1. Tell me what do you enjoy about writing?

☛ Why it's important to ask this: Content marketing is a lot more than writing; however, I consider this talent to be a foundational element of a superstar content marketer. You have to love what you do.
☛ What to look out for: Look for indicators that they have a passion for writing. Understand what drives their passion, what outlets they've used to express this passion, and what personal benefits they get out of creating content.

2. Do you know the difference between content and copy?

Copy is sales-oriented, while content is value-oriented. Copy is the stuff you'd find in a brochure, while content is what you'd find in a bona fide newsletter. A good writer should know the difference between the two.

3. Tell us about the best book you've read recently?

The best writers love to read, and not just blogs and e-zines. On my list of acceptable answers would be any marketing or general business book, as well as any book that shows your writer is a well-rounded individual.

4. Tell us how would you handle working with different clients?

Working with different clients often means having to change not only the topic of your work, but even the tone and style. This is where a very good writer is going to be your goal, and the research about the topic can be learned.

5. Explain how do you apply SEO best practices to your writing?

Savvy use of SEO best practices is vital if you want your company's content to be found online, so you want to hire a content marketing writer who understands and knows how to do SEO and do it well.

6. Explain me a situation in which you were given feedback on a content piece?

☛ Why it's important to ask this: I certainly want a content marketer to have an opinion about what works and what doesn't work. However, it's also important that they can accept critiques about their work and make changes as necessary.
☛ What to look out for: Understand what type of feedback they received, how it made them feel-and most importantly-what they did with that feedback.

7. Tell us how would you create content to appeal to our company's target audience?

The prospective writer's answer to this question will help you figure out how she thinks and whether her thinking will work well with your industry, your company and the type of content you want to create.

8. Tell me what different styles, tones and voices do you have experience writing in?

A key part of building a strong, cohesive brand is establishing a style, tone and voice for all of the content you create. Some good writers can write well in a variety of styles, while others are more limited. It doesn't matter which you hire, but you want someone who will be able to match the style, tone and voice you've decided on for your brand.

9. Tell me do you work well on your own, or do you prefer to work in groups?

For this job, it's important to be happy working alone and setting your own daily goals.

10. Please explain why did you choose content writing as a career?

This one is pretty easy. Because I always felt writing is in my bones J I am an Engineering graduate and understandably this was a standard question in all interviews. I gave the same reply in all interviews and it worked just fine.

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11. Tell me what process do you use when proofreading?

☛ Why it's important to ask this: I certainly want a content marketer to have an opinion about what works and what doesn't work. however, it's also important that they are able to accept critique about their work and make changes as necessary.
☛ What to look out for: Attention to to detail and an understanding of proper usage of the english language is key elements of quality content. (Did you catch the three mistakes?) Follow-up questions could include:
► What are some of your greatest “pet peeves” when editing someone else's writing?
► Which style guide(s) do you depend upon? See “Great Responses” in the Content Marketing Interview template.

12. Explain me where do you see yourself 5 years from now?

As a successful writer possessing wide experience and ability to consistently write high quality write-ups that are relevant yet simple to grasp. Anything you might want to add here.

13. Tell us which professional organizations do you belong to?

A good writer views his or her work as a business, one that is worth investing in-and part of that investment involves joining professional organizations. They offer the opportunity to keep up with trends, sharpen skills, and benefit from interaction with other professionals. And a good writer will find a way to come up with the annual dues.

14. Do you know how do you know if your content has performed well or not?

Mediocre Response:
☛ Usually I just know if it's done well or not.

Great Response:
☛ I look at Google Analytics after a few days to see how many page views it has received.
☛ I search on Google for the target keyword I was optimizing for to see if it ranked in the first page.
☛ I look at the Twitter counter on the post to see how many tweets cite this post.

15. Write a short article on the given topic (test)?

As a candidate for content writing job this small test is to be expected. But don't get nervous, remembering that you have written enough content previously (even if you have no formal work exp.) to write the small piece. Be cool and calm and take your time to write a good, simple, relevant article without any grammatical errors. Any error will definitely give a negative impression, so avoid it like plague.

