I'm the paid search lead for a digital agency in San Antonio, Texas and recently hired someone to fill an analyst role.
During the interview process, here are a few things that I considered red flags:
1. Someone who isn't familiar with Excel. Anyone who's going to be managing paid search accounts absolutely has to be comfortable with data analysis. To be able to pull actionable insights from AdWords and manage campaigns efficiently, that person must have solid Excel knowledge. I place such a high importance on this that I look for this before AdWords platform knowledge.
2. Someone who demonstrates no intellectual curiosity. PPC platforms are constantly changing. In 2014, there were over 40,000 changes to Google AdWords alone. If I detect that someone lacks intellectual curiosity - let alone an intense curiosity for the platform they'll be managing - this is another immediate red flag. To me, a lack of curiosity is a sign of what will eventually become outdated tactics, predictable strategies, and declining results.
3. Someone who doesn't have your business's goals in mind. A good candidate should ask things like, "What are your overall business goals? How does PPC fit into your business's overall goals? How much of your overall business goals is PPC responsible for?" A person who asks questions like these is infinitely more valuable than someone who makes false promises or insists that they're doing their job just because conversions are up.
To recap, I have three main recommendations:
-Look for a strong analytical thinker. Do they know how to set up an A/B test? Do they know how to use Pivot Tables in Excel? If not, they're unlikely to add significant value
-Look for someone who demonstrates passion and curiosity about the field. If they can't remember the names of any industry blogs or books they recently read, that's a huge red flag
-Look for someone who will put your business goals first. Does the interviewee ask questions about your business? Can they work with the math to determine ROI and help you work through realistic goals? If not, this is also a red flag
I hope these tips are useful to you and that your interview process goes well! I'd be curious to learn more about what you're looking for. Feel free to call if you have any questions!