When you get called in for an interview, you need to make sure your online and print portfolios are up to date, you need to make sure that your resume and references are current, and you need to be prepared to answer all kinds of challenging copywriting-specific questions.
In addition to the standard-issue job interview questions like “What’s your biggest flaw?” and “What are you looking for in your next job?” you’ll come across questions specifically geared to the creative and copywriting industries.
I’ll go over some of those questions here, plus add some thoughts about how you can craft your answer.
Portfolio-Specific Interview Questions
Let’s start with the portfolio questions. After you bring out your print portfolio to display your best work, you can expect questions like these:
– Which piece is your favorite and why?
Now, obviously, your favorite piece is entirely up to you, but make sure that the reasons behind why it’s your favorite convey something. “It’s my favorite because it’s so clever” isn’t nearly as impactful as “It’s my favorite because it’s written in a voice that was a slight departure from the client’s past pieces and it was wildly effective.”
– What work have you done that’s most similar to our work?
Before you go into an interview, you’ll want to do as much research on the company as possible and have a firm grasp on the kind of work that they’re doing, the clients they work with and the audiences they target. Choose a piece form your portfolio that relates as closely to these as possible.
– Which piece came out of your most challenging project?
What the interviewer is looking to get out of this question is 1) what you consider a “challenging project” and 2) how you deal with challenges. When you describe the project, you can feel free to convey that it was troublesome, but just make sure to convey that you had it all under control. You’re not afraid of challenging projects! They want to make sure that if a challenging project comes up, you won’t break down under the pressure. This is your chance to show them that you won’t.
Behavioral Interview Questions
On to the how-do-you-work, behavioral questions. Now that they’ve seen your portfolio and know you can write, they want to know what kind of a worker and team player you are.
– What are you looking for a in a creative director?
Unless your answer is something like “Someone who doesn’t care when I screw around at work,” you can’t really go wrong with this question. Be honest: Are you looking for a mentor? A champion? A tough-to-please but supportive guide? Now’s your chance to find out what kind of creative director this company has.
– How do you like to receive feedback on your work?
Again, this is to your own preference. Do you like to get it as soon as possible? Do you prefer to get it in writing? Or does the thrill of getting it in public motivate you to do your best?
– How do you prefer to collaborate with designers?
For this question, there’s one good answer, and that is: A lot. You like to collaborate with designers a lot. You like to work together in front of one screen, you like to concept together, you know that design and copy need to work closely together for a piece to be great. You prefer to work really closely with designers.
Your turn! What interesting questions have you gotten in interviews? Let us know in the comments below!
Got an interview coming up? Here’s more info to help: