How would you find out if someone could repair a car? You would give them a car to repair. How do know if someone can prepare an excellent Italian risotto? You give them rice and other ingredients, and watch them working in the kitchen. And you will have a bite once they are done…

And how can you know if someone excels in writing ad copies, promotional articles, or a blog content? You ask them to write a piece of content, and let the target audience to evaluate it. Either with their words, or with their buying patterns.

It’s not as simple in a copywriter job interview, however. Your former writings (displayed in your portfolio), or works you prepared only for this interview, will play a major role in the hiring process. But even the best works don’t necessarily guarantee that you will succeed in your interview.

In any digital or marketing agency you will work with people. Colleagues, clients, freelancers, legal bodies–you will cooperate with them, report to them, or they will report to you. And you will also work with some technology.

Interviewers will ask you questions to test whether you are ready to handle both–people, and technology. And they will inquire also about your motivation, and your future… Let’s have a look at some of the questions.

 

Why do you want to work as a copywriter?

Focus on skills and abilities that make from you an excellent candidate for this job. Say that you believe to write content which sells, content which drives reader/visitor to a desired action.

Show them that you understand what it means to write a good copy. You can also refer to the content they typically create, their websites, campaigns, ads, and how they resonate with your style and texts you love to write. Say not only why you want to work as a writer, but also why you want to work for them, and not another digital agency in the city.

 

Why employment and not freelancing?

World is hungry for content, and a freelancer can get much more money for each piece they write. What is more, employers want to ensure that you won’t leave them after three months, once you gain some experience, have a peak at their client list, and feel ready to work independently.

You can say that you love creating content, but do not want to hassle with sales, client acquisition, accounting, taxes, and all other duties that belong to a career of a freelancer. You simply want to focus on creating content.

Another good answer is saying that working for a digital agency (publishing house, big corporation) allows you to participate on big campaigns with huge coverage, projects that can have some impact on a national or even international scale. You can hardly achieve that as a freelancer…

Woman is working on a new sales copy for her employer

What piece of writing do you consider your best work so far?

Time to take a portfolio out of your briefcase (or open one on a screen of your laptop), and show them some works.

Now, you should look at the word “best” from the position of an employer, or of your former client. The best piece of work is the one that meets the purpose of its creation. It is not the most beautiful one, or one that got reward in a competition for artists.

A good ad copy is one that sells. A good video is one that attracts shares and talk, and becomes viral (at least when that was a goal of the person who ordered the creation of the particular video).

I hope you got the point. Show the interviewers that you can see work from their perspective, and understand what will be expected from you in your job.

 

What is your knowledge of SEO? Do you try to optimize your content for search engines?

This is a tricky question. Search engines are becoming smarter every day, and optimizing article with keywords and tags won’t have much impact on the ranking of your article.

As a good copywriter, you should not write for Google. You should write for your target audience. Google will figure things out. If people stay long enough on your website, if they enjoy reading the article, Google will know it, and take it into consideration.

Say that you understand basics of SEO, but always write your content for people who are supposed to read it, and not for the crawlers and spiders and other machines who browse the internet.

 

Can you work with WordPress? Can you work with this or that blogging platform/software program?

You won’t submit your works on paper, and you won’t write with an ink pen (though it would be nice if we could do it sometimes).

Show the interviewers that you are ready to use the modern tools, which make our work efficient and also more ecological. Say how long you’ve been working with this or that platform, and you can even pick two or three reasons why (in your opinion) it is better than other, competing platforms or software packages.

You can also ensure the interviewers that you are a quick learner, and will master any software they use in their company in no time…

Job interview, one candidate and two interviewers, all women in their late twenties

Behavioral questions you may get in your copywriter interview

  • Describe a situation when you were under pressure in work.
  • Describe a conflict you had with your colleague.
  • Describe a situation when you went above and beyond with your service.
  • Describe a time when you struggled to communicate something to your boss, colleague, or to a customer. How did you manage to get your message over?
  • Describe a difficult decision you had to make in your professional career. How did making this decision affect you?
  • Describe a time when you experienced a conflict of your personal and professional interests. How did you get over it?
  • Describe a time when you had to deal with an angry or upset client (customer).
  • Describe the biggest failure of you as a copywriter.
  • …..

Special tip: If you are not sure how you’d answer behavioral interview questions, have a look at our Interview Success Package. Brilliant answers to all tough questions will make your life much easier on a big day. Thank you!

 

Summary

Many people underestimate the difficulty of their interview for a position of a copywriter. They believe that once they can write an excellent copy, they are guaranteed to succeed in this interview.

They forget that employment in a corporation (of any size) is also about relationships, motivation, and teamwork. Do not make the same mistake. Prepare also for the behavioral questions, and ensure that they won’t catch you off guard on a big day. I wish you good luck!

Matthew Chulaw

Matthew has been working in international recruitment since 2008. He helps job seekers from all walks of life to pursue their career goals, and to prepare for their interviews. He is the founder of InterviewPenguin.com website.
Matthew Chulaw

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