How would you drive on-page and off-page optimization?
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The interviewer is asking to hear about your perspective on the best comprehensive SEO strategy. Briefly state what on-page and off-page optimization strategies include and describe how you'd manage them at Bazaarvoice.
"On-page and off-page are the two buckets of overall SEO - on page SEO looks at the content of the sites and off page SEO evaluates the popularity of such content. So on-page determines what we rank for and off-page ranks for how high we rank. Both are critical in improving our visibility but differently managed. For on-page, we have to focus on title tags, headings, links, meta descriptions, etc. Most importantly, the inherent content of each page has to be carefully managed to be truly relevant and engaging. There are many different techniques to use for off-page SEO but I would avoid using black hat SEO such as keyword stuffing and link farming, especially because Google is always making updates to attack these 'shady' tactics. Involving industry influencers and partnering with other sites to co-promote are smarter in my opinion since one quality backlink is much more impactful than 100 mediocre ones."
The interviewer wants to test your knowledge about search optimization techniques. Describe what each entails and explain how/why they are used.
"Black hat is used to get higher search rankings often for short-term objectives while white hat targets a human audience often for longer-term goals. So black hat SEO would include things like keyword stuffing, just loading them in the meta tags, link farming, etc. to make the landing page appear for as many keywords as possible. It's basically spamming everywhere you can. White hat, on the other hand, includes things like keyword analysis, backlinking and content improvements to meaningfully and intentionally enhancing user interactions. Using black hat is risky as it's breaking the search engine rules and could lead to your site being blocked and impact your quality scores."
Do you think it is possible to be a good team member, yet disagree with the leader?
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In the software and technology industry, you may find a wide variance of opinion, based on peoples' experiences, education, and professional preferences. The interviewer wants to know that you can be diplomatic in the workplace, even when you may not agree with your leader.
Show the interviewer that it is possible for you to be a good team member, yet disagree with the leader from time to time. Explain that you believe everyone is entitled to their own professional opinion, yet capable of maintaining respect for each other at the same time. Show that even if you disagree with the final decision they make, you support the direction the team is heading.
"Yes, I think it is possible! What makes a great team member is not that they agree with everything but the level of respect and positive thought that goes into the person's communication style. It's okay to disagree; however, you have to communicate your thoughts professionally."
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"Yes, I do believe it is possible to be a good team member, yet disagree with the leader. I have disagreed with decisions my boss has made in the past, but generally, I keep my thoughts to myself, and I know they are the leader for a reason and likely have considered factors, beyond my understanding, for their choices."
If you could start any company, what venture would you choose?
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Show your interesting side. Show the interviewer that you are able to identify a problem, dissect it and come up with a sensible solution based on verified data.
It never hurts to throw in industry statistics.
"I'd love to start a camping experience planning website. While hiking and camping are fun and healthy, it could be intimidating for many beginners who don't how to get started. 13 million more Americans started hiking/camping in 2017 and 38% of total campers are millennials, # rapidly growing. The preparation takes a lot of research - take finding appropriate locations, for instance. You go to the government websites to print maps of the park with various tracks you need to choose from. You also have to apply for a permit at a certain time once you decide on your camping/hiking tracks; some are lottery systems. Finding appropriate gears is challenging; currently there are only a few players with limited physical locations. As more millennials join the camping community, they have different needs such as unique lodging or activity experience, convenience, and other fun/auxiliary things that traditionally campers didn't really ask for. I want to create a one-stop shop site where they can use an interactive map to figure out which track might be the best one for them based on their desired trip experience and unique needs. The website will focus on digital UX to help guide the end user through all the steps they need to take in planning their trip. I'd target those in the 20s to mid-40s who like to plan group camping trips, rather than hardcore hiking/camping junkies since they are more likely to appreciate the step-by-step guidance."
The interviewer wants to hear not a general definition but your perspective on online/internet marketing. Start with a quick description, then lay out various types of internet marketing.
Bonus points if you can name a few examples of Bazaarvoice's internet marketing efforts.
"Internet marketing is reaching out to a larger audience of potential customers by strategically placing promotions regarding the company or its products in specific places in the online real estate to improve brand visibility. These days it could include googling search engine marketing, broad web-advertising, email marketing, referral and partnership marketing, inbound leads on the company website, and social media. But it depends on the company - how the marketing teams/roles are divided and the company's goals. For instance, I noticed that Bazaarvoice always clickable banners on your competitor/partner's website especially related to your latest product. I thought about some other company websites that could be great places for Bazaarvoice ads."
