SEO Interview Questions

SEO Interview Questions

With an increasing number of companies realising the potential of online marketing the demand for marketers with SEO knowledge is also on the rise.

Interviews for IT jobs including SEO jobs often include challenges far beyond the usual questions regarding career aspirations. IT job interviews often consist of brainteasers and practical questions designed to measure your logic, reasoning, creative thinking, and problem-solving skills. The objective for the interviewer is not only to assess your technical knowledge, but also your communication skills and suitability (culturally) for the company.

Here are some example SEO job interview questions to help you to prepare yourself:

Technical / Tactics

Every SEO marketer prefers certain tactics to others, but familiarity with many could indicate a deeper understanding of the industry. And while every SEO marketer doesn't need to have a web developer background, having such skills can help set someone apart from the crowd.

  1. Give me a description of your general SEO experience.
  2. Can you write HTML code by hand?
  3. Could you briefly explain the PageRank algorithm?
  4. How you created any SEO tools either from scratch or pieced together from others?
  5. What do you think of PageRank?
  6. What do you think of using XML sitemaps?
  7. What are your thoughts on the direction of Web 2.0 technologies with regards to SEO?
  8. What SEO tools do you regularly use?
  9. Under what circumstances would you look to exclude pages from search engines using robots.txt vs meta robots tag?
  10. What areas do you think are currently the most important in organically ranking a site?
  11. Do you have experience in copywriting and can you provide some writing samples?
  12. Have you ever had something you've written reach the front-page of Digg? Sphinn? Or be Stumbled?
  13. Explain to me what META tags matter in today's world.
  14. Explain various steps that you would take to optimize a website?
  15. If the company whose site you've been workind for has decided to move all of its content to a new domain, what steps would you take?

Analysis

A big part of SEO involves assessing the effectiveness of a campaign both relative to past performance as well as to competitor sites.

  1. Are you familiar with web analytics and what packages are your familiar with?
  2. From an analytics perspective, what is different between a user from organic search results vs. a type-in user?
  3. How do you distinguish the results of your search optimization work from a seasonal change in traffic patterns?
  4. How do you evaluate whether an SEO campaign is working?
  5. What does competitive analysis mean to you and what techniques do you use?
  6. If you've done 6 months of SEO for a site and yet there haven't been any improvements, how would you go about diagnosing the problem?
  7. How many target keywords should a site have?
  8. How do you help a customer decide how to distribute their budget between organic SEO and pay-per-click SEM?
  9. You hear a rumor that Google is weighting the HTML LAYER tag very heavily in ranking the relevance of its results - how does this affect your work?
  10. Why does Google rank Wikipedia for so many topics?

Open-Ended

These questions are more about how an answer is given rather than the actual answer. They often scare interviewees, but with no wrong answer they're actually a good opportunity to shine.

  1. Tell me your biggest failure in an SEO project
  2. What areas of SEO do you most enjoy?
  3. In what areas of SEO are you strongest?
  4. In what areas of SEO are you weakest?
  5. How do you handle a client who does not implement your SEO recommendations?
  6. Can you get “xyz” company listed for the keyword “Google” in the first page?
  7. What do you think is different about working for an SEO agency vs. doing SEO in-house?
  8. Why are you moving from your current position and/or leaving any current projects?

It is important at SEO job interviews to be specific when answering questions. Concise qualitative answers demonstrate confidence and knowledge.

For more advice on perfecting your interview technique, we've partnered up with CV Knowhow who offer interview coaching so click here to find out more.

These SEO interview questions were kindly sourced from The Mad Hat's List, Commerce360, Pole Position Marketing, KeyRelevance and All things SEM