Preparing for an Interview in the SEO/Inbound Marketing Realm

Preparing for an Interview in the SEO/Inbound Marketing Realm
Preparing for an Interview in the SEO/Inbound Marketing Realm

If you are a SEO expert, an inbound marketer, or just someone who is looking to get into these two worlds of online-marketing, preparing for an interview is not as easy as you may think. Interview questions such as ‘what is your weakness’ or ‘describe a time when you excelled’ are slowly being replaced by more complex and technical questions, forcing the interviewee to acquire new knowledge that would have otherwise been unnecessary.

If you are applying for an inbound marketing consultant position, for instance, you would expect to get questions that cover ‘social media’, ‘content creation’, ‘inbound links’, and other topics that fall under the umbrella of inbound-marketing. What you wouldn’t expect, however, are questions that cover ‘API‘, ‘JavaScript‘, ‘coding‘, and topics that otherwise are considered alien to some marketers. Nowadays, these type of questions are vastly used during interviews, literally redefining the field of marketing, and what companies expect from potential candidates.

Some positions, such as the inbound marketing consultant position (discussed above), require heavy knowledge of statistics. Don’t be surprised if during an interview you will be presented with a percentage riddle, forcing you to think outside of what is otherwise known as a ‘conventional interview’. I mentioned API earlier, a topic most marketers consider to be a ‘developers’ domain, because it is not uncommon to be presented with an API question during a marketing interview, and as an inbound marketer you should be able to explain API, and what it does.

A great example of some specific interview questions can be found in this insightful Whiteboard Friday video by Rand Fishkin of SEOmoz. Rand discusses some of the questions that you may come across during an interview at SEOmoz, and other SEO companies. As you can gather from the this video, the technical level of these questions truly separates the professional from the novice.

Solutions

Acquiring all this vast and diverse knowledge depends on your choice of reading material, which should include books, blogs, and of course engaging professionals in the field (Linkedin is a great platform to use for this). If reading a dozen or more blogs seems overwhelming, RSS feed can be a great solution. RSS is a way to subscribe to different blogs in different fields and consolidate a massive amount of information into one hub. It helped me personally in educating myself on topics such as ‘SEO’, “inbound marketing”, ‘programing’ and many more. I suggest you start your own RSS hub (Google Reader is a good choice) by subscribing to different blogs that you find interesting (for example, you can subscribe to this blog if you wish).

In conclusion

Three points need to be highlighted here:

  1. The ‘unconventional’ has now become the ‘conventional’, the norm. What we once thought of as conventional interview questions have now been replaced by questions that demand a wider spectrum of knowledge. And it is these questions that have now become the new ‘conventional’.
  2. As a result of the previous point, be prepared to answer questions you otherwise would not have expected. It is always good to read about API, and different computer languages before you go to a inbound marketing interview. This will show that you have an open mind to new fields and display your vast inbound marketing lexicon.
  3. Don’t be afraid to explore new fields. Reading a ‘programing’ blog can be intimidating at first, but if you are persistent, you will come to understand the terminology they use, and maybe relate it to your field of interest. Remember, nobody expects you to write a code, or use an API as an inbound marketer, but they do expect you to define these concepts. The inability to do so will only put you one step behind.

Have you experienced this trend of the ‘unconventional’ questions becoming the ‘conventional’ questions in your interviews recently?

 

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