33 Content Writer Interview Questions (+ Sample Answers)

Embarking on the journey of a job interview for a content writer position or being the one responsible for steering the interview calls for a deep dive into the types of questions that will likely surface. This article is dedicated to arming potential hires and those behind the interviewing desk with an in-depth understanding of the interview landscape.

  • For Candidates, the emphasis is on coming into interviews with well-prepared answers, showing off not just your writing prowess but also your creativity, strategic thinking, and ability to adapt to a diverse range of topics and industries.
  • For Interviewers, your goal is to craft questions that delve into a candidate’s ability to write well and grasp brand voice, engage readers, and support content strategy, pinpointing those who can truly elevate your content marketing efforts.
  • For the Mentors and Coaches, your role is to prepare candidates to navigate interview questions and present their skill set in a genuine and captivating way, ensuring they communicate their value effectively.

By honing in on these points, this article seeks to be an indispensable tool for anybody wrapped up in the process of a content writer job interview, ensuring all parties involved approach it with confidence, clarity, and thorough readiness.

Table of Contents


Skill-Level Determiner Questions

1. How do you determine which keywords to target in your content, and can you describe the process of keyword research you typically follow?

This question assesses the candidate’s SEO knowledge and familiarity with keyword research, which is essential for creating content that attracts traffic.

A good answer should include:

  • Mention specific tools or platforms used for keyword research (e.g., Google Keyword Planner, SEMrush).
  • Discuss how you analyze keyword data, including search volume and competition.
  • Explain how you incorporate those keywords naturally into your content to optimize for search engines without sacrificing readability.
Sample Answer: 

"I start by defining the topic and goals of the content. Using tools like Google Keyword Planner and Ahrefs, I identify the relevant keywords with high search volume but moderate competition. I look for long-tail keywords for more targeted content. Then, I strategically incorporate these keywords into the content, ensuring natural flow and readability while following SEO best practices."

2. Can you explain the importance of backlinks in SEO and how you would incorporate them into your content strategy?

This question determines whether the candidate understands off-page SEO elements and if they can effectively build and employ a backlink strategy.

A good answer should include:

  • Outline the role backlinks play in enhancing a website’s authority.
  • Discuss methods for acquiring high-quality backlinks, such as guest posting or collaboration.
  • Mention the importance of creating link-worthy content that naturally encourages backlinks.
Sample Answer: 

"Backlinks are critical for SEO as they signal to search engines that other websites consider your content credible and authoritative, which boosts your site's ranking. In my content strategy, I focus on producing high-quality, informative content that other sites would want to link to. Additionally, I engage in guest blogging and build relationships with industry influencers to gain relevant backlinks."

3. What writing and content management tools are you most comfortable using, and how have they improved your writing process?

This question aims to understand the candidate’s proficiency with industry-standard tools and how these tools enhance their productivity and content quality.

A good answer should include:

  • Enumerate the writing and content management tools you use, such as WordPress, Grammarly, or Trello.
  • Articulate how these tools aid in organization, time management, and writing efficiency.
  • Describe any experience with collaborative features or integrations that enable team workflows.
Sample Answer: 

"I frequently use WordPress due to its comprehensive content management capabilities. For improving my writing, Grammarly is invaluable for grammar and style checks. Trello helps me stay organized, tracking my tasks and deadlines. These tools streamline my process, allowing me to focus on creating high-quality content efficiently."

4. Describe your research process for writing an article on a topic you are unfamiliar with.

This question gauges a candidate’s ability to learn and write convincingly about unfamiliar subjects, a common requirement in content writing roles.

A good answer should include:

  • Highlight your initial steps to familiarize yourself with the topic.
  • Discuss how you identify credible sources.
  • Mention your approach to synthesizing information into an original, coherent piece.
Sample Answer: 

"Upon receiving a new topic, I begin with a broad search to gain an overview and identify key concepts and terminology. I then narrowed it to authoritative sources such as academic journals, industry blogs, and expert interviews. Once thorough research is done, I distill the information into an informative and engaging article for the target audience."