6. What kind of customer data should an online retailer collect? It's important to acknowledge that now data comes in a wider range of forms - explicit data, implicit data, behavioral data, structured, unstructured, etc. The key is collecting and then synthesizing all these data into actionable insights.
The best way to answer this question is to start with some general overall metrics before delving into the data points that would be relevant in few key scenarios in the customer's journey (on the retailer's site).
Also, mention that you would look at not just 'snapshot' data but also trends over time. Here is an answer example: "The amount of data we could collect would be enormous. So I'll start by highlighting some overall insights to look at and then go into a couple customer experience scenarios and highlight the relevant data points. To assess the overall performance, I'd want to see trends in web traffic (unique and return users). A breakdown of demographic and basic behavioral pattern information of the customers - how much and how many items each segment bought, how much time they spent, etc. I'll then look at how the customers were brought to the site. Traffic sources and conversion rates per traffic source (and bounce rate). I'll want to see customer buying habits and preferences. Questions I'd want to ask are: How many customers set a limit on price when searching for products and what were the ranges of those ceilings? For customers who went to and/or spent a lot of time on the 'new arrival' section, did their buying patterns differ from others? How many customers went to 'sales' section first? On average, how much did time did customers spend on each product content and what did they click on to learn more about the product? And lastly I also want to know how they make final decisions - how many and who abandoned the cart? How many deleted items from the cart? How many people order more than 1 of the same product?"7. What are the features you'd include in the product content page (for a retailer)? What would you emphasize? You need to be able to think from the perspective of the end users (the customers of Bazaarvoice's clients).
The interviewer wants to see if you can use logic and data to think about how to convey all the messages to the customer when they are looking at the product on their site to drive desired behavior (buying). Think about the things that you need to know and also things that will influence you, as the customer, when deciding whether to buy the product or not. Here is an answer example: "Probably start with things that customers definitely need to know such as product information (dimensions, colors, size). For clothes, you need to have an easy-to-understand size chart; women especially struggle with this a lot. You'll need photos of the item from various angles. Customers need to see the price as well. Now thinking about things that will influence the shopper's decision - reviews, popularity and deals. These are things that a retailer would certainly want to be strategic about and leverage. So if let's say, I'm looking at a dress and it's very popular. As I'm picking the size, if I see a phrase appear that says 'only x left' or 'limited availability' or 'almost sold out', I'd have FOMO and might rush to put it in my cart. Just like how I'm more likely to buy if I see positive reviews. If there are bundle deals (buy 1, get 1 50% off or buy 2 products together for discount on total price), you should make sure the shopper sees it. Recommendations about other products obviously help as well but only if it's based on robust data analytics."8. Why do you want to work at Bazaarvoice? Ad-tech is a competitive, saturated industry. So the interviewer wants to be sure that you know how Bazaarvoice is special in terms of their database, product quality, service offerings, and analytics. You should also research its competitors and be able to compare Bazaarvoice's strengths to that of its competitors. Here is an answer example: "This industry is very competitive with a lot of both large and small players but I was interested in Bazaarvoice because of the breadth of its services. Not only does Bazaarvoice have a strong and diverse database including geospatial/location data, behavioral data, and explicit data, Bazaarvoice also understands that it's equally critical, if not more, to help the clients make organizational and operational changes so they can actually track the kind of consumers behaviors they are looking for and also be able to timely use such insights. It's not just marketing as a service, Bazaarvoice offers insights as a service. And that's the kind of place where I should and want to be." Here is an answer example: "I admire your technology that can identify consumers even without cookies better than the industry average. The focus on behavioral data is what intrigues me the most. Actionable behavioral data, going beyond just 'oh this customer clicked on this site so we'll send them one more email', is the new milestone everyone is trying to achieve and I feel like your capabilities to comprehensively understand customer behaviors & predict what they'll want next is way above that of other ad-tech companies. Data is a lot more fluid now and traditional quantitative metrics are no longer sufficient since people can't fit into neat little boxes. And as a major behavioral data geek, I wanted to be part of a company that really understands this concept and pursue collecting data in innovative ways."9. What would you do to improve a client's digital strategy if they want to stop using discounts? It's important that you have a good understanding of branding and marketing principles to be in ad-tech. At Bazaarvoice, they want candidates who can go beyond just providing a piece of software to the client. They want those who can also help the client with building their strategy and co-innovate.
