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How to interview a digital specialist
The rise of digitalization has transformed the world, and methods of doing business are no exception. Most people in the workforce have some knowledge of the digital landscape, but without specialists many businesses will fall behind. This field is nuanced, making specific knowledge and competencies arguably more vital in this area than in any other.
Pierre Moreau, Associate, Michael Page Geneva, explains: “The high level of knowledge required can make finding the right candidate difficult. Some job titles can be a little misleading --placing emphasis on experience as opposed to actual skill set -- which can add to the challenge. That's why the hiring manager and the recruiter need to be on the same page about the job's requirements. These points should be crystal clear in the job description, as well, ensuring that you attract qualified candidates.”
He adds: “Find a recruiter who understands the specifics of the job and the skills required. They should have the right industry knowledge, too. You can trust this person to source the right candidates and funnel them to you. But once you sit down with them, it's important that you know what to ask to ensure that they have the correct level of knowledge and specialization for the job.”
Here are some questions every hiring manager should ask in an interview with a digital specialist.
You should first ask about traffic. What was their strategy for reducing bounce rates? Ask them to tell you about the success of that venture. How did they target influencers, or improve click-through rates and page views? Find out what their approach to video is, or how they drive traffic to sites. Also ask about paid campaigns, affiliate marketing, and SEO proficiency.
Conversion rates are extremely important metrics, so make sure to ask about them. How did the candidate improve the optimization of their PPC campaigns? Did they find out why visitors were coming to the site and what was influencing the users’ decision making?
Return on Investment
Ask the candidate if any increase in spending directly yielded more sales. What number of newly acquired leads did they convert into sales? They should be able to prove that they know how to invest wisely.
“Now that you have your interview questions settled, you'll have to determine the format of the interview. This decision should depend on the role and level of experience required. For example, a senior digital analyst may need to do two interview and a rigorous test for you to truly know their capabilities. This can give you confidence in your decision, especially when filling a permanent role.
On the flip side, timing is of the essence when filling temporary roles. So it may be more appropriate to do a phone interview before a quick in-person conversation. This process should take less than a week, ensuring that you don't miss out on an in-demand freelancer and a top hire.”
As for digital content and copywriting roles, there should be some quick test of the candidate's abilities. This task should allow them to demonstrate proofreading, grammar, and writing skills. Their performance, along with a discussion about KPIs and their successes, should give you a clear idea of the candidate's qualifications.
After the interview is over, assess the top candidates and compare their suitability for the role.
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