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AOL Interview
Questions

30 Questions and Answers by
| Rachel Marcelle is a Full Desk Recruiter and Career Blogger whose passion is helping others to reach their goals.

Question 1 of 30

AOL is a leading provider of high quality, engaging advertisements displayed within written content published by some of the world's best-known sources. As a sales executive for this company, what's your value proposition?

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AOL Interview Questions

  1. 1.

    AOL is a leading provider of high quality, engaging advertisements displayed within written content published by some of the world's best-known sources. As a sales executive for this company, what's your value proposition?

      The purpose of this question is to determine if you understand what the core value of the service you offer is, and how you represent it. Value, in this case, is how your product or service addresses your targeted customers needs in a way that other companies with similar products or services cannot. It should be unique and compelling to the customer.

      Do not provide an answer that focuses on the description of the product or service more than what it can do for the customer since this would not be interesting or compelling to them.

      Rachel's Answer

      "We provide highly targeted, engaging advertising solutions that will enhance your brand's ability to move your audience. We use sophisticated technology to ensure our ads are displayed to your audience based on their preferences at the right place and time, no matter what device they're on. This technology, paired with an easy to use data-rich platform where you can easily view the results of your campaign, ensures that you will receive the best possible return on your investment."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "Our goal is to be a key part of your marketing strategy through reliable, data-driven, brand-friendly technology. Our ads are designed to be relevant, non-intrusive, and elegantly positioned to appeal to the most discerning audiences. Our attention to detail extends from the beginning to end, where we carefully scrutinize your audience's interaction with our ads, and continually look for ways to enhance them, maximizing your results."

  2. 2.

    Do you know anyone who works for AOL?

      Did you know that people with a friend at work are 7x more likely to engage in their work fully? (Source: Forbes) The interviewer would like to see if a friend referred you to this position, a former co-worker, or an industry acquaintance. This question is another way of the interviewer asking where you heard about the role, and if you have any connections from within. The organization may also have employee referral programs. You can keep your answer brief and to the point.

      Rachel's Answer

      "I do not personally know anyone who works for AOL; however, I am connected with a couple of your employees on LinkedIn due to common group interests. I look forward to getting to know your team!"

      Rachelle's Answer

      "My former manager now works for AOL, although in a different department. His name is James Smith. He's a great guy! I would be happy to fill out any referral paperwork if you wish."

  3. 3.

    Have you ever used AOL as your internet service provider? If so, what has been your experience?

      The interviewer would like to know your personal experience with AOL. If you have used AOL as your internet service provider, discuss what you enjoyed. Be sure to keep your response positive but be prepared to provide constructive feedback. If you have never used AOL for your internet service, mention why you would choose them, from an outsiders' perspective.

      Rachel's Answer

      "I currently use AOL for my internet service and have been a customer for the past five years. Around that time you had a two-year contract special offer, and it was great! I have seen the prices creep up slightly over time; however, that is fine with me as the offering has become higher quality, and the upload speeds have increased."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I do not have internet through your company currently, but have heard many excellent things from family and friends. I saw on your website the other day that you are offering three months free to new sign-ups. That's a great incentive, and I will be jumping on board soon."

  4. 4.

    How do you ensure you are aware of all the new online advertising platform developments?

      Most companies competing in this industry understand the importance of professional growth concerning product-specific and technical knowledge. AOL would like to see that you find continued learning meaningful, and want to know how you go about remaining current with competitive offerings and new technologies. This answer may include both formal and informal learning opportunities. Be sure to specify any proactive measures you take to educate yourself continually.

      Rachel's Answer

      "The competitive landscape for advertising platforms is constantly changing, so I find it is important to remain current with new products and service offerings. Regularly, I set aside time to read industry-specific news where I learn about new companies entering the industry and the products they offer. Also, I look for opportunities to attend conferences and training sessions where I learn of emerging technologies related to advertising platforms. These opportunities also allow me to network and learn from my industry peers."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "In addition to attending industry conferences and training seminars, I also find the time to research which advertising platforms are being used by my client's competitors. If hired, I would compare the attributes of AOL's advertising platform to those used by competitors of AOL's clients, allowing me to keep a pulse on the new developments of these competing advertising platforms. I also believe it may help AOL's teams generate ideas for new offerings of its own."

  5. 5.

    When it comes to helping our customers, is it more important to have technical knowledge or excellent customer service skills?

