What digital marketing interview questions should you be asking when you want to hire a digital marketer?
You know that your marketing team can make or mar your business?
We know that it could be quite difficult to hire the best people to join your marketing team because of the competition from top companies.
Hiring the wrong people to join your marketing team is one mistake you should never make as a hiring manager. According to recruitment statistics, a mis-hire cost 5 times more than the candidate’s salary.
So it is important for you as a hiring manager to take the process of getting a new hire seriously, especially if you are hiring for a small business. From interviewing to onboarding and finally getting the right people to join your marketing team is important.
We understand that hiring the right marketing person may not be so easy, that is why we put this Digital marketing interview questions and answers 2019 together to help you get the best hire.
Ready to take a look at digital sales interview questions and answers?
Before we dive in.
Remember that the best digital marketers are not just qualified to do the job that you want to hire them for. You should also look forward to hiring people that would fit into your company culture, people that are passionate about digital marketing, and people that can help the company achieve organizational goal.
Here is a quick look at our ‘Top Guide to Hire a Digital Marketer’ that will definitely help you with your next hire.
If you want to hire a good digital marketing team member to join your business, then your approach needs to be different.
Hiring a digital sales person is quite different from hiring for other positions. One strategy that we have adopted when we want to hire digital marketers, is that we interview our candidates based on two broad categories:
In addition to the competency-based questions, we interview our candidates with case-style questions which involves questions that will give the candidate an opportunity to show how they work on problems.
Below is a list of 28 digital sales interview questions you should ask if you want to get the best for your marketing positions.
This question is one of the most important questions that you should ask your potential digital marketer.
Asking this question, you should take this opportunity to identify the candidate’s ability to use tools that are every relevant to use in the day-to-day running of the business. This will help you understand what metrics they consider most important to track and take record.
This question will also help you understand your prospective hire's software expertise and their knowledge of other soft wares that may be important during the cause of work.
The candidate should be able to list some common digital marketing software and their relevance while answering this question. Tools like: HubSpot CRM + Sales Pro, Active Campaign, Marketo, Act-on, GetResponse.
“Aside using google analytics for web traffic analysis, I also use other tools like HubSpot CRM + Sales Pro, Active Campaign, Marketo, Act-on, GetResponse. I use other tools to approach my marketing from different angles”
This is one relevant question you have to ask a candidate especially if you want to grow the visibility of your website.
This question will help you know if the candidate understands what key word streaming is all about. Your prospective hire should give this kind of response.
“Keyword streaming is about analyzing relevant keyword considering the audience of a website. Keyword streaming is the act of analyzing a particular keyword for a website based on its target audience in order to get organic traffic and leads through keyword. Keyword streaming is helpful for search engine optimization.”
From the response above, the candidate was able to explain what keyword research is and the importance of keyword streaming when conducting keyword research. This is the kind of response you should expect from a prospective hire.
Asking this question will help you know the candidates strategies for achieving results, and how the strategy can be incorporated into your business to boost your marketing strategies.
This question will also help you determine the candidate’s ability to research and how the candidate makes judgement. This will help you know if the candidate’s idea is in alignment with the accepted standard.
The candidate’s answer should explain how the person get keywords to rank for, and why the candidate feels it necessary to rank for a keyword in the first place.
You should expect a response like this from your prospective hire;
“To determine the keyword I want to rank for, first of all I understand my niche and audience. Having a good understanding of that, I use some tools like Uber suggest to look for keywords that I would love to rank for.
a. I look for keywords that have high search volumes; because it means that many people are searching using that keyword.
b. I look for keywords that have high paid difficulty; which means that the keyword is valuable that a lot of people are competing for the paid ad spots. It also means that the increased traffic you get from this keyword may like lead to an increase in revenue.
c. I also look out for keywords that have a low SEO difficulty score; this means that the keyword can rank easily.
d. Once my keyword meets these two requirements, it means that it will be easy for me to rank top 20 from web search.”
Asking this question will help you know if the candidate is process or result oriented. Before you can measure a performance, you must have a goal you set to achieve with a particular campaign. This question will help you understand how the candidate set goals and what success means to him/her.
This question will also help you know if your KPI for the role matches with that of the candidate.
