Content Writers develop engaging content for organizations to showcase and promote ideas, products or services. The content they create is often curated for a target audience and based on industry-specific research including online sources, interviewing sources and any relevant studies. They are responsible for the idea generation, content creation and proofreading processes before publication. Often, Content Writers collaborate with sales, marketing and design teams to drive sales and growth. Their content can include blogs, articles, product descriptions, advertisement campaigns, press releases, white papers as well as content for social media. Performing this role requires excellent written and verbal communication skills, effective organizational skills as well as a creative mindset.
Core skills for Content Writers
How to effectively interview Content Writers
While it might seem difficult to figure out whether a candidate will succeed as a Content Writer in your company, a well-developed set of interview questions that tap into the core skills required to perform in a Content Writer role will go a long way in helping you decide.
But where do you start? How do you develop a set of great interview questions?
The best interview questions come directly from a job analysis. A job analysis is an evidence-based method that focuses on assessing key features of a particular role. These features describe both the job itself (i.e., tasks, responsibilities, and performance objectives), and the characteristics required of someone to perform successfully in the job (e.g., knowledge, skills, and abilities). A job analysis forms the basis of many HR practices such as compensation, performance management, and - you guessed it - how to interview and hire candidates.
At Hireguide, we’ve done the job analysis work for you. We’ve used the method to identify a core set of skills associated with the Content Writer role, and we’ve developed and validated a list of behavioral and situational questions with answer guides that tap directly into those core skills. And that’s not all. We’ve compiled these questions and created a Content Writer Interview Template for you that integrates other interviewing best practices. Skills-based interviews will not only help you make higher quality and evidence-based hiring decisions, but research also shows they enhance fairness and reduce bias in your hiring process.
Example questions to ask
Describe a time you had to write content about a topic that was completely new to you, or in a client's 'voice' that was very different to your own. How did you adapt?
- Describes how the content topic was new/voice was different to their own
- Learns about the industry/topic/voice as an initial step
- Takes a systematic approach to incorporate learnings when writing/editing
- Explains the attractiveness of the content to its target audience
- Discusses key learnings and takeaways from the experience
Tell me about a time you researched and analyzed your audience before creating content. What information did you need and how did you gather it?
- Goes beyond basic demographic data into pain points, frustrations, desires, etc.
- Notes voice of customer interviews, review mining, customer services team, etc.
- Discusses researching online behaviors and habits
- Understands how to use analytics software to gain insights into online behaviors
- Explains how the data was used and how it helped the process
Imagine a sentence requires heavy editing. How would you ensure you retained the author's intended meaning?
- Discusses using Track Changes so parties can always check the original content
- Suggests looking for one problem at the time
- Suggests understanding the meaning of a sentence before applying edits
- Suggests starting with small edits (cutting dead verbs, adverbs, etc.)
- Suggests asking the author to check areas where the intended meaning was unclear