So, you’ve decided to take the plunge and go for that content writing job, huh? You’ve got your eyes on the prize, your fingers are all warmed up, ready to create some engaging and SEO-friendly content that the internet can’t get enough of. Not to mention the sweet reward of a competitive salary, ranging from around $42,000 to $50,000 in the US, or about £30,000 to £35,000 in the UK.
But, hold on a minute! Before you can start smashing out blog posts and crafting catchy headlines, there’s a little thing called the job interview standing in your way. You know, that nerve-wracking, palms-sweaty, heart-racing event where you have to impress a total stranger with your wit, wisdom, and writing prowess. Sounds fun, right?
Well, don’t sweat it. We’ve got your back. In this article, we’ll reveal the MOST common content writer interview questions you’re likely to face and even throw in some sample answers to get you started. So grab a cup of tea, put your feet up, and let’s get cracking on that job interview prep!
Looking for More Questions / Answers…?
Then, let me introduce you to a fantastic resource: “Interview Success: How To Answer Content Writer Questions”. Penned by the experienced career coach, Mike Jacobsen, this guide is packed full of interview tips. This 105-page guide is packed with over 100 sample answers to the most common and challenging interview questions. It goes beyond simply giving you answers – it guides you on how to structure your responses, what interviewers are seeking, and even things to avoid during interviews. Best of all, it’s available for instant download! Dive in and give yourself the competitive edge you deserve.
Content Writer Interview Tips
Know Your Stuff
Remember, content writing isn’t just about stringing words together. It’s about knowing the audience, understanding SEO, and being able to research thoroughly. Show that you know these elements and how they all fit together.
Showcase Your Skills
Have examples of your work ready to share. If you can, provide a diverse portfolio that shows you can handle a variety of content types – blogs, social media posts, whitepapers, and more.
Explain Your Process
Every writer has a process. Be prepared to explain yours. How do you research a topic? How do you incorporate keywords without disrupting flow? How do you handle writer’s block?
Discuss Your Learning Methods
Content writing is a rapidly evolving field, so show that you’re keeping up. What blogs, books, or podcasts do you follow to stay up-to-date? Have you recently taken any courses or earned certifications?
Highlight Your Collaborative Skills
Content writers often work with a team of marketers, designers, and other writers. Be sure to show that you can play well with others.
Be Ready to Talk Business
You’re not just a writer; you’re a content marketer. Show that you understand business goals and how your writing can help achieve them.
Ask Insightful Questions
Remember, you’re interviewing them too. Asking insightful questions about the company’s content strategy, target audience, or upcoming projects shows you’re serious about the role.
How Best To Structure Content Writer Interview Questions
Crafting an effective response to an interview question is much like writing a compelling piece of content. It requires clarity, relevance, and a logical flow that keeps your listener engaged. One useful strategy to achieve this is the B-STAR method, specifically tailored here for content writer interviews:
B – Belief – Start your response by sharing your thoughts and feelings about the subject matter at hand. For instance, if asked about your stance on SEO in content writing, you might express your firm belief in the importance of SEO and how it’s not just about search engine ranking, but creating high-quality, relevant content for readers.
S – Situation – Next, set the stage for your story by briefly explaining the scenario you were in. This could be a project you were working on, a problem your team was facing, or a goal you were working towards. For example, you might mention a time when you were tasked with revamping a blog to improve its SEO ranking.
T – Task – Now, specify your role in the situation. What responsibilities were you carrying? It’s crucial here to highlight that you were actively contributing to the situation, such as leading the blog revamp, identifying keywords, or coordinating with other team members.
A – Activity (or Action) – This part is where you detail the steps you took to address the task at hand, and why you chose those actions. Perhaps you conducted an SEO audit, did keyword research, or rewrote certain sections of the blog. Make sure to also explain your rationale, perhaps you chose a certain keyword because of its relevance to your target audience.
R – Results – Conclude your response by sharing the outcomes of your actions. Whenever possible, quantify these results to make them more tangible and impressive. Did the blog’s SEO ranking improve? Did you see an increase in website traffic or user engagement? For instance, “As a result of our team’s efforts, the blog’s SEO ranking improved by 50%, and we saw a 30% increase in organic traffic over the next quarter.”
What You Should Not Do When Answering Questions
Do not avoid the question.
Do not describe a failure (unless specifically asked).
Do not downplay the situation.
Do not overhype the situation.
Do not say you have no experience with the subject matter.
Do not reject the premise of the question.
Do not have a passive role in the situation.
Do not give a one-sentence answer.
Do not overly describe the scenario and miss the action.