      This question is an opinion based query so there may not be a right or wrong answer; however, the interviewer wants to see that you believe there is importance in a healthy balance of both. You can deliver excellent customer service, but if the customers' internet remains slow or down, they will not be happy. On the flip side, if you send in a rude technician to fix their internet connection, they will not be pleased with the level of service. Discuss the importance of balance between technical knowledge and customer service delivery.

      Rachel's Answer

      "If I had to choose just one, I would say that technical knowledge is fundamental since I would need to fix the customers' internet problem first and foremost. With that said, there is no reason why I could not do this with a friendly vibe and a smile on my face. I want every customer to feel comfortable around me and satisfied that I quickly and efficiently repaired their internet troubles."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I must say that both factors are critical to a job well done. My customer service abilities exceed my technical knowledge, so when I do not have the right answer for a customer, I will pass their inquiry onto a colleague with more sound knowledge. I want your internet customers to enjoy a well-rounded customer service experience every time."

  6. 6.

    What are important reporting and analytics capabilities an online advertising platform like AOL should have?

      Reporting and analytics capabilities are an essential feature of an online advertising platform. Your answer to this question should show your understanding of the reporting and analytics capabilities of advertising platforms in general, and particularly with that of AOL.

      Rachel's Answer

      "The reporting and analytics capabilities of an online advertising platform is crucial as client companies are looking to ensure their advertising efforts are effective and are reaping the benefits of their investment. Beyond the basic measures such as click-through-rate and open rates, I believe it is important that an advertising platform can integrate a variety of data. This data includes things such as geographic and demographic data for different advertising channels and data from different devices. This data allows companies to understand the customer journey better. Based on my research, all of these capabilities come with AOL's advertising platform and much more, including the ability to evaluate advertising channels that clients may not be currently advertising with."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "An essential feature from an analytics and reporting perspective is the ability to customize their reports and integrate data from outside sources. The higher the level of customization offered to client companies, the better they will be able to evaluate the advertising efforts unique to their business. Also, being able to integrate data from a source outside of the advertising platform will also allow companies to tailor their analyses better to answer their strategic questions. The online advertising platform offered by AOL offers robust reporting and analytics capabilities that can be customized based on the client's needs."

  7. 7.

    What is your ideal work environment?

      When applying for a job, the fit has to match both ways. The interviewer knows this and wants to ensure that the work environment they offer is suitable for you.

      There are a few factors to take into consideration when looking at the work environment:

      - Are questions encouraged without judgment?
      - Is continuing education encouraged?
      - Does the company promote an entrepreneurial mindset?
      - Does the office allow for flexibility such as working from home or flex in hours?
      - Are there regular team huddles?
      - Is it an open-air environment without cubicles or walled offices?
      - Is feedback, from both sides, encouraged and acceptable?
      - Are goals set as a team, or only individually?
      - Are there strict dress codes, after-hours expectations, and other restrictions?
      - Is the initial training through, or is there a sink-or-swim mentality?
      - Is there recognition for a job well done, or incentives regularly?
      - Is nepotism a factor, if the business is family-run?
      - Are employees promoted based on performance, or tenure only?

      Choose two to three of these factors that are important to you, and before accepting a job offer, ensure that the company hits these 'must-haves' for you and your ideal work environment.

      Rachel's Answer

      "I am seeking a work environment where promotions happen on results and performance, and not tenure. I may easily outperform a manager who has been with the company for ten years and would like to know that my achievements will be recognized and rewarded, despite my being newer to the company. Can you share with me the factors that A takes into account when considering title promotions?"

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I seek a creative environment where office doors remain open, or better yet; there is a collaborative collective office environment. I love working in open-air environments with regular team huddles. Does this match the environment offered here?"

  8. 8.

    Name one suggested area of improvement from your last performance review.

      The interviewer would like to know which area of improvement your current boss has brought up, most recently. You do not need to go into in-depth detail on your performance review. Briefly mention one area that you are looking to improve and what you are doing to implement that constructive feedback. If you do not receive formal performance reviews, you can rely on a conversation or meeting that you have had at work in the last three months or so.

      Rachel's Answer

      "My current boss recently mentioned that my knowledge in the latest social media algorithm updates could be stronger. I immediately enrolled myself in some related coursework which has proven very helpful."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "My boss most recently mentioned that she wanted to start grooming me for further leadership opportunities. She gave me some reading material and suggested a few podcasts to listen to as well. I am working on these materials every weekend."

  9. 9.

    How comfortable are you upselling a customer on their internet package?