Brush up on re-branding strategy for companies trying to be perceived as a luxury. Here is an answer example: "If the client wants to move away from offering discounts to attract clients, I think they might have to rethink their overall branding strategy. They'll need to convince existing and new clients to perceive the brand differently. I'd say first look at customers who seem to be buying higher-priced (non-discounted) products and offer a new line of products to these clients as an 'exclusive' offer, emphasizing the quality and design that justify the price. Their messaging itself will need to be updated to represent the company's new positioning. I'd recommend focusing marketing on new, shiny products that the client believes are the best matches for the target customer base, so customers start to think of them differently on their own without being told so. I'd also design the websites to be much more personalized to show the customers, who exhibit less price sensitivity, to see more higher-end products during their shopping experience. They can also leverage offering exclusive access to the newest products or rewards program instead of discounts."10. Do you know about CPC/PPC and quality score? The interviewer wants to see if you are knowledgeable about various models and analytics relevant to internet marketing. Be sure to provide more than just definitions - discuss their significance and other relevant items related to CPC/PPC/Quality Score. Here is an answer example: "PPC are the ads and where they are located whereas CPC is the cost of each click that leads to the website and an important metric that we use to measure the success of our PPC campaigns. Quality score is Google's rating of the quality and relevance of your keywords or ads. This is used to calculate the cost per click or pay per click rate as well as your rank based on your maximum bid and CPC. Quality scores include a multitude of factors such as the click-through rate, the relevance of each keyword to the ad group, landing page, historical AdWords performance, etc. They help us make our CPC as efficient as possible by lowering our cost per conversion and determine which PPC ads are most valuable. Besides, PPC, we could also look at pay per impression, pay per play, and pay per action. It really depends on each PPC ad and our objective."11. How many impressions, would you estimate, an advertisement on a subway car would garner in one day? When answering riddles/brain teasers like this, always ask questions to get more information first. Then, lay out the factors in a formula. Explain the formula and all the factors in it before saying your final guestimate. Add comments about potential dependencies - factors that could change your calculation if they were known to you. Here is an answer example: "Can I first ask a few questions for clarification? When you say 'impressions,' are you simply referring to how many people will actually see it? Also, where is this subway car operating in? Is there only one advertisement in the car? May I assume for simplicity that the car was full emptied out at each stop? Where is it located inside the car? Based on the information I have, I'll need to calculate the % of people who would have seen this advertisement based on its location inside the subway car each time the car was full and multiply it by how many groups of people would have come in and gone. Total # of people inside the car at each stop will depend on the time of day - there will be more during rush hour. If it's really packed, many of those sitting down might not see the ad, so we may have to take that into consideration as well."12. What do you think about Bazaarvoice's website? Do you think it's a responsive website? Bazaarvoice wants to make sure all its online efforts ultimately lead the customers to the website to explore the brand and its products and to initiate a sales transaction. The interviewer wants to hear your insights on how to improve the website engagement to increase the # of visitors making purchases.
Check out Bazaarvoice's website and test a few things such as finding information about the products, buying the product, asking questions to the support team, etc. In your response, include things they've done well and things they could improve to make the site more behavior-driven.
Also, include any recommendations you may have to make simple yet impactful improvements such as simplifying the URL, page titles, adding search words, etc. Here is an answer example: "Oh absolutely - it was clear that the website was designed to be responsive. Visually, the first impression was very appealing and inviting. It wasn't cluttered with too much content but had precise language about Bazaarvoice and its products which help set user expectations. The tabs were intuitive. I noticed that when I clicked on the 'on sale' section, it showed recommendations for bundled deals as it recognized I might be a budget conscious buyer. I think what might bring it to the next level is if you ask the visitors a couple questions about their needs and preferences to show a customized/personalized page of most suitable products they should explore first to make sure they find what they are looking for. Another thing you could do is put language such as 'do you know that x% of our customers who used these products experienced y' or 'x% of our customers who are similar to your profile have bought this product' to reassure the customers the products are relevant to them." Here is an answer example: "I noticed that when I searched certain terms such as x,y,z, Bazaarvoice website wasn't on the top of the list. It might be a good set of keywords to add. Also, for certain products, it might make sense to have the searchers be directed directly to the relevant product pages instead of the main page. Also, having simple URL helps bring return customers and visitors. It's easier to share with their friends too so I'd suggest simplifying the URL to be more intuitive."13. How do you develop trust among your team in a virtual, or work-from-home, setting? Depending on a few factors, Bazaarvoice may offer you the opportunity to work from a home-based office. With technology taking over, many workplaces are offering remote opportunities. The interviewer would like to know that you can handle that type of set up while still building great coworker relationships - even under the absence of face-to-face interaction.
