50 PPC Interview Questions for In-House or Agency Hire

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Whether your company is hiring an in-house PPC Manager/Specialist or an agency, it’s essential to ask the right questions during the interview process. This can help you determine whether they’ll be the best fit to help generate more leads and sales for your company at a profitable price point. 

iSpionage audited over 2,000 ad accounts and found that 76% of budgets were wasted on the wrong keywords. You don’t want to waste time and money with an inefficient strategy, which is ultimately the responsibility of the person managing your Google Ads. It’s also essential to hire someone you know will be transparent with billing and provide complete ownership access to your accounts. 

I listed 50 questions you can ask a PPC company before hiring them. I broke out the questions into different sections based on the bullets below: 

  • Contract 
  • Competitive Landscape 
  • Account Management 
  • Tactical & Strategy 
  • Reporting

We also recorded a video on the top questions to ask a PPC company or individual before hiring them.


  • I’ve worked with hundreds of businesses in setting up and managing their Google PPC campaigns.
  • Our agency actively manages millions in ad spend for clients across many verticals.
  • I’ve helped hire PPC strategists for our agency and also helped businesses make Google PPC hiring decisions.
  • Our agency was awarded the “Best PPC Campaign” in 2019 in the U.S. by DashThis.
  • I’ve seen firsthand when accounts aren’t structured correctly, lack of transparency, and poor decisions lead to poor results.


The questions below are more geared toward hiring an agency versus someone in-house. There are still great takeaways if you’re considering hiring someone internally.

  • Do you have other clients in a similar vertical that would represent a conflict of interest?
    • If you are concerned about an agency working with your closest competitor, this question must be asked immediately. If you want to ensure the company you hire is exclusive to your industry in your market, you should get this in writing. There is often a price you’ll have to pay for an agency to commit to a non-compete. 
  • How do you charge for your services? 
    • Is the agency you’re looking to hire going to charge based on a percentage of overall ad spend? Is it a flat fee? Do they take a percentage of revenue? (hopefully not!) This is important. If you spend a lot of money on advertising, hiring an agency that charges based on a percentage of ad spend likely isn’t the best solution. Fully understand the contract so you know how the pricing structure works. 
  • What is the opt-out for the contract?  
    • I don’t recommend getting locked into a 12-month contract. It’s standard in the digital marketing industry for a 30-60 day opt-out. PPC is very results-oriented. If you’re not generating leads and sales, you can opt-out quickly. 
  • Do I have full admin access to my Google Ads account and all of the data within the account? 
    • Your business needs to have ownership of its Google Ads account.
    • I frequently see an agency setting up a client in a Google Ads account where the client can’t log in to the account. This provides a lack of transparency with billing. It also prevents you from seeing the change history and other key insights. 
    • The last thing you want to happen when splitting a PPC company is to realize you don’t have ownership. You’ve built up historical data with conversions, quality score, and click data, and you don’t want to lose this.
    • Make sure you are an admin of your Google Ads account. There should be a 10-digit ID, and you should be able to login to the account. Get this in writing! 
  • Will you do a 30-minute audit of my Google Ads? 
    • I recommend asking the person you’re interviewing to do a screen share with you where they audit your Google Ads account. This will show their knowledge level in auditing the existing structure and recommending the new strategy. It’s easy to send off a generic audit generated by third-party software. It’s a vote of confidence to see someone confidently dissecting your Google Ads account.
  • What software do you use to enhance performance? 
    • Our agency uses DashThis for real-time reporting.
    • We leverage Optmyzr for budget tracking, payment issues, and conversion-trending
    • It’s good to know what technology the person you’ll be hiring is familiar with and whether or not this is included in the agency fee.


  • What’s your overall experience? 
    • Like any job, experience is essential. I’ve run Google PPC campaigns for clients for over 13 years. Looking back at what I knew in year three versus now, it’s night and day. Experience should be taken into consideration, especially when managing a large budget.
  • What’s your experience working in our vertical? (Shopping vs. Non-Shopping) 
    • It’s good to know if the person has experience in your vertical. For example, if you are an eCommerce company, Google Shopping knowledge is a must. If you are an immigration lawyer, having legal PPC experience is a bonus, not a make or break, as they can learn by asking the right questions. 
  • What is the monthly spend of your three largest clients? What’s the monthly ad spend of your average client? 
    • This will give you an idea of the type of accounts the person you are looking to hire works on. If the average account they manage is over $500 per month and you are spending $50,000/month, they likely aren’t a good fit as you’ll want someone more focused on small business PPC.
  • What type of client is not a good fit?  
    • Every person should have an answer to this. Many agencies aren’t fond of working with startups because the business is not yet established, so there is no backing for the product or service. Other PPC agencies focus solely on startups. There are paid advertising agencies and specialists that only focus on eCommerce. 
  • What would you consider a success with our campaign? 
    • Suppose the prospective agency you are looking to hire is talking about clicks and impressions and is not asking questions about your average order value, profitability, the average cost of a service, etc. In that case, they may not be as focused on ROI as you need. A great paid advertiser on Google will ask you questions about your business, which will align with the PPC strategy. 


  • How often are changes made within my account? 
    • Did you know there’s a “Change History” section within Google Ads where you can see the amount of changes per month? How often will your account manager go into your account to make changes? 
    • It’s not always necessary to make a lot of changes. Changes could be minimal when a campaign is well structured and performing well. There should be substantial activity within your account. Understanding how many changes will be taking place is good to know. 
  • Who will be my account manager?  
    • If you hire someone in-house, the person you hire will manage your account.
    • When you speak with an agency, this could be outsourced, and the person you communicate with may not be the one making changes to the account.
    • Get an understanding of who will be handling the day-to-day changes of your account.
  • Is the person managing my account certified in Google Ads and Google Analytics? 
    • It’s nice to have someone certified in Google Ads and Analytics. It means they stay current on trends and take initiative by renewing their certification.
    • I’ve interviewed many recent college grads who are Google Ads and Google Analytics certified. This does not mean they are in the top 1% of their craft just because they have the certificate.
    • Take the certification with a grain of salt. It’s nice for someone to have, but the accounts they manage and their prior results are more important.
  • How often will we have meetings? 
    • Will there be weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly meetings?
    • What type of information will be covered in the meetings?
    • What information does the non-PPC expert need to come prepared with?
      • For example, sales data from a non-eCommerce company is helpful to see if the leads are converting into new business.
  • What type of backup support will be in place?  
    • What if the person managing your Google Ads account is on vacation? If there is an issue with a credit card, your account could go dark and stop spending. Will this person be willing to spend time on off days monitoring the account to ensure things are running smoothly? Will this person have a backup when issues arise, and they are out of the office? This is a great question to ask, especially for someone in-house. 
    • For an agency, there is typically backup support when they have numerous team members. 
  • What does an account transition look like?
    • “The day you sign a client is the day you start losing them.” This is an excellent quote from Mad Men. What this means is that most business relationships don’t last forever. It’s important to discuss what would happen if this person/agency was fired or took another job.
    • The answer you should be looking for is that the business will have complete ownership of the account, and this person will help facilitate the transition!
  • What type of support will you need from me? 
    • The business owner or company contact is crucial to the success of any PPC campaign. They should know the business better than any PPC manager, so there should be strategy and communication between both parties. This will help the PPC company acquire the necessary information to ensure PPC success.
      • For example, we inherited a PPC account from a personal injury lawyer where 50% of their budget came from workers’ compensation. After I asked the attorney what percentage of revenue came from workers comp, I was surprised to find out it was less than 10%. This resulted in an immediate budget reallocation based on practice area.
  • How does the approval process work for PPC Ad Copy, Keywords, etc? 
    • The last thing you want is an advertisement to populate with information that isn’t accurate. Determine how the person managing your account will go through the approval process for ad copy. 
      • For our agency, we list all keywords and ad copy in a Google Doc, present this to the client, and have them sign off on it. Once this happens, we start creating and structuring the campaign.  


