Instead of going through dummy questions on job sites, here are content writer real interview questions I have asked before hiring writers
I have listed content writer interview questions that I prefer asking when I want to hire a writer. You can see how they are a lot different than those dummy questions you find when you search in Google and get to those job sites.
However, the list is beneficial to the candidate but more so to the employer as well who wants to hire a writer and generate content for SEO and social media.
Content writing is a popular career choice for writing enthusiasts. If you are planning to appear for a content writer interview, this blog post can be helpful. So, let’s jump on the interview questions you may face as a content writer.
What bloggers do you follow?
The writer should follow the top bloggers in the niche of his choice. Moreover, as a writer, one should also follow these top SEO blogs to help them keep updated about the SEO trends in writing.
Share the journals, publications, researches, reports, news, magazines, blogs, etc. that you prefer reading online for the niche.
If a writer isn’t following other bloggers, then it becomes a complete no for me to hire them. The main reason being, he or she may not be aware of the current writing trends in the niche. However, for some niche, one can make an exception as well.
Do you read books? If yes, then which one you are currently reading.
Your answer to this question can’t be a NO. Being a content writer, you got to be an avid reader.
Share what you read with the interviewer. Tell him about your favorite books and blogs you love to read. Additionally, tell him/her what you have learned from reading books and blogs. Give examples, get into more details. All of this will leave a lasting impression.
Why do you want to be a content writer?
Be very well prepared for an answer as to why you want to be a writer. I have seen people even reply; it is easy to be a writer. Such solutions mean you have lost the job.
One of the answers that I may expect is:
The scope for growth as a writer is one of the key reasons for me to be a content writer. Moreover, there is a lot one can do as a writer in writing styles, formats, tones, etc.
Ultimately I want to deliver a great content strategy for the company I am working for.
Why do you want to leave your current job?
Be honest and prepare well in advance what you want to say. Fumbles can mean you are seen as not so confident person.
What would you say are your strengths as a content writer?
Ready to learn different topics and subjects and then write on them. I don’t mean writing 500 words writeups, but detail thorough research write-ups on the versatile topic of interest.
So I will say my strength as a writer is the ability to produce engaging and useful content in a wide range of topics related to NICHE of CHOICE.
What niche of content are you most comfortable writing?
Everyone can’t write on every topic. One has to have a niche that one enjoys reading and writing about.
You let the interviewer drill down to ask you questions about your niche. It is your expertise. So make sure you drive the next question for your interviewer than to let them keep on grilling you on the topic they know the best.
As an example, if you are a food enthusiast, you will love writing about food. You won’t enjoy the automobile niche.
As a writer, choose your area of interest and let the interviewer know your area of interest and expertise.
How do you overcome writer’s block?
Writing daily is a tough job. It’s challenging for content writers. Moreover, every writer will have a writer’s block for sure.
The answer shouldn’t be I never came across a writer’s block. If you haven’t come across one, it means you are writing either generic content or niche is too broad.
Identify the target audience & what they want to read more is one of the ways to avoid writer’s block.
Explain to them how you do keyword research or the books and the blogs you follow.
How do you make your content reader-friendly?
Good content has many aspects. Certain elements must go into web content. And all of them are essential for a content writer.
Some key points are – the usefulness of content. It must cater to the need of a reader and engage him/her for a long time.
Including an FAQ’s related to the content, expertise on the subject matter, authority, and trustworthiness of the material and its originality. Google acronyms it as E-A-T (Expertise, Authority, and Trustworthy).
What will be your content strategy to sell more of ABC/XYZ?
The question is to differentiate the men from the boys. If you are not looking for an experienced writer, you can skip this question as well.
The way to sell more of ABC/XYZ is to do the research potential customers and answer questions that they may have pre-purchase.
Content like how to use ABC/XYZ or alternatives to ABC. Is XYZ a healthy choice?
The answer should tell the steps necessary to form the content strategy for the company. Be specific when you are speaking a strategy.
For example, tell you will try to understand the target audience first. Interact with the sales team or even customers.
How do you research the target audience?
Target audience analysis is a must for a writer. Moreover, as a writer, it is crucial to understand the ROI of the writing business to be able to garner better pay.
Speak about the tools one can use to analyze the site traffic.
Share your complete research process if you have done an entire target audience in the past. Moreover, you can share results, including the performance of content. Share search engine results, traffic volume, engagement, sales, and leads.
