1. Suppose our company has 5 million keywords. How will you manage an account this size?

An open-ended competency question. Automation of mundane tasks and increasing productivity is a major focus at my company. All of our search marketers are dedicated to sourcing and trialling new tools and finding ways to be more time-efficient.

Usually the interview candidate will refer to bid management tools, but what I'm looking for here is their PPC toolset experience (keyword tools, web analytics tools, inventory management tools, etc.) as well as their opinion. We like opinionated, articulate people. Tell me why 5 million keywords are stupid. Or how you'd manage them on a tiered basis of top performers, has-potential, and dead wood.

2. Why should we hire you as Online Media Operator?

Because of your knowledge, experience, abilities, and skills.

3. Tell me are you a leader?

Absolutely! Cite specific examples using your current job as a reference point.

5. Do you know what is Google Ad API?

Google Ad API is designed for representing large, tech savvy advertisers and third parties. It allows developers build an application that directly interacts with Google Adwords server.

6. Tell me what is conversion optimizer in Adwords?

Conversion Optimizer is a tool used by Google Adwords for bid manipulation and decides which clicks on the ad will be valuable. It can help you to return maximum on your investment.

7. Tell me what is Ad rank?

Ad rank determines your ad position on Google page, and it is determined by your bid for that keyword and quality score.

8. Tell me what is Google's Quality Score and what role does it play in ranking?

This used to be a technical question I'd use in the first face-to-face interview but I was stunned to find that some candidates either
a) Did not know what QS was or
b) Thought I was talking about PageRank!

While I do not expect Google's textbook answer, I am hoping the candidate understands the basic concept behind QS (clickthrough rate + other factors) and that QS is part of the Ad Rank formula where:

Ad Rank = CPC bid X Quality Score.

I now use this question to open the technical section of a phone interview. A primary function in their role as PPC analyst will be to educate non-search people. Their ability to explain Quality Score and Ad Rank to me in plain English is something I pay very close attention to.

9. Explain me what about the job offered do you find the most attractive? Least attractive?

List three or more attractive factors and only one minor unattractive factor.

10. Tell me what career options do you have at the moment?

"I see three areas of interest..." Relate those to the position and industry.

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11. Explain what was the last book you read? Movie you saw? Sporting event you attended?

Talk about books, sports or films to show that you have balance in your life.

12. Do you know what is cpm?

Cost per thousand (CPM) is a marketing term used to denote the price of 1,000 advertisement impressions on one webpage. If a website publisher charges $2.00 CPM, that means an advertiser must pay $2.00 for every 1,000 impressions of its ad. The "M" in CPM represents the Roman numeral for 1,000.

13. Tell me what is the meaning of CTR and how you can calculate?

CTR stands for Click through rate that tells the number of visitors visited on your ad on the web page. The formula for calculating CTR is

Number of click / Number of impressions X 100

These will give you an answer in percentage like what percentage of customers have viewed your ad.

14. Do you know what is an ad group in Google Adwords?

Ad group is a container of your keywords, advertisements, and landing pages. Google rewards advertisers who prepare Adword campaigns with tightly structured ad groups. Its not advisable to include all your keywords into the single ad group, but to organize keywords into themes.

15. Suppose our company brand is called "black widgets." However, we also rank first organically for our brand "black widgets." What PPC strategy would you propose for the keyword "black widgets" and why?

This question looks at the candidate's logic as well as their experience with branded keywords. Some good answers I have heard include:

"Depends on the aggregate ROAS for both the organic and paid campaign. If we have a better return overall when Adwords is running, then go for it."

"I would probably run a paid campaign because it is a brand keyword. Some studies I have read showed that running a paid campaign for brands acts a double reinforcement of the brand."

16. Tell me what would you do for us? What can you do for us that someone else can't?

Relate past experiences that show you've had success in solving previous employer problem(s) that may be similar to those of the prospective employer.

17. Tell me are you creative?

Yes. Give examples that relate to your current job.

18. Tell me how you can track conversions in Google Adwords?

In Google Adwords, conversion tracking can be done in following ways

☛ Tracking purchases by involving basic tracking code provided by Adwords and modifying it with additional code unique to your particular e-commerce platform
☛ View-through conversion window options tracks when a person sees your ad but does not click it (impression)
☛ By enabling your ad rotation setting to optimize for clicks, meaning that Adwords will serve the ads it feels are likely to be clicked
☛ By accessing search funnels inside tools and analysis, you can also know when customers clicked on your ad for the first time and how frequently they saw your ad before converting.

19. Explain some of the Google Adword Ad Extensions?

Different ad extension can enhance the increase in traffic. Some of the common Ad extensions used in adwords are Sitelinks

☛ Call Extensions
☛ Location Extensions
☛ Social Annotations
☛ Seller ratings
☛ Mobile app extensions
☛ Offer ads
☛ Communication Ad
☛ Review extension
☛ Image and drop down navigation Ad extension

20. Suppose I am advertising for "black widgets" but I'm concerned about the increase in costs. What should I do?

Believe it or not, some candidates tend not to ask further questions and launch straight into a very long, complex solution. What would you do if your boss gave you too little information? Was it an increase in CPC or CPA? Have competitors begun a bidding war? Did you turn on broad/phrase/exact matching. Do you have negative keywords?

If the question seems a bit vague or brief, ask the interviewer more questions to clarify!

My favorite response was the cheeky candidate that said: "If all else fails, reduce the budget by $400K and hire 3 developers and a dedicated SEO guy."

21. Do you know what are the other two options for bidding other than C-P-C?

Other than CPC the other two options are CPM (Cost per Thousand Impression) and CPA ( Cost Per Action ).

22. Tell me why do you want to work for us?

Don't talk about what you want; first, talk about their needs: You would like to be part of a specific company project; you would like to solve a company problem; you can make a definite contribution to specific company goals.

23. Explain what all things can be done using Google Ad API?

With Google Ad API, you can build an application that can do following things

☛ You can automatically generate keywords, ad text, custom reports and landing pages
☛ Develop additional applications and tools to help you manage accounts
☛ Synchronize Adwords data with your inventory system to manage campaigns based on stock

24. Operational SEO Based Job Interview Questions:

☛ What is the relationship between content and SEO?
☛ What are the most common issues for on-page SEO ranking?
☛ What are your favorite SEO tools? Why do you use them?
☛ Is our website search-friendly? What would you do to improve optimization?
☛ What link-building strategies have worked well for you? What didn't work so well?
☛ Describe an SEO experiment that you set up. Talk about your process, results, and hypothesis.

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25. Operational SEM Job Interview Questions:

☛ What part of your previous company's funnel needs work? How would you fix it?
☛ How do you decide how much you can pay for a click in a PPC campaign?
☛ How do you decide which keywords you'd like to target?
☛ Have you used AdWords before? What campaign metrics did you look at?
☛ Describe a time you ran an A/B test. Talk about your process, results, and hypothesis.
☛ If you saw your average position drop week over week, what would you do?