How To Test A PPC Marketing Manager / Analyst / Executive Skills At Interview

Pay per click advertising is one of the most common forms of digital marketing there is and if there is just one marketing technique that every business owner should be aiming to familiarise themselves with, this is it. Of course, most savvy business owners will hire knowledgeable marketers who can implement PPC decisions on a day to day basis while also establishing long-term strategies. If you are hiring anyone to handle something as important as your PPC on your behalf, you will want to be certain that they are up to the task.

Below, we have put together a guide to working out the most important PPC marketing interview questions to ask when assessing applicants for PPC-related positions within your business. No one can tell you exactly what questions you need to ask without knowing you and your business. However, we can definitely help you to ensure that the questions you do ask are purposeful and enlightening.

General PPC Strategies

Regardless of which position you will be hiring for, there are some interview questions PPC recruiters should always keep in mind. It is important to understand that interviews today are not simple Q&A sessions. The PPC interview question answer session is a thing of the past. Questions are still important, of course, but a well-rounded interview will combine questions with hypotheticals, as well as some general interrogation of who the interviewee is and what they will bring to the table.

Naturally, you will want to interrogate their understanding of marketing in general and their grip on PPC-marketing specifically. When you are deciding on interview questions for PPC specialist applicants to your business, you are aiming to evaluate both their understanding of PPC marketing and their approach to the people they work alongside or above. It is always better to hire someone who fits into your business on a personal as well as professional level.

Testing A PPC Marketing Manager

Your PPC marketing manager can either be the person who you hire to oversee the PPC component of your overall marketing strategy, or they might be someone who specialises in PPC marketing but will be heading up your entire marketing department. In either case, anyone who you are considering hiring for a managerial role within your business needs to be carefully vetted.

You want to know that any potential marketing manager has a deep enough understanding of PPC marketing to be able to delegate work and formulate a coherent overarching strategy. it is worth throwing in some questions on specific subjects, such as PPC AdWords interview questions in order to gauge their proficiency with essential techniques.

Ask Them About Their PPC Philosophy

There are a number of PPC manager interview questions that you might ask to gauge what kind of philosophy underpins the workings of your interviewee. However, simply asking: “What’s your underlying philosophy?” is rarely the most effective route to take. Instead, you should ask them about how they would respond to the most common hurdles they are likely to face. Don’t just ask them about the strategies they would use to manage PPC within your business; ask them about their approach to managing other staff, too.

When you are hiring a new manager in any part of your business, you will always have a choice to make. Will you look for someone who fits in with your existing team and whose managerial style will gel with what you and your workers already know? Or, will you instead look for a new manager who can shake things up, bring a new approach and breathe new life into your operation? The answer will depend on your individual circumstances, but you need to know which type of manager you are looking for before you sit down for an interview.

Make Sure They Are A Good Fit

If your business is relatively small, then your PPC manager may account for the majority of your marketing leaders. On the other hand, they might be heading up your PPC marketing while other forms of marketing are under the direction of their own managers. If this is the case, you will want to be certain that your new manager is going to be a good fit for your existing staff.

Before you conduct the interview, take time to sit down with your staff and get their input on what it is that they need in order to perform their roles as effectively as possible. They might have some feedback regarding their last manager if they had one, that could be instrumental in finding the right manager this time around.

Give Them Some Hypothetical Resources To Manage

Good managers need to be able to think on their feet and respond to dynamic and volatile scenarios. Give your interviewee some hypothetical scenarios (bonus points if they are based on real events that you have had to oversee) and ask them how they would handle those scenarios. This is often a more effective way of learning about their approach than simply asking them outright.

Testing A PPC Analyst

Your analyst is one of the most important components of your PPC strategy. It will be up to your analysts to assess the data generated by your campaign and decide whether you are on the right track or not. It is vital that you trust your PPC analyst to make the right calls when it comes to analyzing your performance.

When you are evaluating your analyst, you are checking to see that not only are they capable of accurately analysing campaign data, but they are also able to communicate their findings to your team clearly.

Evaluate Past PPC Campaigns

Evaluating past campaigns is the bread-and-butter of what a PPC analyst does. It is, therefore, worth asking them to review some campaign data. You can always use some real campaign data from previous campaigns here. Let them know what the objectives of the campaign were, and then ask them to deduce whether it was a success or failure based on the available data. You can then ask them how they would use this data to refine their strategy and formulate the next campaign.

Ask Them About Data in PPC Campaigns

Across all industries, you will find the best analysts tend to also have some pretty strong opinions about data in general. This is hardly surprising, as anyone who relies on data to do their jobs will have to navigate the minefield of data privacy. Thankfully, there are not that many difficult ethical issues associated with PPC campaign data. However, your PPC analyst needs to be able to navigate SEM data sources such as AdWords, Semrush, and Searchmetrics.

Make sure that any PPC analyst applicants are familiar with the current data Landscape. It is also worth asking them what they can bring to the table in terms of strategies for the collection and retention of data across your business.

Check Their Communications Skills

As you are asking your PPC analyst interview questions, don’t just listen to what the interviewee says, but also the way in which they say it. Some people who work in fields like engineering and analytics, fields that are heavily based in maths and largely removed from everyday English, are exceptionally good at their jobs but exceptionally bad at communicating their work to others.

Testing a PPC Executive

PPC executives assist in creating, optimising, and reporting back on PPC marketing campaigns. A PPC executive is not usually in charge of a campaign, but they serve as a vital team member. Within many businesses, PPC executives act as deputies and advisors to marketing managers. Experienced executives will know exactly how to get a PPC campaign off the ground, and how to make sure that it is sailing in the right direction after it is launched.

Make Sure They Are An Effective Team Player

Marketing executives need to be good team players and your PPC executive interview questions should help you to establish whether this is the case or not. In order to be effective in their role, PPC executives need to be able to have frank discussions with other marketers about what is and isn’t working and whether individuals need to realign their efforts for the collective good.

In other words, your PPC executive needs to be able to say it like it is. Needless to say, having a more personable PPC executive who isn’t going to charge in like a drunk elephant when there’s an issue is always preferable. Executives who think that they know best and disregard their team will only foster resentment and division.

Ensure They Will Be Good At Communicating Internally And Externally

Your PPC executive needs to be able to communicate effectively, not just with you and your team, but with anyone inside or outside your business who is relevant to your marketing. Make sure that you ask them about their workflows from previous jobs, so you can get a feel for how effective they are at establishing and maintaining communication lines.

Before you sit down with any prospective employee, you should already have a clear picture in your head of exactly what you are going to ask them and why you are asking it. Remember, you don’t just want to establish their level of competence; you also want to make sure that they are a good fit for your existing structures. Don’t be afraid to walk in with some datasets under your arm in order to really test their abilities.


If you’d like help with an upcoming Digital Marketing hire, please get in touch with Alex Marriner (Recruitment Director) by email on


About Acquire Digital Talent

In 2018 Acquire was established by Alex Marriner who has over a decade of experience within the Digital Marketing Recruitment space.

We are dedicated to securing the very best Digital Marketing talent for some of the most exciting tech start-ups, high growth businesses & established brands in London and across Digital Hubs within Europe. These include brands such as Starling Bank, Popsa, Motorway, Houst, and Trainline.

We bring the knowledge and expertise to build highly successful Digital Marketing teams so your business can grow whilst supporting Digital Marketing professionals with the guidance required to further their careers.

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