Read this exclusive Q&A with legendary brightonSEO speakers as we uncover their untold interview stories…

In a highly anticipated build up to the leading Search Marketing conference this April, brightonSEO is primed and ready to take the industry by storm once again!

Some 3,500 marketers will converse on the Brighton Centre next month, donning the cliché checked digital shirts, bushy beards and smiling faces. Everyone will eagerly scurry to the numerous enlightening talks by some of the best brains in the business.

And being the best in the business, it’s not just their Digital wisdom which we find fascinating.

As the preferred recruitment partner for the event, we decided to use our unique position to gain insight from the incredible line-up of speakers.

We’re always curious about the weird and wonderful situations people experience in interviews, from entry-level right up to business leaders.

Here’s some revealing interview stories from the renowned SEO practitioners who are speaking at the upcoming brightonSEO. Enjoy!

What’s the one Killer Question you love to ask when interviewing?

““If you were three inches tall and stuck in a large cup, how would you get out?” It always caught candidates off balance and how they answered would give some insight about how quickly they can improvise and think on their feet. I also like to ask, “what was the last book you read and how would you sell that book to me?”. Reading books is a sign of intellectual curiosity, and by asking them to pitch me the book they can show how well they grasped the book’s key points.”

Barry Adams, SEO Consultant – Polemic Digital & Co-Chief – State of Digital

“Do you own Amazon Alexa? I always ask about the latest trends in SEO/Digital Marketing. I love working with people who are really motivated about their job and love what they are doing on a day to day basis. I strongly believe that being an SEO/Digital Marketer is not a job, it’s a way of life.”

Omi Sido, Global Technical SEO Manager – Daily Mail

“How do you think Search will evolve over the next 3 years and how do you think SEO fits in to this?”

Malcolm Slade, Head of Technical SEO Epiphany Search

What’s the most out-of-the-box question you’ve been asked at an interview?

““Who would win in a dance off – a bear or a lion?” I chose the bear for the win as they can balance on two feet (essential for dancing). I also mentioned that I’d seen footage of a grizzly bear dance-scratching its back against a tree. With moves like that, the bear would win hands down every time!”

Emily McLaren, SEO Team Leader – Equator

“How do you explain the colour red to a blind person? I don’t even remember what my answer was. I was totally confused. How do you even explain the concept of colours to a blind person?”

Omi Sido, Global Technical SEO Manager – Daily Mail

I was presented with 3 boxes and asked which box I most related to. As a fact / data driven individual who struggles with OCD, I couldn’t help but make life hard for the interviewer who had no idea what any answer would represent.”

Malcolm Slade, Head of Technical SEO – Epiphany Search

What’s your most memorable interview story?

It was in Australia. I was 22 and had just finished university. Travelling over 9,000 miles across the world seemed like a great idea but now I found myself in an interview being questioned about my suitability for the role of measuring and counting banana trees. While I’d had various jobs in the UK, I’d never worked in the agricultural industry. This was something very alien to me! With in-depth interview preparation and a list of transferable skills at the ready however, I was able to mould my skill set to fit the role – and was successfully offered the job. Was it the dream job for me? No. But it taught me a few things. 1 – A positive attitude is very powerful (it can see you through the torrential rain conditions, deep mud and cobwebs). 2 – It’s important to appreciate the experience (even if the job isn’t part of your career plan). 3 – It helps to embrace every situation as a learning opportunity (you can leverage the positive experiences and evolve from the negative ones).”

Emily McLaren, SEO Team Leader – Equator

I had an interview for an SEO specialist position, and in preparation for it, I discovered a website/blog built by one of the interviewers. During the interview, I decided to soften this person up a little bit, so I mentioned that I was a massive fan of the website and had previously used it SEVERAL times. Later, I learned that the site had just been put up. Not unexpectedly, I did not get the job.”

Omi Sido, Global Technical SEO Manager – Daily Mail

Once we interviewed a dude who we really should have filtered out at the CV stage, but I thought we’d give him a shot. He was almost impossible to interview, giving one-syllable answers to most of our questions, without a hint of personality or ambition. Yet when we later informed him he didn’t get the job, he replied with a long ranty email saying how we made a huge mistake by rejecting him and how we didn’t deserve to have him join the company anyway. To say that response came as a bit of a surprise is an understatement. And, suffice to say, confirmed that rejecting him for the job was the right decision.”

Barry Adams, SEO Consultant – Polemic Digital & Co-Chief – State of Digital

Isn’t it fascinating to hear stories from these iconic digital industry leaders?  It goes to show if you do your due diligence, are well-prepared for the meeting and represent yourself at your best, you can nail your interview and get the career move you’re looking for. As well as this: if at first, you don’t succeed, keep focused on your ambitions and you can get there if you really want it!

Thank you to these incredible leaders in organic search, we look forward to seeing your talks at brightonSEO!

Good news! We have more stories to share… Keep following our blog to discover more tales from the speakers at this April’s brightonSEO. There are some humdingers you won’t want to miss out on!

Do you have any amazing interview stories you’d like to share? Leave a comment below, let’s see who can surprise us the most!

If you are attending brightonSEO this April, why not come along to our stand? You can talk to us about anything from your job search, recruitment, digital marketing or just for a chinwag. To find us on the day, just keep an eye out for a bright PINK stand! #MakeThatStep

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