Here are a few ways that you can develop trust among your team members in a virtual setting:
- Building relationships: You might share how you have everyone introduce themselves, share their professional background, personal interests, and even a little about their interests in each meeting.
- FaceTime or Go-To-Meeting: Talk about how you ensure that you have video conferencing capabilities. Discuss that being able to see each other, even virtually, allows you to build camaraderie and creates trust among your team.
- Creating a Transparent Culture: Tell the interviewer how you open up the door for trust with your team by being an open and transparent leader or co-worker. You might share that you have open conversations about how the group will hold each other accountable.
You may also share other ideas that have worked for you such as: holding one-on-one meetings with each member of the team, providing recognition for things well done, holding fun contests, or allowing team members to understand each other better by utilizing a personality assessment. Here is an answer example: "Technology allows for so much these days. I believe you can quickly make a connection with someone, even if you are across the world from them, by embracing the right tools. I would also suggest incorporating multiple contests or team-based goals, where team members still have to collaborate, to get to the end goal." Here is an answer example: "I have worked in remote IT teams in the past and what I found worked very well were regular video calls through Google Hangout. These calls worked so that everyone had a turn running the meeting, giving their ideas on an area in which they were considered a subject matter expert. This strategy established each team member as an influencer in their own right. The results were an incredible team environment, despite many of us never meeting each other in person."14. What are the latest Google algorithm changes you know about? The interviewer wants to see if you are keeping up to date with the Google algorithm changes that will impact Bazaarvoice's SEO strategy. As the internet marketing lead, you have to be able to adjust based on these updates.
Set up alerts for Google algorithm changes so you can get real-time updates. Search Engine Journal is a good source. Here is an answer example: "Google has released substantial updates this year, many of which are not well known but I believe they are targeting black hat SEO sites. They mentioned that their 'routine' updates may lower the ranking of some pages but that didn't reflect the quality of the sites. I am most impressed by their latest AI algorithm update which goes beyond matching title tags and heading elements to search queries and is intentioned to better understand author intent regardless of keywords, which could significantly impact how companies approach and leverage SEO techniques. The fact that now they are using neural matching algorithm now means that it'll be harder to manipulate the rankings."15. In a given scenario, how would you expand our footprint within the account and how would you work to retain the account if they opted to not renew their contract? Often in ad-tech, whether you are in sales or not, you are likely to interact with clients often and be involved in ensuring client success. Knowing how to maintain and expand client relationships is key as Bazaarvoice would likely constantly develop new products and offerings. This kind of mindset is needed for anyone who wants to be in a leadership position at Bazaarvoice, regardless of the group/division.
So tap into your inner sales/persuasion instincts when responding to this question. Make sure that your response is phrased so it puts the client's need first, not your or Bazaarvoice's best interest. Here is an answer example: "First, to expand our footprint within the account, I believe we need to examine the account status and status of all ongoing initiatives very frequently. It's important to establish milestones with the client early on so we all have the same expectations and can observe progress clearly and objectively. I'll note all the roadblocks and challenges that come to surface during the cycle of the relationship and speak to the client about their thoughts on the matter - like 'why do you think you are obtaining new customers steadily yet the rate of repeat customer is low?' - and determine the root cause of the problem. It could be issues with the product itself, lack of meaningful client engagements, or a combination of things. Once the client sees the next problem they need to solve for, I'll be their partner and offer guidance as well as an introduction of our services and capabilities they could benefit from. If I could be proactive, I'd offer the client a pilot approach so they can test out new functionalities/products when they become available. This way we start to build trust and deepen the partnership. For accounts opting not to renew, I'd hope that we would've been proactive enough to have had discussions with clients before they 'announce' the decision. Either way, if they indicate they are leaning towards not renewing the contract, I'll probably use a few different techniques. I might mention other clients or companies who have made similar decisions to end contracts with Bazaarvoice, resulting in their marketing capabilities significantly deteriorating soon after. I'll also highlight what their competitors are doing and the consequences of them falling behind in their marketing efforts. If they are unhappy with us and/or considering another vendor, I'll try to find ways to address those issues quickly and throw in bonus gifts to appease them. If I can, I'll offer 3 more months of a free trial period to fix issues/deliver."16. Which CMS platforms are you familiar with? The interviewer wants to know your experience with the best CMS platforms. Research about Bazaarvoice's CMS platforms if possible and think about any recommendations for suitable CMS platform for Bazaarvoice to consider. Here is an answer example: "I've used Weebly, Juma, Wordpress, and Hubspot. I believe the best content management system is the one that everyone can use - this helps with fast collaboration and faster implementation of ideas and changes. I felt like Wordpress, while being the largest open-source CMS, was too complicated and awkward for responsive, design-oriented websites. Given Bazaarvoice's huge breadth of marketing technologies, I'd consider Joomla! Which allows users to create custom extensions."17. How does it differ from offline marketing? How are they linked? The interviewer wants to see if you can articulate the pros and cons of both online and offline marketing and also strategize about how to link the traditional marketing with internet marketing strategies.