5. How do you ensure the accuracy and credibility of the sources you use in your writing?

The interviewer seeks to determine the candidate’s commitment to producing factual, reliable content and their ability to discern trustworthy information.

A good answer should include:

  • Describe the criteria you use to evaluate source credibility.
  • Discuss the importance of cross-referencing information.
  • Consider addressing your approach to citing sources and attributing information.
Sample Answer: 

"Ensuring credibility starts with sourcing information from respected publications, official organizations, and recognized experts. I cross-reference facts with multiple sources to check their accuracy and ensure all claims are backed with evidence. Proper attribution is also necessary for transparency and to maintain trust with my readers."

6. What’s your process for ensuring your HTML and CSS code is clean and works across different browsers?

This question assesses technical knowledge of web standards and attention to detail in creating visually appealing and functional content across platforms.

A good answer should include:

  • Discuss your familiarity with web standards and coding best practices.
  • Mention tools you use for testing and validating code.
  • Explain your approach to troubleshooting and fixing browser compatibility issues.
Sample Answer: 

"I follow web standards for writing clean and responsive HTML/CSS. I use validators such as W3C to check for errors. Cross-browser testing tools like BrowserStack are critical to ensure the content displays correctly on all major browsers, and if issues arise, I troubleshoot by reviewing code and applying fallbacks or prefixes when necessary."

Other Skill-Level Determiner Questions:

  • How comfortable are you with using HTML to format your content, and can you provide examples of the HTML tags you’re familiar with?
  • How do you use Google Analytics or other data tools to draw insights about your audience’s behavior?
  • Can you discuss a content strategy you have developed and implemented in the past?

Behavioral-Based Questions

1. Tell me about a time you received critical feedback on your writing. How did you respond, and what was the outcome?

This question helps interviewers understand how you handle constructive criticism and if you can use it to improve your work. It assesses resilience, receptiveness to feedback, and the ability to grow professionally from challenges.

A good answer should include:

  • Discuss a specific example and describe the feedback without defensiveness.
  • Explain how you addressed the feedback and how it improved your writing or working process.
  • Highlight a positive resolution or what you learned from the experience.
Sample Answer (STAR Method):

"During my time as a content writer for a lifestyle magazine, I received feedback from my editor that my articles were lacking a distinctive personal voice. 

Acknowledging the importance of this critique, especially for the column's engagement, I took immediate action by studying articles with strong individual voices. I worked on incorporating elements of my experience and personality into my writing, which subsequently led to a notable improvement recognized by my editor.

The result was a significant increase in reader engagement. Comments and shares of my articles rose, showing that my adaptation had resonated with the audience. This experience taught me the importance of constructive feedback and the impact of a personal voice in content writing. It was a valuable lesson in adaptability and growth that I carry with me in my work."

2. Have you ever experienced writer’s block? How do you manage it, and what strategies do you use to overcome it?

The interviewer wants to know if you can maintain productivity despite common challenges like writer’s block. Your strategies for overcoming such obstacles can demonstrate problem-solving skills and personal work ethic.

A good answer should include:

  • Be honest about your experience with writer’s block; it’s a common issue.
  • Describe specific methods you’ve used to break through creative barriers.
  • Relate how your strategies have successfully helped you meet deadlines and maintain content quality.
Sample Answer (STAR Method):

"When I was working with tight deadlines as a content writer, I sometimes encountered the challenge of writer's block. To address this, I adopted a technique where I'd shift my focus to a different creative activity, such as brainstorming or even taking a break with a short walk. These strategies not only cleared my head but also reignited my creativity, allowing me to return to my writing with a fresh perspective. 

As a result, the content I produced was not just delivered on time but also retained its freshness and engagement for the readership, successfully meeting the project's objectives and deadlines. This experience has sharpened my ability to find productive ways to navigate through common challenges in the writing process."

3. Describe a situation where you had to collaborate with others (like designers or marketing teams) on a content project. How did you ensure effective communication and teamwork?

