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A Guide to Marketo Technical Interviews

By January 23, 2020January 12th, 2021No Comments
How to interview for technical roles

From time to time your company may need to hire Marketo users, but how can you be sure you are hiring the right candidate. What questions do I ask? What do I listen for? Do I really know if they know Marketo? We know the feeling. So we’ve compiled interview questions that can help to separate the Marketo experts from the rest. Read on for a sample of our compilation or download the full guide.

For instance, ask these:

  • Imagine that our instance is very slow. What are some ways that we could optimize the system?
  • What is the most intricate Marketing campaign you have worked on?
  • Keeping clean data is a big deal, what can we do to ensure the database contains clean data?

Not these:

  • How long have you been working in Marketo?
  • Do you have a Marketo Certification?

We have found a lot of questions that are usually asked in Marketo technical interviews don’t carry enough weight. They are usually generic questions everyone asks because it seems like a good standard. Let’s dive deeper into how to use the right questions and why to stay away from the wrong ones.

Ask these questions

Imagine that our instance is very slow. What are some ways that we could optimize the system?

Why we like this question

This seemingly simple question has the potential to figure out exactly where the candidate sits in terms of the level of their knowledge within Marketo. The more questions they ask about this given scenario, the more likely they understand everything that goes into a Marketo instance.

Things to look for

Outside of a list of methods, look for them to ask for more information like:

  • Current database size
  • Number of programs / campaigns in the instance
  • Are you using smart lists vs. static lists
  • Are folders being archived, and how
  • ..*crickets*

What is the most intricate Marketing campaign you have worked on?

Why we like this question

We like to ask this to see what level of understanding there is for actual marketing strategy and implementation. This question also allows for follow-up questions, which can reveal a ton of information. Some good follow-up questions that are good to ask are:

  • What was the purpose of this campaign?
  • What was your contribution to the build?
  • What was the outcome?

Things to look for

Listen for specifics and excitement. Specifics shows that they understood the big picture of what the campaign was trying to accomplish. Excitement shows that they may have played a bigger role in the project, and they are proud to own it. Listen to see if they talk about their specific contributions. People like to take credit for an entire project when, in reality, they were doing what they were told to do.

Also, look for the candidate to mention not just what went well but also what didn’t go so well. One thing that sets apart entry-level candidates from more experienced ones is an understanding of limitations.

Keeping clean data is a big deal, what can we do to ensure the database contains clean data?

Why we like this question

This question is really useful to help judge the candidate’s knowledge outside of just making email campaigns. It helps show that they understand a more holistic view of a lead and how dirty data can affect their journey.

Things to look for

Look to see if data is a concern. An entry-level person may not blink an eye and say it’s not for them to decide. Next, look to see if they talk about scrubbing data, validating emails via third party tool, or standing up a process to import lists. A more experienced person may also mention building system campaigns to continually check, and correct data as fields are updated.

Bare caution with these questions.

How long have you been working with Marketo?

This is an age-old question that everyone seems to ask. It appears at the surface level that a total number of years in a job or technology directly equates to someone’s experience level. The truth of the matter is that this is only true if that person spends every moment of their working career continuing to learn and not just do the daily 9-5 grind.

Do you have a Marketo Certification?

At first glance, this seems to be a solid question to ask. A certification of technology directly means you’re an expert, right?


While it is true that becoming a Marketo Certified Expert shows some level of competency, it can also mean that the person is just good at taking a test. We know that this is not a clear-cut way to determine a candidate’s expertise level because we have a guide to becoming certified in just 6 weeks.

The suggested interview questions can hold a lot of weight in hiring the right candidate. Try these technical Marketo questions with your next interview.

Download our Technical Interview Guide for all 11 questions

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