Are you looking for a job in SEO? Do you have to select personnel? We chat with Abbas Kapasi ( who is running a digital marketing course, owner of the w3marketingschool. We transcribe what he told us.
I was never a fan of judging a candidate’s “grades” by their academic qualifications. Although, of course, they provide a useful overview.
However, in the case of an SEO analyst, what information do the studies provide regarding experience? That is what matters to us in an SEO interview.
Real experience means more than just years and years in a position. It can also be relative: someone with a year of “experience” may have more useful knowledge than someone five years or more.
There has to be another way to measure work experience. The following questions are designed to do just that, at least for those who work in the SEO industry!
This list will be useful for those taking on recruiting and those looking to do SEO. Do not miss it!
What interests you about this position?
It is my first favorite question in an interview, as it gets right to the point. Responses can be comprehensive as candidates expose their SEO knowledge or experience. Or it can also happen that the candidates have been attracted to the company, have little practice in SEO, but a lot of interest in working and taking on challenges.
How long have you studied and been doing SEO?
I have found that years of SEO experience have little relevance to a candidate’s actual job knowledge and ability to get results. However, this is an excellent question to gauge not just how long they’ve been in SEO but what brought them into the industry.
How do you think your specific experience will benefit us?
This question goes to the heart of the previous problem. It serves to know what value the candidate brings to the company. If they don’t see the value they bring, maybe they don’t have much to offer.
Describe your perfect job position within Digital Marketing
Let the candidate tell you precisely what they would love to do each day to see if this bears any resemblance to what you are looking for. If this dream job has little in common with what the company offers, this will likely lower the grade. However, if the two of you line up, you may have found an exciting pairing.
What do you like about SEO? Why do you choose it as an activity?
Do you love SEO? Or, perhaps, are you applying as a stepping stone to another job in digital marketing that you would like? How much does this matter for the company?
What do you like to do the most every day in your current or previous job?
It allows you to determine if the candidate could align with the work objectives and your company’s day-to-day life.
What is your specialty in SEO?
Depending on what they answer, the question that one must ask later is, does this serve my work team?
What specific SEO verticals do you have experience in?
It allows us to understand the general breadth of experience in SEO and its related verticals. We’re not supposed to be looking for expert candidates across all verticals, but it lets us see their overall competencies.
On a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate yourself as an SEO analyst?
I love self-assessment questions. We understand the candidate’s skill and experience and reasonable indications about his personality based on all these questions.
How do you base your rating?
It is related to the previous question. This question completes it. It is about knowing what criteria the candidate uses to assess himself. If you do not know how to substantiate your note …
What do you need to do to get to the next level?
Assuming they didn’t rate themselves a 10, there is always room for improvement. Where we can find out if, know what the next step in their career is. Do they self-manage their job, or are they guided by what other colleagues tell them?
How do you stay organized and focused in your SEO work?
Learn a bit about the candidates’ process for tackling SEO tasks. What tools do you use? Lack of organization or a volatile mindset can spell a huge red flag.
What types of sites have you worked on, and to what extent?
This question will help you get a first-hand understanding of the work they have done in the past. They should be able to show you some sites to review and point out specific results. Complete this for them to describe how their participation helped achieve those results.
What programming languages do you have experience with?
You want to know more than just languages. The depth of your experience and understanding with each also matters. This knowledge can help you assess the candidate’s level and potential value to the company.
What CMS do you have experience with?
What is the candidates’ favorite content management system? Here we want to know which courses they have specific expertise with and, again, to what extent. A well-profiled candidate will have experience with multiple CMSs.
What SEO tools do you use and why?
Every SEO has their favorite tools. They may or may not be the tools you use, but this is an excellent opportunity to discover your reasons for choosing one tool over another. And to know, in short, how the candidate is coming in terms of common sense. It also allows you to explore whether you would do your job effectively if that tool is no longer available.
What technical SEO skills do you have?
Is the candidate capable of conducting a review and making recommendations on their own? Not all SEOs have consulting skills, but they must have some technical skills that they can apply.
What non-technical skills do you have that are relevant to SEO?
Can the candidate write instructive blog posts? Do you have the right eye for bad connections? Are they good at teamwork?
There are a ton of non-technical skills that are valuable to SEO. It is where the candidate says what differential value he can bring.
What are your specific experience with social media, content development, and metrics?
What is the candidate’s experience outside of SEO? Even though you are not hiring someone for other positions, there may be times when some of those jobs need to be done by the SEO analyst himself.
Your level of competence in these areas can tip the balance in your favor. But be careful; try to inquire about that experience to verify that the candidate does not miss out on SEO.
What do you know about Link Building?
As we know, it is one of the essential resources to achieve good positioning. Even if the job search points to another position without links to Link Building, your knowledge in this area can be decisive.
Have you ever done a detailed SEO audit?
Unless they are relatively new to SEO, each analyst candidate should have experience conducting a highly detailed site audit. Use this question to discuss what types of data you are looking for when conducting your audit.
How does Analytics help us in SEO? What configurations can be made?
Setting up a Google Analytics account is not complete knowledge for an SEO, but it is a particular skill. Find out if they’ve done more than install code like set up various types of targets and tracking. At the same time, try to understand what metrics the candidate sees, what kind of information they extract, and what it is for.
What are the different ways to keep a site out of Google’s index? Which ones do you use and when?
There are several ways to do this. What methods do you know? Why and when would you use one over the other?
If you could build a tool that doesn’t exist today, what would you do?
Regardless of whether the SEO analyst can create their tool, they should have some ideas for the means they would like to see. This answer can give insight into various SEO expertise, knowledge, and even skill, plus, of course, common sense.
Take an average eCommerce: how many hours do you think you would need to invest monthly for a successful digital marketing campaign?
The answer will depend on many factors, but it allows the candidate to outline those factors and take an opportunity to produce a personal response. Based on the factors you describe, the number of hours should be within reason.
How do you adapt to the needs of different clients?
This question is relevant to agencies… Some analysts have problems interacting with clients, and they are the source of capital income for the company. What social skills does the candidate have?
How often do you think you should communicate with customers and to communicate precisely what?
This is where it is discovered whether the candidate wants to work alone or has experience communicating with supervisors and clients.
What do you do when you cannot perform a critical and urgent optimization?
This question illustrates temperament components and problem-solving skills. Please find out how they react, who they hold responsible, and their talent in project development.
To what extent do you adhere to the Google guidelines?
One may or may not care about Google’s guidelines, but every SEO analyst has an opinion on them. Define whether his adherence to those principles will hinder or help the work you want him to do. What do you think about the algorithm changes?
Has Google ever penalized you? How did you determine that your site was penalized, and what did you do to fix it?
Almost all SEO Managers have come across a site that has suffered a Google penalty. The candidate’s answer to this question will help you learn more about their assessment skills, as well as their ability to solve problems.
What is your most significant SEO success?
This question should be easy to answer. The question to ask later is whether it is worth getting excited about.
Of course, not all of them can be done in the same interview, but you can choose the best ones to do with some candidates depending on the SEO profile you are looking for.
I hope this content is valuable in this unique industry where there are so many myths and dark spots. If you are a candidate who is going to apply for an interview, do not waste this material and prepare some answers at random.
Thank again : Abbas Kapasi