Think about possible online and offline campaigns Bazaarvoice could launch. Here is an answer example: "Offline marketing or traditional marketing mostly involves physical real estate - pamphlets, mails, goodies, billboards, magazines, and televisions just to name a few examples. These tools still can be very effective but the internet opened up new avenues and spaces to reach and connect with our customers and target audience. It's easier to get real-time analytics on internet marketing campaigns and their direct impact on the company's bottom line. These days, almost all offline marketing efforts will be tied to online efforts. So for instance, Bazaarvoice could open up few booths around New York City to have your sales folks interact with some target customers at x,y,z events. You can give them QR codes to go to the website to check out the products and offer a discount for using the QR codes from the events. You can take pictures of them with your goodies and post on the website to drive more traffic to your online marketing location. It's about knowing how to guide through both online and offline avenues cohesively."18. What would be the best ad channels for a retail (clothes, shoes, etc.) company that is launching its first beauty product line? What the interviewer wants to see is that you have basic knowledge of typical ad channels and also can incorporate insights about retail customers in your thinking.
So start by outlining some of the key insights about the target customers and when they'd most likely pay attention to the ads, both in the physical and digital world. Here is an answer example: "Many beauty product customers, most of whom are females, normally have brands that they like for each of the product they normally use - skincare (lotion, moisturizer), foundation, eyeliner, eyeshadow, blush, lipstick. But they are always open to try new items, which is why places like Sephora are so popular. People can try them to see if they like the color, texture, etc. However, being online, customers can see reviews which let them know the pros and cons of the product. Since the company already has a good base of retail customers, a huge % of who are likely to purchase beauty products, they can start by including samples of their beauty products as gifts in existing customers' orders, both in stores and online. They can offer different gift options to choose from per order, hopefully customizing it based on client segments/preferences. Start with the loyal customers first so they can drive the most desired marketing channel of all - word of mouth. If they come back to order more of beauty products after trying their sample, they could get special discounts or additional gifts. I also think leveraging their own website would be key - recommending beauty products based on the clothes or shoes they are looking at so they can plan their looks top to bottom. They can also hire social media influencers to promote and review their new beauty products - makeup gurus on Instagram and youtube. There are also google keywords and ad analytics to lure customers exploring certain ideas to the brand/site."19. How would you describe Bazaarvoice to someone unfamiliar with it? The interviewer wants to see that you can describe the ad-tech industry, its purpose and value proposition, as well as that of the Bazaarvoice. Keep it simple and it's always good to illustrate an example - make the storytelling more interesting! Here is an answer example: "I'd first start by clarifying what ad-tech is in layman's terms. Ad-tech includes technologies that help companies promote their brand to their target customers in the digital landscape. These technologies help them understand their target customers, define the messaging that will resonate with them and also predict where they would likely see AND pay attention to the message or ad. Bazaarvoice is one of the top players in the field which focuses on collecting diverse sets of insights based on when, where, what the person is doing. For instance, when you shop for clothes on Uniqlo, H&M, Armani websites, as you click through all the different clothes you see you like, Bazaarvoice's tech records your clicks and tries to understand what you liked and what you didn't. So they can collect information about you and others with similar preferences and needs and be able to show you recommendations or content that they think you will like. You know how when you google things, you see ads for those on Facebook or Instagram or see something of a similar nature? That's based on the kind of analytics that Bazaarvoice can provide."20. Tell me about your experience with internet marketing campaigns to lead more traffic to a website. Describe a campaign or initiative you worked on in your previous roles (or in personal life). Make sure to tell the interviewer the tools you used, how you/your team came up with the idea, how methodical you were in implementation and what the impact was.