Content Writer Interview Question & Answers
What interested you in content writing?Sample answer 1 is below. Click here to see 4 more example answers to this question…
In formulating a response to “What interested you in content writing?”, take into consideration the initial sparks that ignited your passion for the craft. Reflect on pivotal moments, experiences, or influences that steered you towards this profession. Key points to address might include specific projects, authors, or courses that inspired you, as well as personal qualities that drew you to the field.
What initially attracted me to content writing was my inherent love for storytelling and the power of the written word. From a young age, I was an avid reader and enjoyed writing in my spare time. Over time, I realized that writing offered a unique platform to not only share ideas but also to influence opinions, educate readers, and even inspire action.
During my time in university, I took a course in creative writing that really opened my eyes to the possibilities of writing as a profession. I was fascinated by the process of taking a concept or an idea and transforming it into a compelling narrative. I loved the creative challenge of making complex information accessible and engaging. It was during this course that I started honing my writing skills and seriously considering a career in this field.
The pivotal moment, however, came during my first job as a marketing assistant for a startup. Part of my role was to create content for our website and social media platforms. This experience allowed me to understand the strategic role of content in driving business objectives, such as increasing brand visibility, engaging potential customers, and boosting sales. I enjoyed the intersection of creativity and strategy, and this inspired me to specialize in content writing.
Throughout my career, I have continued to be fascinated by the evolving nature of content writing, especially in the digital age. With the rise of content marketing and SEO, I see an opportunity to keep learning and adapting. I enjoy the challenge of keeping up with digital trends and continuously refining my writing to effectively engage modern audiences.
Moreover, I’ve always been drawn to the idea of making a positive impact through my work. As a content writer, I have the opportunity to inform, educate, and even entertain readers. Whether it’s simplifying a complex topic, shedding light on an important issue, or helping a small business connect with its audience, I find the results of my work incredibly rewarding.
Can you describe your content writing process?Sample answer 1 is below. Click here to see 4 more example answers to this question…
The question “Can you describe your content writing process?” seeks to unveil your strategic approach towards content creation. It’s important to articulate a clear, step-by-step breakdown of how you go from concept to final draft. You should mention how you brainstorm ideas, do research, create outlines, draft content, edit, proofread, and revise.
Certainly, I believe the content writing process is vital in ensuring the creation of high-quality, effective content. My process involves several steps and is anchored in understanding the purpose of the content and the audience it’s meant for.
Firstly, I begin by clarifying the objective of the piece of content. This could be anything from informing the audience about a specific topic, persuading them to take action, or providing a solution to a problem they might have. I also spend time understanding the target audience – their interests, pain points, and the language that resonates with them. This insight helps guide the entire writing process.
Once I have a clear understanding of the purpose and audience, I move to the research phase. I investigate the topic thoroughly, using credible sources to gather as much relevant information as possible. If it’s a specialized topic, I may reach out to subject matter experts to gain deeper insights.
The next step is organizing my findings and creating a detailed outline. The outline serves as a roadmap for the piece, ensuring that the information flows logically and cohesively. It also helps me stay focused and makes the actual writing process more efficient.
Then, I move on to the actual writing. I strive to create content that’s engaging, clear, and concise. I pay attention to the tone of the piece, ensuring it aligns with the intended audience and the content’s objective. I also make sure to incorporate SEO principles like keyword optimization, as applicable, without compromising the quality of the content.
After completing the initial draft, I take a break before beginning the revision process. This gives me fresh eyes to catch any inconsistencies, awkward phrases, or errors. I read the piece aloud to check for flow and make sure the language sounds natural. I also use editing tools to catch any grammar or spelling mistakes.
Once I am satisfied with the content, I prepare it for publication. This may involve adding meta descriptions, title tags, or optimizing the content’s format depending on the platform it will be published on.
Finally, after the content is published, I believe in evaluating its performance. I look at metrics like engagement, shares, comments, or any other relevant KPIs. This feedback helps me continuously improve my writing and stay attuned to the audience’s needs.
Throughout my writing process, collaboration is key. Whether it’s getting input from a colleague or feedback from a client, I believe in the value of multiple perspectives to enrich the content and ensure it achieves its intended purpose.
Share an example of a writing project you’re particularly proud of and why.Sample answer 1 is below. Click here to see 4 more example answers to this question…
When asked to “Share an example of a writing project you’re particularly proud of and why”, the interviewers want to know more about your accomplishments and what you value in your work. It’s crucial to choose a project that showcases your writing prowess, creativity, and ability to meet objectives. Highlight what made the project successful, and why it stands out in your career.
