10 Content Writer Interview Questions and Answers
Updated 9 July 2022
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Content writers possess excellent knowledge of grammar, punctuation, writing best-practices and search engine optimisation best-practices, significantly influencing a company's marketing campaigns. If you are preparing for a content writing position, studying content writer interview questions can help you be ready to demonstrate your expertise and show the interviewer that you are the best fit for the job.
In this article, we share ten content writer interview questions with example answers and some interview tips.
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Content writer interview questions with example answers
Here are ten content writer interview questions you need to master for your next interview:
1. How do you determine your target audience?
Often, content writers have information about their target audience. But many times, writers have to find it on their own. Some ways of determining the target audience include analysing the products or services and customer demographics. For example, you will not market PHP software to nursing or marketing graduates. Your target audience, in this case, would be software developers and computer science engineering graduates. Interviewers ask this question to understand the writer's willingness to research and dig deep to gain knowledge on the company's target audience.
Example: “As a content writer, identifying the target audience is essential as it helps understand the preference, requirement and personality of the audience. To gather information about the target audience, I turn to analysts and read the information they provide. For more detailed information, I seek assistance from the sales and customer service team.”
2. What do you like most about our company's content? What would you like to change?
A good content writer should be able to differentiate good content from bad one. That is why interviewers ask this question. It helps showcase two things, your understanding of content writing and your passion for the job.
Example: “I think the content is in line with your brand's personality. It is engaging, compelling and delivers value to the readers. But I did notice that you are not using videos as a part of your content marketing strategy. I think including video content would uplift your blog, drive customer engagement and increase your website traffic.”
3. Tell us about the steps you follow to create content for a new brand or client.
Different writers have different approaches to writing content. Interviewers, through this question, want to know your thought process and look for the ideation journey necessary to provide engaging content for a client. Also, the question shows whether the writer understands that different clients require different editorial styles.
Example: “Before starting the writing process, I understand the brand's marketing objective, identify their target audience, understand the brand's voice, create a list of keywords, brainstorm topic ideas and start collecting information. For collecting information, I use various sources like books, the internet, documentaries and journals. After finishing, I ensure a minimum of two rounds of proofreading to ensure the content is free from errors and meets the client's requirement.”
4. When writing a white paper, what is your research process and how do you determine the credibility of the source?
Research is the foundation for creating content that sells, gets shared and engages the target audience. Poor research translates into non-informative content that a user skips reading. Through this question, the interviewer judges your ability to differentiate between credible and non-credible sources of information. It demonstrates your ability to quote statistics and facts from trustworthy sources.
Example: “When researching for information, my first preference is research papers, government websites, popular journals, reports from credible magazines and organisations. I never use blogs and social media platforms for my research purpose.”
5. How do you manage feedback and criticism for your writing?
Feedback and criticism are an integral aspect of a content writing job. Without feedback, it becomes difficult to grow as a writer. The purpose of this question is to know your attitude toward receiving criticism and whether you take such feedback in a good spirit or not. While answering the question, be confident and show your willingness to make changes wherever necessary.
Example: “Like everyone, I welcome constructive feedback as it helps me become a stronger and more productive writer. While I am confident in my writing, I am eager to learn from people with different viewpoints and experiences. In the past, I have received constructive feedback from editors on the structure, style and content to ensure the writing piece meets the client's requirement.”
Related: Addressing Your Weaknesses in an Interview
6. How to overcome writer's block?
Often, writing on the same topic becomes monotonous for many writers. It could affect the overall quality of the blog, web copy or white paper. That is why interviewers want to know how you deal with writer's block. The answer you give showcases your passion and seriousness about the job. Therefore, answer this question with care.
Example: “I have discovered plenty of things that prevent me from getting in the writer's block mode. One strategy is to experiment with different writing styles. I also switch between assignments to let my creative juices flow. Sometimes simply giving my brain a break of 15-20 minutes works for me.”
7. What are your strengths as a content writer?
Interviewers may ask this question to understand your writing skill set. Along with being creative and punctual, talented writers pay attention to details. When answering this question, recollect the job description. Pull out any skill you think the interviewer is looking for. By connecting your skill set with the job description, this answer tells the interviewer why you are the best fit.
Example: “My strengths as a content writer are creativity, adaptability and attention to detail. Having the skills to use different styles allows me to juggle between different writing formats. When I submit a content piece, I proofread it two to three times to ensure error-free writing. Furthermore, using my creativity, I can turn complex topics into something a reader enjoys reading.”
Related: Interview Question: "What is Your Greatest Strength?"
8. Describe your proofreading process.
Effective proofreading is essential for producing high-quality content. This process helps to get your ideas across logically. A content writer must possess superior proofreading skills. The answer to this question demonstrates your ability to create error-free content.
Example: “For proofreading my content, I use different techniques like reading loudly, checking paragraph structures, using spellcheck software, using grammar checking software and rereading the content at least two times.”
9. How do you manage deadlines?
Content writers have to produce content regularly and within a specific time frame. Often, writers have multiple projects to deal with. Organisational, time management and problem-solving skills are a must for meeting deadlines. To answer this question, include examples from your previous job experience where you worked under pressure and always delivered the work on time.
Example: “To always deliver work on time, I use virtual calendars for scheduling and tracking my projects. For example, in my previous job, I was assigned five writing projects per week. Every Monday, I examined the projects and created a schedule based on their complexity and urgency. This helped me stay organised and productive. As a result, I never missed deadlines.”
10. How to write engaging content for a boring topic?
A good content writer knows that technical terms and jargons result in loss of customer attention. Through this question, an interviewer wants to test your creative writing skills and understand how comfortable you are writing on complex and boring topics.
Example: “Before writing on boring and complex topics, I try to understand the reader's knowledge about the topic. If they are familiar with the topic, I include technical terms. But if they are not, I use examples from everyday life to explain the concept and technical terms. I also incorporate humour to lighten the reader's mood.”
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Interview tips for a content writer
Here are 4 tips for your next content writer interview:
Know yourself. During interviews for such creative jobs, it is easy to get carried away and promise more than you can deliver. To avoid over-promising, you must know yourself, your skill set and your level of competency.
Prepare for the interview. Research thoroughly about the company to understand their writing style and the content writing work they publish. It helps you answer questions like “What do you like most about our company's content and what would you like to change?”
Show your creativity. As the job is about turning ideas into words, interviewers prefer applicants that show their creativity. If you are creative in your writing approach, you stand a higher chance of getting selected.
Showcase your technical skills. These days content writers must know about content management systems, search engine algorithms and search engine optimisation best-practices. Showing these technical skills conveys that you are the best fit for the content writing job.
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