If you want to land a position as a copywriter for a major company, preparing for your interview is a crucial step in that process. Copywriters are the lifeblood of a company's identity, and candidates are expected to have not only strong sentence structure, grammar, and research skills, but also effective communication skills, which they showcase during the interview process. To get hired in this role, you must be able to show your talents and stand apart from the competition. These sample interview questions, with some answers for more in-depth queries, will help you to practice your interview skills and prepare for your copywriter interview.
Common copywriter interview questions
Conversational chitchat that opens an interview is really a warm-up. Think about what the interviewer wants to know about you, and how you can demonstrate you are a good fir for their company.
- Why are you passionate about copywriting?
- What's your experience in this industry?
- What type of content have you created?
- What are your strategies to meet deadlines?
- What is the goal of good creative content?
- What was your biggest failure as a copywriter, and how did you learn from the mistake?
- What was the most challenging project you've done? Why?
- Describe your research and writing process, and how it has made you successful.
- What's your experience with lead generation and sales funnels?
- How do you strategically work around Google algorithms?
- How do you measure your results?
Highlight your competency in copywriting
You've gotten the interview, so you know the interviewer has a positive response to your resume. Here is your chance to talk in detail about your overall capabilities and talents.
These hard skills are a given in the copywriting field.
- Technical acumen
Conversational flow with the interviewer demonstrates the soft skill set good copywriting demands, so avoid yes/no answers during the interview.
- Creative thinking
Read more: Soft skills: Definitions and examples
Questions that directly relate to the copywriting role
As the conversation progresses, expect copywriter-specific interview questions. Here's where doing your prep work really shows. Anticipate questions--weave an answer about your industry experience with comments on competitors' websites, for example.
- Do you have any experience in this industry?
- What do you know about our company and this copywriting position?
- Our industry has its own lingo. Can you tell me the difference between ________ and _______?
- What is your writing style? Is your strength in researching and writing deeply technical manuals or lightly humorous blog posts?
- What are your thoughts on our current content? What do you like about it?
- How do you handle instruction or feedback from non-creative types?
- What do you think of our competitor's websites and content?
- Give me an example of a time you had multiple deadlines due in a tight time frame. How did you handle it?
- It's important to reach a wide audience. How to you tailor your writing style to different demographics?
- Will you submit a sample assignment? You'll have a couple of days to return it to me.
Read more: How To Prepare For an Interview
In-depth questions--with answers
What do you like best about our website and social media pages? What would you change?
The interviewer wants to know if you've done your homework and whether you consider all the facts before making decisions.
This is why you do your homework. Of course, you are deeply familiar with the website and corresponding social media sites. You should evaluate the company's portfolio before the interview, so you can discuss the content that you believe is most effective and resonates with the target audience. Before you offer any ideas for change, ask the interviewer what the results were for that content.
There are two reasons for this. The first is that knowing what's successful gives you insight into their audience and you'll avoid making a huge mistake if you suggest ditching popular content. Second, it gives you a chance to refer to a piece of your work that you think could be tailored to better meet the campaign's goals.
Example: "In the past, I've evaluated the results of a campaign before I've developed a framework for new content. Companies create a brand over time and my job is not to turn that upside down but to create content that is exciting and new while staying true to the brand identity.
It's important that I put myself in the target consumer's place and focus on what encourages them to act. If the company is happy with the results, then I simply freshen up the content, maybe introducing a new angle or expanding on a popular topic.
How would you describe your writing style?
This one can be tricky, and that's for a reason. The best copywriters mimic the company's style without any interruption from their personal tone.
Your voice is irrelevant to the company; it's their voice that you are presenting.
Example: "Before I begin a new project, I ask whether the client wants to expand on their current brand or if they want an entirely new campaign. If it's the former, then I do a great deal of research on the voice and style they prefer and create content that follows that template. If it's the latter, then I find out if they are developing a brand or recreating an existing one. If it's new, then I work with the company to determine their target audience, and the style and voice that will generate action.
For a brand re-work, I also do the research and find out if they want to ease into new branding or roll out an entirely new content portfolio at once. The client really sets the parameters for the campaign and my job is simply to convey that tone and style."
What's the most important element of good content?
This is another tricky question. Interviewers want to know that you understand the goal is not elegant and concise writing, but action on the part of the audience. Your answer here gives the interviewer insight into your mindset, helping them understand how you see your role and your writing goals.
There is more than great SEO to good content, but the success of a campaign is ultimately dependent on that Google foundation. Touch on hard results data as well as SEO.
Example: "My goal is to drive readers to respond to the content by action--giving them the tools and resources they need to respond to the information I've provided. The best way to do this is to know the audience personas and to write the content in the style they will respond to. Am I trying to reach a data-driven consumer or a persona that prefers soft anecdotes?
Regardless of the audience, the content should address a problem the targeted audience has, and provide a resolution. It's also critical to establish thought leadership and authority throughout the content."
Why are you qualified for this position?
Don't be shy about promoting yourself and answering this question with confidence. Companies want to hire people who believe in themselves. Your self-confidence also lets the interviewer know that you can successfully sell the company's products or ideas.
Example: " I've been successful as a copywriter for several reasons. I am a very persuasive writer, a creative thinker and I am skilled at learning different personas. I'm confident that my copy will drive traffic to your website and help you get and retain clients, so your sales will increase.
I am thorough in my research and if I have questions, I'm not afraid to tell you there's something I don't know. The more I learn about your company, the better equipped I am going forward to write content that will to help the company continue to grow."
Will you write a sample piece for us?
You're auditioning for the position of copywriter, so it makes sense that you would be asked to provide copy. This gives the interviewer the opportunity to see how well you research material and how you weave that information into a cohesive narrative. They'll look for clear writing that avoids industry jargon, has no grammatical or spelling errors and is technically and stylistically aligned with their goals.
These are some tips for writing stellar content.
- Research their company website, but also some of their competitors
- Write a clear and concise article that has directs the reader through the process from identifying the problem to offering a solution. Try to avoid an overt CTA
- Include information from the thought leaders in your industry
- You are writing for SEO, so include relevant keywords and other strategic elements for optimization
Example: "I would love to write some sample content. Please give me a couple of days to do some research and gather my thoughts so I can present the best possible piece. I would like it understood that my work is not to be published without my written consent."
Five tips for a great interview
Do your research. We say this a lot because it can't be overstated. In-depth preparation will give you an edge over other interviewees.
Bring a couple of hard copies of your resume and portfolio samples. It's handy for the interviewer to take notes in the relevant places.
Practice questions and answers with a friend. This will help you organize your thoughts so that you can respond succinctly. You are applying for a position that demands clear linear thought; make sure your words are as to the point as your writing.
Take a short brisk walk right before your interview. Getting your heart rate up a bit clears your head and relieves some pre-interview stress.