PPC Job Interview, Part 1

by Christopher Yee on July 16, 2010

This is just Part 1 of my X part series of posts in obtaining the position of PPC Analyst for a SEM company based in southern California.  And by X it means I don’t know when I’ll be getting the cut which will abruptly cause an end to this series.

About a week ago ago I replied to an advertisement on Craigslist for an entry level position as a PPC Analyst for a southern California performance marketing company.  With all honesty, I never expected to hear from them but to my pleasant surprise, they scheduled me for a phone interview the day after with their department’s SEO Manager and Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Specialist.  It was an early Christmas for me!

The phone interview felt like an eternity even though it lasted for about 15-20 minutes.  Regardless, I have detailed their questions and my answers below.

Tell me about your work history.
I was so nervous and excited at the same time that I don’t think I even answered their question properly.  I was rambling on and on about the weather in San Francisco.  Great start, huh?
Tip #1: Be prepared for every type of question out there.

Tell me about your work history with SEM/PPC.
I told the two interviewers the truth: “I have zero experience in the search marketing industry.” In spite of this, I accentuated my positive traits – my extremely motivated nature and passion for learning independently. I explained how the past 3 months I religiously digested all the books and blog articles I could get my hands on.
Tip #2: Be passionate about the position you are applying for.

Why do you want to leave your current company?
“I have no problems being an Executive Assistant at my current company but I feel my success can not be measured in my current position.  With the search marketing industry however, every single success and failure is recorded.”  Excellent way to answering the question by connecting my personal traits with the job duties.
Tip #3: Tie in personal qualities with what the company is seeking for in a prospective candidate.

Why do you want to work in SEO or PPC?
“Not gonna lie – I loved playing games when I was a kid and SEO/PPC is very similar to that in which you have to “work” your way to the top.  Working in this industry will definitely internalize my love for competition.”
Tip #4: See Tip #2.

It says on your resume that you are proficient in HTML, CSS, SQL and the WordPress blogging platform.  Could you please elaborate?
Even though I have no professional experience in HTML and CSS, I informed my interviewers that I was extremely comfortable in reading a websites source code.  In terms of SQL I use it every day at work.  WordPress?  I told them about SEO Christopher Yee.
Tip #5: NEVER EVER LIE.

I am certain the best way to advance through each step of the hiring process is to be confident about yourself and try not to be intimidated by them because not only is the hiring company trying to determine if you’re the perfect candidate, but you are assessing whether or not you want to work for them as well.

To end this post, I called the company back a week later and they told me I progressed to the next part of their interviewing process.  This time it’s a phone interview with the VP of Marketing.  Stay tuned and wish me luck on Monday (7/19)!!!