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Phone Interview for Web Marketing Specialist

Which questions will they ask? Any advice is appreciated.


Dabu The Dragon

11:06 pm on Aug 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I have a phone interview for a web marketing specialist position tomorrow morning.

Here is a small part of the job description.

The primary responsibility of the Web Marketing Specialist is to assist in the development and management of the various corporate websites by writing and editing marketing copy for the web and to develop web optimization campaigns that lead to the successful attainment of specific [company] product and service performance goals.

From studying their entire description I'm figuring they want a SEO/Web Developer/Marketing Specialist for this position. It also seems that they have been having a difficult time filling the position. After researching their website I feel confident that I could do a good job for them. I just need to get pass the phone interview.

I know that the phone interview is a sorting process before the face to face interview.

I have prepared a list of possible questions with answers. Also, I have a quiet location prepared for the interview.

If you can think of any possible question they could ask or have any advice to give I would be more than happy to listen to it.

Thanks DTD

Dabu The Dragon

2:53 am on Aug 23, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Well I made it pass the phone interview. They want me to come in for a face to face interview next week sometime.

After studying up on web analytics and metrics I was shocked that they never asked me about my skill. They just wanted to know a little about me. It was a very informal interview. I guess I better prepare for the face to face interview.
I'm still open for any advice or suggestions.

Below are a couple of the threads that were helpful.

[webmasterworld.com ]
[webmasterworld.com ]


3:06 am on Aug 23, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tedster is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

Well, here's my two cents. The field is too large and complex for anyone to have all the knowledge -- so don't pretend you do. Be realistic about your strengths and present them with confidence, but don't blow any smoke around. If the interviewers are at all savvy, they will want to know that you can quickly identify gaps in your knowledge and learn what you need to know in any situation -- rather than trying to buff your way through.

From my work with companies, I think the biggest problems they have are generated by the pretenders, so just don't be one. Your authenticiy and integrity should shine for them.

Dabu The Dragon

5:56 am on Aug 23, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member


Thank you for your experienced input. I hear and submit. I totally understand where you are coming from, and will definitely not pose as anything that I am not.

The truth of the matter is that this is my dream job. For the past 8 years I have worked primarily as a web developer who did 'some' web promotion as a side dish.

I have always had a desire for online marketing but for whatever reason I could only attract those who wanted flashy websites. After I finished college all I could find is web design work. Trying to get clients to pay for web promotion was sometimes difficult.

Recently, like a month or so ago, I moved to a larger city and finding that my skill set is in great demand. Well, far greater than when I lived in a much smaller city. I have been offered some pretty good web developer positions. But web marketing is my true passion. I find that analyzing data for the purpose of giving a user a better web experience not only can help improve a web site, but what I gain in understanding on a whole helps me become a better person. (Sounds hammy I know.)

And it's because of that increase I obtain on a personal level that induces a certain level of responsibility to my craft and the protection of my client or employer.

Or to boil it all down you could say that it's been good to me, so I must be good to it. :)

Everything I have learned has either come from a mistake I had to correct or here at WebmasterWorld. Thank you tedster for taking the time, from I'm sure more interesting post, to respond to little ole' me.



6:35 am on Aug 23, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tedster is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

I find that analyzing data for the purpose of giving a user a better web experience not only can help improve a web site, but what I gain in understanding on a whole helps me become a better person. (Sounds hammy I know.)

Nope -- sounds more like you ought to come to PubCon and hang out! I wish you the very best in getting your dream job. Let your passion shine through and they'd be crazy to pass you over.

Dabu The Dragon

2:25 am on Sep 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Just to add some closure to this thread, I'm happy to say that I got the job. Yay! They contacted me today and told me that I would be starting after the holiday. I couldn't be more thrilled.

I would have never gotten the job if I didn't frequent WebmasterWorld. The wealth of knowledge I've obtained from just being here has made a difference in my life and my families. Thanks again Tedster.


2:48 am on Sep 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member ken_b is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

Congratulations Dabu The Dragon!


3:28 am on Sep 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tedster is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

I love it when the good news starts flowing! You're very welcome for any help I have ever been.


12:42 pm on Sep 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Just out of curiosity, did they even question you on your skills?

I know that this is very hard for a great many companies because there is simply no one within the company who knows enough to do so. Unfortunatly, some companies get taken by shysters who don't know jack about internet marketing besides submitting a URL to a search engine every six months (yes, I know, that doesn't work and isn't necessary, but that's how clueless they are).

I am sure this is not the case for you, Dragon. I am sure that the company that hired you got very lucky that they found a good marketer like yourself. Congratulations!

I do sometimes wonder if there is a market for a hiring consultant who interviews on the technical side of things for companies.


1:04 pm on Sep 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member


now there's an interesting thought!

