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Interview Types for Evaluating Digital & Web Analytics Hires

August 6, 2019

This post is contributed by Burtch Works’ web and digital analytics recruiting team.Evaluating candidates for a role can be complicated and complex, especially as digital roles are becoming more technical and prior experience is even more of a priority. But, evaluating digital candidates doesn’t have to be a rough experience. Here are some tips and techniques to keep in mind when prepping your internal team for interviews.

Interview Types for Evaluating Digital and Web Analytics Hires

Behavioral Interviews

Behavioral interviews are the most commonly used method that I’m seeing at the moment. This technique allows interviews to evaluate skill set based on a candidate’s prior work experience.The thought process behind behavioral interviews is that future success is best indicated by what a candidate has accomplished previously. The most common way questions are framed in this format is “tell me a time when you used web analytics to help solve a business problem.”This type of interviewing is a great starting point for current skill set, but leaves little room for evaluating a candidate’s growth potential or ability to learn. And, it’s not going to help your team evaluate cultural fit or a candidate’s motivation.Appending additional interview techniques can help vet out additional skill sets. These types of interview techniques might include:

  • Structured interviews
  • Stress Interviews
  • Assessment interviews

Structured Interviews:

Structured interviews can be one-on-one or panel participation. Both allow for a more informal “getting to know you” period, a walkthrough of the position, and a more structured question and answer session for the candidate.For example, for a web analytics role, this might include a candidate walk through of the website and upcoming goals for website tracking or questions the business is trying to address with the site. They would then ask the candidate questions related to what issues they might see on the website and how best to address them moving forward.There is also a more unstructured version of this formal technique that allows for the candidate to run the interview, which can give more insight into the candidate’s motivations and working style. The structured version is rather similar in nature to the behavioral interview, and does not necessarily help close the gaps in that technique.

Stress Interviews:

Stress Interviews are not a version I would recommend. EVER. They have previously been popular for evaluating candidates’ responses to stress for high-stress roles, such as sales or trader jobs. I’m not going to spend more time on them as I don’t think they’re especially popular or necessary for digital roles, and they certainly do not make for a positive candidate experience. And, quizzing an email specialist on something like how many emails are sent worldwide in a day, doesn’t really give you much in terms of useful information.

Assessment interviews:

Assessment interviews can be a great way to really measure the technical merit and chops of a candidate. Your team can ask the candidate direct questions and see if a candidate can get the “right” answer. Or they can also be used to understand how candidates work best within an office environment and give a hiring manager key insight into how to effective work alongside this candidate in the office.An example of an assessment could include a case study of a website and what recommendations the candidate might make to help the consumer experience. Such an assessment would usually provide a limited data set to the candidate and allow the candidate to showcase their analytics thought process.Typical assessments might try to vet out the skill set for:

  • Web analytics and tagging
  • Digital media mix
  • Email targeting and KPIs

However, since you will often want to introduce an assessment (possibly even a review) in addition to a behavioral or other type of interview, be aware that it will add steps to the process. And when you add more steps to the process, you always run the risk of damaging the candidate experience. There is also the potential of dragging out the process too long and missing out on talent that is actively on the market and being courted by other companies.Here are some ways to mitigate potential pitfalls of adding an assessment to your interview process:

  • If working with a recruiter, let them know the skills set you’ll be vetting out with the assessment (e.g. website tagging or email KPIs, etc.) to ensure they can properly screen candidates and avoid sending you irrelevant candidates.
  • Make sure to let your recruiter or candidates know at what point to expect the assessment within the interview process.
  • Let everyone know the length of time to expect, and remember to be cognizant of your candidate’s time! Most will have full time jobs and personal responsibilities, so keeping assessments concise and to the point will be key.
  • Make the assessment available at home for the candidate. Keeping the tools basic (think Excel sheets of website traffic by demos or device type) or using an online program that can be taken from anywhere ensures the best experience for everyone.

How to Choose the Right Interview Type?

Mixing interview techniques can help ensure a candidate has the right skill set for your position as well as being the right fit for your organization. But, as always, keep in mind timing and candidate experience. Each additional interview technique adds time to the process and in today’s hot market that is not always a good thing.Pay attention to candidate experience and be sure to let candidates know if an assessment will be part of the interviewing process as soon as possible. Don’t forget, you need to make a good impression on the candidate as much as they want to make a good impression on you!Curious to see whether we have any roles that fit your experience, or looking to hire web and/or digital analytics experts for your team? Feel free to connect with us.

Learn more about the top 2019 trends in the digital and web analytics space – as well as their implications for professionals and employers – in the video below!