The candidate’s response should be something like this:
“I start measuring my performance by setting goals which aligns with the company's business objective. After I have set goals that I would love to achieve, then I will go ahead and do the following;
a. I usually create a time frame for myself so that I can track the result
b. Then I would create a measurement template that would compare the initial result with what you want to achieve.
c. I check the growth of the overall website traffic, from where it used to be to where it is after my campaign.
d. I also check the conversion rate.
I always set time frame for my KPI using OKR, because it helps me measure my performance easily.”
As a hiring manager, you should look forward to hiring someone that is passionate about digital marketing.
This question will help you know if the candidate is passionate digital marketing or not. There is no particular kind of response for this question, you should look forward to seeing the candidate’s enthusiasm and passion for digital marketing.
A good response may look like this:
“I have always loved to teach people and help people get the information that they may be searching for. As I began to grow in my career, I discovered that digital marketing is a skill that can help me make information know to people especially in this 21st century as much as I can.
The fact that I can help people discover things that they are looking for is one thing that attracted me to digital marketing.”
6. Can you describe some challenges you have faced in your digital marketing
This question will help you understand the challenges that the candidate have experienced, and if that kind of challenge shows up you would know how the candidate would handle it.
This question will also help you know if the candidate is prepared for other challenges that may arise in the cause of his task as a digital marketer.
A good answer would sound close to this;
“One challenge I encountered when I started digital marketing was making my post rank top on search engine. When I started, I knew that it was important to push my content to get traffic, but after a while I noticed that my post had good traffic, but I could not find them easily.
After a while, I understood that I had to concentrate on improving the domain authority of my website to rank better on search engine.”
When you are asking a candidate this question, you should look out for the strong points and weak points of the candidate.
This question will also help you know the rate of the candidate’s expertise in digital marketing.
A prospective hire’s answer should sound like this:
“Well, I will rate myself an eight because I value strong technical digital capabilities, but I know I have a lot of things that I would need to learn about digital marketing. My strongest digital marketing skills are in SEO and Social media marketing.”
This is one of the most important question you should ask a candidate. The candidate’s response to this question will help you know if the candidate has a good understanding of inbound marketing.
This question will also help you understand if the candidate is a good fit for your business especially if you want to concentrate in inbound marketing that will help you sell information that your audience will find useful.
You should expect this kind of answer from a good candidate;
“Inbound marketing is a business strategy that utilizes different marketing channels (content marketing, blogs, events, SEO, social media and more) to create brand awareness. Inbound marketing is focused on creating valuable content and experience that are tailored to your customers.
While outbound marketing may interrupt your audience with content they may not need, inbound marketing creates a connection that your audience are looking for, and also provide solutions to problems that your audience are searching for.”
This is one of the basic questiosn you should ask your prospective hire especially when you are recruiting for an entry level position.
An entry level digital marketer should at least understand what white hat SEO means. If the reputation of your company means so much to you, then you should consider hiring a digital marketer that understands the importance of white cate SEO to your brand.
This is how a good response should look like;
“In search engine optimization (SEO) terminology, white hat SEO refers to the utilization of optimization strategies and techniques that focus on human audience and completely follows search engine rules and policies.
A website that is optimized for search engine, but concentrates on organic ranking is considered to be optimized using white hat SEO.
Examples of white hat SEO techniques includes using keyword analysis, back linking, link building, and content writing for human readers. White hat SEO practice is also referred to as ethical SEO.”
This question is one of the basic questions that you should ask a digital marketing candidate. The candidate’s response to this question will help you know if the candidate even understands the basics of digital marketing.
A good response should be within this frame;
“Googlebot is a web crawling software. Search bot is also known as spider or web crawler that gathers the web page information used to supply google search engine result pages (SERPS).
Googlebot collects documents from the web to build google search index. Since the web crawler gathers documents, the software discovers new pages and updates to existing pages.”
This is also a basic question to ask a beginner. This question will help you understand the candidate’s depth of digital marketing.
You should expect to get this response from a good candidate:
“Keywords are ideas, words and phrases that searchers enter into search engines, they are also called search queries. If you merge everything on your web page down to simple word or phrase, then those words and phrases are regarded as your keywords.”
You should ask this question to find out if the candidate understand what google algorithm is all about, what it is used for, and how it can affect your business.
A digital marketer should be up to date about google algorithms and ranking metrics.
