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How to Interview a Copywriter

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In today’s highly competitive business world, a skilled copywriter can serve as an invaluable resource when it comes to giving voice to your company, along with the services and products offered. One reason for this is that the creation of original content, direct emails, and informational blog posts can help to inspire your target audience to take the next action needed to move further down your sales funnel. 

You also have to keep in mind that the difference between employing a good copywriter and a great one will more than likely determine how much traffic is directed to your company website and business products. 

In order to hire the best candidate for your team, here are some good questions to ask during copywriter interviews.

1. What Can You Say or Tell Me About Your Company?

Even though this may seem like a standard interview question, it is still highly important that you do not fail to ask the candidate about their company or freelance copywriting work. It will not only allow you to gauge their interest in the position you are offering, but will also provide you with clues on what sort of copywriter they are. Ask them for a portfolio of their previous work to view. A freelance copywriter’s website will often have past client testimonials for you to look over, so always ask if they have one. 

2. Are You Familiar With the Industry?

As an employer, you need to find out whether the candidate you are interviewing is familiar with the industry you’re working in, so they can get down to writing content, rather than needing to spend hours researching. A copywriter who is knowledgeable about your niche will produce much higher quality content than one who only vaguely so.

3. Are You Familiar With Our Blog or Website?

You will need to ascertain if the candidate has taken time to familiarize themselves with your company’s website, blogs, and any other important content. Have they also checked out some of your competitors and the kind of online content they regularly produce? 

Knowing the answers to these questions will give you an idea of whether he or she stays up-to-date with the latest industry content. You can even use their answers as a benchmark to explain the quality and style of the content you expect them to create. Along with what they should avoid. 

4. How Do You Optimize Your Content for SEO?

Since your content will be primarily published on online platforms, you will want to hire an individual who knows and understands how to effectively maximize SEO with the use of meta descriptions, long-tail keywords, image alt text, and reputable links. 

Even if the candidate you pick happens to be lagging in SEO but is almost perfect in all other areas, you can always train them on the right SEO techniques. You can even go deeper and inquire if the candidate has ever used any SEO tools, which are not quite common in the world of content creation. This will greatly determine what a copywriter can do for you and what, if any, training they might need.

5. How Are You With Deadlines?

In order for you to maintain a consistent content creation schedule, there will be instances where your copywriter will have to meet tight deadlines. As a result, you need to know whether they can deliver quality work in due time, especially when they are under pressure. 

You can also ask them to tell you of instances in the past when they have had to work in high-pressure writing situations. Try to establish if they rose to the occasion or simply crumbled. 

6. Can You Follow Instructions from a Content Brief?  

In case you already have an idea of the kind of style and message you want your content to convey, it will be important that the copywriter you hire is able to follow your instructions without many issues. If they are used to working independently and know how to follow instructions from a content brief, you will be able to rely on them to come up with content that is in line with your business goals. 

However, it is equally important that your copywriter be self-sufficient. There shouldn’t be too much hand holding required. They simply need to be able to follow your instructions. In addition, they should be independent enough to offer insight whenever they see something that can be improved or they have original ideas for future content. 

7.  Can You Do a Test Assignment?

When interviewing a potential copywriter, it is important to remember that it is like an audition, and you therefore need to see some preview of the work they will eventually do for your company. As a result, do not hesitate to give them a writing assignment. 

The only thing you should avoid doing is having them sit down in front of a computer at your office and stand over them as they type. Instead, give them a writing assignment and set an appropriate deadline. This will allow them to do any necessary research and give them some time to think of different topics or approaches to a topic. 

But it should go without saying that you cannot publish any written work that was submitted by the candidate as part of the interview process without their knowledge and permission.

The main point of the assignment is to determine their strengths and weaknesses in terms of the job you want to give them. For that reason, you might want to assign a test topic that has been previously covered. This will give you something to compare the content they produce against.

In Conclusion

Finding the right copywriter has become a major challenge for organizations today. This is because almost every company operating in the market needs writers who are capable of creating high quality content that can adequately compel readers to actually make a purchase. These writers also need to write blogs, landing pages, social media posts, website content and promotional emails without compromising the quality of their work. 

So, regardless of whether you are looking to create content in-house or plan to seek the services of a third-party, you will still need to make sure that whichever person you pick is right for the copywriting job and will help promote your business. 

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