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10 Common Content Writer Interview Questions and Tips

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After having 11 interviews in 14 days for content writing jobs, I became very familiar with these questions.

Online writing can be a rewarding profession

Online writing can be a rewarding profession

Are you looking for a job as an online content writer or web copywriter? As with all creative pursuits, online writing demands a fair bit of creativity in addition to consistent quality. But when you have both, writing can be a fulfilling calling indeed.

In this guide, I'll cover many common interview questions that you will likely be asked when searching for a job in this field. While I'd been planning to write something like this for a long time, what finally made me put my fingers to the keyboard was having 11 interviews in 14 days! Persistence does pay at the end of the day.

What You Should Wear

As content writing is a relatively informal job, even an informal outfit with a semi-formal shirt should do fine. No need for a tie or suit.

Punctuality Is Important

This is a must, regardless of which job it is that you're applying for. Make sure you reach the venue at least 15-20 minutes before the appointed time and put your documents or reference of past work in order and do remember to have an attractive resume in hand.

Common Interview Questions

Ok, let's get down to the nitty-gritty. Again, these are all questions I've personally gotten many times.

1. Tell me something about yourself.

This is the most common interview question which will almost certainly be asked to any candidate. While it seems a pretty straightforward question many find it the toughest as it’s quite open-ended and people fumble when required to speak about themselves rather than about their work and/or skills. But fear not friends. The question is asked merely to know more about your personality than actually seeking your personal details. The best way to approach this question is to start with your high school, go up to graduation/post-graduation and move towards your work experience. If the interviewer seeks family details only then you should provide it, otherwise it’s not necessary.

2. What are your strong and weak points?

This question is often asked in a written submission, but it’s quite relevant as it can be used to convey a good impression when handled with tact. Obviously you will easily jot down your strong points like organic SEO writing, discipline, creativity, originality, consistency, teamwork and so on but what about the weak points. Aha . . . here lies the sticky point. Write the weak points in such a manner that they seem like your strong ones. For instance, you may say/write that you are a stickler for deadlines, grammar, creativity and originality and so on. Just remember you should only convey such points which will either give a good or neutral impression and not any negative one.

3. What was/is the profile in your previous/present company?

This question is relevant only for candidates with previous content writing experience. If you have written on variety of topics then it will be definitely better than having written just one type of content as most companies want writers for all types of writing jobs and not just one or two. Still, hardcore technical writers will not be expected to have a wide writing range except for their own domain. For others it’s advantageous to present yourself as generic content writer and not specialized unless the job demands so; for instance, travel writing job. Apart from the writing part also mention other associated responsibilities like, finding keywords, URL suggestion, title tags, page layout decisions, content selection, handling a team, editing, etc.

4. Do you know something about Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?

Content writers don't necessarily need to know about SEO, but if they do it’s a added bonus. This is because writing and SEO go hand-in-hand, and website popularity depends on the right balance between the two.

Obviously, if you have mentioned SEO as one of your skills then be prepared for some searching SEO questions from the interviewer. Even if you mention SEO as a separate skill as distinct from SEO content writing, mention it after your writing skill and not before that. But handle all SEO related questions with tact. If the interviewer just has some basic SEO knowledge then you can convince him/her quite easily by talking about on-page and off-page optimization but if the interviewer has in-depth knowledge then you will need more than just SEO basics. So it’s advisable to state upfront your comfort level with all things SEO.

5. Do you have examples of your previous work?

Keep handy a thumb drive containing your best write-ups. Yes, you need to be selective; we all know the nonsense we write in the early days of our content writing career and even when we just don’t feel like proofreading some write-up, so skip such stuff. It’s always advisable to show a wide variety of write-ups like blogs, articles, home page and on different topics. Also if the write-up is under your name it’s even better for sake of authenticity. But as we know copywriting signifies that the identity of the actual writer is not disclosed so I’ll suggest another way to prove your credentials. Post some articles on varied topics like technology, travel, tourism, etc., on article submission sites like HubPages, Ezine, Buksia and so on. I did that and it paid off in a big way. Writers looking for a career in web journalism should have posted related articles on some online magazines or current affairs sites.

6. Why did you choose content writing as a career?

This one is pretty easy. For me, it's because I always felt writing is in my bones. I am an engineering graduate and understandably this was a standard question in all interviews. I gave the same reply in all interviews and it worked just fine.

7. Where do you see yourself 5 years from now?

I've answered this one by saying, "As a successful writer with deep experience who has the ability to consistently write high-quality write-ups that are relevant yet simple to grasp." Feel free to add anything you might want here.

8. Write a short article on the given topic (test).

As a candidate for content writing job, this small test is to be expected. But don’t get nervous! Remember that you have written enough content previously (even if you have no formal work experience) to write the small piece. Be cool and calm and take your time to write a good, simple, relevant article without any grammatical errors. Any error will definitely give a negative impression, so avoid it like plague.

9. What do you know about Social Media Optimization (SMO)?

SMO is an upcoming and very exciting avenue for enhancing website popularity and traffic by harnessing the power of various social media like Twitter, Facebook, Digg, YouTube, etc. Be prepared to suggest some ways to promote a product, service or website on Facebook and Twitter. So go sign into your Twitter and Facebook accounts and try out a few things to develop enough confidence in the field. Nowadays, SMO is an expected skill for most content writers and SMO has blurred the distinction between SEO and content writing as both, Search Engine Optimizers and content witers dabble in the field.

10. Please take this short grammar test.

A content writer is expected to be grammatically correct. International clients will expect nothing but the best-written material which they won't require additional proofreading after they've paid between $8-15 per article. Any reputable company is likely to test your grammar skills before going to the second round. Most grammar tests focus on punctuation, verb and conjunction usage and few other topics. So brush up, or more correctly, dust off the cobwebs by going through that family heirloom called Wren & Martin.

Final Thoughts

Remember, of all the questions, those relating to your past and current writing profile and the written test will be crucial in determining your interview success and your compensation package. So impress the interviewer as much with your words as with your writing.

All the best and don’t forget to keep the spirits high while you try!

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

Comments

megha pathak on March 07, 2017:

Truly helpful for those who need a little bit guidance from professionals....Appreciated!

Isha Dara on January 17, 2017:

Very Helpful

Aakriti on September 22, 2016:

I had an interview today and this is exactly what they asked. I already had the idea of the questions because my friend had been there earlier. But still, this piece is great!

duncan githinji on July 24, 2016:

Thankyou.

safa samad on June 04, 2016:

verygood article.i think, this will be very helpful for me in today's interview.

DEVI on February 23, 2016:

Thank you, for your valuable tips

Rohini on November 18, 2013:

thnx a lot...

satvir singh on March 02, 2013:

your interview questions are really amazing and knowledge full i will definitely will be benefited from these.

thanx

april on December 07, 2012:

You only make between 8-15$ per article??? Please tell me that's a mistype.

rupali nsaxena on August 15, 2012:

Ur tips are really amazing and i will definitely will be benefited from these.

thanx

Uma Maheswari. R on June 12, 2012:

hi, could you please tell me how to improve my grammatical skills. I am a content writer, and working with Galatta.com. But, I want to get into an MNC soon, so I thought practicing some content writing grammar quizzes will be fruitful. Thanks in advance!

piyush on June 01, 2012:

thanks to provide information .it is vary useful for mw..

Fawad on May 31, 2012:

I am also a content writer and i have faced the above given question in my interviews which I have given in recent past so the other fellows have to follow these questions. Best of Work and Best of Luck to all.

Saurabh Saxena on April 11, 2012:

Hi,

I am a Engineer graduate in I.T and i got a call for content writer.can u tell me is it a suitable line for me.

KIND REGARDS

Amit Dwivedi on March 21, 2012:

How to ask a question by panel ? you are explaining nicely and covered maximum topics.

Thanks

Sheela Sagar (Karnataka) on February 07, 2012:

M Preparing For Content Writer Interview. its a it will usefull to me

pankaj on January 18, 2012:

Hi,

I am a Engineer graduate and i got a call for content writer.can u tel me the interview procedure and some questions for freshers.

vidhimayur on December 04, 2011:

It is good to see other Indians in hub pages. Can you please tell me where should I look for content writing jobs? I am in search of one.

vidhimayur on December 04, 2011:

very useful Hub. I was searching for content writing job and I came across this hub.Thank you very much for sharing it.Voted up and useful.Following you now on.

Remy Francis from Dubai on November 12, 2011:

Hey Vimlaksh

Congrats for a very hub. Thank you for sharing!

Nouman Zaka (M.A.J.U)-03145836224 on October 03, 2011:

Wow, i am so impressed from your experience thank you so much for sharing your golden words. God bless you.

Priyanka on September 28, 2011:

it really wonderfull!!!

I have an opportunity in contant writing was seaching infi found your link its realy usefull

Illyas on September 20, 2011:

Hi Vimlaksh,

you said that you are engineering.. Please give a pragmatic opinion about the rewards this career offers as compared to engineering. I am an Electrical Engineer and feel that the time has come to set my career path

Anita on July 20, 2011:

hi, buddy

i have an interview for content writer and this is the first time i am going for this job. i read your page for some tips and i really liked it. i hope this will help me to get a good job in content writing.

Thanks

Pankaj Deshmukh on July 04, 2011:

Thanks buddy, i have completed my graduation in BCA.

And i think its a good opprtunity for me. definitely i will go there for the interview with your outstanding guidance.....

Rajinder Soni from New Delhi, India on May 22, 2011:

Hello Vimlaksh G, tomorrow is my first interview as a travel content writer in a company based in Delhi and while searching google for keywords, "content writer interviews", I found the link to your hub on the first page first point of google. You have laid down some extensive and nice points here on most questions related to content writing. Thank you so much for sharing your wonderful experience as a content writer. Voted up and shared on facebook. Cheers.

Himadri Dimri on March 27, 2011:

Hey this is really helpful! Hopefully I'll impress my interviewer this time. Right now I am getting 1.20lpa and I want atleast 15-20,000 pm how should I go about it. I always get this question being an engg graduate y do u want to b a content writer and I always say that this is something I love doing. If I do what I love i'll do excellently. :)

writer on March 01, 2011:

Nice article.................

aamir on February 03, 2011:

what is the position of a content writer after 3-4 yrs of exp ? what would be his pay package? can we take it as a full time job ?

mahesh on February 03, 2011:

Hi I am interested in this field but anxious to know the future of content writing ? what is the pay package of content writer ? can we deprnd on this financially by joining a company ?

Vimlaksh G (author) on January 21, 2011:

@Upasana...Talk about something you're comfortable with...it's not what you say but How you say it that matters

Vimlaksh G (author) on January 21, 2011:

@ Pavan...degree doesn't matter in writing. What matters is your skill. It's a creative vocation. Anything between 8-15K. Don't sell yourself short though.

Upasana on January 18, 2011:

hi,I have done my Masters in Communication n Journalism and have applied a job for content writing.I have gone through your article and it seems very useful.But i have a confusion while telling the interviewers about my self.While answering the question,as you have advised, to tell about the personality not the personal details, should i approach answer with my high school to my post graduation records or something else like how am i?

Mohammed Ashraf on January 13, 2011:

Thanks for your great guidance

pavan on January 12, 2011:

hi

I am a B.Sc graduate from bangalore and very interested in content writing, what would be starting salary for B.Sc grad.

What is the future of content writing ?

Vimlaksh G (author) on January 08, 2011:

Thanks. I tried to make it as relevant as possible.

Komalsalunkhe on January 07, 2011:

It's very useful for any kind of interview. All the topics are covered here very nice

Vimlaksh G (author) on December 10, 2010:

Wow! That's some recognition. Thanks

Ayesha Saini from New Delhi on December 06, 2010:

Hi Vimlaksh,

Thanks for the info. I'm in fact compiling a questionnaire meant for judging content writers skills and your post indeed was helpful :).

Vimlaksh G (author) on October 13, 2010:

Thanks@ riten, Nishta and Saood

Saood Khan on October 12, 2010:

By reading this article, I have come to know some fantastic points which I never heard in the past. I am a content writer and looking forward for a bright future in this arena.

Thanks a lot!

Nishtha on October 05, 2010:

Hi,

I am a Engineer graduate and i got a call for content writer.can u tel me the interview procedure and some questions for freshers.

KIND REGARDS

riten on October 05, 2010:

Your suggestions will go a long way in preparing me for the interview.It was an eye opening experience.Your posts are worth gold dust for this (me)hard up guy.thanks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Vimlaksh G (author) on September 05, 2010:

Thanks @ Joe, VJ and Rajiv. I hope u guys got the Writer's job u so craved for and yes I should post something on SMO :)

Rajiv Ranjan on September 05, 2010:

Nice post, keep it up with more topics regarding social media optimization.

Rajiv Ranjan

vj on August 30, 2010:

thanx a tonne. this pretty much covered most points.

now all that remains is to clear an interview of my own;-)

joe on August 14, 2010:

Thanks for that sharing..my interview is scheduled today i hope your tips will work out..thanks again

Vimlaksh G (author) on July 31, 2010:

You sure will Kiran, wish you luck!

kiran bisht on July 29, 2010:

that's great tips.and really useful for a fresher as well as an experienced person. hope! i will catch the job with such intelligent answers.

Vimlaksh G (author) on July 22, 2010:

Hi Nidhi,

I assume you are referring to an interview for content writing. In that case focus on your written skills, particularly grammar as I can observe you have made simple spelling errors in your comment. For rest of the questions just re-read my article. All the best!

nidhi pawar on July 22, 2010:

hi i m an engineer graduate n my interview is on sat can u help me by telling some technical questions which they ussaully ask

Vimlaksh G (author) on June 18, 2010:

Hi Swati,

Considering you are an MBA I assume Content Writing is only a stop gap arrangement for you. In that case, 15K is a good beginning. Go for it.

swati on June 14, 2010:

i am an mba finance graduate....i got an offer of content writer from northern softech ltd, chandigarh...

should i go for it?salary they are offering is 15000per month and i am a fresher.

Vimlaksh G (author) on June 07, 2010:

Sure you will Anupama. The market has turned bright for content writing jobs, only advice, don't sell yourself cheap. Writing requires skills.

Anupama on June 06, 2010:

Absolutely great advice given up there! It has calmed the jitters in me to some extent....hope am able to crack the content writer interview!

Vimlaksh G (author) on February 25, 2010:

Glad you found it useful John!

John C on February 25, 2010:

It appears that I should practice my proofreading skills. Your advice is great. Thanks.

John C on February 25, 2010:

Came across your interview tips through a google search. Your tips will anyone well preparing for an interview.

Vimlaksh G (author) on February 12, 2010:

Thanks Helen. Although the Hub was originally intended for job-seekers, I am very happy to know that even employers are finding it useful!

Helen Vayner on February 12, 2010:

I searched Google for quick answer on how to interview a content writer and this is so far the most short and adequate answer for what I searched for. Nothing can compare! Great Job!!!!

Vimlaksh G (author) on January 20, 2010:

Thanks Kashif. I am glad you found it useful.

Mohd Kashif on January 20, 2010:

Amazing dude !!!!!!!!!!!!1

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