This question highlights your ability to collaborate cross-functionally and your interpersonal communication skills, which are crucial in a team-oriented work environment.

A good answer should include:

  • Provide an example where your collaboration led to a successful project.
  • Emphasize clear communication, mutual respect, and understanding of different team members’ perspectives.
  • Showcase any tools or methodologies you used to maintain alignment across teams.
Sample Answer (STAR Method):

"During my previous employment, I was tasked with crafting the narrative for a critical product launch, collaborating with the design and marketing teams. We confronted the challenge by establishing consistent weekly meetings and utilizing a project management tool, which kept our workflows aligned and responsive to each other's feedback.

Our tightly-coordinated efforts paid off, leading to the launch of a cohesive and impactful content campaign. The campaign not only achieved visual appeal but also resonated with our target audience, receiving favorable feedback. 

This project reiterated the importance of regular communication and adaptability within a team setting, skills that I've honed and am excited to bring to future content creation initiatives."

4. Have you ever had to write content under strict guidelines or limitations (such as word count, topic sensitivity, etc.)? How did you manage to stay creative within these boundaries?

Working effectively within set parameters is a vital skill for a content writer. The interviewer wants to know if you can balance creativity with being concise, accurate, and adhering to client or company specifications.

A good answer should include:

  • Mention a specific instance where you successfully navigated such limitations.
  • Explain your thought process and creative approaches to meet these challenges.
  • Highlight how you delivered high-quality content despite the restrictions.
Sample Answer (STAR Method): 

"In one of my previous roles, I faced the challenge of writing a compelling article on a sensitive health topic with a strict word limit. To address this, I honed in on crafting a narrative that was both vivid and concise. 

I consulted with subject matter experts to ensure the content was accurate and reliable. The dedication to clear, precise language and emotional resonance resulted in an article that was highly praised for its informative and impactful delivery, all within the required word count. 

This experience taught me the value of strategic word choice and the importance of expert collaboration in creating content that informs and engages the audience efficiently."

5. Tell us about a time when you had to juggle multiple writing projects. How did you prioritize and manage your time effectively?

This question gauges your time management and organizational skills and how well you can handle a heavy workload without sacrificing the quality of your writing.

A good answer should include:

  • Describe the situation with an emphasis on how you prioritized tasks.
  • Talk about the tools or methods you used to keep track of deadlines and project stages.
  • Discuss how you ensured all projects were completed to a high standard and delivered on time.
Sample Answer (STAR Method):

"At my last job, there was a time when I was responsible for delivering three major content projects with tight and overlapping deadlines. To navigate this challenge, I prioritized the projects based on deadline proximity and complexity, and implemented a systematic approach using a digital calendar to allocate dedicated time for writing, editing, and researching.

My disciplined adherence to this schedule, coupled with regular updates to stakeholders on my progress, allowed me to effectively manage my workload. I successfully completed all projects on time, and the feedback I received highlighted the high quality and impact of my work. 

This experience honed my ability to effectively manage time-sensitive tasks and ensure a high standard of content delivery, a skill I'm eager to apply in future projects."

Other Behavioral-Based Questions:

  • Give an example of a time you had to adjust your writing style to suit a specific audience or type of content. What was the challenge, and how did you adapt?
  • Describe a situation where you had to develop innovative content ideas to engage your audience. What was your approach, and how was it received?
  • Can you give an example of how you’ve used audience feedback to improve your content or adjust your writing approach?
  • Have you ever had to manage a crisis related to content you produced (e.g., factual errors, unintended offense)? How did you handle it, and what steps did you take to rectify the situation?

Situational-Based Questions

1. Imagine the tone of your usual content needs to change due to a shift in the company’s branding approach. How do you transition your writing style to meet the new guidelines without alienating existing readers?

This question assesses an individual’s flexibility and ability to evolve creatively while maintaining a connection with the audience. It also evaluates the understanding of brand voice and customer engagement.