16. Tell me how Do You Define a Credible Source?

Attention to detail is important in all endeavors, including content writing. While blatantly making up facts, figures or sources is an obvious no-no, a content writer should also be cognizant that not every source is as credible as the next. Looking over writing samples, are there links to credible sources (medical journals, direct quotes from experts, respected newspapers like the Wall Street Journal or New York Times, etc.), or are the links from user-contributed sites like Wikipedia where there is little to no oversight? Keep in mind that every word on your site is a reflection of you and your business, whether you wrote it or not.

17. Do you know what is proofreading process?

There's more to good proofreading than reading your content over and over again on the screen. A good writer will have a process (or several to choose from) for proofing each piece of content. Some of my tactics are reading the content out loud and reviewing a printed copy. Give bonus points if they mention my super-ninja trick for when it's gotta be perfect: reading it backwards.

18. Explain me what Ideas Do You Have For Our Blog?

Probably not the first question that comes to mind, but an important one nonetheless. The old adage goes that if you keep doing the same thing, you're bound to get the same results. There's a reason you're hiring someone else you want a different perspective, a different voice, right? This question can be answered by asking what blogs, books or magazines they read, who would play them in the movie version of their life, or what profession they would choose if they could start all over. You might be surprised by the answers, but what you're really looking for is to be entertained by their responses!

19. Explain what do you think about key word research?

This question is a bit tricky to get to know about the way the writer writes their content. Also you would come to know whether the writer is aware of the importance of using keywords. It would also help to know about the knowledge level of the writer especially the usage of appropriate words that is mostly in use. You would need to get them to speak about their examples and how they utilize their language skills. From such aspects it will help to know whether they are updating themselves.

20. Tell me do You Have a Strong Work Ethic?

The best content writer in the world is of no use to you and your business if they never submit their work to you! Some people might worry if a writer has a full-time job in addition to freelance writing gigs, but if the writer is skilled at time management or realistic in what they can and can't accomplish in the amount of time available, a full-time jobshouldn'tbe an issue. Instead, ask about theirprocess in completing jobs. Do they use the entire time available to them, or do they wait until the last few days to complete jobs. Have they ever turned work in late? If they have, did they let the client know ahead of time, or not?

21. Tell me what content marketing blogs do you read normally?

☛ Why it's important to ask this: Is the candidate really interested in content marketing? Do they take personal initiative to educate themselves and grow as a content marketer? Or will they only grow solely through your mentorship on the job?
☛ What to look out for: See if they mention specific blogs. If they just say, “you know, all of them,” or “the usual ones,” they are likely not reading any.

22. Explain me your Strong and Weak points?

Although this question is normally asked in a written submission but it's quite relevant as it can be used to convey a good impression when handled with tack. Obviously you will easily jot down your strong points like organic SEO writing, discipline, creativity, originality, consistency, team work and so on but what about the weak points. Aha..here lies the sticky point. Write the weak points in such a manner that they seem like your strong ones. For instance you may say/write that you are a stickler for deadlines, grammar, creativity and originality and so on. Just remember you should only convey such points which will either give a good or neutral impression and not any negative one.

23. Tell me how do you optimize your content for search?

A good content creator will be familiar with the basics of search engine optimization (SEO). Your ideal candidate will answer this question by describing how he or she (a) determines which keywords to focus on and (b) works those keywords into the content.

24. Tell us how do you kick off a project with a new client?

What you're looking for here is listening. A good content writer will spend time with the client to get a feel for the brand's personality as well as the needs of its target audience.

25. Explain me what steps do you take when you actually create your content?

Mediocre Responses:
☛ I write my blog post in Word and then post it when it's ready.

Great Responses:
☛ I write my blog post in Word, add hyperlinks to at least three other pieces of content on our site that we've published, and add at least one hyperlink to a third party resource.
☛ I ensure there's an associated featured image for the post by going to a stock image site.
☛ I always make sure there's a clear call to action at the end of each post.
☛ For quality control, I make sure at least one other person has proofread it before publishing.
☛ I optimize the title for a target keyword by looking at what terms people are searching for in Google.

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26. Tell us what do you know about Social Media Optimization (SMO)?

SMO is an upcoming and very exciting avenue for enhancing website popularity and traffic by harnessing the power of various social media like Twitter, Facebook, Digg, YouTube etc. Be prepared to suggest some ways to promote a product, service or website on Facebook and Twitter. So go sign into your Twitter and Facebook accounts and try out a few things to develop enough confidence in the field. Nowadays SMO is an expected skill for most content writers and SMO has blurred the distinction between SEO and content writing as both, Search Engine Optimizers and Content Writers dabble in the field. Check out my post on SMO tricks to get a better grasp of the subject.

27. Tell me what was/is the profile in your previous/present company?

This question is relevant only for candidates with previous content writing experience. If you have written on variety of topics then it will be definitely better than having written just one type of content as most companies want writers for all types of writing jobs and not just one or two. Still, hardcore technical writers will not be expected to have a wide writing range except for their own domain. For others it's advantageous to present yourself as generic content writer and not specialized unless the job demands so; for instance, travel writing job. Apart from the writing part also mention other associated responsibilities like, finding keywords, URL suggestion, title tags, page layout decisions, content selection, handling a team, editing etc.

28. Tell me please indicate how you went about the process to get such articles done?

It will help to know what techniques the writer has used and what were the various websites referred. Also it will tell whether the articles were thoroughly read through before writing. Getting to write the appropriate content for the subject requires a step by step process. Some articles are to be written in sequential way and from the writers perspective you would come to know about the way he/she underwent to get the desired content. This will help in making your selection of writers.

29. Do you know how do to decide what to content create?

Mediocre Responses:
☛ My manager tells me what I should write about and gives me an outline.
☛ I look at what's trending and pick an interesting topic.

Great Responses:
☛ I keep a backlog of keywords that people are searching for in Google related to my target topic, and create posts based on the backlog.
☛ I set up Google News alerts and a feed reader to look at which topics are trending in the news that relate to my topic area. I come up with spins on those topics to newsjack those stories.
☛ I regularly ask the sales team what questions their prospects are asking, and use the responses as fodder for my next post.

30. Explain me what are some good ways to get other people to link to your content?

► Why it's important to ask this: The candidate may understand Google ranks content based on inbound links, but they also need to know how to accumulate inbound links.
► What to look for: A good content marketer knows how to get links by producing great link worthy content, and promoting it in a clever manner. Here are some good responses to the questions:

☛ I interview influencers, not only because they have good things to say, but because they promote the resulting content to a large audience as well-and some of those people will end up linking back to my interview.
☛ I include content others can reuse. For example, I may create a quick infographic that other bloggers may want to curate or include in their own posts, with a link back to mine.
☛ I write long form content so I have the most comprehensive and authoritative post on a particular subject, which tempts others to link to me as the reference source.

31. Explain me what do you know about your target audience, and how do you really make sure you are leaving a lasting impression?

This is a tough question to answer, but most good candidates will explain that the target audience is typically small business marketing departments. This of course depends on the type of company that the candidate wrote for in the past (which might very well be slightly different than your current audience).

32. Role-specific News / Article Writers Interview Questions:

☛ Why do we invest in producing content that we give away for free?
☛ How do you think people discover our content?
☛ What's the importance of voice for a brand?
☛ How would you go about giving voice to a brand?
☛ If I told you you need to make 50 pieces of content per week what would you say?
☛ How many pieces of content do you think you could deliver in a week?
☛ How would you go about prioritizing one piece of content over another?
☛ What new content would you recommend for our marketing operation?
☛ How do you go about improving SEO for content?
☛ What's the value of an infographic?

33. Operational News / Article Writers Interview Questions:

☛ There can be a considerable amount of repetitive work - how would you stay motivated?
☛ How do you maintain attention to detail?
☛ How do you approach proof-reading material?
☛ What would you expect from us as your employer to keep you motivated?
☛ Tell us how your background and experience makes you a fit for this role?
☛ What do you know about this company?
☛ Who are our customers are and where are they located?
☛ Where would you ideally see yourself a year from now and in three years from now?

34. Technical News / Article Writers Interview Questions:

☛ Challenges faced during information gathering?
☛ List of publication tools you have worked?
☛ Different between Ms Word and Framemaker?
☛ Different between Structured Framemaker and Unstructured Framemaker?
☛ Different between XML and HTML?
☛ Can you explain me the process involved in DDLC?
☛ Can you explain me the process involved in SDLC?
☛ How do DDLC and SDLC work parallel?
☛ How do you estimate time for documentation?
☛ What is topic based authoring?
☛ How do you interview SME's?
☛ Challenges faced during interviewing SME's?
☛ Have you worked on UML? or What is UML (Unified Modeling Language)?
☛ Have you worked on Video Editing? (Ex: Camtasia)
☛ Could you show me your sample documents?
☛ Different between active voice and passive voice?
☛ Different between which and that?
☛ Different between its and it's?
☛ Different between there and their?
☛ Types of clauses? What is restrictive clause and non-restrictive clause?
☛ Types of commas?
☛ What do you mean by callout?
☛ What process do you follow for translation?
☛ Overview on Robohelp and MS Word?
☛ What is text conditioning?
☛ Review process involved in technical writing?
☛ Different between User Manual and User Guide?
☛ Have you worked on API documentation? (Only asked, if the project is related to API Documentation).
☛ Have you published any article?
☛ When do we use Organise and Organize?
☛ Different between your and you're?

