SEO engineer is extremely unhappy, watching his website rankings all over the place. We can see a man who is ready to smash his keyboard with his fists.Search engine optimization is a quickly evolving field.

If you try to get job with one of the SEO agencies, you will have to demonstrate your knowledge of the latest trends in the industry.

Some people believe that SEO is more an art than a science. On the top of that, two experts in the field can have a different opinion on a certain SEO strategy, either becasue what works for one website does not necessarily have to work for another one, or they may consider the technique black-hat.

The key is to show your interviewers that you have an opinion, that you have some experience, but at the same time you are always ready to learn, and adhere to the strategies they use while optimizing clients’ websites.


Three things to remember when you interview for a SEO job:

  • SEO guy interviewing in a company, a nice lady leads an interview. They are both wearing business casual attire, and we can see a city glittering in the afternoon sun behind the windows.Always speak about opinions, not about facts. To say “My opinion is that anchor text does not matter” is very different to “Anchor text does not matter anymore”.
  • Try to have the same philosophy as the person who leads the interview with you. For example, if they supports guest blogging, you should mention that you also prefer it to other forms of link building. A pre-interview research should help you to understand what prefer in the company.
  • Try to avoid mentioning black hat SEO. We have all heard the stories of websites that reached a peak one day and crashed another one. This is exactly what happens when you apply black hat SEO link-building techniques, and it is all right to do that with your own websites. But once client’s business is at stake, you should stay away from black hat methods.

Let’s have a look at some questions right now.

List of questions you will deal with in your interview

  1. Define SEO. (Try to cover also other sources of traffic, such as social media in your answer).
  2. Why is SEO important for every business? (Speak about the correlation of higher traffic and higher conversion rate to the profit of the business.)
  3. What is your opinion on WordPress and Joomla? Which CMS is the best one when we talk about on-page SEO?
  4. Define the main factors that influence the position of the website in SERPs nowadays? (To start with a relevant content and authority of the website will be a good answer on any given day.)
  5. Programmer at work, looking at data on four different screens at the same time. What do you consider the future of search engine optimization? (A good answer to this question changes from year to year, but in the last years of the second decade of the 21st century you can go for mobile optimization, local SEO, and user engagement).
  6. Try to describe SEO to someone who has never heard the expression. (Try to speak in a simple way and avoid using terminology.)
  7. Have you ever used any black-hat SEO techniques? If yes, tell us about the results. (I recommend to say that you are aware of the techniques, but have never used them before. You can also say that you understand that the risk/reward ratio associated with black hat SEO is not favorable for most clients.)
  8. Can you show me a website that you have optimized? (Very important question. If you have not done any SEO before, at least with some success, it will be difficult to get this job. Once showing them the website, point to critical SEO issues and how you addressed them.)
  9. Why do you want to work for someone, instead of freelancing? (This is actually a pretty tough question. The truth is that the real SEO experts work on their own websites, or sell their services to third parties. However, you can mention that you struggle to find new clients, that you are not a good sales person, or that you simply prefer to work in a team, and have a job security.)
  10. What programming languages do you know?


Other questions and a practical test

Besides the technical questions, you will have to answer some personal and behavioral questions.

A short practical test of your skills can also follow – you will be shown a website, or even just an html code, and your task will be to suggest how you’d proceed with the optimization.

Continue your preparation with Interview Penguin: