The success of any social media strategy is based on analytical data and results, so to prove that you have what it takes to bag the job, you're going to need to know a lot more than the ability to post on social channels like Facebook and Twitter.
Within your interview, you should be able to explain what scheduling tools you've used in the past and how you've created and tracked the success of your strategy. So, if you're wondering just how you can do that – you've come to the right place!
Here we will walk you through the most common social media interview questions and how to answer them.
1. 'What social media tools do you use?'
To understand what your knowledge is of social media marketing, hiring managers will likely ask you this question. If answered correctly, you'll prove that you've got the knowledge and experience that's needed to succeed in this role.
To successfully tackle this question, list the tools that you've used in the past and what you've used them for. For example, you can explain that you use Hootsuite to schedule posts and Keyhole to identify hashtags and find trends.
Don't be afraid to discuss tools that you haven't been happy with, too. It'll spark conversation and prove that you have plenty of experience in this role.
2. 'What metrics do you use to measure the success of your social campaigns?'
Posting on social media is one thing but measuring the success of your efforts is a whole other story. To ensure that you know how to analyse social media campaigns, recruiters typically ask this question.
So, when answering, be sure to explain how you measure engagement and leads. Whether it's analytics on YouTube, insights on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter or a third-party tool, explain how you monitor the success of your hard work in detail.
3. 'What do you like most about working with social media?'
Avoid the faux pas of saying that you enjoy being on Instagram all day and give a detailed answer of why you're drawn to the profession. You most likely started off working within a marketing role before progressing to this position, so explain how that transpired.
Think about what has drawn you to the role; do you like creating short-form content and get excited about collaborating with other brands and influencers? If yes, then explain this when answering and give a detailed example of a past work experience that made you really love your job.
4. 'How do you get inspired?'
When posting on the same channel for months on end, one can quickly lose inspiration and run out of things that they want to say, without repeating themselves. Therefore, a good social media manager needs to be creative and inspired to try new things and stay informed about recent trends.
So, when answering this question, be honest about what keeps you inspired. There's no right or wrong answer here; a competitor's page could bring you new inspiration, or a scene from a movie or book.
There are thousands of ways to get inspired, so list a few to keep your answer short and concise.
5. 'What do you think of our social media efforts, and what would you suggest to improve them?'
Before you interview with a company, it's essential that you check out their social channels in detail. I've interviewed countless candidates who didn't actually take the time to review the organisation's work, and as you can imagine – they failed to secure the job.
Make a list of improvements that you'd make when preparing for your interview and be sure to clearly explain your reasoning behind them when answering the question – make sure to give constructive feedback, without tearing apart the entire current social strategy.
6. 'What channels do you think are most relevant to our business?'
Your answer to this question will prove whether you have the industry knowledge and can differentiate the use and purpose of each individual social platform. The answer will obviously depend on the business and their needs.
Analyse the business in detail and identify who is their target audience and where they are hanging out. For example, if you're interviewing for a makeup brand, Instagram and YouTube will be at the forefront of the company's social strategy.
7. 'Tell me about a successful social media campaign that you were involved in.'
Since you'll be responsible for devising and executing the social media campaign, the hiring manager will want solid proof of prior achievements.
Answer this question by giving insights into how you have approached similar tasks in the past, set new goals and measured your results.
If the results didn't meet your expectations, however, explain what you learnt from it and how you would use this information to improve future campaigns.
8. 'How would you handle a crisis on one of your channels?'
Regardless of the company's success, there's bound to be at least a handful of people who will take to social media to slate the brand. So, not only do you have to be good at managing the account, but you also need excellent customer service skills to defuse any bad situations.
If you haven't had to deal with conflict on a social channel before, walk the hiring manager through the steps that you would take in a hypothetical scenario.
For example, you could say that in the case a former customer complained about the company's products or services, you would acknowledge and respond to the complaint while passing the matter on to the sales team to look into the matter further.
9. 'What brands serve as your inspiration on social media?'
This question is usually asked to see if you have a genuine interest in the industry or are simply looking for a role to get you by. For example, if you're interviewing for a role in the fashion industry, then you could use Calvin Klein or JACQUEMUS as your inspiration. Brands which are always creating unique campaigns that create user-generated content – a unique way of pushing brand awareness and obtaining free advertising.
Therefore, thorough research is essential when preparing for your interview to identify industry-leaders that you can learn from and use for inspiration if you get offered the job.
10. 'How would you track mentions of our brand online?'
As mentioned above, posting and engaging with other accounts isn't enough when working with social media. You must be able to track when anyone on the web is talking about the brand. Luckily, there's plenty of tools that do the work for you, so you don't have to spend hours manually surfing the web and documenting each link.
A great tool to use is Mention.com or AgoraPulse – they both monitor mentions on the web and social media. Your job is to know what keywords to look for. In addition, a simple Google Alert will bring specific keyword mentions directly into your inbox.
How you respond to these 10 questions could determine your interview success. With proper preparation, there should be nothing else standing in your way!
Have you ever encountered any other social media questions during an interview? Let us know what it was in the comments section below!
This article is an updated version of an earlier article originally published on 30 October 2014.