15 Common Content Writing Interview Questions Answered
Got a content writing job interview? Drop the anxiety by reading this list of most frequently asked 15 Content Writing Interview Questions with the best answers.
Content Writing interview questions can be a confusing and nerve-wracking experience. For content writers who have worked independently or are fresher, this can be even more challenging.
But like every job interview, you can practice through some common content writing interview questions and prepare in advance. These content writing interview questions are the most commonly and frequently asked.
Content writing has become a hot job today. There is a large demand for content writers. But there are many working content writing professionals too. So content writing interviews can be pretty competitive.
We have provided the most appropriate answer to each of the questions. But remember that most other candidates would also be prepared in similar ways. So add a little personal story to your answers and stand apart.
So let’s find out what are the most common content writing interview questions frequently asked.
1. How do you gather information about the target audience?
This question is more likely to be asked if one is applying for a content writing job that requires some level of experience. But even as a new content writer, it’s always better to know the fundamentals of the market. For a new writer, answer this question will show to the employer that you are ambitious and eager to learn, which are good qualities in an employee.
An ideal answer would be something like this:
I use analytical tools to identify the requirements, preferences, and tastes of the audience. I try to identify the ideal buyer persona in terms of age, gender, nature of educational or employment level, and so on. Occasionally, I also engage in direct conversation with some buyers in order to know more about them.
The answer should portray that the candidate has sufficient knowledge on how to define a target audience and what parameters to actively look for. The answer of the candidate would show the interview panel whether the candidate has successfully conducted market research so that he/she can be trusted to do so for their brand.
Let’s find more content writing interview questions.
2. What do you consider good content on the web?
There are different types of content writers who put emphasis on different aspects of the content. This shows in their writing style and can be seen from their published work. Some writers would consider incorporating lots of research a good quality while others may consider connecting with the reader and create easily readable content a success.
There are various factors listed here which you can mention in your answer on the basis of what quality you give preference to.
- Readability: The ability of content to be read freely by an average reader. This type of content involves using common words in place of complicated vocabulary and uses simple sentence structures.
- Credibility: In order to look credible, a piece of content often involves research-backed data with citations in the form of outbound links. This type of content often involves first-person accounts of notable people. It is more common in the news category.
- Originality: This is not just writing original content but new perspectives, original ideas, personal opinion, or a totally new angle on a subject.
- Engagement: More engaging content is read to completion as it feels compelling to the reader. This is a rare and valued quality in writers.
- Utility: Many writers prefer to be concise and provide the user only what he/she is looking for. This type of content is thin and concise but very much appreciated. It is common with how-to guides.
- Call to action: Most business blogs are created to sell a product, service, or idea. A content writer must know how to lead a reader to a call to action.
Your answer here would determine whether your preferences as a content writer match those of the company you applied for. This is important so that both the employer and the employee are on the same page.
You can checkout our article on the Top Creative Writing Courses in Mumbai
3. How will you go about creating a content strategy for a client/brand?
Different content writing agencies and professionals may have different ways to approach strategy creation. However, here is a standard content strategy process. You can add your own touch while answering the question.
- Identify the marketing objectives of the brand.
- Prepare an ideal buyer persona that includes their geographic area, age, and other necessary qualities.
- Identify the market for competition and create a unique brand positioning.
- Look for content ideas. This may involve looking for keywords but also include unique catchy ideas.
- Delivery of assignment
4. How do you look for content ideas?
There are multiple ways content writing professionals look for content ideas. Some may even have their own unique ways but mostly, the ways mentioned here prove to be more than enough.
- Market research that tells what users in that segment are looking for on the web.
- Keyword analysis and search tools.
- Competitor analysis may reveal great ideas that have worked for other businesses that may also work for you if you provide a new perspective or add value.
- Following conversations on social media may provide what users are looking for or even their complaints and feedback.
- What subject matter experts or industry leaders are talking about.
5. How do you integrate SEO into your content?
This is another one of the very common content writing interview questions because SEO is how content is identified by search crawlers. SEO helps increase the ranking of a webpage or a website on the Search Engine Results Page ie. SERPs.
If you are a fresher, you have to know that you do need any expert level knowledge on SEO. All you need is to know some fundamentals or commonly known techniques followed by everyone. Here are some of them.
- Keyphrase inclusion: Most articles have a few key phrases that help the search engine identify what the article is about.
- Image alt tags: This is how search crawlers know what the image is for.
- Title: The title must include the principle idea that you are going to discuss in the article
- Body tags: Your body tags like H1, H2, and H3 should have the right density of keywords.
