A talented Copywriter will serve as an invaluable voice for your company’s products, services, and brand. Their creation of original marketing materials, direct emails, product/service descriptions, and other content will inspire your target audience to action. Keep in mind that the difference between hiring a good copywriter versus a great copywriter can be the difference between average and stellar traffic to your website or place of business.
Look for a candidate who is enthusiastic to learn about your business goals and objectives. A quick study with an inquisitive mind will help your organizational teams develop effective strategies for information dissemination across various marketing channels. In addition to superb writing skills, your candidate should bring an understanding of social media, SEO principles, and current audience trends and preferences. Flexibility to work irregular hours is a must.
General interview questions (such as “Can you tell me about yourself?” and “Why are you looking for another job?”) are a great way to get to know your candidate’s personal history, interests and goals. However, be sure to add inquiries specific to the role they’re interviewing for, so you can gain valuable insights into their likelihood of success in that position.
Below are Copywriter interview questions to help you get started:
1. What is your opinion of our current marketing content?
What you want to hear: A strong candidate will have reviewed your website and all available marketing content prior to your interview. Listen for good insights into what they feel you are doing well and what they would recommend improving. The candidate should offer specific examples of how they would change a strategy or approach if given the opportunity.
Red flag: A candidate who was not inquisitive enough to study your current marketing content before the interview, or who doesn’t seem to have a fresh take on your materials, is not likely to bring much value to your team.
2. How do you handle receiving feedback on your work?
What you want to hear: Writing done well is a collaborative process. An excellent candidate will discuss the importance of brainstorming and strategizing as a team, then retreating for a solo drafting effort, and then welcoming feedback on the draft from all concerned parties. Constructive feedback and insights should be viewed by a candidate as invaluable for fine tuning the message, style, tone, cadence, and accuracy of the written work.
Red flag: A candidate who does not appear to be a team player and open to constructive feedback is a high risk for creating copy that doesn’t support your business goals and objectives, resulting in a loss of traffic and sales.
3. Tell me about a time when you were required to complete multiple writing assignments under a tight deadline. How did you handle it?
What you want to hear: A marketing environment is typically fast-paced with a variety of needs surfacing at the same time. There may be sales, promotions, or events that require supporting content on short notice, such as ads, press materials, blog posts or the like. A qualified Copywriter will detail their experience with writing under pressure. Listen for a candidate who thrives under these conditions by remaining calm and focused, prioritizing work, and utilizing efficiency software for writing, editing, distributing, and tracking drafts.
4. What do you know about optimizing content for SEO purposes?
What you want to hear: Experienced Copywriters know the difference between content that is just interesting, and content that is both interesting and actually optimized for SEO purposes. Sure an article may be well written and informative, but will it reach the widest audience possible? A strong candidate will discuss the importance of keywords, headlines, meta descriptions, image alt tags, and reputable links. A big plus is a candidate who is familiar with content optimization software such as Clearscope.
5. What is your writing style?
What you want to hear: Copywriters come in all shapes and sizes as far as style goes. For example, some Copywriters are superb with technical research and writing. That type of writer may excel when given an assignment to draft an operating manual for a piece of industrial equipment. Another Copywriter may have a talent for writing light and humorous blog posts for an entertainment magazine. Still others may excel writing ad copy for Facebook or GoogleAds audiences. The key is to listen carefully to your candidate’s style and be sure it pairs well with your needs.
Red flag: Failing to properly assess your candidate’s writing style will seriously impact the value of their contribution to your marketing efforts. Avoid, for example, asking a technical writer skilled in detail-heavy content to deliver Facebook ad copy for teen apparel.
6. What is the biggest mistake you’ve made as a Copywriter?
What you want to hear: This question invites your candidate to be open and honest about a mistake they made with a past assignment. A strong candidate will readily explain the project, share details about the mistake, discuss the resulting consequences, and outline the steps they are taking to avoid a similar occurrence in the future. Did they fail to do adequate research? Were they not open enough to feedback? Did they miss a deadline? Whatever the situation, the apparent ability to learn from the mistake is key.
Red flag: A candidate who claims not to have made a big mistake is likely being disingenuous. It’s a sign of maturity to talk candidly about a failing and the growth they experienced because of it. Anything less is a red flag.
Every interview question can help get you closer to the right fit for your Copywriter position.
Be sure to keep an eye out for candidates who:
- Understand your business and its target audiences
- Have a writing style that matches your needs
- Can manage multiple assignments under tight deadlines
Need help writing a Copywriter job description? Check out our Copywriter job description template.
What types of content have you created? What was your favorite and why?
Writing well often requires research and idea development. Describe the steps you take before beginning a piece of copy.
What techniques do you use to distinguish a credible source from a non-credible one?
Do you prefer following specific guidelines for your writing or creating your own concepts? Why?
What digital tools do you use to prevent grammar and spelling mistakes?
Tell me about the most challenging project you’ve worked on. What was the result and what did you learn?
If you are asked to complete a task you believe will affect your writing abilities because of time limitations, what would you do?
What are three important factors for creating an effective marketing content campaign?
Are you more productive writing alone or as part of a writing team? Why?
Do you have (or have you ever had) a personal blog? If so, what were your topics of interest?