18 Questions to Ask When Interviewing a Prospective Agency

May 31, 2011


You've gone through the RFP/RFI process during your search for a new agency and are ready to start interviewing the leading candidates. So what should a marketer actually ask an agency during the in-person interview? Generally speaking, agency interviews are much like interviews for any job candidate, and the questions can be quite similar. To help marketers get off to a good start, this list of questions compiled by Joanne Davis, President of Joanne Davis Consulting, offers insightful guidance.


1.       Why do you want our business?

2.       Why do you want to work on our business?

3.       What is it about some clients that excite you working on Saturday? Nights? 24x7?

4.       What's the greatest success you had for a client, and why?

5.       What was a big disappointment/failure and what did you learn from it?

6.       If we asked your current clients about you, what would they say?

7.       What do you think about the current advertising/marketing work client company is doing?

8.       What do you think about our competitors' advertising/marketing?

9.       What's your agency turnover versus the industry?

10.   What agencies do you consider your competitors and what's your competitive difference versus those agencies, and why?


11.   What are your systems for managing multinational accounts, and which of your clients use which models?

12.   Tell us about your global asset management tools.

13.   What are best practices for international account management?

14.   What are your practices for staff training and rotation for international accounts?

15.   Do you own all your offices in (LIST THE MARKETS OF INTEREST TO THE CLIENT), and if you don't own them, how do you ensure compliance?

16.   How do you allocate payment to international offices? (Do we pay one fee to your HQ or do you invoice us in the region?)

17.   How do your rates differ in different geographic regions/markets?

18.   How do you handle FX (foreign-exchange rates)? (OR DESCRIBE CLIENT'S PRACTICE AND SEE IF AGENCY AGREES.)


“18 Questions to Ask When Interviewing a Prospective Agency.” Joanne Davis. Joanne Davis Consulting. April 26, 2011.