- Internal linking: This helps crawlers find new content on your website. Internal linking increases pace with which new pages on your website are indexed.
- Backlinks: Backlinks are the result of a great piece of content. They serve to increase the authority of a webpage.
Google takes into account over 200 parameters to decide the ranking of webpages. All search engines keep their search algorithms a closely guarded secret. So nobody knows most of those parameters.
Let’s discover more content writing interview questions.
6. How do you check the authenticity of the information you include?
Credibility is extremely important for any blog. A piece of false information can ruin the reputation of a brand and invite ridicule. Besides, it also shows that the writer does not take his/her work seriously.
Credibility and trust are even more important for a news blog. You need to properly research the topic and all the information. Make sure you do not include any fact that is not backed by data. Try to gather data from trusted publications, journals, and peer-reviewed research.
If you are quoting someone, use the exact words in full context. It is not a good practice to leave out content because it may lead to a misunderstanding.
The cost of a false piece of information can be very high and may invite legal trouble. It may also jeopardize a content writer’s career.
7. How do you plan and execute your project?
How content writers treat their work tells a lot about their personality. It also lets employers know whether they will be a good fit in the workplace. Employers prefer people who respect and maintain the work environment productive.
With this question, the employer would want to understand how you approach a content writing project. The ideal way is mentioned below. Feel free to add some enhancements that help you become more efficient.
- Understand the brand objective and the content strategy
- Create a list of topics on which you are going to write content
- Create a schedule for posting pieces of content. Higher priority content should be posted first. Use a calendar application for scheduling.
- Research on a selected topic. This would also involve noting sources for citations later.
- Write the first draft.
- Proofread and edit the content. Look if it fulfills the brand’s content strategy.
- Publish or deliver it as per your work arrangement
- Promote the content across social media and email.
8. How do you analyze the performance of content?
This is another one of the most common content writing interview questions. There are various analytical tools available on the internet for free. But you can also do plenty of analysis by just looking at the metrics yourself.
For example, if the objective is to lead a user to call to action, you can check how many conversions happened after your article per 1000 viewers. This would give you a conversion rate.
In the case of only increasing the reach of the content, you can check the monthly visitors in the analytical tools integrated with the website. A high ranking in the SERPs increases the reach so make sure to check the rankings by searching for the keyphrase.
You can also use paid tools like Moz and Ahrefs to find out how many keywords your content is ranking for and where.
You can also check how many people like and share the content. You can also see the comment section for detailed feedback.
9. How do you promote content?
Many content writers it is not their job to promote a piece of content. They only need to finish and deliver the assignments. But the content writing space is competitive and giving more value to the client can make a difference between you landing the job or not.
Social media communication is a little different from writing long pieces of content. The social media message must be short and incite an emotional response. Because if the post does not generate engagement, it is going to be lost under the garb of millions of other posts.
You need to post regularly and make posts that genuinely provide value to the user. Ask people to share and comment. Thankfully, social media engagement can be measured easily. Keep a track of likes, reacts, comments, and shares.
Identify what factors increase engagement. Use more of those. Different niches have different audiences with different needs. It will take a little time to understand new audiences.
If your budget allows, you can also reach out to an influencer to help you reach more people for a small fee. this is a great way to generate faster engagement and you won’t have to fight with other posts.
10. What is unique about your writing style?
Thankfully most content writing jobs are done for businesses that care more about generating leads than unleashing your inner creativity unless that also brings more leads.
Nevertheless, your writing style as a content writer will be unique depending upon what qualities you value more in content.
As we discussed already, some writers believe in more data-backed statements citing various research and reports. Some writers prefer to keep things simple which is great if you are writing for a mass audience.
It always depends on your specific niche, for example, news writing is more fact-based and news writers or journalists are not supposed to include their personal opinion or any information that gives a perspective.
These were the technical content writing interview questions. Let’s move on to the HR content writing interview questions.
HR content writing interview questions
11. Why do you want to become a content writer?
It is always better to be true to your own reasons in this content writing interview question. This is because there are many reasons content writing is preferred by many professionals.
The first is the flexibility in the work structure that content writing allows. Professionals can work in an agency, in a corporate, part-time, or as a freelancer content writer. For people who cannot work full-time, like students, entrepreneurs, or housewives, this is a great option to stay home and earn a good income simultaneously.
Some people have an interest in writing and content writing provides them an opportunity to write professionally and practice to improve. As most people understand, unless we practice and work under expert supervision, our skills do not improve. So many professionals treat content writing as a field to refine their craft.