Who'd want a job, but consulting by doing the interview for them ... makes one think.


1:37 pm on Sep 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

It also seems that they have been having a difficult time filling the position.

This should be a red flag to you. They may be looking for someone to work into the ground without fair compensation. Also, a lot of companies dangle a "dream job" out there that doesn't really exist, they are just interested in pumping you for information.

Back in the day when I worked for others, I would turn the interview around and interview them. Have a ton of questions for them, get them talking, get them on their heels, etc.

Just remember, deep down, your "dream job" is working for yourself.

Hurricane John Spoiled the Party


2:12 pm on Sep 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Dabu -
I think a few of us would be interested in more details!

--What city is the job in?
--Did they post the job as a Web Marketing Specialist
--What was the face to face interview like?
--Are they interested in natural serp's or are they looking for somone to manage PPC accounts?
--Salary Range? (if you'd rather not give details then compare it to a web developer)


2:45 pm on Sep 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

More and more you will see the market turn to people who are a conglomerate of both IT and marketing. SEO happens to be the most obvious example of this but I have been working for a couple years now doing both ends of that job. In fact I think it is the best marriage of industries that people like us can come into. If you think about it really, who best understands things like web analytics, traffic patterns, search engine behavior, etc.? Now apply that knowledge into typical marketing projects like A/B splits, e-mail blasts, image/ad creation and user feedback identification, and you suddenly have very powerful tools at your disposal, not to mention a good reason to ask for a raise!

The old Dilbert idiom of IT and Marketing always being at odds is long gone. Nowadays they are one and the same. Marketers who can't code and webmasters with no people skills watch out, you need to step it up a notch or get left behind in the dust...

main hoon na

7:13 am on Sep 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Congrats Debu, hope you do very good job for your company.

I have taken around 100 SEO interviews in last one plus year and it has been always been extremely difficult to get the right person. These were SEO interviews and would not cover other aspects of Internet Marketing. It’s very tough to judge the right person in 1-3 hours of interview. I would like to share few questions which I used to ask for other WW users

The candidates whom I interviewed where in range of fresher to 3 plus years of experience.

For the fresher or junior level candidates I would start of with a written test. The written test was to understand if the candidates had enough exposure to the internet and computer operations.

As a fresher I looked for the following qualities.

1. Good in English
2. Should have some basic computer education. But shouldn’t fancy programming too much.
3. Loves to surf and read stuff on the net on each and every subject.
4. Have a list of good sites in his favorites
5. Knows the latest features of Google, Yahoo, MSN
6. Knows what is Wiki
7. Knows at least how to keep a link on a webpage
8. Should be a kind of cyber junkie
9. Few computer operation questions to go with that, some thing like what happens when I type in www.domainame.com in any browser.

For the experienced one I would go with the following questions

1. Ask about what sites the candidates did SEO for and what was his/her methodology to get good rankings. Need to double check if it was team effort or individual effort as in many cases candidates might simply give details about what some of his colleagues might have done to get results. The industry also matters like the health and finance SEO’s
2. Then I would ask him/her to explain the step by step process of the SEO that he/she would do if given one brand new website. I would prefer very detailed answer for this.
3. The same question but for an old site

Then I would ask few other questions like
1. What are the favorite sites for updating one self about SEO.
2. What was Google’s latest update called and what are its highlights
3. May be even ask about some other major updates
4. If asked to do black hat SEO what things the candidate would perform
5. What strategy the candidate would apply when Google is against most of standard SEO practice.

Some other basic questions would follow if the candidate is interesting
1. What is google sets
2. Few questions about google labs products
3. What is canonical issue
4. Who is Matt Cutts
5. Which Stats tracking tools the candidate knows

Each question was to get some thing started and based on the answer followed some more questions related to it.

Hope this helps the interviewers as well as candidates.

[edited by: tedster at 7:27 am (utc) on Sep. 2, 2006]

Dabu The Dragon

12:02 am on Sep 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Thank you ken_b I'm extremely pleased with the outcome.

hannamyluv- Yes they did question me on my skills. I was interviewed by both their web department and their marketing department. This is a very large company that operate in 7 different countries. And the reason they had a hard time filling the position is because they weren't able to find anyone who properly met their needs. I guess the 20 or so people they interviewed before me didn't really have 'proof' of their seo skills. Most every site I have every promoted does well. So fortunely I have happy clients with sites that get great numbers to prove my understanding of seo. I think my proof and references clenched it for me.

mifi601 - lol!

cabowabo - I hear you big time. I have been studying them, just as much as they have been studying me. But I believe that the truth of the matter in this situation is that I needed more stability at this time for my life and they needed a person with my exact skill set.

And yes I do agree with you working for myself is the 'dream job'. I will ALWAYS be an online entrepreneur. That will never change. But right now this is a good move for me. Who knows what the future holds.

