Talent is hard to find. Good talent is nearly impossible, especially when it comes to SEO and digital marketing where there are far too many people who can talk the theory but come up dumbfounded when it comes to the execution.
You aren’t just hiring someone who can optimize a site, build a couple of links, and mull around your analytics. That’s what an SEO professional does, and showing they can do those things and more is important.
But above all, you’re hiring a culture fit. You’re hiring someone you can depend on. You’re looking for someone who you know will do the right thing when you aren’t there looking over their shoulder.
Here are nine questions you can ask applicants that separate the good talkers from the good talent.
Basic, but tells a lot. You’re looking for someone to fill out that T-shaped marketer we call them “general specialists” someone who understands the breadth of all digital but has immense focus in one area. Pry them on their specialty. You’ll be able to see who’s really passionate.
You want to see that keep up with the industry, but asking about a specific article will let you know they actually read them rather than naming a laundry list of blogs they’ve heard of. Probe them on the article’s details.
This question separates the single-task people and the multitaskers, but it catches people on their toes. Either answer can do depending on what you’re looking for, but make sure they back it up.
You’re looking for consultative here. They mention a few questions they would ask clients to understand the business goals. Bonus points if they ask you to clarify if it’s for a new or an existing website.
If they say rankings, you can immediately cross them off your list. Bonus points if they talk about different things they’ve tried measuring and explain what worked and didn’t. If you really want to get deep, have them log into their analytics and walk you through what they see.
SEO professionals and digital marketers could spend 1,000 hours testing different things. Sadly, we have to adhere to these pesky things called budgets. Here, you’re looking for examples of tactics they’ve implemented that can scale to multiple clients, and it’s not just a one-and-done thing.
9 Interview Questions to Ask Your SEO Hires