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May 13, 2013
How to Prepare for a Job Interview as an SEO Writer
If you find out you have an interview, one of the first things you usually do is Google “how to prepare for [insert interview here] interview.” You want to hear from the professionals, you want to see actual questions that you might get asked so that you can be completely prepared, and you want to do some research to make sure that you know all of the basics. After all, you know you’re qualified for the job, but there is always more to learn.

SEO is a tricky industry because there are so many different layers to SEO. To make things even more intimidating, there are many different blogs and articles and experts out there trying to help (this goes for every industry, but those in the SEO field are particularly brilliant when it comes to online marketing…go figure). For just a quick overview to prepare you for your interview, consider some extra advice from a writer below.

Some Questions You May Get Asked During an Interview
In the past I have interviewed writers to work for SEO content teams. Below are a few of the questions that I would ask and a few of the questions that I remember getting asked way back when I first started in this industry:

1. Have you ever contributed guest content to a website in the past? If so, what was your process for pitching? How did you find new editors to work with? In other words, how do you analyze the sites you choose to write for?

Possible Answer: A good answer would be something about taking time to get to know the site by commenting and sharing content, and then sending a pitch complete with sample articles for the editor to check out. A great way to find new sites is to continually keep up with social media and check out the sites that your connections are associated with. Understanding PageRank is also a plus.

2. Do you work well on your own, or do you prefer to work in groups?

Possible Answer: For this job, it’s important to be happy working alone and setting your own daily goals.

3. Do you have any background knowledge working with ____ or related topics? If so, how do you continue to make sure you are creative and not regurgitating the same information as other blogs out there?

Possible Answer: I typically go around to different blogs to find a topic, and then I take that topic and find a bunch of articles regarding that topic. I try to take bits and pieces of each, and the majority of the time a new angle or opinion will come to me through all of the research.

4. What do you know about your target audience, and how do you really make sure you are leaving a lasting impression?

Possible Answer: This is a tough question to answer, but most good candidates will explain that the target audience is typically small business marketing departments. This of course depends on the type of company that the candidate wrote for in the past (which might very well be slightly different than your current audience).

5. Do you use any tools or specific strategies when writing?

Possible Answer: There are tons and tons of different tools that a writer can use. Mentioning any sort of social tools for promotion (Buffer, SocialBro, etc.) is a great way to show that he/she understands the industry. Any talk of using analytics and analyzing CTR is also a great (and fairly advanced) answer. This is one of those questions that you’ll have a good feeling about right when it is answered.

6. What types of social networking techniques do you use to make sure your content is always earning visibility?

Possible Answer: This is a great opportunity for the candidate to talk about Google+ and the importance of Google+. This network is only going to get more important as Google begins to alter SERPs based on connections and shares, and this is something a writer should be aware of when it comes time to get involved with authorship and social sharing. You can learn more about authorship here.

7. How would you handle working with different clients?

Possible Answer: Working with different clients often means having to change not only the topic of your work, but even the tone and style. This is where a very good writer is going to be your goal, and the research about the topic can be learned.

Other Things To Keep In Mind about an SEO Writer Interview
Being an SEO writer typically means that you are a blogger, or someone writing in blog style and creating connections through social sharing and networking. It often requires writing for nearly five to six hours out of the day. While some find this interesting, I’ve learned that it drives others crazy — even those who love writing. Remember that when you’re in an interview, you’re interviewing that job as much as it’s interviewing you.

Have you ever interviewed to be a blogger for SEO purposes? What was your interview experience? How did you prepare? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below. 

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Amanda DiSilvestro is a graduate of Illinois State University. Although she graduated with an English Education degree, she found herself working as a full-time blogger at Highervisibility, nationally recognized as one of the best SEO companies in the country. Connect with HigherVisibility on Google+ and Twitter to learn more!
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