What is the tone/person of content?
The tone of content must adhere to the bigger picture of a brand or company. It must completely align, or else the core message will be undelivered. Your answer should include how a brand wants to surface in front of a customer. What decides the writing style and the tone as well.
- First-person is the I/we perspective.
- The second person is “you/your” perspective.
- Third-person is he/she/it/they perspective.
With this in mind, you will have to understand one more thing. The tone of writing social media content is different than the traditional one. Make sure you don’t mix up both during an interview. Above all, content with the brand image must be consistent.
The question intends to know about your writing style. One can also elaborate on:
- Content structure
- Smart & simple language
- Informative writing
- Engaging content
How well SEO goes into your content?
SEO is an ongoing ever-improving process. You need to hustle towards Google guidelines continuously.
As an interviewer, the question aims to know your SEO knowledge.
Do not try to showcase things that you don’t know well. Having a basic knowledge of Google algorithm, on-page and off-page SEO, link building, etc. would be an advantage.
Are you familiar with WordPress and Yoast SEO / Grammarly?
If you are familiar with WordPress, it always helps. Moreover, in WordPress, Yoast SEO has many options for writing, including readability score, active voice indicator, subheading distributions, etc.
Companies look for content writers who can directly publish content without any onboarding to WordPress and Yoast SEO.
If you are not sure about WordPress and Yoast SEO, I will recommend you to start a blog and get used to them. As a content writer, it is a critical step.
Once the content is published, can you promote it?
Small companies and startups are looking for candidates with various skills.
However, their goal is never to get all things done from a single person. They make sure that an ideal candidate is multidimensional and knows the basics of other related areas of interest.
In short, they want to know how would you promote your content. Following should be the possible answers:
- Share content through social media
- Reaching out to online influencers
- Use multiple channels for promotion
Do you create Infographics for your content?
Infographics can help promote the content on media-based social media sites like FB and Instagram.
Again, knowing how to create infographics can always help. Having more skills can still help. Moreover, creating infographics using tools like Easelly and Canva is pretty straightforward.
Just FYI, when working in a small company or startup, one may even have to create infographics as well.
And what is the difference between content writing and copywriting?
Both content and copy are used to achieve distinct marketing objectives. Using a blog, a writer narrates a subject and explains all ins and out to the reader. A blog is a kind of storytelling.
A copywriting is more inclined towards generating sales or luring the readers into taking action via the CTA or call to action options.
How do you proofread your content?
Every content writer does proofreading. The critical aspect is how?
Simple techniques for proofreading are:
- Read loudly
- Scrap the fluff
- Check paragraph structures
- Use spell-check
- Use software like Grammarly
- Check Flesch Reading Score and overall readability of the content
What motivates you as a writer amid repetitive topics?
The question here will test your intellect. The employer wants to see what motivates you are in the midst of chaos. How you experiment with different styles and forms of writing.
Planning and scheduling is an essential skill, along with writing.
Show them how you maintain quantity with quality. The company is looking for par excellence organizational skills.
If you have a workflow of topics, you switch to and fro share it with the interviewer.
How do you tell a credible source from a not-so-credible source?
Any research papers or government sites are credible sources. Moreover, Google Books and newspapers are also reliable sources of information.
Blogs, Reddit, Twitter, Quora, aren’t considered a credible source for reference.
Some consider Wikipedia as a credible source of information. However, because it is editable content, if we are considering some facts, it is better to use the reference links on Wikipedia as the actual source of information.
How many articles can you write per week?
Don’t try to impress the employer with an overly high number of articles. It all depends on the word count of articles.
As an example, one can write more 500 word articles as compared to 2000 words detail articles. So keep the number of articles you can deliver per week to reasonable.
Content writing is a creative job.
On the other hand, such questions are meant to get you carried away. You may even promise more than what you can deliver. Be self-aware. Know your skill sets and level of competence.
What do you know about us?
Finally, as the interview concludes, the last set of questions will be on what you know about the company.
It is always better to come prepared for the interview. Show you have done your homework and are serious about the position you are being interviewed for.
What new content will you suggest for our client/site?
Again, the question is targeted on how well you are prepared for the interview. Have you done your homework and to what levels.
As an example, you can talk about how you have seen a piece of content and what all one can improve.
Asking the right questions can help shift the focus back to the interviewer.