Interview Questions About Writing Skills With Sample Answers
Writing is a significant skill for conveying information in a clear manner in various industries. There can be different types of writing skills depending on the job role such as content writing, technical writing, publishing or medical writing. Interviewers may ask several questions related to writing skills to evaluate your ability to express your thoughts through writing. In this article, we discuss some general and in-depth interview questions about writing skills and provide sample answers to some popular questions.
Preparing some common interview questions about writing skills can allow you to improve your skills and perform better during the interview. There can be many questions that an interviewer may ask during an interview to evaluate your writing ability. Many interviewers start the interviewing process by asking some basic and general questions to learn more about candidates, their interests, background and work experience.
Different writing job roles may require different levels of experience and background in writing. Interviewers can also ask some in-depth questions to gain a better understanding of your writing skills. During the interview, be passionate and energetic while answering the question. Here are some examples of interview questions related to writing skills along with their sample answers:
1. According to you, what are the main components of good content?
There can be various things that combine to make great content. Interviewers may ask this question to know your perspective about the different components of content. Take this question as an opportunity to share the creative thinking you put together while writing excellent content. You can also mention credibility, engagement and uniqueness in your answer.
Example: " As a writer, I believe deciding the tone of your writing can help in creating engaging and relevant content. While writing content, I always focus on the meaning and the purpose of the information I want to share. Each paragraph should reflect the true meaning of the piece. Zero plagiarism free and error-free content are the two factors that I put my focus on while writing something. Over the years, I have developed my own main components required for writing good content. These are relations between each paragraph, correct grammar and spellings, coherence and idea."
2. How do you capture the narrative in your content?
Every writer may have their own way of expressing thoughts and putting them into their work. A writer working for a company may require narrating the content according to the demands of their clients. Try answering in a way that reflects your flexibility to work according to the demand. Answering in a very polite way can be very helpful. Demonstrate yourself as a candidate who can work on different types of projects and is able to adapt.
Example: " When I start working on content, I always take my time to analyse if the references provided by the client make sense to the content. I try to gather as much information as possible about the data and the materials by talking to clients and searching on the web. For example, before coming to this interview I looked at your blogs and websites to learn more about the company I wish to work for.
I have found that the tone and voice of the content you provide are very genuine and authentic. It provides a warm feel and sticks to the core of the subject very deeply. I will try my best to bring these things into my content."
3. Explain how you schedule your writing projects?
Candidates applying for a job role that involves written content production can benefit from learning how to balance or organise various writing projects. Many interviewers ask this question to understand how you prioritise tasks and evaluate whether you complete them in time. Answer this question to highlight your time management and organisational skills. This question can also allow you to reflect on your abilities to work under pressure. You can also mention a few examples of handling multiple projects from your previous work experience.
Example: " I make good use of technology in tracking the project deadlines and updates as it helps me in managing multiple projects with ease at the same time. I use software that sends me an update every morning about the projects I have to finish before this week. It gives me an opportunity to re-organise my projects based on their priorities. For tracking progress fastly, I use separate folders for large projects and small projects. In my opinion, these are the things that allow me to finish every writing project on time."
4. How do you know if your content is performing well?
Many hiring managers ask this question to determine whether candidates understand their own work and know if their content aligns with the goals of the organisation. You can provide some examples explaining how you track the progress of your content. Include the steps you take to track content performance such as clicks, views and visitors.
Strategic interview questions
- Describe a time when you proactively identified and addressed an issue at your company.
- Describe a time when you failed to achieve your goals and had to follow a different approach. What happened?
- Describe a time when you had to measure the success of a workplace change or campaign. What were your steps and ultimate findings?
- Imagine that you receive $50,000 and have one month to implement a major organizational change. What project do you choose and what approach do you employ?
- You ask for $5,000 to solve a problem, but upper management only allocates 800,000 for your solution. What is your plan of attack?
- Describe a time you failed and had to alter course and adopt a new approach. How did you know change was necessary? What actions did you take? What was the result?
- Walk me through your time management system.
- What do you think are the most important elements to consider when making a decision in our industry?
- Imagine you need to implement a new system that you do not have much experience with. What steps do you take to gather information and ensure successful execution?
- Share a time when you made a decision that involved great risk. What was the situation, the final verdict, and the result?
- What is the most difficult lesson you have had to learn thus far?
- What piece of critical feedback do you receive most often?
- If you could redo your career, what would you change?
- What have been your most positive and negative management experiences?
- Walk me through your approach to workplace conflict.
- Talk about a time when you had to work with someone whose personality was very different from yours.
- What is the farthest out of your comfort zone you have been while on the job?
- Give me an example of a time when you had to think or react quickly in response to a delicate situation.
- How do you deal with failure?
- Walk me through a time when you had to adapt to major change within your organization.
Interviews can be daunting processes, but asking great interview questions to candidates improves the experience for interviewers and interviewees alike. A company’s choice mix of strategic and the most common interview questions can reveal organizational priorities and company culture, helping candidates make informed decisions about offers.
What are the best interview questions to ask candidates?
The best interview questions to ask candidates depend on the role and the type of candidate you hope to attract. At minimum, you should ask the most common interview questions such as:
Additional questions should evaluate whether the candidate is a good skill and culture fit for the position. Feel free to tailor your top interview questions to suit your organization and industry.
