• Matthew Lerner

My best startup marketer interview questions

CEOs are incredibly cavalier about hiring senior growth marketers, and I suspect most people don’t appreciate the full cost.


Startup marketing VP salary + other costs

Head of Growth (or VP or CMO) hires cost over $120K base, plus equity and recruiter fees. And of course, they’ll need a budget to “set them up for success” that’s typically in the range of $50K - $250K/month for a startup.


But these hires only have a 30%-50% success rate, depending on who you ask. And you won’t know until 9-12 months later if you’ve made the right hire. (How much runway do you have?)


All in, we’re looking at a £500K - £1M investment. Naturally, it’s important to get that right!


My favourite interviewing “hack"

This gold nugget came from an interview I did with Paddy Lambros, Head of Talent at Atomico, when I was building out our Hiring for Growth workshop.


Paddy leans heavily on question pairs during employee interviews, where rare insights often come from follow-up questions.


Start with the usual questions (e.g. “tell me about a time when you…) but always have at least one follow-up paired with it, such as:

  • Why did you decide to do that piece of work?

  • How did you measure success?

  • Why do you think that happened?

  • Walk me through your thinking?

  • What did you learn?

  • What would you do differently?

  • Why did that matter to you?


In our Hiring for Growth workshop, I share tips on how to source candidates and convince your top choice to accept the job (without just chucking more money at them) plus offer a bank of domain-specific interview questions you can use to narrow down the right talent.You can check out the recording and slides from the workshop here.


I hope this helps!


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