Common SEO Interview Questions
No matter how experienced you are, it’s important to turn up to your interview prepared to answer these common SEO interview questions.
8 Jun 2023
Some of these questions might seem like second nature – but trust us, we’re not trying to patronise you. If you’ve got invited to an interview in the first place, you obviously know your stuff! But no matter how experienced you might be, it’s important to turn up to your interview prepared. So, you should rehearse your responses to these common questions (or at least give some thought as to how you’d approach answering them). Then everything will be fresh in your mind when it comes to interview day.
SEO Executive interview questions
Your interview questions will vary depending on the nature of the job you’re applying for – whether it’s in-house/agency, technical/content-based etc. But, these SEO Executive interview questions are a great starting point. So, let’s dive straight in.
1. How do you typically approach the process of keyword research?
In an SEO Executive position, you’ll likely spend lots of time focused on keyword research. So, you definitely need to prepare your answer to this question – even if you know the process like the back of your hand. Here are the key things you should cover in your answer:
- Understanding the business and target audience – you should start off by explaining the importance of aligning your keyword research to the objectives of the business to show your interviewer that you’re capable of creating a focused and effective keyword strategy. Then tell them how you’d go about understanding the needs of your target audience.
- Utilising keyword tools – next, showcase your familiarity with keyword tools like Semrush, or Moz Keyword Explorer. Explain how you leverage these tools to gather information about search volumes, keyword variations, and related terms, and to identify keywords with high search volume and relatively low competition.
- Analysing competitors – cover how you go about analysing the keywords targeted by competitors to help identify gaps in their strategies and uncover potential opportunities for your own keyword targeting.
- Analysing user intent – this is becoming increasingly important, so don’t be tempted to skip over this in your answer. To show your understanding of user intent, explain how you analyse search results and identify patterns to find out what your audience is looking for. Then link this back to your keyword strategy and how you align content to meet the needs of your audience.
2. How do you measure the success of your SEO campaigns?
The interviewer will want to get an understanding of your analytical skills, so you’ll no-doubt be asked a question along these lines. We think it’s best to approach this question in two halves:
- The metrics you track – there are hundreds of metrics you can track, but it’s best to focus on a couple of key metrics in your interview. Pick the most important ones and make sure you emphasise the importance of aligning your SEO goals with the objectives of the broader business.
- How you track them – you’ll need to mention the tools you use to track organic traffic, keyword rankings, engagement metrics, conversions, etc. For example, do you use Google Analytics, Google Search Console, Moz, Semrush, Ahrefs, Screaming Frog, or other tools? If you don’t have experience using the specific tools that are required in the job, you’ll need to mention similar tools you’ve used, and make it clear that you’re willing to learn how to use new tools.
3. How do you stay up-to-date with all the changes in organic search?
As an SEO Executive, you’ll need to demonstrate your passion for the field – and this question is your perfect chance to do just that. Use this question to showcase your enthusiasm and to illustrate how you stay ahead of the curve. Mention how you like to keep up with trends – it goes without saying that you should only mention reliable sources. For example:
- Industry blogs (e.g Moz, Semrush, Ahrefs, etc.)
- Webinars (e.g the Yoast SEO news webinar)
- Online courses
- Industry publications
- SEO forums
- Industry events
- Podcasts (e.g Search Engine Journal)
- Social media groups
Your interviewer will be on the lookout for someone who is committed to continuous learning – something that’s especially important in the rapidly-evolving SEO world.
4. Can you give an example of how you’ve successfully collaborated with other people/teams?
Effective collaboration with other people and teams is crucial for success in an SEO Executive role, so a question on this topic is likely. Your answer will totally depend on your experience, but here are a couple of example scenarios that would showcase your collaboration skills:
- Content collaboration – have you worked with a content team to develop keyword-targeted, high-quality content that aligns with your SEO goals? If the answer is yes, this would be a great way to demonstrate your communication and collaboration skills.
