Landing Your Dream Job

by India Johnson

How you can win over your future boss and get that professional writing position

You’ve submitted your resume, received a call back from the company, and aced the initial phone screen. Now you have the face – to – face interview.

First, here are the top 10 interview questions for content writers. Familiarize yourself with these and develop solid answers.

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Preparing Writing Samples

More than likely, you will be required to submit a writing sample prior to the interview. When selecting your sample consider the following:

  • Ensure there are no grammar and/or spelling errors. Errors in your writing sample will prevent you from receiving a job offer.
  • Pick a sample that is relevant to the job you are applying for. For example, if you are applying for a Political Advocacy Writer position, submit your blog on the most recent presidential debate.
  • Do not submit documents with confidential information, or writing that was done by another author.
  • Submit a short, concise document. Keep it to one page. Anything longer probably won’t get read.
  • Provide context. Begin the writing sample with background information – when you wrote the article, what it is (blog, excerpt from a magazine, etc.), and how it is relevant to the position you applied for.

 

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Developing a Portfolio

In some instances, you may be required to submit a writing portfolio. This will provide your potential employer with a wide range of samples. Your goal is to impress, so only include your best samples. The following sites can help you build your portfolio:

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Basic Interview Advice

After you’ve submitted your writing sample and/or portfolio, it’s time to prepare for the in-person interview. Take a deep breath, relax, and follow these interview tips:

  • Learn about the company and position. Do research. Learn about upper management (LinkedIn is a great tool). Read about the projects the company has worked on. Carefully read the job description to familiarize yourself with the required responsibilities.
  • Prepare brief answers to typical interview questions. Your answers should be clear and concise. Typical interview questions include :
  • Tell me about yourself
  • Tell me about a recent project
  • What do you love most about writing?
  • Tell me about your writing process
  • What do you do in your free time?

 

  • Prepare questions for the interviewer. This shows your industry knowledge, and also it reminds them that they are being interviewed as well. You must decide if you want the position if it is offered. Typical questions to ask include:
  • What will a successful year look like for this position?
  • Why is the position open?
  • How do you train new writers?
  • When are you looking to make a hiring decision?

 

  • Arrive early. If you are not early than you are late. Don’t make a bad first impression
  • Dress Professionally. Here are some tips for what to wear for the job interview.
  • Take Notes. You may not remember everything that was discussed during the interview. Take brief notes for reminders once you get home
  • Send a ‘Thank You’ note. After the interview send an email or mail a note to thank the interviewer for their time.

Good luck with your job search.

Next week we will discuss how to make a good first impression at your new company.

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