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Content Writer Interview Questions

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  1. What is an Oxford comma and when might you use it? See answer
  2. What skills, education and experience qualify you for a job as a content writer?
  3. Which methods do you use to determine who your target audience is?
  4. How do you begin your research, and how do you decide which sources are credible?
  5. What are your skills and experience with search engine optimization, or SEO?
  6. What is the most important part of content writing for you?
  7. Are you capable of managing your time independently?
  8. Has any of your writing been published before?
  9. How many words can you write in a single day?
  10. Imagine you have an assignment on dairy production in the Midwest. How would you approach this article?
  11. Do you have any training or expertise in a specific field that could help your writing?
  12. What do you think are the most important components of digital content?
  13. If you’re given freedom in the direction of your assignment, how do you decide what to write about?
  14. How do you determine if a source is trustworthy or not?
  15. Is there a certain content management system you prefer to work with?
  16. What’s your system for analyzing impact and performance of the articles you publish online?
  17. Do you have an effective proofreading and editing process that reduces the likelihood of errors in your work?
  18. Is there a specific style of writing you prefer or tend to excel at?
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6 Content Writer Interview Questions and Answers

Q:

1. What skills, education and experience qualify you for a job as a content writer?

A:

Many companies use content writers to forward their marketing campaigns. Knowing how to write for search engines as well as for customers sets the experienced author apart from their inexperienced competition. Skills and experience will most likely outweigh formal education in this realm, although proper grammar and basic writing abilities are expected. Applicants should understand the correlation between fresh and organic SEO-laden content and conversion.

What to look for in an answer:

  • Experience applicant has in writing for the web
  • SEO skills, which are integral for content writing
  • English language education, including grammar

Example:

“I have written content for the web for more than 10 years. Many clients have told me how their conversions soared after they hired me.”

Q:

2. Which methods do you use to determine who your target audience is?

A:

While many content writers are given information regarding their target audience, some are expected to figure it out on their own. Analyzing customer demographics is one way to learn which market to focus on. Another way is to analyze the products or services. For example, in most cases, you will not market adult diapers to people in their 20s. It is important that the applicant be willing to dig deep to understand the audience.

What to look for in an answer:

  • Understanding of why targeting an audience is crucial to content
  • Knowledge of determining target market
  • Analytical skills when given raw data

Example:

“Often, the product itself will tell me which audience to target in my content writing. When that doesn’t work, I examine previous sales.”

Q:

3. How do you begin your research, and how do you decide which sources are credible?

A:

Accurate research is crucial to content writing that sells, informs or otherwise engages the reader. Although you want to hire someone who is thorough, a content writer must also know when to stop researching and start writing. While it’s acceptable to start with Google, ferreting out credible sources must be the priority for any content writer. Listen for the applicant’s knowledge of specifying which type of sites to search when using Google.

What to look for in an answer:

  • Applicant’s judgement regarding credible sources
  • Candidate’s willingness to thoroughly research a topic
  • Individual’s level of research as far as time and resources

Example:

“I often use Google to begin my search, but I try to specify which types of sites I am looking for such as .gov.”

Q:

4. What are your skills and experience with search engine optimization, or SEO?

A:

Search engine optimization is an important part of bringing your targeted audience to you, but organic search is the level to strive for. While organic search engine results do not contain sponsored results, it means that the algorithms Google has put in place find your site in sync naturally with the keywords the searcher has entered. This also gives you a better chance of potential customers spending more time on your site.

What to look for in an answer:

  • Applicant’s level of understanding regarding SEO
  • Listen for the word “organic” when discussing search engine optimization
  • The role keywords play in SEO

Example:

“I understand how to implement organic SEO into any site. I have worked with awkward keywords and still managed to slip them in the copy in a way that makes sense.”

Q:

5. What is the most important part of content writing for you?

A:

Content writing is an important part of persuasion whether that involves sales or simply readership. Content writing can be difficult and unproductive to someone who doesn’t enjoy it. Look for applicants who enjoy a challenge. Flexibility is important in content writing as well. Some people hate research, but it is a crucial part of the job. Look for the applicant who desires to uncover the answer.

What to look for in an answer:

  • The importance of SEO to content
  • Whether applicant strives to engage or persuade the reader
  • Factual information versus keyword stuffing

Example:

“While it isn’t always possible to learn the results of my content writing, I look forward to seeing the difference I can make regarding a website’s sales or readership.”

Q:

What is an Oxford comma and when might you use it?

A:

Content writers should have a stellar grasp of grammar and literary conventions. When interviewing potential content writers, it's important to ensure they understand basic grammar rules. Asking a question about a grammatical function like the Oxford comma can demonstrate whether the candidate has the necessary knowledge and skills to perform their jobs effectively.

Look for an answer that includes:

  • The definition of an Oxford comma
  • When to use an Oxford comma
  • Why it's an important writing tool

A strong answer might resemble this example:

Example:

"An Oxford comma, which is also called a serial comma, comes between the last two items in a list of three or more examples. Oxford commas are an interesting punctuation mark, because they're not strictly required. Some people prefer to use them while others don't. As a content writer, it's important to know about this grammatical function and whether the client likes or dislikes the use of the Oxford comma in their work."

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