This is how a good response should sound like:
“Google algorithms are a compound system used to retrieve data from its search indexes and instantly delivers the best possible results for a query. The search engine uses a combination of algorithms and numerous ranking signals to deliver webpages ranked by relevance on its search engine results pages (SERPs).”
This is one question that a digital marketer should know to a great extent. A digital marketer should know about the google penguin algorithm, how it works and its use.
A prospective hire response should be something like this:
“Google penguin are a set of algorithm updates for the search engine that google strategically initiates to help enhance the value of its search query results for users.
The main purpose of the google penguin update is to prevent various types of search engine spam also known as black hat SEO or spamdexing from being successfully with higher search results.”
This question will help you understand if the candidate has a good understanding of keyword in SEO. This question can also serve as a basic question to test the candidate’s digital marketing ability.
The candidate’s response should be something like this:
“Well, there is no one important place that I place keywords, but I place keywords in a number of ways of places that are important. I place keywords in the following places: Title Tag, URL, H1 Tag, Body Text, Image Name and Alt Attribute.”
With this question, you would be able to determine if the candidate understands errors and the things that may be responsible for these errors.
This question can serve as competency question that will help you rate the candidate skills.
The candidate should be able to explain soft 404 errors in terms like this:
“A soft 404 error is an error that describes that a web request returns successful response code (200), but search engines like google, Bing etc. now determines that the reply doesn’t contain the expected content. This happen sometimes when you have empty page with a tag”
This question will help discover if the candidate understands the basics digital marketing starts from. The candidate should know what a site map is and what it is used for.
The candidate’s response should be something like this:
“A sitemap is a file where you list the web pages of your site to tell search engines about the organization of your site content. Search engines read this file to crawl a file intelligently. A sitemap basically improves the crawling of a site especially if the site is a large one with lots of contents. This is also known as XML sitemap”
This question will help discover if the candidate understands basic digital marketing and web strategies. The candidate should also be able to tell you what ahref language is all about and the importance too.
See sample answer to look out for:
“Hreflang is an HTML link or link tag attribute that tells search engines the relationship between pages in different languages on your website. Search engines use this attribute to serve the correct language URLs in its search results.”
This question will help you find out how well the candidate understand sitemap and how the candidate uses it too.
The candidate should be able to give you this kind of question:
“When I want to create a sitemap, I basically follow these process:
a. I review the structure of the web pages (take a look at the overall content of the page and see how everything is structured)
b. I code the URLs of the page (I format each URL with XML tags so that I can get the corresponding page for each code)
c. After coding my URLs, I go ahead and validate the URLs that I have coded (I do this to make sure that there are errors in the codes that I have created).
d. I add the sitemap to roots and robots (to do this, I locate the root folder of my sitemap and add the sitemap there. Doing this will help me add the pages to the site)
e. Submit the site file (when I am done with adding the sitemap to the site file, then I submit them to search engines.”
This is also a basic question that you should ask a prospective digital marketer. The candidate should be able to tell you what a canonical tag is.
The candidate should be able to give you a straight forward answer like this:
“A canonical tag is a way of telling search engines that a specific URL represents the original copy of a page. A canonical tag helps prevent problems that may be caused by identical or duplicate content appearing on multiple URLs.
The canonical tags basically tell the search engine which version of a particular URL you want to appear in search results”
This also forms part of the basic questions that you should ask an entry-level digital marketer. Someone that is ready to build a career in digital marketing should be able to understand how URLs work.
This question will help you assess the candidate’s understanding of URLs.
This is the kind of response that you should look forward to getting:
“A permanent redirect is also called a 301 redirect. It is a permanent redirect from one URL to another. A permanent redirect send site visitors and search engines to a URL different from the one that they originally typed into their browser or selected from a search engine result page.
These redirect also link various URLs under a canopy so that search engines can rank all of the addresses based on the site domain authority from inbound links.
Just like the previous question, this question will also help you know to what level the candidate understands how URLs work.
This question also checks the candidates understanding or URLs and its overall effects on SEO.