For an expert content writing position interview, however, an answer that portrays in-depth knowledge and requirements of the profession may be required. Also, the demand from a senior content writer role is much more.
Experienced content writers can say something like this.
Content writing allows me to exercise my creative skills to drive user engagement. With content writing, I can hone my persuasion skills in order to make the reader follow a call to action. My creativity and originality helps me provide the audeince a novel perspective of mundane topics and thus intrigue them.
In this answer, the candidate can also include their reasons for why they enjoy content writing in the content writing job interview.
Let’s see some more HR content writing interview questions.
12. What do you know about our company?
Many candidates are so anxious about a job interview that they want to put their best foot forward. But in focusing totally on their own, they forget to research about the company and the job role they are applying for. And this could lead to embarrassment.
Before the interview, try to find adequate information about the brand or the company you are applying for. The company website is a great source. Look for their ‘about’ page and find out about their product range, history, values, mission, the brand personality, positioning, etc.
But most importantly, look for their major projects. Find more details about them. This can also be a topic on which you can have a conversation later on.
If you are applying at a content agency, look at their recent or biggest projects. These can also be found easily on the website.
13. What are your professional goals as a content writer?
Everyone has their own reasons to pursue something. A good idea here would be to be original. If you want to keep working as a content writer in the future, you may want to say something like this.
Having worked for a few years producing content for various brands, I would want to supervise and design strategy for brand marketing. I want to get into analysis and making bigger decisions with more impact. I can see myself as a senior content manager role overlooking strategy in a few years.
A perfect answer for a fresher content writer would be:
I would like to work with bigger brands and keep working on my writing skills both from a creative as well as technical perspective. I want to master different writing styles so I will be able to create tone of voice and distict brand personality. I want to improve the quality of the content and make it more helpful and engaging.
14. Reasons for leaving the last job?
This is a trick question to answer. There are different scenarios in which a person leaves a job. Broadly they can be categorized into two. One is when a person leaves a job and the other is when he/she is let go.
There can be personal reasons for an employee leaving their job. But it is best to not mention those reasons.
If you were let go by the company
My style of working did not match with what was prevalent. I also felt like some of my skills were not being utilized completely and I was receiving work that did not match my skill-set.
For an employee who left their job by their own choice, they can say
I learned a lot from my previous job but I felt I was reaching a stage where there was not much to learn. Lack of opportunities to grow professionally also made it difficult for me to keep working there.
15. What are your strengths? What kind of writing do you prefer?
This answer would be purely subjective. Every writer has their strong tastes and preferences. Also, the way they have learned their skills also creates different strengths and weaknesses in them regarding their skills.
There are many factors on which a piece of content can be ranked. Writers have their own priorities. Some prefer to keep their content simple and straightforward while some may prefer to bring a little humor and engage the audience. Some value research-backed data and statistics while some prefer a casual and conversational style.
You can say that one of your strengths in being able to write in different styles, depending upon the brand personality and image. In this sense, you can adapt quickly.
You can also refer to your workflow. Most writers, by writing over a course of years, have developed a process that makes them more efficient and their writing more effective.
Also, after working for a few years, most writers tend to develop a niche and work deeper into it. This makes them more knowledgable in that field. This becomes their strength.
For example, if you have more experience in writing about finance and economics, that’d be your strength. There are many technical professionals who quit their IT jobs and work as a tech writer because technology is their strength.
Miscellaneous advice for content writing interview questions
Bear in mind these general pieces of advice for a content writing job interview. Find out how is it different from other job interviews.
- You will be asked to give a short introduction about yourself. If this is your first interview, prepare an answer. Do not rely on them reading your CV. Keep the answer short but include major life highlights. Talk more about your career and professional achievements.
- Always keep your portfolio accessible. If you have a website, keep the link ready to access. If you think you have done some great work, make sure to include it in the conversation.
- Know the fundamentals of content writing, digital marketing, SEO, content strategy, content management, etc.
- Play to your strengths. If your CV has a weak point, think of a creative answer that compensates for it.
Q. What are the basic requirements for a content writing job?
Ans- The candidate must have a good understanding of how content performs online and how search engine identifies content as good or bad. On top of that, a good hold over the language one will be writing is a must.
Q. Are there enough opportunities in the content writing industry?
Ans- Yes, in fact the number of opportunities in the content writing industry have increased over the last few years and the industry generates over a million vacancies every 6 months.
Q. Who are some really successful content writers?
Ans- Some of the very successful content writers to date include numerous names some of them are Anna Huffington, Ann Althouse, Vaibhav Kakkar, etc.
Preparation in advance can make all the difference. Be confident and believe in your skills.