One writing project that I am particularly proud of is an extensive white paper I created for a fintech startup. It was a pivotal piece of content that helped shape the company’s brand identity and value proposition in a highly competitive marketplace.
The challenge was to explain complex financial concepts in a simple, engaging manner that would resonate with both experts in the financial field and everyday users with little to no background in finance. The objective was to educate potential clients about the value of the startup’s solution, build trust in the brand, and ultimately drive conversions.
To begin, I dove deep into research, familiarizing myself with both the technology behind the product and the financial principles it hinged on. I also studied the startup’s competitors and their marketing strategies, as well as the target audience and their needs. This research phase took a considerable amount of time, but it was crucial to produce content that was both accurate and compelling.
Next, I structured the white paper into clear, logical sections, each addressing a specific aspect of the product. I made sure the content flowed seamlessly from explaining the problem to introducing the product as the solution.
When it came to the actual writing, I took great care to balance technical accuracy with readability. I crafted the content with an engaging narrative, incorporating storytelling elements to make the white paper more than just a dry, informative document.
I also worked closely with the design team to create visuals that would complement and enhance the written content. The collaborative approach resulted in a beautifully designed, well-written white paper that was informative and engaging.
The white paper was well-received, significantly increasing the startup’s website traffic and user sign-ups. It was shared across various industry forums and even picked up by a well-known finance blog, extending its reach further.
But more than the measurable success, this project stands out because of the challenges it presented and the growth I experienced as a writer. It pushed me to refine my ability to convey complex information in a digestible format and reaffirmed the importance of thorough research and thoughtful structuring in producing high-quality content. It’s an accomplishment I look back on with a great deal of pride.
Can you talk about a time when you received negative feedback on your writing and how you responded to it?Sample answer 1 is below. Click here to see 4 more example answers to this question…
The question “Can you talk about a time when you received negative feedback on your writing and how you responded to it?” is aimed at understanding your receptiveness to constructive criticism and your commitment to improving your craft. It’s important to recount a specific instance, demonstrating how you responded professionally and positively, and how the feedback helped improve your writing.
Certainly. Early in my career, I worked as a copywriter for an e-commerce company. My role was to write product descriptions that were not only informative but also persuasive. About a few months into the job, my manager approached me with feedback that some of my product descriptions were coming across as too ‘salesy’ and lacked the informational value that our customers were seeking.
While initially, it stung a little—no one likes criticism, after all—I recognized that this was an opportunity for growth. I thanked my manager for her honest feedback and asked for more details and examples so I could fully understand her perspective.
With a clearer picture of the issue at hand, I revisited the work I’d done, comparing the descriptions that received negative feedback with ones that had been well-received. This process allowed me to see where I had strayed too far into persuasive language, sacrificing informative details in the process.
To rectify the problem, I spent some time researching and studying best practices for writing e-commerce copy. I found resources on balancing persuasion with information and studied high-performing product descriptions from industry leaders.
Armed with this new understanding, I revised the criticized product descriptions, taking care to present the products’ features and benefits in a way that was helpful to the customer without pushing too hard for a sale. I also made it a point to solicit regular feedback from my manager and peers to ensure I was on the right track.
The outcome was a marked improvement in my writing. Not only did the revised descriptions receive positive feedback from my team, but they also resulted in increased engagement from customers, as seen in product reviews and customer queries.
This experience taught me the value of constructive criticism and the importance of continual learning and adaptation in writing. It was a pivotal moment in my career, shaping me into a more versatile and resilient writer.
How do you handle writer’s block?Sample answer 1 is below. Click here to see 4 more example answers to this question…
Inquiring about how you handle writer’s block is a way for the interviewer to gauge your problem-solving skills and resilience in the face of challenges. You should reflect on the techniques you employ when faced with creative stagnation – be it taking a break, seeking inspiration, or shifting focus to a different task.
Absolutely, writer’s block is something that every writer encounters at some point, and I’m no exception. Over time, I’ve developed several strategies to deal with it.
Firstly, I think it’s crucial to recognize the symptoms of writer’s block and not to push too hard against it. When I find myself re-reading the same sentence over and over again or feeling stuck with my writing, I take it as a signal to step away for a bit.
One method that works for me is physical activity. I find that going for a walk, doing yoga, or even doing some house chores can help me shift my focus away from the writing task at hand. This break often clears my mind and helps me see the task from a fresh perspective when I return to it.
Another technique I employ is switching to another task. If I’m working on multiple projects, I’ll move to another one that requires a different mindset. For instance, if I’m stuck on a creative piece, I may switch to a more technical or research-based task. This can provide the necessary cognitive shift to help the ideas start flowing again.