- Technical collaboration – have you worked with developers/technical teams to address technical issues? Let the interview know if you have.
- Collaborative planning and strategy development – have you been involved in cross-functional meetings and planning sessions? The answer is probably yes, so tell the interviewer how you’ve contributed your perspectives and insights.
5. How do you anticipate SEO changing in the future?
This is a juicy one (in our opinion)! Of course, generative AI is a hot topic in search at the moment, following the recent announcements from Google – so perhaps you could cover this. Or maybe cover your thoughts on voice search, since that’s gaining in popularity. Whatever you choose to talk about, make sure you show your enthusiasm and passion for the subject. Remember, no-one has a crystal ball, so you can’t really get this answer wrong! So relax, and try to enjoy the discussion.
6. What are the key components of on-page optimisation?
If you’ve landed the interview, we’ll assume you know how to answer this question already! So, we’re not going to patronise you here. But we’ve recapped key elements below so that they’re fresh in your mind for interview day:
- Captivating title tags
- Meta descriptions
- Strategic keyword placement
- Compelling and engaging content that resonates with your target audience
- Seamless internal linking
- External linking
- User-friendly URLs
- Intuitive navigation
7. What is your usual approach to copywriting?
Note: Not all SEO Executive jobs involve copywriting, so skip this answer if it doesn’t apply to you.
Knowing the process is one thing, but demonstrating your knowledge to the interviewer is another. To really showcase your copywriting skills, you need to cover all of the below elements in your answer:
- Keyword research – first off, you need to explain your approach to keyword research. You might have already gone through this in a previous interview question (see question 1 above), so you don’t need to go into too much detail if that’s the case. But, if you’ve not already covered this – now is your chance.
- Understanding the audience – your interviewer will be looking for someone who can create content that appeals to their target audience. So, you need to explain how you go about researching the motivations and needs of target audiences, to help you create content that resonates with them.
- Hierarchical structure – next, you need to explain your approach to hierarchical structure. So, tell the interviewer how you use descriptive H1, H2, H3 etc. to improve readability.
- Engaging content – cover the tactics you use to effectively engage and persuade your audience, and make sure you emphasise the importance of creating readable and natural sounding content. This is also a great opportunity to demonstrate your understanding of EEAT (Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness).
- Optimised titles and meta descriptions – explain your approach to creating compelling and optimised titles and meta descriptions.
- Internal and external linking – tell the interviewer how you include relevant internal and external links to improve navigation, to distribute authority, and to improve credibility.
- Continuous optimisation – of course, SEO is an ongoing process. So, tell the interviewer how you usually monitor the performance of your content and identify opportunities for improvement.
8. Can you describe a challenging situation you’ve encountered with a client and how you effectively managed it to maintain a positive working relationship?
Note: This question is designed for client-facing positions, so feel free to skip the answer if it’s not applicable to you.
If you’re in a client-facing position, you’ll probably have been in this situation before! Your interviewer will want to hear the steps you took to resolve things, for example:
- Actively listened to the client concerns
- Demonstrated empathy
- Addressed the issue – for example, did you customise the reporting process to address their concerns? Or did you work with them to set realistic expectations about results? You need to go into some detail about the actions you took to resolve things, and make sure you emphasise how promptly you acted on this.
- Communicated effectively and with transparency
Advanced SEO interview questions
If you’re interviewing for a more senior position, like SEO Manager, you’ll want to brush up on these questions.
What’s your approach to developing an SEO strategy?
How would you go about performing a technical SEO audit?
How would you handle a website migration?
What are some quick technical SEO wins?
How do you optimise for voice search?
How would you go about improving website loading speed?
Hopefully, you’re now feeling equipped to impress your interviewers. If you’re interviewing for a broader marketing role, you’ll want to prepare for common marketing interview questions too – so here’s a bit of extra reading for you.
Are you a business looking to hire an SEO expert? Check out how we can help over on our SEO recruitment page.