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SEO job interviews
Any tips?

 3:30 pm on Mar 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

Wasn't sure where to post this thread so lobbed it in foo.

I have an interview on friday morning and was hoping people here might have a few tips for a succesfull interview within the SEO field.

Anyone here hasd an intervew or interviewed people for an SEO postion? where there any particular questions that regularly come up?



 3:40 pm on Mar 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

Well if you know your stuff you could always try the "baffle with bull****" approach lol

It worked for me in a previous job.

"Well I find that most sites tend to lack the correct keyword densities and for keyword phrases not attention is given towards proximity. Also on many sites h1 to h3 tags are used incorrectly.,.blah.., Google PageRank, off page cirteria.. blah, dynamic websites.. blah blah.. sessio n ids.. blah blah blah " ;-)

Most jobs believe it or not are got through healthy doses of bull**** at interviews. The problem arises in having got the job, you need to be able to back up your interview bull lol :-)


 3:52 pm on Mar 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

Say that you're a regular poster at webmasterworld.


 3:58 pm on Mar 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

I think a sprinkling of technical terms is good to show you speak the language, but emphasis on the results you have achieved is really important. "Increased traffic for a widget sales site 250%" is good, "In a two-month period, increased unique visits from 100 to 700 daily" is better, and "Through increased traffic, grew monthly sales from $___ to $___" is best. The company is almost certainly looking for someone who can deliver business results without caring about the technical details. (If this is a technical interview with a firm that has a staff of SEO people, you will probably have to get more technical.) If it's an end user firm, you might create a bit of FUD by referring to your own use of safe techniques which won't result in their site getting banned.

Keep in mind general interview principles, too. Look neat, act interested, know something about the company you are visiting, have a question or two that demonstrate you have done your homework. Note that studies have shown that verbal skills and appearance have a disproportionate weight in the evaluation of candidate interviews, so be on your game. (Verbal skills and appearance may be important for a sales position, but are mostly irrelevant for a UNIX admin or C++ programmer; nevertheless, interviewers are heavily influenced by them.)


 4:01 pm on Mar 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

Say that you're a regular poster at webmasterworld.

Make that a <drumroll>Preferred Member at Webmasterworld</drumroll>! :) Guaranteed to give you a leg up on the other applicants!


 4:14 pm on Mar 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

It would depend a bit on their current SEO situation. Is it a case of building on a good base, starting from scratch, or cleaning up a mess? If it's the latter, be careful because it's probably unwise to make anyone across the table feel stupid.

".... I don't want to diss anyone else's work but here's how I'd approach this .... blah, blah fine-tuning your existing web presence ... blah blah blah ... link development .... blah blah ... anchor text .... reciprocal ... blah blah ..."


 4:20 pm on Mar 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

If you know of any of their clients' sites or if they have a policy of some kind try to find out if they're pro/anti-cloaking. If they're pro-cloaking then talk it up. If they're anti-cloaking, tell them how "ethical" you are. ;)


 4:27 pm on Mar 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

umm if their pro cloaking I might not bother going to the interview! At the least I would try and convert them away from this technique.


 4:29 pm on Mar 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

General concensus seems correctly imo to be to tell them what they want to hear.
I'd need more details to tell you exactly how to approach the interview, do they have seo experience, are you taking over from someone else, what is their attitude to risk/seo ethics, who are their current clients, does the interviewer have a clue about seo/sem. etc etc. Either way BS baffles brains at the end of the day, meaning tell them what they want to hear. It sounds deceitful but you have to look after number one.

Marketing Guy

 4:46 pm on Mar 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

I would suspect that they will ask you for examples of your sites and techniques used and why you used them.

It would also be good to elaborate a bit on your background (business knowledge, web skills, etc).

Remember to be prepared for the dreaded, "do you have any questions for us?" question! :)

Think along the lines of:

"What's the history of the company?"

"What sort of other products or services are offered?"

"What scope is there to expand my existing skills on the job?"

"What are the future plans of the company?" "How can I get involved and contribute to that?"

"How many people work for the company?" "How many people will be on the team I'm working in?"

Like others have said, your best selling point is that you keep up to date with the industry.

Let them know you read up on SEO news and participate in Webmaster World. If they are even slightly on the ball they will appreciate the need to be up to date in the SEO field. If they are totally on the ball they will recognise WW! ;)

Also don't be too nervous at the interview - treat them like you would clients - be polite and courteous and carefully explain what you can do for them.


At the end of the interview be sure to find out when they will let you know if you have the job and how they will contact you. Say something along the lines of, "So, when can i expect a call from you?....".

If they don't call by the time they said they would don't worry. Give it a day or two more then call them back.

Chances are that they have arranged some last minute interviews and have had to delay contacting people. If the worst comes to the worst, and you don't get the job, then be sure to ask for some feedback about the interview.

At least you will know which areas to work on for your next interviews! :)

Good luck! ;)

ps if all else fails, tell them "you have a special relationship with Google!" ;)


 3:49 pm on Mar 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

Maybe your prospective employer is a poster on WebmasterWorld!

Hey, anyone here taking interviews on Friday morning?
you could save yourself alot of bother!



 4:15 pm on Mar 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

great feedback-

my advise-- memorize this:


and have some exmaples.

Good Luck!

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