During an interview for a Social Media Manager or Social Media Specialist position, your potential employer will be looking to gain an understanding of your previous social media work, as well as your social media skills and knowledge. They will also be assessing whether you would fit in with their company culture.
Here are a few tips to help you prepare for a Social Media Manager or Social Media Specialist interview.
- Review the company’s work and social media: You have likely already researched the company to write your cover letter and resume. Now, you will want to take a deeper dive into their work and social media accounts. Some companies may ask you specific questions about how you would improve their presence on specific social media platforms. Be prepared with a few content or campaign ideas you would implement.
- Know your metrics: Companies are looking for results from their social media efforts. You may be asked to define key performance indicators and metrics for various platforms. You should also be ready to share your own results. Review your greatest social media successes and the quantifiable impact of your work.
- Brush up on your social media knowledge: Interviewers may ask you to explain social media strategies, tools, or concepts. Review your knowledge and research future social media trends.
- Practice answering questions: You won’t know exactly what questions you will be asked, so the best way to prepare is by practicing common Social Media Manager interview questions. Consider asking a friend or peer to do a mock interview with you.
To help you get ready for any social media interview, we have compiled a list of frequently asked interview questions for Social Media Managers and Social Media Specialists.
Employers will want to know more about your social media experience and expertise. They want a candidate who is knowledgeable about all things social media—and who can articulate their understanding.
Your answers should also indicate not only your expertise in digital marketing best practices but also your overall understanding of how they fit in with overall business goals and a broader marketing and communication strategy.
Questions you may be asked include:
How do you make something go viral?
No one has an exact formula for creating a viral video – but there’s a lot you can do to help make content more shareable. Explain to your hiring manager how important it is to release content at the right time for the target audience, how viral videos typically have a hook in the opening few seconds, and how you target relevant influencers to increase the potential spread of posts.
Tell me about SEO and its relationship with social media.
If you’re a candidate for a social media job, you’ve almost certainly worked within a larger digital marketing team at some point in your career, and you understand how the various components of a marketing campaign work together to boost businesses’ overall brands. Your answer should cover the interconnectivity of SEO and social, and talk about how creating social content that links to and from websites, incorporates valuable keywords, and is posted with a complete profile can help meet SEO goals and boost overall brand campaigns.
- What is social media marketing?
- How does social media benefit a business?
- What online communities have you managed in the past?
- Which social media channels do you recommend for our business and why?
- What are the relevant metrics for tracking ROI on social media?
- How do you deal with negative comments or a brand reputation crisis?
- How do you check and stay on top of the latest updates, innovations and new platforms in social media?
- Describe a campaign you’ve led in the past. What went well and what did you identify as needing improvement?
- What are different ways to measure social media success?
- How do you successfully foster an online community?
- What is a hashtag used for?
- Is there a time when you should not respond to a customer on social media?
- Explain how social media and SEO work together for a successful brand campaign.
- Which marketing metrics are the most important to track?
- What is the best time to post on social media?
Though it’s a marketing role and not highly technical, you can still expect interview questions that test your technical social media skills, including:
Which tools do you use to manage social media accounts?
Social media management tools can help you schedule content, analyze engagement, create compelling visual content, and conduct thorough social listening. Some of the industry-standard tools worth mentioning in a job interview include Hootsuite, Buffer, Later, and Sprout Social. Organizational platforms like Trello, Google Sheets, or Airtable often come in handy for social media experts, particularly as they coordinate with marketing, development, and PR teams. Familiarity with Google Analytics is also a must and is worth mentioning in your interview.
- What strategies would you use to generate leads?
- Imagine Google has just devalued an SEO technique you have used successfully in the past. What do you do?
- What would you improve about our current social media strategy?
- How would you track mentions of our brand online?
- How do you write compelling content for an industry you’re unfamiliar with?
- Do you feel it’s important to have a separate strategy for each social media platform? Why?
- What is your process for building social media platforms from scratch?
- Describe the process you use to create a social media calendar.
- How do you use social media as a tool for customer service?
- Say there is a crisis on one of our social media channels. How would you respond?
- Give me a couple of examples of social media experiments you’d like to run with our business.
- Tell me a story.
- How do you improve Facebook organic reach?