What interview questions are illegal?
If a candidate brings these topics up, then it is advisable to steer the conversation onto other subjects. A candidate may inquire about reasonable accommodations and the inclusivity of your work culture, at which point it may be pertinent to outline your organization’s benefits, diversity efforts, and willingness to support underrepresented employees. However, as a rule, you should never pose interview questions related to these topics, and should defer these discussions if the candidate initiates them.
The legality of asking about criminal background during interviews is more complex. In most places, it is not illegal to ask candidates about criminal records, but employers may not deny applicants based solely on conviction history without conducting an individualized assessment. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission warns against placing conviction questions on job application forms. Most employers wait to ask about criminal conviction until the late stages of the interview process.
What is the STAR method in interviewing?
This interview structure ensures that the interviewer receives comprehensive answers that provide a more complete picture of applicant’s work styles. Though situations should ideally be from past jobs, entry-level applicants or candidates pursuing career changes may draw on from experiences from school, internships, volunteer work, or other industries.
What are some good questions for a candidate to ask an interviewer?
Remember that an interview is a two-way street where the candidate evaluates whether to join the company. Preparing thoughtful, thorough, and confident responses to common applicant questions makes a positive impression. Of course, a candidate may pose a unique or interesting question that catches you off guard, in which case you can buy time to think by commenting, “that is a great question!”
Common Job Interview Questions
1. “Could you please tell us a little bit about yourself?”
This is not exactly a ‘job interview question’, but a typical interview opener especially when the job interview is being conducted by an inexperienced or unskilled interviewer. Logically, a good interviewee would think of asking the interviewer to confirm exactly what information they want answered, but there is a better way to answer this question professionally and succinctly.
The key point is to not repeat everything you’ve stated in your resume. Recruiters will have read your resume prior to asking you this interview question, therefore you don’t need to recite it. However, you should make reference to impressive achievements or relevant work experience when touching down on your professional background.
I suggest you learn to answer this question with a three part, pre-planned marketing statement that can more or less be reused from interview to interview. Start with a brief summary of your career history – “I am a Marketing Manager with 10 years of experience working for global software companies in the UK and abroad.”
Then, talk them through briefly how your career developed but don’t just repeat what they can see on your resume. Talk to the interviewer more in terms of what you’ve learnt or achieved. Mention a recent accomplishment that you are proud of that will also capture the potential employer’s attention (i.e. cost savings, revenue increase). You really want to focus on what makes you exceptional and how your skills and experience match the requirements of the job.
A brief summary of specifically what you want to do next in your career or why you’re interested in this specific role. Finally, end your answer with a one-sentence statement that indicates what you’re looking to do next in your career, ensuring of course that it matches exactly what the employer is looking for.
2. “How did you find out about the job?”
This is a simple question that can be answered in a short sentence, although you can also use it to get your foot in your door by stating that you keep up to date with company activity or that you’ve had your eye on a position in the IT Department for a long time etc.
If you’ve been genuinely following the company for a while, you might want to mention here what specific activities of the company really appeal to you or if you’ve spoken to some employees of the company and heard great things about working for them, you can comment on that here, too.
3. “Why should we give you this job?”
This isn’t the most common interview question, but it is still probable that you’re asked this question in a job interview. They might also ask you: “What are your main skills and strengths” or “Why do you think you’re the best candidate for the role?”
When a company hires a good person, they are making it harder for their competitors to compete with them. Basically, you want to try to answer this question by letting the interviewer know what you can do that other candidates can’t. Companies hire people to solve problems so let the interviewer know what problems you’ve solved and how your employers benefited as a result.
Back your answers up with examples. Anyone can say that they have good organizational skills for example, but if you say something specific e.g. “I have excellent organizational skills and in the past 12 months I have personally organized and supervised 6 corporate events with up to 300 participants on each one”, you are definitely going to make a better impression than someone giving a generic answer.
4. “How much do you know about the company?”
This interview question is one of the most common interview questions asked and is essentially a test to check that you’ve done your research and know your stuff. If you can prove that you’ve dug a little deeper than the company website and refer to a company achievement, press release or recent update, you’ll be sure to win extra brownie points.
Researching the company is a must, and almost all job candidates do it to some degree today. But the interview is not a test to see whether you read the company website. Instead, you want to identify opportunities and demonstrate how you can add value to the company, if they hire you. Take the information you gain through your research and prepare insightful questions and observations that can serve as discussion points during the interview. Here are some ways to do that:
- Check the company website for information – but not just in the usual places. Look at every page on the website and try to deduce where the company is headed and how you can contribute to their mission. Review the company’s products and services and get a handle on how they present themselves to the marketplace.
- Google the company’s name for articles written by third parties. How is the third-party information different or similar to the company’s take on the same subjects? Also, research stories about the company on major news outlets and industry publications.
- Look up the firm on glassdoor.com for what is said about the firm by its employees. If you find negative points, are these things you can live with—or better yet, would you thrive within that type of environment? Remember to take the information in its context, as every firm has unhappy employees and these may be the ones who take the time to write negative commentary.
- Follow the company prior to the interview on Twitter and on its Facebook and LinkedIn pages. What is the company talking about? What are they tweeting and posting? Can you apply any of your previous experiences to some of these topics being discussed in social media channels?