Lastly, I find inspiration from external sources like reading articles or books, listening to podcasts, or even watching videos related to the topic I’m writing about. These activities expose me to different perspectives and can often spark new ideas or approaches.
But the most important thing I’ve learned about dealing with writer’s block is that it’s part of the process. It’s not a failure or a sign that I’m not capable. It’s just a signal that I need to change my approach or give myself a little time to recharge and regather my thoughts. It’s a natural part of the creative process, and recognizing that has been tremendously helpful.
What types of content are you most comfortable creating?Sample answer 1 is below. Click here to see 4 more example answers to this question…
In responding to “What types of content are you most comfortable creating?”, you need to give a clear insight into your areas of expertise and preferences. This can range from blog posts, articles, social media content, to technical guides. The aim is to align your strengths with the types of content that the company often requires.
As a versatile content writer with a broad range of experience, I feel comfortable creating various types of content. However, if I were to choose areas where I feel most proficient, it would be long-form content such as in-depth blog posts and articles, along with website copy.
I developed an affinity for long-form content early in my career. The process of diving deep into a topic, conducting extensive research, and weaving together a narrative that educates and engages readers is both challenging and rewarding. For instance, during my tenure at XYZ Media, I wrote a series of comprehensive guides about sustainable living practices. These guides were not only informative but also persuasive, leading to a significant increase in the company’s newsletter subscriptions and driving the discussion in the comments section.
Website copy, on the other hand, is where I believe my ability to be concise and persuasive shines. At ABC Tech, a SaaS startup I previously worked with, I was responsible for writing and updating the website copy. This required me to not only understand our products and services inside out but also our audience and the unique value we were providing. I loved the challenge of distilling complex information into clear, engaging, and easily understandable text.
One project I’m particularly proud of is the landing page copy for a new software product. After multiple iterations and A/B testing, we achieved a conversion rate that exceeded the company’s target by 15%.
Overall, while I’m comfortable with and enjoy creating a variety of content types, in-depth articles and website copy are areas where I believe my strengths and passion truly align. Nonetheless, I’m always eager to stretch my skills and venture into new content types as the job demands. I believe in the importance of continuous learning and adaptation in the ever-evolving content landscape.
How do you handle tight deadlines?Sample answer 1 is below. Click here to see 4 more example answers to this question…
When you are asked “How do you handle tight deadlines?”, the interviewer is seeking to understand your time management and organizational skills. Discuss your strategies for prioritizing tasks, managing your time effectively, and staying focused under pressure, as well as any tools or methods that help you stay on track.
Handling tight deadlines has been a significant part of my work as a content writer. I’ve developed several strategies to manage my time effectively, stay organized, and ensure high-quality work, even under pressure.
Firstly, I prioritize tasks based on urgency and importance. This involves understanding the scope and requirements of each project, then aligning them with the deadlines. For instance, if I have two tasks due, one tomorrow and one in a week, I’d obviously focus on the task due tomorrow. However, if the latter task is a larger project that requires more time, I’d break it down and start working on it in parallel, ensuring it doesn’t become a last-minute scramble.
Secondly, I’m a strong believer in the power of planning and structure. I typically start with a clear outline for any piece I’m writing. It gives me a roadmap to follow, and I find that it significantly speeds up the writing process since I’m not trying to figure out what to write in the middle of the project. I also make it a point to set interim deadlines for myself. This way, I’m not overwhelmed by the volume of work, and I can measure my progress effectively.
One tool that I rely heavily on is a project management tool where I list all my tasks, their deadlines, the estimated time it would take, and track their progress. It also allows me to visualize my workload and plan my schedule accordingly.
I also ensure to communicate effectively with my team or clients. If a deadline seems unrealistic considering the scope of the project, I’m not afraid to have a discussion to negotiate a more achievable timeline or see how we can adjust the project’s parameters while still meeting the overall goal.
A particular example I recall was when I was working on a large whitepaper for a tech client. The deadline was tight, considering the research and depth the paper demanded. I broke down the task, allocated specific hours each day, and set interim goals for completing the research, first draft, revision, and so forth. Despite the tight deadline, I was able to submit the whitepaper on time without compromising the quality.
Lastly, maintaining focus is key. I minimize distractions, often using techniques like the Pomodoro technique where I work in focused blocks of time followed by short breaks. I find that this helps me maintain high levels of productivity.
In conclusion, while tight deadlines can be challenging, I’ve found that a combination of prioritizing, effective planning, using productivity tools, clear communication, and maintaining focus helps me handle them effectively and deliver quality work on time.