A good answer should include:

  • Show willingness to research and understand the new branding guidelines.
  • Emphasize the importance of gradually introducing changes.
  • Mention the value of maintaining core messaging that resonates with existing readers.
Sample Answer: 

"To transition my writing style without losing our reader base, I would start by studying the new branding guidelines in detail to ensure a complete understanding. I would then subtly begin incorporating the new tone into my content, making sure to explain any significant changes and why they’re happening to our readers. 

By maintaining key themes or ideas our audience loves, I can provide a sense of continuity while guiding them into the new brand experience.

2. Suppose you are asked to write for a brand with an established voice that is quite different from your writing style. How would you adapt your writing to maintain their brand voice?

This evaluates adaptability and the writer’s ability to capture and maintain a voice that is not their own, a crucial skill for a content writer working with diverse brands.

A good answer should include:

  • Emphasize the importance of deeply understanding the existing brand voice through research.
  • Discuss the role of practice in emulating the brand voice.
  • Mention the use of guidelines and templates to ensure consistency.
Sample Answer: 

"Adapting to a new brand voice involves thorough research and analysis of the existing content to understand tone, vocabulary, and style. I would practice by writing several pieces and comparing them with the established content to fine-tune my approach. Furthermore, I would use brand voice guidelines and seek feedback to ensure alignment with the established voice."

3. Imagine you’ve been tasked to write an instructional piece, but the provided material is highly technical and not user-friendly. How do you create a guide that is easy for non-experts to understand?

This question gauges a candidate’s ability to distill technical information for a general audience without losing the essence of the subject matter.

A good answer should include:

  • Highlight the importance of identifying key concepts and simplifying jargon.
  • Mention collaboration with technical experts for clarity.
  • Discuss the importance of using analogies and visual aids to simplify complex information.
Sample Answer: 

"To make technical material accessible, I’d begin by breaking down the information into fundamental concepts and translating technical terminology into everyday language. Consulting with subject matter experts to ensure accuracy would be crucial. Using relatable analogies and incorporating visuals like diagrams can also help convey complex ideas more clearly to non-experts."

4. How would you adapt your writing to stay relevant if you notice a sudden shift in industry trends that affects your current content strategy?

This reveals the candidate’s ability to remain current and agile in evolving market landscapes and how they can quickly pivot strategies to maintain engagement.

A good answer should include:

  • Express the need for continuous learning and staying abreast of industry changes.
  • Discuss the role of audience analysis in understanding changing preferences.
  • Emphasize the importance of flexibility in content planning to integrate new trends.
Sample Answer: 

"Upon noticing a shift in industry trends, I would begin by conducting thorough research to understand the change and its implications. I would then analyze audience responses to adapt our content strategy, keeping our approach relevant and engaging. A flexible content calendar is key, allowing for swift incorporation of emerging topics while still aligning with the overall content mission."

5. You are asked to repurpose an old but popular article for a current campaign. What would be your strategy to refresh the content while retaining its original appeal?

This seeks to measure a content writer’s creativity and strategic thinking in content repurposing to maximize the lifespan and effectiveness of existing materials.

A good answer should include:

  • Discuss updating of statistics, references, and graphical elements.
  • Mention how you could expand on popular aspects of the original content.
  • Highlight the need for the refreshed content to align with current objectives and audience preferences.
Sample Answer: 

"In repurposing the article, I would start by updating outdated information with current statistics and references. I would also identify the elements that made the original piece popular and focus on enhancing these features. 

The goal would be to maintain the core attraction while ensuring the refreshed article serves the objectives of the current campaign and resonates with the audience's present interests."

Other Situational Questions:

  • You’ve received feedback that an article you wrote did not resonate with the target audience. How would you approach revising the content?
  • Imagine you are working on a campaign that requires you to write for different platforms (social media, blog, email newsletters). How do you ensure consistency across all mediums while optimizing for each platform’s specific requirements?
  • If you were faced with a tight deadline for a complex writing task, what steps would you take to ensure timely and effective completion?