Choose a multifaceted example if possible. Here is an answer example: "The company I worked at before was having issues reaching the right customer profiles, mainly executives at hospitals. This was challenging as 1) executives rarely go on vendor sites or search for them themselves and 2) we were lacking content on the website to keep them on engaged once they got to the site. So we launched a multifaceted campaign, including both online and offline campaigns. We hosted industry group discussions in Chicago and invited key executives to attend to share ideas about the latest hot topic. We invited media so they would write about the event. We created a page on our website to post the recordings and additional insights and to get visitors to sign up for updates regarding future events. All the articles posted about the event included links to this page. We also posted it on LinkedIn and allowed executives to share the posted videos on their sites. We also added the keywords related to the hot topic/event so those who were researching about it could come to our page to see our thought leadership content. The number of executives visiting our websites and inquiring about us through our website jumped by 120% in 6 months."21. Bazaarvoice fosters a collaborative working environment. When have you taken the time to teach an essential skill to a coworker? The interviewers at Bazaarvoice want to hear that you have experience teaching or mentoring your coworkers. You may have taught a new hire all of your department's standard processes. Perhaps you explained new concepts related to AI and data migration to a more junior employee. You may have mentored an employee who was struggling to meet a project deadline. All of these scenarios are great examples to draw on.
Better yet, if you have personally seen someone struggling with workplace skills or knowledge, approached them, and offered to mentor them, it is a shining example of leadership! Whatever your scenario may be, tell the interviewer what you helped the person with, while highlighting the positive outcome of their skills improvement. Here is an answer example: "Last week our company introduced a new module in our SAP system. I could see that our contracted HR assistant was having some troubles with the new module. I was familiar with it already, so I offered to help him learn the module. We spent his lunch hour for the next three days working on it. He perfected the module and our company was so impressed with his dedication to learning that they are now trying to find room to hire him on a full time, permanent basis." Here is an answer example: "I'm proud to say that, even without any official management capacity, I often seize the opportunity to teach others at work. Not only have I helped contribute to the sales team's knowledge base of our software, but also I try to teach our clients on the added features of our software, at every opportunity. It's fun to share and teach others, especially since I am always seeking out learning opportunities for myself."22. How would you do keyword research? The interviewer wants to evaluate whether or not you can use your own creative mind and analytics/tools to determine the best keywords to invest in. Think about it from both the brand and product perspective. Give some examples of search words that are logical and popular based on Bazaarvoice's brand and products. Then discuss how you'd leverage data, including keyword search analysis tools, to prioritize.
Bonus for discussing organic search through SEO. Here is an answer example: "It will vary based on Bazaarvoice's objectives and what we're trying to promote at the time but I will start by making sure we got all the seed keywords covered - since Bazaarvoice is in x and y markets, I'd start with those broad terms. I'll also think about phrases such as 'how to..' or 'best tools for..' based on our top products. We could get good ideas based on search words that our competitor also ranks for. Evaluating keywords we already rank for - where we stand and how much traffic they have generated over time - using tools such as Search Console or Wordtracker will guide us as well. We have to look at it from both the brand and product perspective." Here is an answer example: "Ideally we want to have many organic keywords to drive free traffic. I'd use Adwords to see actual top search queries and see if there are different variations we could use to optimize landing pages with those keywords. This will give me an idea about how to best cohesively streamline keyword search efforts using both PPC and SEO."23. Tell me something you have taught yourself and how you went about it. Be honest. The interviewer wants to see if you are a self-starter. Pick knowledge or skill that's more tangible and complex than Excel or PowerPoint - something that took significant time and effort. Emphasize what you did and how, as well as the WHY. Here is an answer example: "When I was a strategy manager, I was working on a project to improve customer call center satisfaction. The project had failed a couple times and I was asked by the COO to take a crack at it. I spent a few months speaking with hundreds of people trying to understand what the underlying issue was. My team and I came to realize that it wasn't the customer service that was the issue but the root cause was the product. There had to be additional knowledge/support functions embedded in the product. All of a sudden I was working on product design enhancements, which I had absolutely no experience in. So I took Stanford design courses, learned about UX / design thinking, and practiced hosting UX workshops for customer journey mapping. I also bought Interactive Design, a 1500-pg book, for more technical guidance. There weren't appropriate resources that could take the lead on the project, so I just decided to teach myself UX so we could finally fix the problem that's been affecting customer satisfaction for years."24. Have you ever worked in a cross-functional environment? If you work for a larger company, you may have been asked to work on a project with teams from another department. Your ability to work with cross-functional teams will be a significant asset to your potential employer, especially if they are a larger organization.