The candidate should be able to give you a simple and direct response like this:
“a. A 301 redirect is used to permanently redirect users and search engines from one URL to another URL. 301 redirect is better for search engine because it transfers the inbound links from the redirected domain to a new one, which helps the website maintain its search rankings.
b. A 302 redirect is preferable in some few situations. When a web content needs to be moved temporarily e.g. If the site is undergoing maintenance and users need to be directed to a different domain where they can get their content. The 302 redirect will still help you serve and retain your customers while you may be trying to fix some things on the site.”
This question also forms the fundamentals of digital marketing. It is important for you to ask this question, so that you can understand the level of the candidate’s understanding of SEO fundamentals.
This question will help you set the basis for you to employ an entry-level or a digital marketing starter.
The candidate should be able to give a precise answer like this:
“Robot.txt tag is a text file that webmasters use to instruct search engine bots also known as crawlers, spiders, or robots how to crawl and index web pages. A robot txt file is placed in the top-level directory so that robots can assess instructions right away.
To communicate commands to different types of search crawlers, a robot.txt file has to follow specific standards featured in the Robots exclusion protocol.”
This question will help you know the candidate’s level of understanding of how google web crawler works. It will also help you know if the candidate understand basic web concepts like Robot.txt tag etc.
The candidate should be able to give you this explanation:
“When a page is disallowed using the Robot.txt tag, google will likely remove that page from its index. However, Robot.txt ‘disallow’ does not guarantee that a page will not appear in search results. Google may still to crawl the site based on external information like incoming links that are relevant.
Disallowing the page using the Robot.txt tag may not prevent google from crawling the page as you expect because the page must be crawled in order for the tag to be seen and obeyed by google.
This question will help you discover a candidate’s ability to use key digital marketing tools. This question will also help you access a candidate’s technical abilities.
A candidate should be able to give you a clear definition of google search console and its uses. Take a look at this sample answer:
“Google search console is one of the free services that is offered by google that helps people monitor, maintain and check for issues on their site’s presence in google search results.
Google search console helps people understand and improve how google sees their site. “
The following are the importance of google search console
a. Helps view search traffic data of your site
b. It helps site owners confirm if google can find and crawl their site
c. Helps site owners see other sites that link to their site
d. Help site owners fix indexing problems
e. Helps site owners troubleshoot issues for mobile usability and other search issues
This question will help you understand the candidate’s ability to think critically. This question will also help you analyze the candidate’s understanding of Search bots.
The candidate’s explanation should be built around something like this:
“When a new website is setup, there are bots everywhere finding sites, and if GA is not setup properly, then you may see ‘fake traffic’. These traffic are not from prospective users, they are from bots.”
This question also forms a part of the basic questions that would assess a candidate’s understanding of digital marketing.
The candidate’s response should be something like this:
“It is popular for people to use robot.txt tag disallow: / to prevent a web page from being crawled, but this does not work all the time. The X-Robots-Tag or that meta robots tags are more effective.”
This question will help you understand the candidate’s critical thinking and problem solving ability. When you are recruiting a digital marketer, you should recruit someone that can think things through and provide a solution as soon as possible.
The candidate’s response should be something like this:
“If I notice that the traffic of my website has drop by 70% over night, then I know that it is a sharp drop. When I notice a sharp drop, these are the things that I do immediately:
a. I will use the google analytics tool to check the cause of the drop and look at the traffic
b. Then I will discover my traffic sources
c. Check if I am suffering from a penalty from google
d. I will take note of my new users and returning user to see if I am really suffering from a penalty of my content or web structure is not good enough
e. I will take a look at the time frame to see the best kind of solution I will need to adopt to solve the problem.
f. I will also make a good use of google analytics web master’s tool to bring my site back to glory.”
We understand that getting a digital marketer to come on board may not be as easy as it sounds, and that is why we provided all these information to help you with your next hire.
Just like we said earlier, you should also remember that hiring a digital marketer is not hiring someone that would do the work that you want them to do.
Hiring a digital marketer is hiring someone that is passionate about the role and company, someone that can fit into your company's culture and someone that can help the company achieve it's goals.
This Top 100 interview questions and answers will definitely help you hire not just a good digital marketer, but a digital marketer that will fit into your company culture, and an all-round good fit for your business.
Need a guide to help you with your hire for a different role? Then take a look at this guide on how to hire a web developer.
Are there digital marketing interview questions that you did not see here, and would love to know more about? Feel free to send it to us via in the comment section below.
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