Why a career in marketing image

Marketing and advertising is one of the UK’s biggest growth industries, with approximately 225,000 people employed in the sector. If you’re looking to join them, expect to be asked the ever-popular “why marketing as a career?” interview question.

On the face of things, it sounds like a simple question. But as with any interview question, the interviewer has a specific goal in mind. If you can’t give a convincing answer, don’t expect to get the job. To help you make the best impression, in this article we’re going to explain:

  • What the interviewer really wants to know
  • How to prepare your answer
  • What a good answer looks like

What does the interviewer want to hear?

“Why do you want a career in marketing?” It sounds like a question that’s all about you. Your experiences, hopes, and dreams. But whatever your motivations, the reality is that some answers are better than others.

Hiring managers want to hear that you genuinely want a career in marketing, because if you’re committed to the profession, you’re much more likely to be engaged and motivated if you get the job.

Why does this matter? Because research shows that engaged employees produce better business outcomes than other employees.

Ultimately, it’s down to you to come up with an honest answer. But some common reasons for wanting a career in marketing include:

  • “I love learning new things”
  • “I enjoy creative work”
  • “I thrive in a collaborative environment”
  • “I hear there are lots of career advancement opportunities”
  • “I like the culture of marketing companies”
  • “I’m fascinated about understanding human behaviour”

How to prepare an answer for “Why do you want a career in marketing?”

As with many interview questions, the best way to prepare your answer is to consult the job specification.

In many ways, this question is similar to another common interview question: “What interests you about this role?” They’re both open-ended questions that are designed to gauge your understanding of the industry, the hiring organisation, and the specific job.

Of course, your answer should be a true reflection of your reasons for wanting a career in marketing. But ideally, it should also align with elements of the job spec. Try picking out a handful of character traits from the job description and matching them up with your desire to start a career in marketing.

For example, if the job specification calls for a candidate capable of delivering high volumes of work for multiple teams and channels, you could discuss how you:

  • Enjoy a varied workload
  • Love collaborative working
  • Want a role involving lots of communication
  • Thrive in a deadline-driven environment

“Why a career in marketing?” interview question: Best answer examples

We’ve discussed the meaning behind the “why a career in marketing?” interview question and how to prepare for it. Now, let’s look at five example answers to impress your hiring manager:

Example 1: Reference your own career progression

A marketing role is the logical next step in my career. I studied marketing at university. As part of my course, I did an internship at a local marketing agency, where I got to spend time with the content, account management, and social media teams. I loved every second of it, particularly when I got to write social posts for the agency’s Instagram and Twitter profiles. Given the excellent feedback I got from the managers I worked with, I’m confident that a career in marketing is the perfect fit for me.

Example 2: Discuss your strengths

I’ve always wanted a career that allows me to express my creative side. When I was younger, creative subjects were always my favourites, and I took a graphic design course at college. In my spare time, I design posters for my friend’s band. I feel like a marketing role would allow me to use my creative side in a professional capacity.

Example 3: Emphasise innovation

The thing that most interests me about a career in marketing is the need to constantly innovate. Technology and customer trends change all the time. It’s up to the marketing team to keep abreast of those changes and ensure the company’s messaging remains relevant and attractive to our target audience. I’m really excited to be part of such an innovative industry.

Example 4: Mention your long-term goals

I want a career in marketing because my long-term goal is to start my own marketing agency. I’ve always been very entrepreneurial. Even when I was 10, I made money by washing my neighbours’ cars. I listen to a lot of business podcasts and follow a lot of marketing thought leaders on social media, and I strongly believe this is the industry for me. Of course, I need to learn a lot of skills before I’m anywhere near achieving my goal, which is why I’m looking for an entry-level marketing job.

Example 5: Highlight development opportunities

From speaking to friends and former colleagues who work in marketing roles, and from doing my own research, it’s clear that marketing jobs offer lots of opportunities for career progression. That really speaks to me, because I’m ambitious and don’t enjoy standing still for too long. I always want to be learning new skills and pushing myself forward - I believe this role would be a fantastic starting point.

What's next?

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