One of the most exciting things about the dominance of the Internet as a communications tool in today’s world is the number of jobs that have been produced in the field of social media – jobs that weren’t even dreamed of a quarter of a century ago. Considered to be a subfield of public relations, the social media career track is rich in potential for those with strong writing, analytical, and communication skills.
While the interview questions asked for positions in social media vary depending on the type of the job and the company, there are a number of typical questions that you are likely to be asked. These questions include a combination of behavioral interview questions and questions that focus on your social media experience and ability to succeed on the job. Here's a list of some of the most common questions.
Personal Social Media Experience
- Which social media sites do you recommend for businesses? Why?
- What social sites do you use personally? Why?
- How does your personal social media presence impact your employer?
- What social media pages or profiles have you created and managed in the past?
- What conversation domains do you focus on?
- What is a limitation you experienced on a social media platform? How did you surpass it?
- What is your strategy for social media and content?
- What sites do you think the company should be on that we are not?
- How would you design an optimal social media experience for our customers/users?
- How do you use and leverage the benefits of both LinkedIn Groups and LinkedIn Pages?
- How do you measure the success of a social media strategy?
- How do you measure the ROI of a specific social media campaign?
- Do you have experience with Google Analytics?
- Does social media affect SEO? How?
- What social media monitoring, analytics, and publishing tools do you use?
- What type of experience did you have at your previous job with analytics, trends, etc., and how did you improve website traffic?
- How do you monitor trending topics?
- Who are the leading topic influencers in this industry?
- How do you stay current on all the shifts and innovations in social media?
- Are there any hot new social media platforms on the horizon we should be aware of?
- What innovative things are our competitors doing on social media?
- How do you energize the community?
- How would you handle user/customer complaints?
- How do you personalize a large-scale social presence?
- What’s the difference between targeted and large audiences? Which is better? Why?
- How do you monitor comments and brand mentions on social media sites?
- How do you identify brand advocates?
- How do you define engagement?
- What are you passionate about?
- How would you add value to our social media department?
- Which social media experts or influencers do you follow?
- How would you handle a crisis on social media?
- What are some of the most common “best practices” on social media?
- Which social media brand strategy has inspired you? Why?
Tips for Social Media Job Candidates
Before you even begin to apply for social media jobs, it’s essential to build a professional portfolio that you can use to demonstrate and “sell” your social media skills. And, unlike the traditional “physical” portfolios that graphic artists and others in creative fields bring in with them to personal interviews, yours by the very nature of the position will be both “virtual” and current – a list of social media sites where you have cultivated a very active presence, both for yourself and for any businesses you have worked for.
This means maintaining vigorous and dynamic conversations on as many of the social media platforms as you can – at least the “Top 3” (Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn), but also on established and emerging social channels like SnapChap, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, Yelp, and Foursquare.
Along with proof of your active engagement in these social media platforms, be prepared to list certifications or other evidence that you are adept in the “nuts and bolts” technical skills you will need to hit the ground running – for instance, software like Adobe Creative Suite, website development tools like WordPress, digital photography, video editing, and basic HTML.
Finally, research and anticipate the social media current capabilities of each employer to whom you apply so that you can build a convincing “sales pitch” in your interview of how you would carry their social media communications to the next level.