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What To Ask in Technical SEO Interviews

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Technical SEO requires technical and analytical skills as well as a thorough understanding of how Google and other search engines operate.

A technical SEO should be familiar with the most popular CMS systems and at least have a basic understanding of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.

Furthermore, a good technical SEO from an IT Recruitment Agency should know the fundamental rules of SEO and be able to identify when a website is violating them.

Lastly, a technical SEO must be capable of providing possible fixes for the problems identified on the website and determining whether they were properly implemented.

However, how can you ensure your next technical SEO hire has these skills and knowledge?

Must Read: SEO Software Market to Grow Rapidly In Future Years

10+ Technical SEO Interview Questions For Your Next Hires

You can find 10+ sample job interview questions from a Recruitment Agency in this article that will help you decide if the candidate you are interviewing is right for the role of technical SEO.

Take a look!

1. What Are The Most Important SEO Ranking Factors, In Your Opinion?

There is no definitive answer to this question, of course. It may tell you a lot about the person’s knowledge & experience to hear their perspective on Google ranking factors.

An ideal candidate for technical SEO will:

  • Provide data backing up their claims or – better yet – data based on their own experience or SEO tests.
  • You should be able to see their own websites and ask them about the SEO strategies they used to grow them.
  • Be careful with absolute statements (e.g. these are Google SEO ranking factors with this amount of weight for every website).
  • Recognize the difference between correlation and causality.
  • Be willing to say “it depends” or “I’m not sure” when it makes sense.

2. What SEO Myths Have You Had Enough Of?

Someone with at least a basic understanding of SEO will be able to answer that question.

In many cases, a complete newbie will present SEO myths as ultimate SEO truths without providing any of their own insights and commentary.

You should ask an experienced technical SEO expert about their favorite SEO myths and how they deal with them on a daily basis if you are looking for one.

3. What Is Your Favorite Website Crawler And Why?

The most important tool for technical SEOs is probably the website crawler.

It’s important that your future technical SEO uses a variety of SEO crawlers (both desktop and cloud-based), knows how to use them effectively, and is able to perform advanced SEO analyses with the help of these tools.

  • How to set up the crawl to check exactly what they want (e.g. check PSI metrics for all pages in bulk).
  • How to compare the rendered HTML with the source HTML using JavaScript.
  • Here’s how to change the user agent if the crawl will not start.
  • The crawler’s data can be interpreted in various ways.
  • Prioritizing the issues the crawler highlights.

Technical SEO specialists should be familiar with all or most of the most popular crawlers, such as Screaming Frog, Sitebulb, Deepcrawl, JetOctopus, etc.

4. How Do You Analyze Page Speed And Core Web Vitals?

Prior to drawing any conclusions or offering recommendations, your potential technical SEO hire should use both the Google PageSpeed Insights tool (the Google Lighthouse report) and the Core Web Vitals report in Google Search Console to analyze the speed and performance of your site.

With this question, you are checking that the person:

  • Has a thorough understanding of the difference between lab data (the data provided by Google Lighthouse) and field data (the data provided by the CrUX report) and knows which ones should be prioritized (i.e. field data).
  • Knows when to use the GSC Core Web Vitals report (to check pages in bulk) and the PSI tool (for an overview of one specific page, usually the homepage).

Candidates should also be familiar with other speed and performance tools, such as GTmetrix and WebPageTest, and should be able to use crawlers to analyze the lab performance of pages in bulk.

5. What Are Some Quick Technical SEO Wins?

Your potential SEO hire should draw on their experience in answering this question.

While there is no perfect answer, you want to see if the person can differentiate between low-impact, high-impact, low-effort, and high-effort technical SEO optimizations.

Compressing images on the website and converting them to JPEG or WEBP always makes a huge difference. However, rebuilding the entire website (using a lot of resources) to achieve a 98/100 PSI score may not really help much.

There can be huge technical SEO gains by simply getting rid of the 10 MB image that loads on every page rather than asking developers to recode the website to save 0.1 s by better optimizing JavaScript.

6. A Site That’s Been Online 9 Months Is Getting Zero Traffic. Why?

A Site That’s Been Online 9 Months Is Getting Zero Traffic.
A Site That’s Been Online 9 Months Is Getting Zero Traffic.

Think about the possible reasons that come to mind.

Sometimes, the solutions to SEO problems are simple – for example, the site has no organic traffic since a no-index tag has not yet been removed or Google Analytics is not working properly.

In other cases, they require a lot of technical and data analysis that goes far beyond checking indexability.

This question is intended to test a candidate’s ability to look for solutions, think critically, and be creative.

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