MrSpeed - The job is in Chicago. I'm not sure if they posted the job or not. Someone from their recruiting department contacted me from my monster.com resume posting. They were interested in natural serps. And the salary is right there with web developer range.

The face to face was really professional but relaxed. They occupy a nice skyrise downtown adjacent a 5 star hotel. I was very impressed with their set up. I met with the web mgr. for about 45 min. He was more so interested in learning more about my past projects. He also wanted me to explain in detail the difference between white hat vs black hat.

Next up were 2 people from the web dept. They asked me about 'best pratices' and what would a average day of web marketing be like for me. The tools I use and the web sites I frequent. (WebmasterWorld #1)

Next up was the marketing mgr. We talked about Internet marketing in general. Then 2 people from their marketing dept. They wanted me to give them the pros and cons of their site. I tried not to say anything negative. I more so just focused on their positive parts. Next 2 interviews were from the HR dept. And that's it. It lasted about 31/2 hours.

Murdoch - Yes I do believe this company is doing just that. My background with business web development, object oriented programming and web marketing/counsulting was very attractive to them. They really wanted someone with the capacity to understand anything and a self-starter mentality.

main hoon na - Thank you very much. I will do my best. And thanks for the list of questions. I will definitely use them to get a re-alignment of my understanding. And who is this Matt Cutts guy? :)

[edited by: Dabu_The_Dragon at 12:22 am (utc) on Sep. 3, 2006]


6:54 am on Sep 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Just out of curiousity.

What is the salary range for people doing internet marketing. I understand it probably has alot to do with location, however I feel this shouldn't actually be a factor as the internet doesn't have geographical boundaries.

I have been looking at jobs and since I already earn a livable amount of money from my affiliate businesses the recruiters always seem to think my salary expectations are a bit to much.

From my research it seems $100K is a top end package in the market.

Have I got it all wrong?



Dabu The Dragon

7:44 am on Sep 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

That is a good question John. I'm no expert on salary arbitration for Web Marketing work. But from my research it seems that an experienced seo web marketer can make 100k plus in the corporate world. But there are so many factors involved like; location,(The west coast seems to pay about 20k to 30k more on avg.) company size, company need, does the position require you playing a supervisor role, etc. My position pays well. But I'm not making 100k. Maybe in 2 or 3 years I could hit that.


11:00 am on Sep 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Thanks Dragon,

I guess in my experience chatting to people about this, the topic always comes round to managing teams in order have a higher salary.

Being an affiliate I do manage contractors occassionally but it's not exactly the experience that I think employers are looking for.

So my next question is are top SEO people employable (forgetting the money part)? From my experience all these positions want people with years of SEO experience, managment of people and the ability to be a self starter (frankly I don't buy the self starter part). The only people I know who come close to meeting these criteria (years, management) work in the casino's but quite frankly all the top skills in SEO are provided by consultants or affiliates who get good rankings and would never come and work in the enviroments being offered by corporates.

My take on this is that SEO is inheriently entrepreneurial environment due to it's relatively young age and changing parameters. Can this skill really work with a corporate that needs more structure?

Maybe this is another topic?

Anyways just my ranting,


[edited by: Fortuneaff at 11:02 am (utc) on Sep. 3, 2006]

Dabu The Dragon

5:06 pm on Sep 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I totally understand where you are coming from John. It does make sense that a person with the ability to generate income online would work for themselves. As for me I did work for myself for a few years. And did generate enough to live on. But life happens. Children are born. Deal breakers occur. Things happen.

I still have much to learn in regards to seo, time and business management and when to out source work. I had way too many clients to give my personal sites, and my family, the attention they required. Sometimes being able to design websites, program servers and promote websites can make you feel as though you have to do everything yourself. Sometimes your passions need taming.

I'm sure I didn't charge enough many times and some of my clients were very demanding. And maybe I could have been a better business person as well. I just chalked it up to needing more understanding, experience and wisdom.


1:38 am on Sep 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member


Generally a top marketing specialist, at least for me, could go for a livable base salary with a major bonus component where there is no limit for the upside. I made my money as an affiliate who was fortunate enough to have the merchant's cost structure and just became a merchant. I would much rather pay a base for a top web marketer + some incentive depending on total profit generated. I don't have any problem with a top marketing person making six figures.

Somebody who is knowledgeable about natural SEM, PPC strategies, contextual marketing, affiliate marketing, and general quantitative media buying is a major plus. From a web marketing perspective this person should have a thorough understanding conversion through multivariate website optimization, email marketing, and love analytics/number crunching.

Anybody who is loyal and can directly generate profitability is worth some percentage of what they generate.


P.S. If you are moving to Chicago, feel free to PM me from a networking perspective.


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