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How to answer why PGDM Marketing in an interview?

For a student who enrolls for a PGDM course, it is quite normal that they would not initially know which specialization to pursue. However, after the first few of months of study, they would certainly end up developing their favourites. And, if you are one such student who has chosen PGDM Marketing as a specialization, you must know how to answer the most essential question that is generally asked in a marketing interview for internships as well as final placements – viz., ‘Why PGDM Marketing?’ It is here that this article will help you structure your answer for this most essential question asked in a marketing interview.

Being a PGDM Marketing student, you must know that there are these two essential things that an interviewer gauges in a potential marketer:

1)      Your Art of Storytelling: Marketing requires that you must master the art of storytelling. As a marketer, it would become vital for you to pick up insights from consumer connects and to design engaging propositions and communication briefs.  All these activities place storytelling skill at the forefront. Hence, at all points of the interview, you will need to sound interesting. And, the best way to do this is to narrate personal experiences.

2)      Your Adherence to the 5 Standards Of Leadership (SOLs): As a prospective marketer, you are also expected to show your adherence to the following five SOLs. The interviewer will try to assess these through the what and how you answer to a particular question, case or situation. These SOLs are:

  • Growth Mindset or competitive leadership.
  • Consumer & Customer focus or purpose-driven leadership.
  • Bias for Action or action-driven leadership.
  • Accountability & Responsibility or performance-driven leadership.
  • Building talent & teams or people-driven leadership.

Here, it would greatly help if you have examples and stories ready for each of the above mentioned SOL. These examples must testify that you have exhibited these SOLs in your past undertakings and that these are a part of your personality.

Having understood the core skills that need to be demonstrated in a marketing interview, let us now look at how you should structure the “Why PGDM Marketing” answer.

The following four points will help you prepare your answer for this question. You must frame your answer around these four points, not forgetting to substantiate each point with an example. To put it in other words, add a personal touch to each of the four points and there you have your answer ready. These points are as hereunder:

(i) Marketing is an Open Arena:

Unlike finance or other domains, the field of marketing has no set rules to follow. In fact, we have an open arena here to innovate and pour in all our creativity. It is like a blank sheet and it is up to the marketer to use his creative genius and create the most gripping proposition.

(ii) Marketing Demand Never Slumps:

The marketing industry has been in existence right from the time humans decided to brush their teeth, wash themselves, wash their clothes, groom themselves, clean their homes. Since then, the demand has only grown. To talk of the FMCG industry alone, the FMCG industry is growing exponentially with changing lifestyles of the consumers and, if we consider the untapped potential of rural markets, it is bound to grow even more in future. This disproportionate growth opportunity is absolutely fascinating and augurs well for building a career in Marketing.

What is more is that, in recent times, a new vertical called ‘Services Marketing’ has opened up in a big way which promises a whole new world of opportunities for students who have chosen PGDM Marketing as their specialization. This ‘Services Marketing’ typically refers to both business-to-consumer (B2C) and business-to-business (B2B) services, and includes marketing of services such as telecommunications services, financial services, all types of hospitality, tourism leisure and entertainment services, car rental services, health care services and professional services and trade services. It goes without saying that because of the sheer expanse of services that can be offered here, this domain of ‘Services Marketing’ opens the door to endless career opportunities for students of marketing management.

(iii)  Marketing Directly Impacts the Way People Live:

There is a constant interplay between marketing and societal changes. The potential of marketing to adapt itself to the changes in the society at times, and to change the society itself at other times, is what is most exciting in becoming a part of this change. Indeed, it enables one to directly impact the way people live, dress, communicate, among so many other aspects.

(iv) Marketing Entails Constant Innovation & Learning:

Marketing entails tremendous learning opportunities as one gets to work at the grassroots with the customers, trying to feel their pulse and understand their psyche. Moreover, the consumers and their consumption habits change dynamically. Therefore, it requires one to be always alert and keeps one reinvigorated with constant change to innovate and change.

These are then the four key points that will help you steer your answer to this question of ‘Why PGDM Marketing? A final word of advice is that you should most definitely personalize your answer around these points and add relevant examples and stories to make it intriguing.