- How do you get more retweets?
- 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 ROI of a specific social media campaign?
As a Social Media Manager or Social Media Specialist, you will be representing the company’s brand, interacting with their customers, and working closely with other departments. Employers will want to make sure you have the right personality and passion for the role.
A few personal interview questions you may encounter are:
How would you handle a negative customer review or comment?
Your employer will be relying on you to be the first point of contact for the brand in many cases. How you handle criticisms from the community will be a crucial point in considering whether or not you’re the right candidate. You should emphasize how a negative review or comment is even more important to you than a positive one, and how you try to resolve any issues as quickly and transparently as possible. When that’s not an option, you take the conversation offline so you can find other ways to make sure they’re satisfied
- What is the most important thing a Social Media Manager or Social Media Specialist should be doing?
- Why should we hire you over someone else?
- Describe your working style.
- Why do you want to work here?
- Name three strengths and three weaknesses.
- What brands serve as your inspiration on social media?
- What do you love most about working in social media?
- How do you get inspired?
- Which social media experts or influencers do you follow?
- How would you handle a customer crisis on social media?
- How do we get our employees excited about engaging with and sharing our brand on social media?
A Social Media Specialist knows how to communicate with their team and lead marketing campaigns and projects. Be ready for interview questions that test essential leadership and communication skills.
Employers will want to know how you handle your social media management. Examples include:
Rate your communication skills on a scale of one to 10. Give examples of experiences that demonstrate the rating is accurate.
If you’re going to succeed in social, your communication skills should be at a 10. To really wow a hiring manager, try to find examples of your success across as many different types of communication as possible. Certainly, you will need to combine a flair for spotting eye-catching visuals with a gift for writing concise, memorable copy to succeed in these job roles, so find ways to show your multi-disciplinary skills in your answer.
- How would you communicate with the rest of the company?
- Explain something that is complicated but that you know well.
- Talk about a successful presentation you gave and why you think it did well.
- Describe your communication skills.
- What types of challenges do you face when explaining social media metrics to your clients? How do you make them easy to understand for non-technical people?
- Tell me about a time you took the lead on a team project. What was the outcome of the project?
- Tell me about a time your idea improved the company in some way. How did you make sure it was implemented?
- In what specific ways do you motivate your team?
Employers want to know how candidates reacted to situations in their previous jobs because they can reveal important skills and traits about the candidate. To successfully answer behavioral interview questions, describe a specific situation, the actions you took, and the outcomes you achieved.
A few examples of behavioral interview questions for social media roles are:
Can you describe your biggest social media failure?
Everyone makes mistakes – they’re just more public when it happens on social media. Whatever your answer, you should emphasize what you learned rather than focusing on the error itself. Maybe you were a minute too late to see the potential in a fast-rising platform, or you regret how you allocated your advertising dollars on a past campaign. Either way, show how you’ve learned from the mistake and clearly outline how you would handle such a situation in the future.
- What project or task would you consider as your most significant accomplishment in your career?
- Describe a time when you promoted products or services on social media. Did you spend advertising dollars on the campaign?
- Tell me about a social media campaign you worked on from start to end. What was the objective of the campaign, what strategy did you use and what were the results?
- Have you ever failed to convince a client to follow your suggested social media strategy?
- Tell me about how you worked effectively under pressure.
- Describe a decision you made that wasn’t popular, and explain how you handled implementing it.
- Give an example of how you worked on a team.
- What do you do if you disagree with someone at work?
Here are a few of the interview questions that top tech companies ask when interviewing a social media job candidate.
- Tell me about a project you were proud to work on.
- Tell me about specific campaigns you have scaled on social media and what the outcomes were.
- How would you use new social media platforms to reach specific target audiences?
- Tell me about your best collaboration experience.
- What do you do to stay motivated?
- How do you build relationships?
- What is one project you’re proud of?
- What is the biggest compliment you have received in your current role?
- Tell me about a time that you had a disagreement with your manager.
- What steps do you take to keep your skills current?
- Describe the project that you had the most trouble with. What would you have done differently?
- Give an example of how you set goals and achieve them.
- Tell me about a time when you solved a conflict at work.
- What do you do when the requirement from the stakeholder is vague?