Business plan and presentation: had to read case study and prepare a 20 min presentation on way forward for company. Inc. financial plan. Had one hour to prepare alone then present to 2 assessors. (Mars)
- Fact find: read case study for 10 mins, then had 10 mins to question the assessor on the case so you understand as much as possible. Then had 10 mins to decide what to do. Then another 10 mins to convince assessor of your decision. (Mars)
- Various exercises, including devising and acting out an advert for chocolate! (Mars)
TIPS FROM KENT GRADUATES
- Be confident. Look at the selling strategies of the company (Pfizer)
- Take your time. Keep your answers to a reasonable length. Each competency question was covering a key area. (3M)
- Make sure you have a copy of your application form in front of you - and notes! (telephone interview) (Cable and Wireless)
- Revise your application form, be able to elaborate on it. (BP)
- Make sure you read through your application answers beforehand. Interview was entirely on soft skills. (MORI)
- Prepare for interviews by researching the company including recent press releases and re-reading your original application. (Barratt Homes commercial)
- Very friendly, very organised, nice company to work for. Make sure your CV and covering letter is good: they interviewed only 15 from 400 applications for 6 jobs but I was offered a job! (Mori)
- They do not expect you to know which area of research you wish to go into: got the feeling it decreased employability if you were specific. (Taylor Nelson Market Research)
- Practise your maths. I failed on the financial business plan. Not made an offer but they gave excellent feedback. I had a phone no. to call and they spent half an hour going through the notes assessors had made on me. (Mars)
- Practise your maths! I found myself falling to pieces when fairly easy questions were asked. Also, remember open body language and confidence when discussing customer service experience. (Taylor Nelson)
- Interview was surprisingly informal and the interviewers responded well to demonstrations of knowledge of the companies industry, not just knowledge of the job function/ department. (Investaco)
Back to the mock interviews menu or Answers to 150 common interview questions