35. General News / Article Writers Interview Questions:

☛ Can you please walk me thru your CV? (The interviewer can interrupt you, and ask you the question based on the information provided on your CV).
☛ Can you tell me about yourself?
☛ Why did you choose technical writing as your career?
☛ Have you done any certification course?
☛ What are the challenges faced by technical writer?
☛ Can you explain me the workflow of your current organization?
☛ What made you to hunt for a new job?
☛ Are you comfortable working extra hours?
☛ What are your achievement as a tech writer in your present organization?
☛ How will you add value to our organization?
☛ Different between CV and Resume?

36. Explain how do you manage deadlines or priorities?

If we are looking to get contents that are really eye catching and attractive then you would need to know the mind-set of the writer. Writers do like to allow their thoughts flow like river. But if there is a boulder on the way the water gets stagnated and moves slowly. So does the creative thoughts. Hence, by getting to know on how much time the writer needs to get contents that are relevant and catchy, you would be able to know whether he/she would be suited to your business. As the type of contents varies so do the type of writers. So you would need to decide on which topic for which type of writer and allocate accordingly. Some writers do need to spend some time while some are able to write depending on their skill. If the writer requires time to write quality contents its best to provide ample time. Writers do indicate their priorities and also how they meet the deadlines. Being a little flexible is best solution to get articles that will be of good quality.

37. Tell me what makes content “successful”?

☛ Why it's important to ask this: In order to create great content, you have to know how to discern which content is doing well in the first place.
☛ What to look out for: There are many answers to this question, so this helps tease out what type of content marketer the candidate is. Here are some possible answers:

☆ “Traffic”
☆ “Repeat visitors”
☆ “Retweets and likes”
☆ “Search engine ranking”
☆ “Comments”
☆ “Leads and sales”
☆ “It depends”
☆ The more they name off and can sensibly explain the importance of, the better.

38. Tell me do you have any background knowledge working with ____ or related topics? If so, how do you continue to make sure you are creative and not regurgitating the same information as other blogs out there?

I typically go around to different blogs to find a topic, and then I take that topic and find a bunch of articles regarding that topic. I try to take bits and pieces of each, and the majority of the time a new angle or opinion will come to me through all of the research.

39. How to produce an original writing sample?

☛ Why it's important to ask this: Many candidates may come in with writing samples from the past, but they may not accurately reflect the candidate's capabilities. For example, the sample may have been proofed by a manager. Furthermore, it doesn't accurately assess whether the candidate can create content that relates to your specific industry and topics.
☛ What to look for: I typically ask candidates to download one of our eBooks and summarize them in a 400 word blog post to bring to the second round interview. Things I look for from the resulting sample are:
★ Grammar, spelling, and attention to detail. Did they care enough about the job to proofread the post?
★ Title of the post. Did they come up with a creative title for the post? Is it SEO optimized? Or did they just copy the title of the eBook?
★ Call to Action. Did they include a call to action to the full eBook at the end of the post?
★ Paragraphs and structure. Is the post quickly skimmable? Or is it a wall of words?

Similar to interviews for other positions where candidates are asked riddles, the candidate may not use these skills every day on the job, but all of the above interview questions help tease out if they are cut out to be a well rounded content marketer.

40. Explain what types of social networking techniques do you use to make sure your content is always earning visibility?

This is a great opportunity for the candidate to talk about Google+ and the importance of Google+. This network is only going to get more important as Google begins to alter SERPs based on connections and shares, and this is something a writer should be aware of when it comes time to get involved with authorship and social sharing.

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41. Explain me an example of a time you disagreed with a boss or a client about a writing assignment and how you handled the situation?

