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How To Get Hired At A Top SEO Agency Part 4: What Not to Do in An Interview

See Part 1 and Part 2: What most applicants are lacking and Part 3: Rocking The Interview.

The last question I asked our panel of SEO experts was “What is your best interview story Good, bad or funny?” Four of the five SEO experts told experiences of things that you should not do in an interview. This just shows how important it is to be prepared for there question in the interview process. People always seem to remember the bad interviews.

Ian Lurie    Google + | Twitter

This one’s really bad, but funny in retrospect. I’m Jewish – this is very relevant in a moment. I flew an information scientist type into Seattle for an interview about 10 years ago. She was supposed to be a super hotshot, knew a ton about information retrieval, very sophisticated, worked at a big university.

We did a 1-hour meeting. Everything was going swimmingly. Until salaries came up:

  • Me: I know we can pay you more than you make at a university, but still not dot com startup-type salaries.
  • Her: That’s totally OK. I want some stability.
  • Me: (I start to get happy)
  • Her (continuing): As long as you don’t Jew me down I’m fine.
  • Me: (I restrain the urge to punch her in the face)

Note to all interviewees: Ethnic/racial slurs are very unpopular at Portent. They’re even more unpopular if directed (intentionally or not) directly at the interviewer/CEO.

Cyrus Shepard    Google + | Twitter

This story doesn’t belong to me, but rather SEO consultant Danny Dover. In this Whiteboard Friday he explains how he first got his job at SEOmoz. During his interview with Rand Fishkin, Danny mistakenly kept referring to SEO as “CEO.” As in, “I really want to be the CEO of SEOmoz.”  Rand Fishkin is the CEO.


Tom Critchlow    Google + | Twitter

The worst interviewing experience I’ve ever had was interviewing for sales people. I don’t know how people have the nerve to turn up to interview and not even understand what the company does! Suffice to say there were some very short interviews.


Ash Buckles        Google + | Twitter

I was interviewing a guy for an SEO position and his answers were pretty vague so I decided to push him a little. I asked him to go into more detail on whatever he said. I was expecting him to stop at some point and admit he wasn’t sure but would like to get trained or something like that.

Instead, he dropped the f-bomb and said, “I don’t know.” We both laughed and moved on. I didn’t hire him because he didn’t have the skills. But it made for some laughs over the last few years.

Wil Reynolds        Google + | Twitter

Best interview story….my interviews are kind of boring. I’m all about digging in and making sure that its as good of a match for them as it is for us. I’m brutally honest on my interviews, I always want to give people a true representation of who we are and how we roll.

Now Go Get Your SEO Dream Job

We hope these posts have helped you to get prepared for your SEO dream job. You can get started by checking SEJ’s job board for open positions. We would also like to hear your experience of what has happened during an interview.

Category SEO
Benjamin Beck Local Stampede

Benjamin Beck is an online marketing consultant with an emphasis in SEO & Local Search. Benjamin is currently writing a ...

How To Get Hired At A Top SEO Agency Part 4: What Not to Do in An Interview

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