Every SEO prefers certain tactics over others, but familiarity with many could indicate a deeper understanding of the industry. And while every SEO doesn't need to have a web developer background, having such skills can help set someone apart from the crowd.
Technical / Tactics
1. Give me a description of your general SEO experience.
2. Can you write HTML code by hand?
3. Could you briefly explain the PageRank algorithm?
4. How you created any SEO tools either from scratch or pieced together from others?
5. What do you think of PageRank?
6. What do you think of using XML sitemaps?
7. What are your thoughts on the direction of Web 2.0 technologies with regards to SEO?
8. What SEO tools do you regularly use?
9. Under what circumstances would you look to exclude pages from search engines using robots.txt vs meta robots tag?
10. What areas do you think are currently the most important in organically ranking a site?
11. Do you have experience in copywriting and can you provide some writing samples?
12. Have you ever had something you've written reach the front-page of Digg? Sphinn? Or be Stumbled?
13. Explain to me what META tags matter in today's world.
14. Explain various steps that you would take to optimize a website?
15. If the company whose site you've been working for has decided to move all of its content to a new domain, what steps would you take?
16. Rate from 1 to 10, tell me the most important "on page" elements
17. Review the code of past clients/company websites where SEO was performed.
18. What do you think about link buying?
19. What is Latent Semantic Analysis (LSI Indexing)?
20. What is Phrase Based Indexing and Retrieval and what roles does it play?
21. What is the difference between SEO and SEM?
22. What kind of strategies do you normally implement for back links?
23. What role does social media play in an SEO strategy?
24. What things wouldn't you to do increase rankings because the risk of penalty is too high?
25. What's the difference between PageRank and Toolbar PageRank?
26. Why might you want to use nofollow on an internal link?
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