How to Prepare For An SEO Interview
Beyond the pre-interview basics, what can SEOs do to ensure their interview leads to a job offer? The handy list below covers 7 pre-interview essentials for SEOs who want to demonstrate their value, show initiative and land their next search engine optimization job.
Find Out What This Company Has Vs. What It Needs
Research the company as though you’re approaching a potential client so you arrive ready to provide solutions. Examine their current rankings, keywords, and page structure and what their content, PPC, link and social profiles look like. Understanding their current needs/challenges will help you position yourself as the perfect SEO for the job.
Tune In To the Latest Industry News
Casual chit chat can mean more than you realize. Be prepared in your interview to volley back any comments like, for example, “What do you think of that recent comment Matt Cutts made about Google’s latest update?” If you’re not keeping up with SEO and SEM industry developments regularly, make it a point to catch up well in advance of your interview.
Translate Your SEO Value into Layman’s Terms
If your interview includes a discussion with someone who is not very well versed in SEO, how will you convince them of the value you’re bringing to the table? Practice explaining your talents and skills in relatively plain terms before the interview begins so every single person you meet will understand exactly how awesome you are.
Prepare Questions for Your Interviewer
The flip side of the first item above is about YOU asking questions to show how energetic, resourceful and ambitious you are. You probably shouldn’t ask about the specifics of their paid search budgets or suspected black hat practices this early on, but you’ll demonstrate initiative by inquiring about their current SEO goals and challenges in general during the interview.
Be Ready To Answer “Indirect” SEO Questions
You know that the realm of SEO spans from organic listings on SERPs all the way to copywriting and analytics so be ready to talk about how well you understand and utilize all areas of SEO in your practice. It also helps to bring up any other online marketing interests like web design or blogging.
Polish up Your Own Work and Your Own Websites
Your online resume and portfolio of websites you’ve worked on should be pristine, up to date, and easy to access for everyone you meet. Your latest and greatest accomplishments in elevated page rank, outstanding traffic increases and killer link building strategies should be ready at your fingertips, whether you’re sending an email, pointing to a projector or handing over your iPad.
You’ve Memorized Your Stats
All the impressive numbers that give color and strength to your professional and personal SEO achievements should be on the tip of your tongue at all times. Hiring managers are far more impressed by numbers than they are flowery words so make their jobs easier by putting your value into numerical terms they can rely on. Think of phrases like "Percent increase", "X times more new visitors" and "X% reduction in bounce rate" for the most impact.
Related: The Onward Search SEO Jobs & Salary Guide