Get the best tips for your career, job search and your life. Subscribe today (we send one email every 2 weeks)

7 Tips for Mastering Interviews for SEO-Related Positions

seo Feb 14, 2024

Are you considering a role in Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?

Helping businesses gain online visibility can be incredibly fulfilling.

Whether you're a first-time applicant or an expert looking for an executive position, you will need strong technical skills.

But there are more tips for job seekers to make a lasting first impression in an interview.

Having navigated countless resumes and conducted numerous interviews for SEO-related positions, I've gained first-hand knowledge of the common mistakes that candidates make.

I've seen great candidates lose their dream jobs because the interview went south.

So, if you're job hunting or preparing for an interview, I'll share 7 invaluable tips for mastering interviews for SEO-related positions.

Let's get started with my list of tips for mastering interviews for SEO-related positions.

? FREE TRIAL: Get Started with LoopCV & Send Out 100s of Highly-Targeted Job Applications in <10 Minutes

1. Research the Position

Often people walk into an interview with zero knowledge of what the role entails. This happens mostly when you're coming through a recruiter who didn't take the time to explain the job description.

But that's not an excuse.

You've got to do your due diligence because SEO is a multifaceted field with various job titles, each with a different job description.

Some examples are SEO manager, SEO analyst, and SEO specialist. If you’re new to the industry, you may need to seek clarification on what each of these entails and the exact job description for each.

Also, some agencies or brands have dedicated team members who handle specific tasks, while others expect you to multitask and complete most of the work alone.

Before you find yourself in a dicey situation, here's what you should know:

  • SEO managers develop and implement effective SEO strategies. Although it's a leadership role, you must possess in-depth knowledge of every aspect of search engine optimization, including algorithms, on-page SEO, and off-page SEO.
  • SEO analysts gather and analyze website data to boost search rankings and assess the effectiveness of the current SEO strategies. They may also engage in keyword research, content audit, and competitor campaign analysis.
  • SEO specialists identify aspects of a company's online presence that require search engine optimization. They build backlinks, optimize website content, and improve a website's organic visibility.
  • Other SEO-related positions also exist, such as content writer, copywriter, account manager, social media manager, and marketing manager. It's important to understand what role you're interviewing for.

This is one of the most important tips for mastering interviews for SEO-related positions, so make sure you don’t skip this one.

2. Demonstrate Your Skills

Search engine optimization isn't just a concept to understand, but has practical applications. So, you should create a portfolio that showcases your skills and experience.

In the heat of an interview, you may struggle to come up with the right answers to certain technical questions.

For instance, when asked how to rank on the number one position for a keyword, it's easier to present a before and after result of a website you've optimized.

Also, if you’ve helped increase a website's organic traffic, prepare a case study. It should explain the challenges you faced, the techniques you implemented, and the metrics that attest to your success.

This way, you can clearly explain the steps you took, the rationale behind them, and the results you achieved.

Now, if you're applying to entry-level positions, you may not have a lot of experience in SEO.

But here's what you can do:

Create a personal website, publish optimized content, and grow your traffic. You can even integrate a simple quiz builder to generate and nurture leads

Also, if you encounter technical SEO problems, take note of how you resolve them.

While it's cool to talk about rankings and organic traffic, you should consider how they translate to lead generation or revenue. Just generating more traffic for a website may not impress interviewers.

In addition, you can position yourself as an expert on social media, then highlight the links to your social media profiles in your resume. Don't forget to include your educational background and certifications that match the role you're applying for.

3. Research the Company

Just as interviewers want to know whether you're the best fit for the organization, you should also decide whether the environment is right for you.

How can you achieve that?

There are different ways to research a company before applying. Here are a few you can try:

  • Visit the company's website to learn about its mission, vision, products and/or services, and target audience.
  • Read employee reviews on third-party sites like Glassdoor and Google Reviews.
  • Another thing you can do is to find the company's LinkedIn page. Navigate to the “people” section to find associated members. It will give you a clue of who's working in the SEO department and persons who may be your interviewers.

For instance, here's a LinkedIn page of a digital marketing agency, showing profiles of people who work there.

Image via LinkedIn

Once you have enough information on a company and have identified some contacts, you can connect with them or send a message to inquire about the organizational culture. This will help you become familiar with the company.

Additionally, you should analyze the SEO performance of the company's website, such as keywords, traffic, links, content, and ranks, and compare it with competitor websites.

This will give you insight into the strengths and weaknesses of its existing SEO efforts.

It also enables you to prepare questions to ask your interviewers, such as “Which SEO strategy did you implement recently?”