Maybe you headed a project which required you to collaborate with the members of the engineering and sales teams. You may have had the opportunity to organize a volunteer activity or team building exercise, company-wide. Share any challenges that came up and what you learned from the experience. Here is an answer example: "I have worked in a cross-functional setting for many years. Primarily with the digital security department and the engineering department. Clear communication is key when collaborating with different teams. Clarity in expectations is of huge importance." Here is an answer example: "When I worked for a larger mobile applications agency, we collaborated across departments all the time. We had the C-suite of Marketing and Operations, then the Content and Communications department, Creative Services, and also Consumer Insights. We would meet on a weekly basis to discuss larger projects and then collaborate through the week as needed. It was a great set-up and ensured smooth progress at all project stages."25. How would you communicate insights to a client? Ad-tech can help gather so much data but that doesn't mean clients will know what to do with them. You can stand out as a candidate in the interview by demonstrating your ability to help educate the clients using the tech to use the insights being generated from it.
Assume you're presenting insights to a team of executives. Think about what they will care about - impact on the bottom line and specific needs/actions to be taken to improve the bottom line. Here is an answer example: "Going over every single data point and explaining it would be a useless effort. What's important is the overall impact and what the data is teaching us about next steps. I'd first start with something general - overall trends (increase in revenue, traffic, changes in customer base, etc.) - and then going into learnings such as 'these customers want this or responded well to this.' How could we improve the sales of each product line? What changes to the experience do we need to make to increase the conversion rate? Basically articulating important and interesting trends observed that gave us actionable feedback to improve sales and what the key supporting data points are."26. How do you react when your team misses a deadline? Missed deadlines can be critical mistakes in the software and tech industry, and can reflect poorly on you, as a leader. The interviewer would like to understand better how you react to disappointment and plans not going your way. Give an example of a time when your team missed a deadline and walk the interviewer through the action that you took. Your response will help Bazaarvoice to better understand if your approach is the right fit for their team. Here is an answer example: "My team is highly efficient, and we rarely miss a deadline. When we do, it's surprising. We had a very challenging client last year who made a significant amount of changes throughout the entire project and implementation. These changes caused us to miss our deadline. I took action after that to ensure a better client onboarding process. This new process made sure we dug deeper with each client at the start which has resulted in fewer mid-project changes. I would be happy to share this process with Bazaarvoice, should I be your successful candidate." Here is an answer example: "Deadlines are reached as a team, and they are missed as a team. I truly believe that. When a deadline is missed, I look at how we could have moved better as a machine, to make the delivery happen on time. I do not react negatively to my team members, but I do use situations like this as learning and coaching opportunities. How does Bazaarvoice react with their leaders in the event of a missed deadline or target?"
Writers for Bazaarvoice, Inc. Answers and Questions
Jen Hong is currently a freelance writer and consultant while she is getting her Executive MBA and taking courses in innovation, data analytics and blockchain. She has worked as a strategist in financial services, fintech and health tech. She has interviewed with over 45 tech companies in the last 2 years (across various industries) and also has 2-3 years of experience interviewing interns, analysts, managers, and some senior executives as the operations lead.
Rachelle Enns is a job search expert, executive headhunter, career catalyst, and interview coach. Utilized by top talent from Fortune companies like Microsoft, General Electric, and Nestle, she helps professionals position themselves in today's competitive digital marketplace.
Rachelle founded Renovate My Resume and Executive Resume Solutions, two companies focused on helping job seekers get their edge back. She helps everyone from new graduates looking for their first placement, to CEO's who want more out of their career.
Rachelle coaches students to executives on how to master the toughest interview questions and how to handle the most bizarre interview situations; all with confidence and poise.
Rachelle trains other career coaches, recruiters, and resume writers, globally. A big part of her job is also spent coaching HR professionals on how to bring the human touch back into their interview and hiring process.
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