      Upselling is a considerable part of profits for any internet service provider. Internet packages come in all types and are usually related to upload and download speeds, amount of data allowance per month, and are sometimes even bundled with mobile or television options. Speak about your level of comfortability when it comes to upselling customers on faster internet speeds and other service options.

      Rachel's Answer

      "I have been cleverly upsold on products in the past and believe there is an art to it. I look forward to receiving sales training, to learn how to influence customer purchases. So long as the upsold items are ones that I know the customer will love having, I am happy to upsell them. For instance, if the customer has a home-based business, I know 100% that they would benefit from faster internet speeds."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "Businesses need to remain profitable; hence, the importance of an upsell. With that said, I would only be comfortable if I knew I was offering the customer something of value that was in line with their needs. For instance, I would not want to push a bundled cable and internet package to a customer who already told me they travel 21 days a month for work. Instead, I would suggest upgrading their plan to include more data for a wireless hotspot, while they are on the go. "

  10. 10.

    If you could give an AOL customer one piece of advice to keep their online personal information secure, what would it be?

      Internet users are becoming more aware every day when it comes to protecting their personal information, online. There are endless news stories that scare us into changing our passwords daily, and numerous information hacks reported on a global scale.

      AOL will likely ask questions about security, and how people can best protect themselves from exposing their personal information. Tell the interviewer your most helpful piece of advice when it comes to remaining secure, online.

      Rachel's Answer

      "The best piece of advice that I can give is to create unique, secure passwords which contain no personal information such as your dog's first name or the city where you live. Password aggregate apps are a great resource, where they generate a random password for you and then store them securely. If you want to create your password, I suggest making up fake names or using a number, letter, and symbol sequences that have no attachment to you, personally."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "One of the easiest ways for sensitive information to be released to a hacker is by pretending to be a bank, the government, or other official agency that is well-trusted and known to ask for highly personal information such as bank account or social security numbers. These requests often occur online through websites that mimic the company's real website, or through phishing emails. My most helpful piece of advice is never to give out personal information by email, over the internet, or on the phone unless you've initiated the contact."

  11. 11.

    What is the most important KPI for an online advertising client?

      Advertising clients look at a multitude of KPIs when they invest in advertising efforts. When it comes to digital, some crucial factors are:

      - Click-Through Rates (CTR)
      - Cost Per Action (CPA)
      - Conversion Rate
      - Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC)

      ...and many more! Then, when it comes to print or traditional advertising, the KPIs change slightly, and there is more focus placed on things like response rates. Discuss with the interviewer what you believe to be the most important KPI for an advertising client.

      Rachel's Answer

      "I believe that the most important KPI for an advertising client is the Conversion Rate. The entire reason we launch effective advertising campaigns is to gain a larger customer base. Other KPIs are significant; however, I believe Conversion Rate to be the most important one."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "In my opinion, sales revenue is the true indicator of an advertising campaigns efficacy. Every advertising client should be able to know and understand if their inbound marketing campaign has brought them more business."

  12. 12.

    Data security continues to be a concern for marketers when executing online advertising campaigns. What security issues do you find important as it relates to online advertising, and how can your knowledge/experience help us at AOL?

      Securing the personal data of its customers has been a top concern for many companies. When responding to this question, relay your knowledge of data security as it relates to digital advertising. Include any experience you may have working with security-related projects or issues. Before joining its team, AOL will want to know that you are aware of the security issues companies face when executing digital advertising campaigns.

      Rachel's Answer

      "Although the use of personal data allows marketers to target better and customize their digital ads, keeping the data secure is of utmost importance. In a few of my roles with previous employers, we have continuously worked to monitor our data security measures to ensure we did not lose the trust of our customers. I have worked on task forces that evaluated new policies and technologies available to secure data within our warehouses. This team was responsible for how data was used within and outside the company. My experience working on these teams give me a better understanding of how to test and monitor the security features of AOL's products before it's released to clients."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "While working at a variety of companies, I learned how important it is to understand how the stored customer data is used internally and externally. Also, when transmitted externally to outside vendors, it is important the transmission is secure to avoid personal customer data being unknowingly shared. Digital advertising uses vasts amounts of data for the execution and evaluation of campaigns, and I have worked with marketers to ensure that any data sharing is done so with the highest security measures in place. When transmitted externally, I also certified that the partner receiving the data also had high-security levels implemented into its system. With my knowledge of security issues, I do not doubt that I will be able to help AOL continue to offer security measures in its product to put its clients' minds at ease."

  13. 13.