Organizational Fit Questions

1. What kind of company culture do you thrive in, and how does that compare with your understanding of our company culture?

This question helps determine whether a candidate will be comfortable and productive within the existing company environment. It reveals the candidate’s preferences in work atmosphere and their ability to adapt to the company’s established culture.

A good answer should include:

  • Articulate your preferred work environment clearly.
  • Show that you have researched and understood the company culture.
  • Highlight how your personal values align with the company’s values.
Sample Answer:

"I thrive in a culture that fosters creativity, continuous learning, and open communication. 

From my research and our discussions today, it seems that your organization values innovation, collaboration, and has a strong emphasis on quality, which aligns well with my professional values and work style. 

I appreciate that your team is encouraged to bring fresh ideas to the table, which would allow me to grow and contribute effectively."

2. Our content needs can vary widely. How do you feel about taking on different types of writing tasks or content projects beyond your usual scope?

This question aims to understand the candidate’s flexibility and willingness to expand their skill set. A diverse workload is common in content creation roles, so adaptability is key.

A good answer should include:

  • Express enthusiasm for a variety of writing challenges.
  • Give examples of how you have successfully managed diverse content tasks in the past.
  • Convey confidence in your ability to research and learn about new topics.
Sample Answer:

"I enjoy the challenge of tackling a wide range of content types as it not only keeps my workday interesting but also helps me to grow as a writer. In my last position, I often had to shift from writing blog posts to creating social media content to drafting white papers. Each task allowed me to develop a broader skill set. 

I particularly find that getting to know new subjects and industries is an exciting learning opportunity that enhances my versatility as a content creator."

3. As a content writer, you’ll be a voice for our company. How would you advocate for our brand and values through your writing?

This question assesses the candidate’s ability to internalize and convey the company’s brand identity and core values, which is crucial for maintaining a consistent and authentic voice across all content.

A good answer should include:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the company’s brand and values.
  • Mention how you would integrate and emphasize these elements in your writing.
  • Indicate your strategy for staying updated with company developments and industry trends.
Sample Answer:

"Firstly, I believe it is important to thoroughly understand the core principles and mission of your company. In my writing, I would carefully incorporate the brand's tone of voice and key messaging to ensure that every piece of content resonates with our target audience and reinforces our brand identity. 

I would stay aligned with company developments through regular communication with the marketing team and by keeping abreast of industry trends, allowing me to authentically advocate for our values in a way that's current and relevant. The goal in my content would always be to engage our audience while being truthful to our brand's ethos."

Other Organizational Fit Questions:

  • How important is the company’s brand voice to you when creating content, and how do you ensure your writing matches it?
  • How do your personal values align with our company’s values and mission? Can you give an example of how you’ve demonstrated similar values in a professional setting?
  • Can you describe your preferred work environment and how it aligns with our company’s culture?

Job Interview Tips

  • Before the interview, familiarize yourself with the company’s content. Understand their tone, style, and audience. Being able to discuss how your writing can align with their brand voice will demonstrate your adaptability and commitment.
  • Have a well-organized portfolio ready to showcase your best writing samples. Include a variety of styles and formats to show your versatility. Ensure it’s easily accessible, preferably in a digital format that you can share on the spot.
  • Be prepared to discuss SEO best practices and how you integrate them into your writing. Having examples where your content ranks well can be a strong selling point.
  • Demonstrate your understanding of content strategy. Be ready to discuss how you approach content planning, aligning with business goals, and measuring the success of your content.

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Brenda Calisaan is a psychology graduate who strongly desires to impact society positively. She aspires to spread awareness and knowledge about mental health, its importance, and its impact on individuals and society.

She also has a passion for working with children and hopes to dedicate her career to positively impacting their lives.

Outside of work, Brenda is an avid traveler and enjoys exploring new experiences. She is also a music enthusiast and loves to listen to a variety of genres. When she's not on the road or working, Brenda can often be found watching interesting YouTube videos, such as Ted-Ed content.