When you're hiring a skilled content marketing writer, you want to get the most out of the money you're paying for his expertise. While you want someone who can take and make good use of your feedback, you don't want someone who will stay silent when you're guiding him in the wrong direction. You should look for a writer who is able to disagree respectfully and effectively communicate his expertise to you.

42. Explain do you prefer to work with your own ideas based on the assignments or couple up with those situations?

This will help to know whether the writer is having ideas to incorporate and bring out new thoughts. Based on the skill or talent you would need to know how you hire another writer who would be supportive. Or if the writer is happy to write contents on the subject being given, then you would need to make choice based on the type of work assignments or type of work to be executed example whether marketing or web site contents. Some writers do have lot of ideas and thoughts but they may not know what is the requirement in the market and will be willing to adapt themselves. Such writers are sometimes preferred as they will be willing to change according to the situation and write contents to suit the trend.

43. Explain me some reference of your previous work?

Keep in handy a pen drive containing your best write ups. Yes, you need to be selective; we all know the nonsense we write in the early days of our content writing career and even when we just don't feel like proof reading some write up, so skip such stuff. It's always advisable to show a wide variety of write-ups like blogs, articles, home page and on different topics. Also if the write-up is under your name it's even better for sake of authenticity. But as we know copywriting signifies that the identity of the actual writer is not disclosed so I'll suggest another way to prove your credentials. Post some articles on varied topics like technology, travel, tourism etc on article submission sites like Hubpages, Ezine, Buksia and so on. I did that and it paid off in a big way. Writers looking for a career in web journalism should have posted related articles on some online magazines or current affairs sites.

44. Tell us what operating systems and programs do you use?

True story: On two occasions at my last corporate job, we hired writers who showed up on their first day, took one look at their computers, and said, “Oh, you use PCs.” Yep, they'd only ever used Macs. Each assured us it wouldn't be a problem, but … yeah, it was. So if you're hiring a content creator to work on-site with your team, make sure he or she is hip to the program-literally.

45. Explain me an example of feedback you've received on a writing assignment and tell me about how you incorporated that feedback in future work?

Creating content for marketing purposes requires a collaborative effort. You want a content marketing writer who is open to receiving feedback - both positive and negative - on their work, and who is willing and able to incorporate that feedback into their future writing efforts. A writer who gets defensive or isn't open to suggestions will just cause you headaches.

46. Tell me what are your different writing styles and what tones of writing do you have experience with?

This question would help to get in contact with writers who are well versed in writing different styles. When we say style, it means the way the writer writes and the technique the writer uses mainly the word choice, the syntax, the tone. Sometimes, it is also considered as voice that readers listen when they read the content work. Get to know whether the writer uses descriptive style, narrative style, argumentative style or persuasive style. From that you would get to know how they put use of their words, structure their sentence, whether logics are used. Each writer creates their own niche.

47. Tell me what are the type of articles you have written? Please provide samples of at least 2 of your best?

From this question you would be able to judge the type of articles that they are ‘interested' to write. Then you would be able to allocate specific contents to such persons depending on their interests. But sometimes, there are writers who do manage to write a variety of topics. This would mean that they have habit of reading and gathering information. Based on the type of contents that you are interested to display, you need to be careful in selecting writers. By reading the articles you would be getting to know on how much depth they are involved in the related subject. Besides, getting writers for writing technical related subjects needs to be based on their technical writing skills and their education qualification.

48. Tell me have you ever contributed guest content to a website in the past? If so, what was your process for pitching? How did you find new editors to work with? In other words, how do you analyze the sites you choose to write for?

A good answer would be something about taking time to get to know the site by commenting and sharing content, and then sending a pitch complete with sample articles for the editor to check out. A great way to find new sites is to continually keep up with social media and check out the sites that your connections are associated with. Understanding PageRank is also a plus.

49. Explain me which of your writing samples is most heavily edited and which is most lightly edited?

This will help you get a better idea of the quality of the writer's raw work. Every writer needs some editing, but you want to find a content marketing writer whose work will need as little editing as possible. The less time and money you spend on editing, the better.

