Perhaps I shouldn’t divulge too much about my process as I interview with different companies, but the insights gained in these might help others and even the company where likely I won’t get the position.
As I sat down with one executive — the youngest — and we spent a lot of time discussing many ideas on expanding the digital marketing ideas of the corporation. Up until now, a powerful website with great search engine optimization powered growth to a multi-million dollar business approaching the billion mark.
2010’s growth still did well, but I got the sense someone in the executive suite noticed a slowdown in 2011 and needed an injection of talent.
Winding my way through executives and shaking hands went fine until the last interview — obviously with the most powerful person in the company. Settling into the largest office with huge, intimidating furniture, the questions boiled down to SEO.
As I spoke about reaching out to influencers, getting more content spread throughout the web to bring in traffic, adding more of the social aspect to the marketing program, this executive — the eldest among them — brought a pinpoint focus to my skills in keywords and optimizing the company’s website.
In the microcosm of this executive’s mind, the big dollars that had pressed the gas pedal of growth had been SEO and it would continue to be so. As I continued down the path on expanding the arrows in the proverbial quiver, I could see the moment when I lost my audience. And I lost the job.
Now certainly, the company might have needed an SEO specialist. But I’d asked and, other than the position for which I was interviewing and the employees reporting to that position, the company lacked any other marketing, digital or otherwise.
In the arsenal of this company would be a website, a few microsites and a little email marketing. In the mind of the final executive, only the incremental gains from tweaking SEO and effective management of pay-per-click advertising would result in further growth. This ignores some significant damage upcoming and the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune will elude this company will evade it…