The answer will provide context for suggesting areas of improvement based on your personal research.

However, you should be careful when pointing out these improvements. The SEO expert who's working on that website may be sitting on the interview panel. And they're not just testing your experience but also your approach to problem-solving and team fit.

Interviewers want to know how much industry knowledge you possess. That's because the field of SEO is constantly evolving. Algorithms that worked last year or even the previous month may have become obsolete.

For instance, in the ‘90s, SEO was more about keyword stuffing and spammy backlinking. As mentioned in the Attrock article, that's a bad SEO practice and can attract severe consequences like blacklisting your website.

In the 2000’s the focus shifted to relevant and valuable content and by 2021, the priority was mobile-first indexing.

With advancements in machine learning and artificial intelligence, SEO evolution is only just starting. More trends such as user intent, voice search, and E-A-T (Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness) have emerged.

So, you should be aware of every minor and major algorithm update, including how you can adapt them to improve your SEO strategies.

Use online course platforms to keep your SEO knowledge updated and enroll in courses that offer new knowledge and unique tips to improve your skills.

You can join online SEO communities, follow SEO blogs, and attend webinars to stay up to date with the latest SEO trends and impress your interviewers.

5. Know Your SEO Tools

One of the interview questions to expect is “Which SEO tools do you use?”

Search engine optimization requires the use of several tools and platforms, like keyword research tools, paid search engine intelligence software, and web analytics tools to execute, track, and improve SEO campaigns.

So, at this point, the hiring team wants you to demonstrate your understanding of SEO tools and how they function. You should also mention the set of tools you prefer using.

Ahrefs is a popular tool for competitor research and link building. Google Search Console allows you to monitor and understand how visitors view your website. Also, Surfer and BuzzSumo are commonly used tools for SEO content generation.

Here are some free SEO tools offered by Google:

Image via Quora

Other tools you should know about are Semrush, Moz, AnswerThePublic, and Majestic, among others.

There are numerous SEO tools on the market, but you don't have to learn how to use all of them. Instead, look for tools that will benefit the company you intend to work with.

6. Read the Room

The essence of researching the company in advance is to get a hint of who may be on the interview panel. But if you can't get that piece of information, you should prepare your answers to please any interviewer.

For instance, you should also prepare some technical questions like why integrating the customer service management software into an eCommerce website is good SEO practice.

It's a different ball game when an SEO expert interviews you and when the hiring team comprises people who don't know anything about SEO and it’s applied practices.

So, if your interviewer is a professional in the field, you can forge ahead with the technical aspects of search engine optimization. They'll understand when you use industry-specific language to explain processes.

On the contrary, if there are non-technical people on the panel, you may want to highlight how specific SEO efforts can impact the business.

This category of people may not even understand what it means for a website to gain visibility or organic traffic. So, you'll have to explain in more detail using simple words and analogies.

Also, what they may want to know is how many clients can the company onboard as a result of your activities and how much revenue will be generated.

7. Be Honest and Confident

If you've got the skills and experience in SEO, be confident about it when speaking with your interviewers. You should also be honest when discussing your challenges and limitations.

Additionally, it’s okay if you don't have answers to some questions. SEO is overwhelmingly broad and I don't expect candidates to have encountered every scenario.

But here are some tips:

  • Address the question from a theoretical perspective. It shows your ability to think rationally and brainstorm solutions.
  • Also, demonstrate a willingness to expand your horizons. Excellent SEO professionals are committed to continuous learning and growth.


There you have it—the top tips for mastering interviews for SEO-related positions.

In a nutshell, acing an interview for SEO-related positions goes beyond technical competence. You have to understand the job description, showcase problem-solving skills, follow industry trends, and communicate technical terms to non-technical people.

Armed with the top tips for mastering interviews for SEO-related positions, you're well-equipped to secure that coveted role as well as thrive in the dynamic industry.

I wish you the best of luck on your journey to ace your interviews for SEO-related positions.

Author Bio - Reena Aggarwal

Reena is Director of Operations and Sales at Attrock, a result-driven digital marketing company. With 10+ years of sales and operations experience in the field of e-commerce and digital marketing, she is quite an industry expert. She is a people person and considers the human resources as the most valuable asset of a company. In her free time, you would find her spending quality time with her brilliant, almost teenage daughter and watching her grow in this digital, fast-paced era.
Social connects: LinkedIn, Twitter


Zoi Kotsou

Copywriter - Content writer - Content Strategist

Great! You've successfully subscribed.
Great! Next, complete checkout for full access.
Welcome back! You've successfully signed in.
Success! Your account is fully activated, you now have access to all content.