At Seer, we’re always hiring. As one of our hiring managers, I spend a lot of my time in panel interviews and final conversations with candidates, deciding who will be a great fit for the team and who is not a match.
There are some qualities that I always see in our successful candidates, and in the spirit of transparency, I thought I’d share. This isn’t a completely comprehensive guide, but I offer you five attributes I tend to see in folks we decide to hire.
During final interviews, I have several “tell me about a time when” prompts to better get to know the applicant. It gives me a glimpse into how folks approach information recall and critical thinking. I was recently in a final interview with an Associate candidate who seemed to genuinely enjoy each question I asked. It’s common to hear “Oh, great question” as a stall for time when I ask something unexpected. But this candidate lit up as I threw more “what if” and “tell me about” prompts at her.
Why this matters: In a way, SEO is one big problem to solve. Your clients need to rank for keywords relevant to their business in order to drive quality traffic to their site content. Problem is, there’s no playbook for how to do that. So, there’s a deep need for critical thinking and problem solving in a successful SEO practitioner.
Do you get nervous in interviews? That’s fine! I’ll look past an Associate candidate’s nerves showing 100% of the time if I see some signs of a strong communicator. We can work on building your confidence. What’s harder to teach is how to communicate effectively and professionally.
Why this matters: At Seer, everyone is client facing. One week your client call might be run by Wil Reynolds to walk through some insights he found after pulling their data. Another week, the Account Manager may be enjoying our unlimited PTO and rely upon the Associate to fill in and lead the weekly call.
For those early in their careers and looking to build your communication skills, I recommend reading “How to Say Anything to Anyone” and “The Charisma Myth.”
Self awareness and self reflection can be a superpower, and help you turn any personal or professional experience into an opportunity to grow. Some of my jobs before and during college included working at a Subway in a mall, a Sears Portrait Studio during the Holidays, and a bar on South Street. There are lessons I learned from all of those experiences that I still call upon today!
As a recent or emerging college grad, I know it can be tough to pull on professional experience to point to in your early interviews. But I want to hear how you spend your time! Recently, I spoke to a candidate who called upon her experience taking on a leadership role for a Philanthropic group within her college. She talked about how she balanced her role as a college athlete, a full-time student, and made time to volunteer. I knew I’d need to teach that person how to do keyword research, but you can’t teach hustle.
Another example is another recent candidate, who called upon her experience working in television production in college. She navigated tight deadlines daily and when she made a mistake, it had a pretty big audience. We can help her level up with Power BI and Google Data Studio, but she clearly already knows how to multi-task and hit tight deadlines.
Why this matters: At Seer, everyone is in a position to learn from anyone, regardless of your tenure or title. It’s important that we bring folks on to the team who can teach us something and bring fresh perspective to our process and structure so we can continue to learn and get better!
Candidates often ask me about the characteristics that make up a successful SEO Associate. One of the first things that comes to mind is self-direction.
There’s not a single question I ask to identify someone’s level of self direction, but rather I try to suss it out by hearing how they talk about their experience. What roadblocks have they moved themselves? What ideas have they brought to their supervisors? What have they both started and finished? What have they failed at?
Why this matters: We don’t micromanage at Seer. There won’t be step-by-step instructions for every single task. So, it’s crucial that our Associates are self-reliant. Some people thrive in that type of organizational structure. Other’s don’t – and that’s OK!. We’d be putting our clients, our team, and our new hires at risk if we didn’t evaluate this critical skill.
Last but not least, I call upon our values. At Seer, our values guide every decision we make. As such, it’s critical that new team members exhibit these qualities. Here is a full resource that explains those values.
Why this matters: When it comes to alignment with Seer’s values, it’s more than just a nice-to-have; it’s a non-negotiable. That’s because our culture serves as the north-star for all decision-making at Seer. Our values influence everything from how we communicate with our clients, to how we’d approach a conversation about performance with a struggling SEO Manager.
Does this sound like a fit? Think you have what it takes to join the team? I would love to chat with you! Submit your application here.
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