50. Explain me a specific example of content you created that entertained and/or educated your readers?

☛ Why it's important to ask this: Content marketing is about adding value to your readers, such as providing an infographic that educates about their industry, or creating an entertaining video that helps them with their job or career. Your team needs to create content that provides entertainment such as through story-telling or comedy in order to stand out from the crowd, and to capture and sustain their attention.
☛ What to look out for: Look for examples of their content that told a story, used humor, and/or educated their audience about something other than a company's products. Bonus points if the candidate has delivered more unique formats of content, such as infographics, podcasts or interactive content. Ask for examples of where they've used visual content, including why they were or weren't successful.

51. Tell me what sort of social media tools do you utilize to get help for content writing?

Most of the writers do use the common social media tools to get help with writing. Each writer would have specific flair for topics of their interest. Those writers would have books or magazines related to the topic. There could be some who are tech savvy and depending on the type of articles they would know where to get access to reference subjects. This question will allow you to know whether he/she will be referring to the right site or will be able to bring out genuine or relevant contents. You could also make sure of their capability to handle topics assigned.

52. First of all tell me something about yourself?

This is the most common interview question which will almost certainly be asked to any candidate. While it seems a pretty straightforward question many find it the toughest as it's quite open ended and people fumble when required to speak about themselves rather than about their work and/or skills. But fear not friends. The question is asked merely to know more about your personality than actually seeking your personal details. The best way to approach this question is to start with your high school, go up to graduation/post graduation and move towards your work experience. If the interviewer seeks family details only then you should provide it, otherwise it's not necessary.

53. Explain me what type of audiences have you been involved with or associated with?

Many writers keep in mind their certain set of target audience to get to write their content. Having being exposed to variety of audiences will help one to know how to manage writing articles. Certain set of audience require little more explanation while certain set of audience who are professional will be conversing in professional level. Some may be targeting younger age groups, while some middle age groups. Some target college graduates, while some working professionals or those seeking career changes. Be it for marketing or for blog, each writers has their own style of writing which is unique to them. Hence, take care to select writers on the type of contents.

54. Can you please walk me through how you create a blog post?

☛ Why it's important to ask this: This is a good question to tease out which parts of the content lifecycle the candidate is familiar with. Do they only have experience with copywriting, or can they come up with blog ideas themselves? Do they stop at writing the blog post, or do they keep promotion on social media in mind as well?
☛ What to look out for: You should look for a response that captures the whole process from start to finish, from ideation to production to distribution to analytics. A great answer will include specific tools and details. Here's an example of great and mediocre responses.

55. Explain me how does Google rank content?

☛ Why it's important to ask this: I am always surprised by how few marketers at any level understand how Google really ranks content. Though you're not interviewing for an SEO position, content marketing is intrinsically tied to search engine optimization; everyone should know the basics when creating content.
☛ What to look for: You don't need a candidate to know the PageRank formula, but rather the basic premise behind Google's ranking algorithm, along with other auxiliary factors that help with SEO. For example, many naive marketers think Google ranks content largely on meta tags and keyword stuffing. In reality, Google primarily ranks content on inbound links, and the authority of the sites doing the linking. It's a bonus if a candidate can mention other contributing factors such as the text of the hyperlink, the title tag, keywords in the URL, and others.

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56. Tell me how Comfortable Are You With SEO or Social Media?

Depending on your specific needs, you want to make sure your content writer can get you the results you're looking for. If you need someone with advanced SEO skills, or a social media guru, make sure they have these skills before work is done. If you want your content to go viral, make sure the writer has a large Twitter following and knows how to generate buzz for your site or business. Ask to see successful stats from the writer's previous clients. With Google changing search algorithms often, it's helpful to have a content writer familiar with the Google SEO Initiate. If the writer's still using old ways to build links, this could hurt you instead of help.

57. Tell me do you use any tools or specific strategies when writing?

There are tons and tons of different tools that a writer can use. Mentioning any sort of social tools for promotion (Buffer, SocialBro, etc.) is a great way to show that he/she understands the industry. Any talk of using analytics and analyzing CTR is also a great (and fairly advanced) answer. This is one of those questions that you'll have a good feeling about right when it is answered.

58. Can you describe the difference between “there,” “their,” and “they're?”?

Yes, it sounds asinine. But I see this mistake All. The. Time. And I know at least some of those errors are the work of allegedly professional content creators. A good writer knows that a spellcheck program can only get you so far.

59. Tell me do you work best when you come up with your own ideas, when you're given specific assignments or in a mix of those situations?

