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🤔 Hiring the right candidate for an SEO role is incredibly hard.

Every candidate has their own opinion on what does and does not work in SEO.

So how do you figure out if someone knows their stuff? And how do you know if someone really has passion for SEO?

You don't want to end up with an unmotivated colleague that, three months in their job, turns out not to understand the SEO basics 👎

No fear, we got your back - we're covering all of that in this article:

  • What makes a great SEO candidate
  • How to separate the wheat from the chaff with an audit
  • Interviewing best practices
  • 21 in-depth SEO interview questions

BONUS  Interviewing and hiring tips from: Patrick Stox, Paddy Moogan, Ruth Burr Reedy, John Doherty, Natasha Woodford, Ross Tavendale, Martijn Scheijbeler, Beau Pedraza and Dale Davies.

  • IG

    Igor Gorbenko

    6 months ago #

    Alternative title: "How to get hired if you're a bad SEO"

    • VC

      Victor Clarke

      6 months ago #

      Ha-ha, Steven, you should definitely rename your post. This title is way more catchy!

    • SV

      Steven van Vessum

      6 months ago #

      LOL, it makes for a useful guide for job seekers as well but if you apply the advice from the article well you won't be able to get through undetected :)

  • PM

    Pete McAllister

    6 months ago #

    For me personally it's not knowing how to find a good SEO that's the problem, it's the fact I hire remote due to my location not being a tech hub. Being able to see, gauge and get a feel for a candidate (and mentor them in their initial period is so much easier face to face in an office). But that's just one of the challenges of not being in a big city I guess!

    • SV

      Steven van Vessum

      6 months ago #

      Thanks for joining the discussion Pete. That's a whole different, but very real, issue yeah. How do you approach that, and how does that work? Want to bounce some ideas off of me maybe? I've done a ton of remote hiring in the past.

      • PM

        Pete McAllister

        6 months ago #

        Hey Steven, yeah I might get in touch next time I'm doing a hire for some tips. It's one of the most frustrating things in my business right now!

    • MS

      Martijn Scheijbeler

      6 months ago #

      Curious to hear more about your tips & tricks in this area. Dealing with a similar situation (hiring remote is a preference almost over hiring in an office).

  • NA

    Neil Andrew

    6 months ago #

    Great post, some really useful tips too - thanks for sharing!

  • MB

    Margo Berger

    6 months ago #

    Even for technical specialists, if they are going to work in the team, soft skills will be necessary. And it's easier to develop some professional skills, than learn to build relationships, delegate and to set a task.

    • SV

      Steven van Vessum

      6 months ago #

      Thanks for joining the discussion Margo!

      I think it depends on the person as to what they can develop faster, they're different beasts in my opinion (professional skills and soft skills) but in order to be an effective SEO you need to have at least some of both.

      It's very rare to find SEOs that are extremely good at both.

  • DG

    Dejan Gajsek

    6 months ago #

    This makes a lot of sense. There's too many self-proclaimed gurus who think they are masters because they sent you a SEO audit from third party free tool :D. Thanks for sharing Steven!

    • SV

      Steven van Vessum

      6 months ago #

      No problem Dejan, and you're right - there's a lot of folks out there that you'd want to filter out. I hope the article will help hiring managers with that!

  • NR

    Nikola Roza

    6 months ago #

    Hey Steven, great guide!

    I enjoyed reading it and think that your list of interview questions to ask could be used as a comprehensive list of things to learn in SEO, with special attention going to the tricky questions, where critical thinking is needed by the applicant.

    Overall it was a fun read and I like how, for every article you write, you always get a bunch of expert to contribute.
    It makes them super authentic and valuable.
    So thanks, and keep going:)

    Nikola Roza

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