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Communications Manager Interview Questions

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  1. The communications industry changes rapidly with technological advances. What experience do you have with digital marketing technology, and which ones are you most comfortable using? See answer
  2. How do you set a communications strategy for a company, and what are the most important components? See answer
  3. As a communications manager, you may need to perform public speaking duties on behalf of the company. Are you comfortable with public speaking? What examples can you provide from your previous roles? See answer
  4. Can you tell me about a campaign that didn’t go as expected and what you did as a result?
  5. Are you familiar with influencer marketing? If so, what experience do you have in this area?
  6. As a communications manager, how do you manage team assignments, professional development and conflict resolution?
  7. Can you define the difference between internal communications and external communications and an example for both?
  8. What is your experience writing PR strategy manuals for your company? Can you provide examples?
  9. You approve a press release that has a significant typo. What would your first action be?
  10. Do you have experience hiring and training communications employees? What roles have you hired and what criteria did you use to determine their qualifications?
  11. What experience do you have managing social media accounts and campaigns for a business? What examples can you offer?
  12. A batch of products get shipped to retail locations with manufacturing errors. Can you walk me through your response to this event?
  13. How many employees have you overseen in your previous role as a communications manager?
  14. What actions do you take to familiarize yourself with a company, its brand, products or services?
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6 Communications Manager Interview Questions and Answers

Q:

The communications industry changes rapidly with technological advances. What experience do you have with digital marketing technology, and which ones are you most comfortable using?

A:

Your candidate should have experience with conventional tools, but also consider experience levels with social media platforms, video production for online usage, email marketing campaigns and other digital channels. If you’ll be relying on this person to lead the way, you’ll want to be sure they have experience in the latest communications tools. What to look for in an answer:

  • Experience with multiple social media platforms
  • Knowledge of website development and email marketing tools
  • Willingness to update knowledge of communications and marketing tools

Example:

“Although I have experience with print media and conventional advertising, I have also conducted successful campaigns on social media platforms, including Facebook and YouTube. I continuously take courses related to communications and digital marketing to keep my skills up to date.”

Q:

How do you set a communications strategy for a company, and what are the most important components?

A:

A communications manager will be responsible for overseeing at least a communications plan if not a team of specialists. You’ll be looking for someone who is a team player and can work with your executive team to create a goal-focused communications strategy that complements the overall business plan. What to look for in an answer:

  • Whether candidate focuses on the big picture, not individual tactics
  • Willingness to understand and support overall business objectives
  • Confidence in setting a strategy

Example:

“My role as a communications manager is really to support broad business goals with a high-level communications strategy. Tactics must be measurable and complement the overall company goals.”

Q:

Tell me about a campaign that didn’t go as expected and what you did as a result.

A:

You’ll want to assess how frequently your candidate reviews a communications campaign and whether or not changing course is a routine response. You’re also looking for how the candidate responds to failure. With today’s technology, it can be relatively easy to adjust and tweak a communications program that is underperforming. This question is designed to see if responsiveness and continuous improvement are top of mind for your candidates. What to look for in an answer:

  • Mature response to failed campaigns
  • Ability to pivot mid-campaign where necessary to improve a program
  • A focus on continuous improvement in work

Example:

“One unique but somewhat risky communications campaign resulted in a very low response rate during the first month. As I was monitoring and reviewing the data regularly, we were able to make the necessary changes in a timely manner and improve results.”

Q:

Are you familiar with influencer marketing, and what experience do you have in this area?

A:

You’ll want to evaluate how they might select influencers and what experience they have working with influencers. If you already know who influencers are in your industry, you may want to ask if the candidate is familiar with those individuals, blogs or channels or even if they have relationships with those influencers. What to look for in an answer:

  • Understanding of influencer marketing concept
  • Relationship with your key influencers
  • Experience in starting or running an influencer marketing campaign

Example:

“I created an influencer marketing campaign with a key industry leader. We found mutually beneficial ways to work together and share audiences and information.”

Q:

As a communications manger, how do you manage team assignments, professional development and conflict resolution?

A:

Your candidate will not only need to be familiar with tactical skills but will need to understand how to manage a team, encourage professional development, deal with team conflicts and assign challenging tasks to accomplish overall communications goals. Look for real-life examples regarding managerial experience when asking this question. What to look for in an answer:

  • Experience managing team and workloads
  • Comfort with conflict resolution
  • Genuine interest in helping less-experienced professionals develop their careers

Example:

“I evaluate my team’s experience levels and try to find work that is challenging but not overwhelming. Listening is important in managing conflict resolution.”

Q:

As a communications manager, you may need to perform public speaking duties on behalf of the company. Are you comfortable with public speaking? What examples can you provide from your previous roles?

A:

Communications managers have a wide variety of job responsibilities to represent their company to media personnel and company employees. This question allows interviewers to learn more about a candidate's public speaking experiences and whether they could speak at press conferences or promotional events on behalf of the company.

A candidate's answer should emphasize:

  • Public speaking skills or desire to learn
  • Ability to represent a brand
  • Speech writing techniques

Here is one example of a quality candidate answer:

Example:

"Yes, I am comfortable with public speaking. In my previous roles as a publicist and a PR specialist, I had several opportunities to act as a spokesperson for my employer at press conferences or interviews with local news stations. I have experience drafting press release statements and issuing those statements in response to legal issues, product launches or local initiatives that involved my employer."

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