The answer here should jive with the sort of working relationship your marketing team wants to have with its content marketing writer. If you want to be the ones coming up with ideas, then you need a writer who is happy to take assignments as they come. If you don't have the time or inclination to come up with ideas, then you need a writer who is happy to take on that task. When there is a mismatch here, it will cause frustration on both ends of the working relationship.

60. Explain me about the process you went through to create this piece?

As you look through a prospective writer's “clips” or writing samples, select one to ask about in detail during the interview. The goal is to get an idea of how they go about getting to the final product.

61. Tell me what ideas do you have?

Probably not the first question that comes to mind, but an important one nonetheless. The old saying goes that if you keep doing the same thing, you're bound to get the same results. There's a reason you're hiring someone else: you want a different perspective, a different voice, right?
This question can be answered by asking what blogs, books or magazines they read, who would play them in the movie version of their life or what profession they would choose if they could start all over. You might be surprised by the answers, but what you're really looking for is to be entertained by their responses and understand their personality.

62. Tell me are You Comfortable in Your Writing Skills?

This is perhaps the most important question, because if their writing skills aren't up to snuff, your content writer might succeed in driving people away from your site, not to it. While reading previous work will give you great insight into their writing level (they need to know the difference between “there,” “they're” and “their,” for one thing), also ask questions specific to online writing, such as Can you explain technical content without using meaningless buzzwords?

63. Tell me after you have published your content, how do you promote it?

Mediocre Responses:
☛ I publish my content on WordPress, and then tweet it out as well.

Great Responses:
☛ I publish the post on our blog using WordPress.
☛ I then schedule a minimum of four tweets at different times of the day in HootSuite.
☛ I email coworkers to retweet and share my post as well.
☛ I ask the demand generation team to include it in the next email newsletter to our database.

64. Tell us how do you decide which content topics to focus on and what format that content should take?

☛ Why it's important to ask this: What drives a person to invest their time and effort into creating content? Is it anecdotal insight such as a hallway conversation with a sales person-which may be a good place to begin investigating an idea, but not the final driver for its execution? Or is creation more data-driven, such as through Google Analytics or insight from a content marketing platform?
☛ What to look out for: Be wary if your candidate indicates their past content development was primarily driven by what their boss told them to write about; or they have no understanding of what goes into content strategy. A follow-up question could be: “Describe your company's content strategy, including key steps in its development.”

65. Explain me how you determined the style, tone, and voice for a specific piece of content you recently completed?

☛ Why it's important to ask this: Your content marketer will need to express a unique voice and opinion in their work. However, they also need to adapt their own style as a function of your company's needs, the audience, format of the content, person they're writing for, and so on.
☛ What to look out for: Look and ask for specific examples of how they modified their style, as well as asking them to identify why this is important.

66. Tell us have you been given feedback on your writing assignment and how have you reciprocated in your work?

While making selection for skilled writer, you would be willing to have someone in your team who takes feedback in a positive way. As most of the content work is a collaborative work, making the right changes to the content is based on way the writers incorporate the feedback into the articles. A writer who defends their work or not open to suggestions would be difficult to handle as it would cause lot of headaches. Especially when you are looking for content writers for marketing purpose you would need to be careful in hiring the right candidates. They need to be open to suggestions and positive in their approach, willing to make changes as per needs.

67. Please provide your resume and qualifications details?

It is imperative to know about the basic qualification of the person you intend to hire. If he/she is a graduate in English literature don't be too happy about it because they might not be able to write creative contents. Read through their resume and find out if they have been involved in writing or editing their work related documents. Sometimes this skill will help to know that they would be accurate in pinpointing grammatical errors. Besides, they would have an eye for reading each sentence word by word. Anyway, it is best if the writer is a graduate and has worked for few years.

68. Tell us do you know something about Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?

Although content writers aren't supposed to know much about SEO but if they do it's a added bonus because writing and SEO go hand-in-hand and website popularity depends on the right balance between the two and not just one of them. Obviously if you have mentioned SEO as one of your skills then be prepared for some searching SEO questions from the interviewer. Even if you mention SEO as a separate skill as distinct from SEO content writing, mention it after your writing skill and not before that. But handle all SEO related questions with tact. If the interviewer just has some basic SEO knowledge then you can convince him/her quite easily by talking about on-page and off-page optimization but if the interviewer has in depth knowledge then you will need more than just SEO basics. So it's advisable to state upfront your comfort level with all things SEO.