Though corporations moved the core of their online activities from websites to social media, a corporate web is still a must-have, at least if they want the public to consider serious. What’s more, Facebook or Instagram can ban you at any time, you do not really own your social profiles (though many people think so), or decide what the real owners of them show there. With your own website you have things under control.
Each corporate website needs an administrator, and this does not necessarily have the be the person (or company) who designed the website. This is true especially now, when more than 50% of the websites run on WordPress. But what will happen when you try to get a job of a website administrator? What questions will they ask you, and how should you answer them to land the job? We will look at it right now.
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Can you please tell us more about your experience with website administration?
Typically the first question (unless they use the “Tell me about yourself” opening), and probably the most important one. Remember that they ask you about web administration, and not web development.
I suggest you to prepare a simple portfolio (ideally online, or just open a few browser windows on your laptop before the start of an interview), to to able to show them the websites you administered. Name the tasks you were responsible for–be it SEO, website-speed optimization, content creation or redaction, updating product categories (on e-shops), or anything else.
You should also specify the CMS you worked with on each website (WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, etc), and of course mention any major redesign or improvement you suggested, and successfully implemented.
Now, this doesn’t mean that you cannot succeed without working for clients before. It’s all right if you talk about your own websites, or websites of friends you administered. As long as they see that you are no newbie, and took care of the tasks you’ll take care in your new job, they will be satisfied with your answer.
What do you think about our corporate website. What improvements would you suggest?
It’s crucial that you do your homework, but you do not have to suggest something drastic, such as a complete redesign, claiming that their website is outdated or terrible. Wait with such suggestions until you have a new job contract.
The devil is in detail. Suggesting improving some minor yet important details, such as the score of the website in google website speed test, or the layout of this or that product page on a mobile device, or maybe the checkout experience (simplifying it for the customers) are just some suggestions.
Of course you should do your homework. The more specific you are, the better. Saying that you “you will suggest improving SEO” doesn’t sound very convincing. But saying that “Your website ranks for X keyword on position no. 9 and I really believe that with some improvements we can get it to top 3” sounds completely different. Keep it on your mind when preparing your answer to this question…
What programming languages do you have experience with?
As long as you know HTML, CSS, PHP and SQL you are ready to make any changes with 99% of websites on the web. However, you are ready to make any changes with 70% of websites without knowing any of these languages (perhaps just understanding the basics of HTML and CSS). Instead of the code you will work with plugins, tolls and applications someone else designed for the users of popular content management systems, such as WordPress.
And with hosting & server and similar thing,s the support staff can always help you to address the technical issues. That’s what the company is paying for when sending money to the web hosting company each month anyway…
Refer to these things in a case that you do not have experience with programming languages. Ensure the interviewers that you feel ready to take care of their website, regardless of your programming skills.
* May also interest you: Social media manager interview questions.
What tracking tools and software do you have experience with?
Having a website is one thing. Knowing what happens on it, and why it happens, a completely different one. Ensure your interviewers that you understand the crucial role tracking plays in your work.
You can talk about setting goals in Google Analytics, or working with Komito Analytics or with a paid conversion tracking software such as Voluum, explaining how tracking conversions and other goals helps you to understand the effectiveness of the sales funnels, and eventually find areas for improvement on the websites you manage.
You can also talk about the built-in features of WordPress or any other tools or software programs that make it easier for you to track the important metrics. And if they ask about a specific tool you haven’t worked with yet, ensure them that you know about it, and are sure you’ll learn to work with it in no time.
What are some of the common reasons for a slow loading website? How can you address them?
Website speed is an important ranking factor (an indirect one, affecting user behavior which is a direct ranking factor), and you show stress the importance of a super-fast website in the third decade of 21st century.
Poorly optimized images, too many scripts, not using caching plugins, unclean code, and a poor server performance are just some of the reasons you can mention. You can add that you plan to perform regular website speed tests, uncover areas of improvement, and address them on the go, until the website scores perfect ten (or close to it) and loads fast on all devices, for all users (with the exception of those who have poor internet connection).
Tell us about a time when you struggled to explain a rather technical issue to someone without technical knowledge. What did you do to eventually get your message over?
This can happen often in your job. Some of your decisions (if not most of them) will have to be approved by the managers. And they may not understand what WordPress or Google Analytics is…
I suggest you to say that you always try to avoid technical terms when talking to managers and other people who lack technical skills. Adjusting your language to the type of your audience, you focus more on describing the issue in business terms.
For example, instead of saying that you need to subscribe to XYZ tracking software which costs $XXX/month, you explain that the company is losing a lot of money for not tracking conversions, and that you can address that with a program that costs $XXX/month, but can potentially save (or help to generate) thousands for the business each month.
You can also say that you plan to use demonstration, practical examples and other means of getting your message over.
Other questions you may face in your web administrator interview
- Tell us about the biggest issue you’ve ever faced while administrating a website.
- Imagine that you open a homepage of our corporate website and see a smiley picture of a hacker on your screen. What steps will you take?
- How do you imagine a typical month in this job? What tasks do you think you should do on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis?
- In your opinion, what are the five most important plugins each WordPress website should have installed?
- Describe a website you recently visited that was poorly designed. Show us the website and tell us what you’d improve on it.
- In your opinion, what are the most important metrics we should track with our website?
- If we hire you for this job, what goals will you set for yourself for the first 90 days in work?
* You can download the full list of a questions in a one page long PDF, and practice your interview answers anytime later:
Conclusion, next steps
Interview for a job of a web administrator belongs to interviews with average difficulty. Your experience plays the pivotal role in the hiring process, and you should be able to demonstrate it with a professional portfolio.
It is also important to study their website before the start of your interview, and perhaps even do some tests (ran with free or paid tools). Once in an interview, you should have an action plan ready–that means some suggestions for improvement, because there’s a decent chance they will ask about them.
Last but not least, remember that communication also plays an important role in this job. Prepare for the behavioral questions you may face, to ensure you won’t end up surprised, and silenced, in your interview…
May also interest you:
- SEO interview questions – SEO has changed a lot in the last ten years. But everyone still dreams of being on the top spot of Google for their keywords, and on the top spots of other search engines. You will for sure get at least one question about SEO in your web admin interview, ans should get ready for it.
- Salary negotiation tips – How much you will earn depends on the type of your contract, but also on your negotiation skills in an interview. Learn how to get as much as you deserve.
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