    How fast do you respond to customer emails and web inquiries? What timeline do you feel is appropriate?

      The interviewer would like to know what you interpret as a fast turnaround when it comes to responding to your customers. You should take note of how quickly you receive a response from AOL if you are a past customer. This question also offers the opportunity for you to ask the interviewer what their company policy or expectation may be. You don't want to say '3 days' when it's 24 hours!

      Rachel's Answer

      "In my current role we have a rule that our inbox needs clearing out every three days. So, 72 hours, I suppose, is the maximum amount of time. With that said, I do try to respond to everyone within 48 hours. Could you share with me your policy at AOL?"

      Rachelle's Answer

      "My clients are never left waiting for more than a few hours. What is your timeline like at AOL?"

  14. 14.

    When a problem requires a quick solution, how do you respond?

      When it comes to complex problem solving, decisions are not always readily reached. It takes practice, experience, and confidence to learn what sorts of decisions yield the best results. Walk the interviewer through your process when it comes to making quick decisions. Do you rely on past experiences? Perhaps you go with a gut feeling. Maybe you have read case studies that you lean on in these instances.

      Problems that require you to act quickly can be emergencies such as knowing where the fire extinguisher is and grabbing it fast enough to put out a small grease fire in the company kitchen. Other quick decisions could be if you are asked to take on a new responsibility and are only given five minutes to decide if it's something you are prepared to take on. Going with your gut is a skill, and the more you learn to trust your intuition, the easier it becomes to make these types of decisions. Demonstrate that you are confident and able to react swiftly when the need arises.

      Rachel's Answer

      "As a Marketing Director, I need to make a multitude of decisions, on the fly, for varying projects. I rely partially on the instinct that I have built as an expert in the marketing industry and part in past experiences that may be similar. I am sure always to exude an air of control when making decisions."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I thrive under pressure and always have, so when I'm given a time-sensitive situation to address, I light up and get down to business. I am more impactful and even more creative when I have little time to do much besides jump in and take charge."

  15. 15.

    Have you ever had to adapt your work style to fit team objectives?

      The interviewer wants to see that you are open to change and are adaptable. Think about the times when you have had to learn a new policy, change your organization approach, or times when you have had to change your plan for meeting a goal. Talk to the interviewer about how you altered this work style to achieve the team's objectives. Be sure to mention that you were happy to accommodate this change to help the team reach the overall goal.

      Rachel's Answer

      "Every time I gain a new team member, and my team expands, I have to change my management styling just a touch to fit the new hire. I will slow down my communication until they are up to speed, for example. I want new hires to succeed, and part of that means ensuring they are not lost or falling behind."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "As a marketing director, it seems that our team changes our work styling almost every time a new trend hits, or a new algorithm comes to play. When these changes occur, I have to conduct research, share my findings, and then guide the team according to the new release or trend. It certainly keeps me on my toes!"

  16. 16.

    The technology available to our campaign managers is continually changing and improving. How do you remain current with the changing industry?

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  17. 17.

    If a customer called in to report a slow internet connection, how would you help them?

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  18. 18.

    Describe your experience working with digital advertising.

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  19. 19.

    How would you explain what a router is, to someone with no knowledge of the internet?

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  20. 20.

    Companies have several different advertising platforms to choose from. What skills would you bring that would help AOL remain a competitive option in this industry?

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  21. 21.

    As a AOL employee, how would you react if a customer threatened to cancel their internet service with us?

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  22. 22.

    In your opinion, what is the most influential form of media today?

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  23. 23.

    AOL offers powerful online advertising tools to enhance audience targeting. How do you convince an advertising customer that they should elect to add them to their package?

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  24. 24.

    What is IoT and how is it changing our daily lives?

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  25. 25.

    There are several components of a robust advertising platform. Which ones do you find to be the most valuable to a company running numerous advertising campaigns?

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  26. 26.

    In your opinion, what is the most significant advancement in cyber intelligence this year?

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  27. 27.

    Thinking about some of the well-known online advertising platforms available.How do you think AOL compares?

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  28. 28.

    Industry experts believe Demand Side Platforms (DSP's) have made a positive impact on digital advertising. Based on your knowledge, in what ways do you find this to be accurate, and how can AOL improve its products or services to benefit marketers?

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  29. 29.

    What do you believe are the biggest privacy risks an internet user faces today?

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  30. 30.

    Data-driven advertising with machine learning is part of the service that AOL provides to its search-engine advertising customers. How would you explain why this feature is so useful to a potential customer?

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