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Article

6 min read

Best 15 Content Writer Interview Questions for Hiring Managers

Global hiring

Author

Shannon Hodgen

Published

October 23, 2023

Last Update

June 28, 2024

Table of Contents

1. Can you tell us about your experience as a content writer?

2. How do you approach keyword research for SEO content writing?

3. How do you ensure your content is engaging and appealing to the target audience?

4. How do you approach the editing and proofreading process?

5. How do you stay up to date with the latest industry trends and incorporate them into your writing?

6. Can you provide an example of a content piece or campaign that you are particularly proud of?

7. How do you approach writing for different platforms and adapting your style accordingly?

8. How do you handle tight deadlines and manage your time effectively?

9. Can you describe a time when you faced writer's block and how you overcame it?

10. How do you handle constructive feedback and incorporate it into your writing?

11. How do you ensure your content is original and not plagiarized?

12. How do you handle revisions requested by clients or team members?

13. How do you handle writing for a niche or industry that you are not familiar with?

14. Can you provide an example of a time when you had to write content for a challenging or sensitive topic?

15. How do you measure the success of your content and make improvements based on data?

Next steps

Content writing is a profession that involves creating engaging and informative content for various platforms such as websites, blogs, social media, and more. Content writers are responsible for communicating a company’s message effectively to its target audience through compelling and well-written articles, blog posts, product descriptions, and other written materials.

Key facts and data
  • Average salary: The median salary for a mid-level content writer in the US is $25,571 (USD) per year, according to anonymous salary data provided to Deel.
  • Typical entry-level education: Many content writers have a bachelor's degree in English, journalism, communications, or a related field. However, a degree is not always a requirement, and some employers may prioritize writing skills and experience over formal education.
  • Employment change (2022-2032): The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that employment for writers and authors will grow 4% by 2032, with an average of 15,500 job openings per year.
  • Growth trends: With the rise of digital marketing and content-driven strategies, content writing is expected to continue growing as organizations recognize the importance of high-quality, engaging content to attract and retain customers.

As the demand for online content continues to grow, the role of content writers has become increasingly important. In this article, we provide 15 common interview questions for content writers, as well as SEO content writer interview questions.

1. Can you tell us about your experience as a content writer?

Aim: To assess the candidate’s overall experience and understanding of the content writing field.

Key skills assessed: Writing skills, experience working with different industries or niches, ability to adapt writing style.

What to look for

Look for candidates who can showcase their writing skills and have experience writing for different industries or niches. They should also demonstrate the ability to adapt their writing style to different audiences and platforms.

Example answer

"I have been working as a content writer for the past three years, primarily focusing on creating blog posts and articles for various industries such as technology, healthcare, and finance. I have experience conducting research, optimizing content for SEO, and engaging readers through storytelling."

2. How do you approach keyword research for SEO content writing?

Aim: To assess the candidate's knowledge of SEO and their ability to incorporate keywords effectively.

Key skills assessed: SEO knowledge, keyword research skills, ability to optimize content for search engines.

What to look for

Look for candidates who understand the importance of keyword research and can explain the process of finding relevant keywords. Consider including a test for content writers, so they can demonstrate their ability to incorporate keywords naturally into their writing while still creating engaging and informative content. 

Example answer

"When conducting keyword research, I start by analyzing the target audience and understanding their search intent. I have experience as an SEO content editor, so I know how to use tools like Google Keyword Planner and SEMrush to find relevant keywords with high search volumes and low competition. I then strategically incorporate these keywords into the content while ensuring it flows naturally and provides value to the reader."

3. How do you ensure your content is engaging and appealing to the target audience?

Aim: To assess the candidate's ability to create engaging and audience-focused content.

Key skills assessed: Audience analysis, ability to create persuasive content, understanding of storytelling techniques.

What to look for

Look for candidates who can demonstrate their understanding of the target audience and their ability to create content that resonates with them. They should be able to explain how they use storytelling techniques, persuasive language, and relevant examples to capture the readers' attention and keep them engaged.

Example answer

"I believe that understanding the target audience is key to creating engaging content. I conduct thorough research to identify their pain points, interests, and preferences. I then incorporate storytelling techniques, such as using relatable examples and anecdotes, to make the content more appealing. Additionally, I use persuasive language and adopt a conversational tone to keep readers interested throughout the piece."

4. How do you approach the editing and proofreading process?

Aim: To assess the candidate's attention to detail and ability to produce error-free content.

Key skills assessed: Editing and proofreading skills, attention to detail, familiarity with grammar and style guidelines.

What to look for

Look for candidates who have a systematic approach to editing and proofreading. They should mention techniques such as reading the content aloud, using grammar-checking tools, and following style guidelines. Consider including a content writer test to gauge their attention to detail and ability to catch grammatical errors and typos.

Example answer

"I believe editing and proofreading are crucial to producing high-quality content. After writing a piece, I take a break and then revisit it with fresh eyes. I read the content aloud to identify any awkward phrasing or errors. I also use tools like Grammarly to catch any grammar or spelling mistakes. Finally, I ensure that the content adheres to the style guidelines provided by the client or organization, paying close attention to formatting and consistency."

Aim: To assess the candidate's dedication to professional growth and their ability to adapt to changing industry trends.

Key skills assessed: Research skills, ability to stay updated with industry trends, adaptability to new information.

What to look for

Look for candidates who demonstrate a proactive approach to staying updated with industry trends. They should mention techniques such as reading industry blogs, attending webinars or conferences, and following thought leaders in the field. Additionally, they should be able to explain how they incorporate these trends into their writing to keep it relevant and valuable.

Example answer

"To stay on top of the latest industry trends, I regularly read industry blogs and follow thought leaders on social media to gain insights. I also participate in webinars and attend conferences to exchange knowledge and ideas. I believe in incorporating these trends into my writing by citing relevant statistics, including recent examples, and addressing current challenges or opportunities."

6. Can you provide an example of a content piece or campaign that you are particularly proud of?

Aim: To assess the candidate's creativity, problem-solving skills, and ability to produce outstanding work.

Key skills assessed: Creativity, problem-solving skills, ability to showcase past successes.

What to look for

Look for candidates who can confidently talk about a specific content piece or campaign they are proud of. They should be able to explain the challenges they faced, the strategies they employed, and the results they achieved. This question provides insight into their ability to think critically, come up with innovative ideas, and deliver high-quality work.

Example answer

"One project that I am particularly proud of is a content campaign I developed for a startup in the wellness industry. The challenge was to create engaging and informative content that attracted their target audience of health-conscious individuals. I conducted in-depth research and collaborated with industry experts to produce a series of articles that addressed common health concerns and provided practical tips. The campaign generated a 30% increase in website traffic and a significant boost in brand awareness."

7. How do you approach writing for different platforms and adapting your style accordingly?

Aim: To assess the candidate's ability to adapt their writing style to different platforms and audiences.

Key skills assessed: Adaptability, understanding of different writing styles, ability to tailor content to different platforms.

What to look for

Look for candidates who can demonstrate their versatility in writing for different platforms, such as websites, social media, and email newsletters. They should be able to explain how they adapt their tone, style, and formatting to suit each platform and audience. This question assesses their ability to tailor their writing to meet specific objectives and engage various target audiences.

Example answer

"By understanding the unique requirements of each platform, I am able to tailor my writing style to achieve the desired impact. For example, when writing for a website, I focus on creating concise and informative content that is easy to scan. On social media, I adopt a more conversational and engaging tone to capture attention. When writing email newsletters, I aim for a personalized and persuasive approach to encourage click-throughs."

8. How do you handle tight deadlines and manage your time effectively?

Aim: To assess the candidate's ability to work under pressure and meet deadlines.

Key skills assessed: Time management skills, ability to prioritize tasks, working efficiently under tight deadlines.

What to look for

Look for candidates who can demonstrate their ability to work effectively under pressure and manage their time efficiently. They should mention techniques such as creating a schedule, breaking tasks into smaller manageable chunks, and setting realistic deadlines. Additionally, they should highlight their ability to stay organized and communicate effectively to ensure timely delivery of projects.

Example answer

"I thrive in fast-paced environments and have experience working under tight deadlines. To manage my time effectively, I prioritize tasks based on urgency and importance. I break down larger projects into smaller tasks and set realistic deadlines for each. I also ensure that I have open lines of communication with team members to coordinate efforts and address any potential roadblocks. By staying organized and focused, I have consistently delivered quality work within given timeframes."

9. Can you describe a time when you faced writer's block and how you overcame it?

Aim: To assess the candidate's problem-solving skills and ability to handle challenges.

Key skills assessed: Problem-solving skills, resilience, ability to overcome creative blocks.

What to look for

Look for candidates who can provide a specific example of facing writer's block and describe how they overcame it. They should demonstrate resilience, creativity, and the ability to come up with innovative solutions. This question gives insight into their problem-solving skills and their ability to handle challenges effectively.

Example answer

"I faced writer's block recently while working on a complex technical article. To overcome it, I took a step back and approached the subject from a different angle. I began conducting additional research and sought input from subject matter experts. I also experimented with different writing techniques, such as mind mapping and freewriting, to unlock my creativity. By combining these strategies and persevering through the block, I was able to produce a well-researched and engaging piece."

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10. How do you handle constructive feedback and incorporate it into your writing?

Aim: To assess the candidate's ability to receive feedback and make improvements.

Key skills assessed: Receptiveness to feedback, ability to make revisions, commitment to delivering quality work.

What to look for

Look for candidates who can demonstrate their receptiveness to feedback and their commitment to continuous improvement. They should mention techniques such as actively listening, seeking clarification, and making revisions based on feedback. It's important to gauge their resilience and their ability to handle criticism in a constructive manner.

Example answer

"I believe that feedback is essential for growth and improvement. When receiving feedback, I actively listen and seek clarification if needed to fully understand the suggestions or areas for improvement. I take the feedback constructively and use it as an opportunity to make revisions and enhance the content. I am committed to delivering high-quality work, and valuable feedback plays a crucial role in achieving that."