  • How do you select the right keywords to target? 
    • You can’t get all the best keywords using a third-party tool. Some businesses, especially B2B, are harder to understand.
    • The person you’re hiring should realize that keyword development should consider insight from the client. 
      • We work for a company that does aerospace heat treatment. This was a very niche B2B industry that required several meetings between key stakeholders of their team and our team. There was information in the tools we had access to, but the best keywords came from back-and-forth brainstorming sessions.
  • How do you go about monitoring the search terms? 
    • Search terms are one of the most important components of a PPC campaign [read our blog about search terms]. The right search terms will ultimately lead to higher-quality traffic and more conversions.
      • We love presenting our clients with the search terms report, often requiring industry knowledge. We take a stab at selecting potential negative keywords, but the client typically has good insight. 
  • Landing Pages 
    • A landing page can increase the conversion rate. Does your agency build landing pages or drive the traffic directly to the website? There is no right or wrong answer here, but knowing the strategy behind this is important.
    • Landing pages can require an extra budget, so be cognisant of whether or not this is needed for your PPC strategy.
  • Bid Strategy 
    • Do you recommend manual CPC bidding or maximized conversions? This is more of a technical question to test someone’s knowledge. 
      • We often start with manual bidding to drive initial conversions before switching to Max conversions. 
  • How do you decide on match types (broad vs. phrase vs. broad match modifier vs. exact?) 
    • If you are in an industry with little search volume, you might have to go with a long-tail broad match to generate any clicks. Google now recommends utilizing broad match, but this recommendation is somewhat misguided. This is another good critical thinking question. 
  • How would you approach localized targeting? 
    • A dry cleaner will be very localized to the suburb they are serving.
    • A lawyer could serve the entire state.
    • An eCommerce company would likely serve the entire United States.
      • Knowing how the PPC candidate plans on targeting based on your business objectives will be good. 
  • A month into our campaign, what results would raise a red flag? 
    • If you own an eCommerce company and a month into the PPC campaign, there were no sales or a very low ROAS below 2:1; this should raise a red flag. If you spent a thousand dollars and you’re a landscaping company, and no leads were generated, that should also raise a red flag. The PPC company you’re looking to hire should be able to answer this honestly so you have guidance on what defines success and failure. 
  • Would you implement display retargeting?   
    • Every PPC campaign should have display retargeting. These display ads follow someone around after they drop off your site. During a PPC interview, this is a good question of whether or not they recommend retargeting ads to run alongside Google PPC. 
  • Do you have developers and designers in-house?  
    • Most PPC companies have to touch the website at one point or another. Whether it’s for design enhancements or tracking purposes. Does the PPC company you’re hiring handle your website and design changes, or will they work with someone else? 
  • How much budget do you recommend spending on Google vs. social media? 


  • What’s your process for tracking conversions? 
    • Before any PPC campaign launches, a conversions checklist should be mapped out. This includes contact form submissions, LiveChat, phone calls, emails, eCommerce conversions, etc. 
    • Conversions should be properly set up within Google Analytics 4 and imported to Google Ads.
    • It is important to ensure the person you hire is proficient with conversion tracking as it will show their technical prowess.  
  • Do you provide real-time reporting? 
    • A business owner needs access to a real-time report showing how much money has been spent, conversions accumulated, and cost per conversion (to name a few). A real-time report avoids the unnecessary back-and-forth questions like, “How much money have I spent this month?” Most importantly, it provides transparency. 
  • How do you monitor budgets and conversion trends? 
    • What happens if your credit card gets compromised and your ads get turned off? What if conversions are dropping and your cost per conversion is trending upward? Tools, such as Optmyzr, can help monitor this. It’s important to know whether or not the company you are hiring will invest in these tools as it avoids downtime and surprises. 
  • Are you familiar with Google Tag Manager? 
    • Google Tag Manager helps you organize all of your conversion actions. If someone isn’t familiar with GTM, it could mean they aren’t technically proficient. 
  • What’s your typical turnaround time on requests and questions? 
    • Will the PPC company or person you hire get back to you within 24 hours?  Hopefully, the answer is yes. It’s good to set realistic communication benchmarks.

In Closing

  • There’s a lot to consider when hiring a proficient PPC specialist, whether it’s an in-house or agency hire.
  • The right hire can positively change your company’s trajectory, generating more sales and leads.
  • A bad hire can set you back exponentially, costing you time and money.
  • Strong communication, extensive experience, critical thinking, and technical knowledge are all great attributes for the right PPC candidate.

Hopefully, this article will provide great questions for your upcoming PPC interview. If you need any assistance hiring the right person or if you’re looking for an agency to manage your accounts, contact The Media Captain.

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