Wednesday, July 11, 2012

SEO and SEM Interview Questions - Part 1

Almost a year ago, I switched jobs. I went from an in house SEO/SEM and everything guy to a SEO/SEM guy for an agency that provides those types of services for a lot of different companies.

Before I left the old position, I was tasked with finding my replacement. So I typed up some questions that I would ask the people who applied to the job. Some of the questions are general and some are specific

Here they are, along with the type of answer I was looking for.

General SEO and Website Questions

Q: What is eCommerce? What is your eCommerce experience?

I was looking for a simple definition. The answers I were told ranged from something like, "a shopping cart where you checkout" to "entering a credit card online".
A: Making a purchase on a website.

Q: Can you write HTML code by hand?

I didnt need someone who could build a dynamic site by hand but I think that being able to do a simple paragraph with some bold text and hyperinks can really tell you a lot about the type of optimizer you are working with.
A: Yes, but not anything super extravagent.

Q: What is your favorite web browser?

This is a question that doesnt have a right or wrong answer but it can still tell you a lot about people. Some answers were "Firefox" or "Mainly FireFox but I am trying to use Chrome more".
A: I personally use Chrome most of the time but I actually use FireFox and Internet Explorer too in order to check combatability and for different plugins and tools.

Q: What is on page SEO? What is off page SEO?

This is a somewhat tricky question that may not have a wrong answer. Well, I guess a wrong answer would be something that has nothing to do with search engines or something like that.
A: On page SEO are the things you can do within the website you own in order to help it rank for the keywords and phrases that you would like it to. Off page SEO are the things that you can do on other web sites towards those same goals.

Q: What is the difference between white hat and black hat?

This was an important question for me. I think that this will tell you a lot about how serious the person is about SEO. I believe that SEO's should stay within ethical guidelines and "follow the rules".
A: White hat is what the search engines have stated as being within their guidelines for search engine optimization. Black hat is generally unethical tactics to have a page rank. It usually doesn't work for long and can get you penalized.

Q: Who is Matt Cutts?

This is a pretty important question. Some of the answers I got were, "I dont know" and maybe "the Google Guy".
A: He is in charge of the webspam for Google and he often does videos for webmasters on YouTube.

Q: What is your favorite SEO website/blog, and why?

This is an open ended question. There were some that I were looking for but I was also hoping soemone would tell me a few that I didn't know about.
A: SeoMoz, Analytics.Blogspot.com, GoogleWebMasterCentral.Blogspot.com, InsideSearch.Blogspot.com and Search Engine Roundtable are a few good ones. There are actually a lot more.


The Wrap Up.. For Now

I have a lot more questions that I asked but I will save that for part 2. Tell me what your answers are in the comments below!


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