11. How do you ensure your content is original and not plagiarized?

Aim: To assess the candidate's understanding of plagiarism and their commitment to producing original content.

Key skills assessed: Ethical writing practices, ability to avoid plagiarism, understanding of citation and referencing.

What to look for

Look for candidates who can explain their approach to avoiding plagiarism and maintaining the integrity of their work. They should mention techniques such as conducting thorough research, using proper citations and references, and utilizing plagiarism-checking tools to ensure originality. This question assesses their ethical writing practices and commitment to producing high-quality, original content.

Example answer

"To start, I conduct thorough research and gather information from reputable sources. I always cite and reference my sources properly, following the appropriate formatting guidelines. Additionally, I use plagiarism-checking tools to verify the originality of my work. By adhering to these practices, I ensure that my content is authentic and free from any plagiarism."

12. How do you handle revisions requested by clients or team members?

Aim: To assess the candidate's ability to handle revisions and meet client expectations.

Key skills assessed: Attention to detail, ability to work collaboratively, responsiveness to client feedback.

What to look for

Look for candidates who can demonstrate their ability to handle revisions in a professional and efficient manner. They should mention techniques such as carefully reviewing revision requests, communicating openly with clients or team members to clarify expectations, and making revisions promptly. This question assesses their attention to detail, ability to work collaboratively, and responsiveness to client feedback.

Example answer

"When I receive revision requests from clients or team members, I carefully review their feedback and ensure I fully understand their expectations. I believe in open and clear communication, so I reach out to them to seek clarification if needed. I make revisions promptly and pay close attention to detail to address their specific requests. I view revisions as an opportunity to fine-tune my work and deliver content that meets or exceeds their expectations."

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13. How do you handle writing for a niche or industry that you are not familiar with?

Aim: To assess the candidate's ability to research and write about unfamiliar topics effectively.

Key skills assessed: Research skills, adaptability, ability to grasp complex information.

What to look for

Look for candidates who can demonstrate their ability to research unfamiliar topics and write about them effectively. They should mention techniques such as conducting in-depth research, consulting subject matter experts, and using reliable sources to gather information. Additionally, they should highlight their adaptability and ability to grasp complex information quickly.

Example answer

"When writing for a niche or industry that I am not familiar with, I start by conducting extensive research to gain a deep understanding of the subject matter. I consult reputable sources, read industry reports or studies, and reach out to subject matter experts for insights. I take the time to familiarize myself with industry jargon and key concepts. By investing the necessary effort, I am able to write about unfamiliar topics with confidence and produce informed and value-driven content."

14. Can you provide an example of a time when you had to write content for a challenging or sensitive topic?

Aim: To assess the candidate's ability to handle challenging or sensitive topics effectively.

Key skills assessed: Sensitivity, empathy, ability to craft content that is appropriate and respectful.

What to look for

Look for candidates who can demonstrate their ability to handle challenging or sensitive topics with sensitivity and empathy. They should mention techniques such as conducting thorough research, consulting subject matter experts or stakeholders, and using appropriate language and tone to address the topic respectfully. This question assesses their ability to handle complex subjects and craft content that is appropriate for the intended audience.

Example answer

"In one particular project, I had to write content about mental health, addressing common misconceptions and providing resources for individuals seeking help. To make sure I approached the topic with sensitivity, I conducted extensive research and consulted mental health professionals to gain insights. I used language that was inclusive and non-stigmatizing, and I provided valuable information while emphasizing the importance of seeking professional help. By focusing on empathy and respect, I was able to create content that resonated with the target audience and addressed the subject appropriately."

15. How do you measure the success of your content and make improvements based on data?

Aim: To assess the candidate's ability to analyze data and make data-driven decisions.

Key skills assessed: Data analysis skills, ability to measure content performance, commitment to continuous improvement.

What to look for

Look for candidates who can demonstrate their ability to measure the success of their content and make improvements based on data. They should mention techniques such as tracking key performance indicators (KPIs), analyzing website analytics, and using A/B testing to optimize content. This question assesses their data analysis skills and their commitment to producing content that delivers results.

Example answer

"I believe in using data to measure and optimize the success of my content. I track key performance indicators such as website traffic, engagement metrics, and conversion rates. I analyze website analytics to understand user behavior and make data-driven decisions. I also utilize A/B testing to experiment with different variations of content and identify what resonates best with the target audience. By continuously monitoring performance and making improvements based on data insights, I strive to create content that achieves the desired goals." 

Next steps

Content writers play a vital role in scaling companies, as their ability to create engaging, persuasive content is key in helping businesses connect with their audience.

By asking these content writing interview questions, recruiters can gain a better understanding of a candidate's writing skills, ability to adapt to different platforms and audiences, knowledge of SEO and industry trends, and commitment to delivering high-quality, original content. These examples can also be used to develop technical writing interview questions.

Candidates can also use these questions to prepare for their content writer interviews and showcase their skills and knowledge effectively.

Additional resources

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