Are you looking to excel in the dynamic world of communications? Whether you’re a seasoned professional or a fresh graduate eager to kickstart your career, use this resource to prepare for questions you may be asked when interviewing for roles. You want to highlight your strong communication skills, such as public speaking, writing, and interpersonal abilities to help you stand out from the crowd. By delving into these carefully curated questions, you’ll gain invaluable insights and be better prepared to showcase your expertise and passion.
This guide provides a list of sample interview questions and tips on building your responses to common interview questions in the communications hiring process.
Interview questions by category
We have categorized the interview questions into three sections. Feel free to read straight through or jump to the sections that interest you most.
Tell me about yourself.
Give a snapshot of your work history. Think about your:
- Past — previous experience and education
- Present — your current job and how it’s preparing you for this role
- Future — why you want the job you’re interviewing for
Your snapshot should show the interviewer how your experiences equip you with the skills to succeed at their company and why you are interested in the specific role.
What are your greatest strengths and weaknesses as a communications professional?
Consider the job description and the required skills in the posting, and align your answer with a skill you’ve mastered. Discuss your areas of expertise and how they will benefit the organization, team, or position. For weaknesses, discuss areas for improvement and what you’re actively doing to improve those skills. Do not cite necessary skills for this position as weaknesses.
Why do you want this job?
Demonstrate that you’ve researched the company, and express what you like about it and why your skills would be a good fit for the job. What about the organization’s mission, values, and population do you identify with? Explain how the role will contribute to your career progression and what you can contribute to the team. What about the communications profession excites you? Keep your reply high-level, specific, and not overly personal. Be specific and enthusiastic about potentially working for the company.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
This question is designed to probe your career goals and vision. First, tell your interviewer about your career aspirations and ambitions. Then, express your desire to succeed and explain how this job will contribute to your progress. Use this question to show that you are goal-oriented and have a plan to achieve your goals.
What are your salary expectations?
Prepare thoroughly for this question and start by reviewing the Salary negotiation guide. Research salary ranges for this particular job, this industry, and your geographic area using websites like Payscale.com or Salary.com. The interviewer wants to know how you value yourself. To avoid leaving money on the table, ask how the interviewer values the role before stating your expectations. Aim high but within the range you’ve researched, and be prepared to provide examples of why you’re worth the salary you cite.
Do you have any questions for me?
Interviewers often ask this question to gauge your interest and to see if you’ve researched the company. Prepare a few questions in advance, but keep in mind that your questions may be answered during the interview. To show you’re engaged with the interview process, prepare questions related to work, company culture, or day-to-day responsibilities of the job.
Why did you choose to go into communications?
This is the time to tell your narrative and explain your reasons for choosing communications. Instead of attempting to highlight every good reason and story of your “why,” dive deep and reflect on 2-3 talking points that summarize your story. Answers may include an anecdote, a career pivot, or a brief snapshot of how you’ve evolved in the communications industry if you’ve been in the field for some time. Remember, this is an opportunity to showcase your storytelling skills as you share your own perspective.
I chose to pursue a career in communications because I have always been fascinated by the power of effective communication to connect people, shape opinions, and drive positive change. The ability to craft compelling messages, engage diverse audiences, and influence perceptions drew me towards this field. Additionally, I am energized by the fast-paced nature of the communications industry and its ever-evolving landscape, which presents endless opportunities for creativity and innovation. I am eager to contribute my skills and passion to this dynamic field, leveraging my expertise to help organizations effectively convey their messages and achieve their goals.
Which social media channels are most effective and why?
Combine what you know about the industry and the company’s product with any evidence-based strategies you’ve practiced or observed. Explain why you’ve used them or how you would in the future. Make sure to tie back to why you think the channels you chose would be most effective for this particular company. If you don’t have any relevant experience, draw on your coursework to explain the approaches you think work best.
What approach would you take when responding to a negative review or unsuccessful advertising campaign?
This question is designed to investigate your communication and problem-solving skills. Think about a past experience or situation that required de-escalation and resolution. Describe the steps and actions you took to resolve it. Remember not to cast blame, and to frame your example as an opportunity to communicate with the person or people leaving negative feedback.
“Be open to other styles of communication! It’s a participatory event for all involved. There is more than one right way to communicate. The skill that is needed is to practice all forms of communication.”
-Cortney A.-P., career expert at edX
Tell me about the most difficult project you’ve worked on.
Don’t be afraid to brag. Use the STAR method (Situation, Task, Action, Result) method to tell a story about the project and demonstrate your success. Cite metrics when possible.
Why are you leaving your current position?
This can be a tricky question; always remain positive. When discussing your current company or environment, give a truthful reason for leaving, but do not bring negativity into the discussion. Instead, focus your answer on developing and expanding your career in the business field. Share what you’ve learned about this potential new employer and how well it fits your goals, strengths, and experience.
Don’t be afraid to answer a situational question if you’re new to the field and lack professional experience. Instead, demonstrate what you’ve learned in your coursework and how you’ll apply that theory in practice. Use previous experience (outside the industry is fine) to tell a story using the STAR framework for behavioral questions to provide details about your accomplishments.
How do you prioritize tasks and manage deadlines?
Your response to this question shows the interviewer how effectively you determine what tasks need more attention than others and how you manage your time — answer by describing how you track projects, tasks, and deadlines. Include specific examples of managing your work to assure the interviewer that you are well organized and can submit work on time.
What would you want to accomplish within your first three to six months of employment?
The interviewer wants to know that you’ve put some thought into an action plan for potential work at their company. If the interviewer has shared expectations with you or any pain points they face, this question is an excellent opportunity to address those factors.
What would your current supervisor or team say about you?
Focus on the strengths. Try to align your response with a quality listed in the job posting. Always provide an example.
What is your management style?
This question assesses how you see yourself as a business leader and how you’ll lead others. First, explain what makes a good leader, then provide examples of how you meet and exceed those expectations.
Can you share an example of a situation where you had to make a tough decision that had an impact on your team or the organization? How did you approach the decision-making process?
Choose a relevant example, provide context, outline your decision-making process, and explain your rationale. This is an opportunity to showcase your leadership qualities, and address challenges and lessons learned. Remember to end on a positive note, and highlight your ability to make tough decisions and drive positive results.
How do you prioritize tasks and manage time effectively to meet deadlines and deliver results?
This question is designed to understand how you make decisions and consider different stakeholders. In the C-suite, you need to prioritize different employees and teams in addition to board members, company beneficiaries, stockholders, etc. You must describe your decision-making process and how you’ll consider the various stakeholders you’ll serve.
How do you promote effective collaboration and communication within your team and with other departments or stakeholders?
Emphasize the importance of transparency and active listening. Discuss strategies like regular meetings, clear communication channels, and shared goals. Highlight your experience with technology and provide examples of successful initiatives such as workshops and feedback mechanisms.
“Pay attention and be genuinely interested in what the other person is saying. This will help you understand them better, and respond appropriately which will in turn help in communicating effectively and building relationships.”
-Ritu A., career expert at edX
What steps do you take to stay updated on industry trends and new communication strategies? How do you incorporate these insights into your team’s work?
Mention proactive learning through publications, conferences, and online resources. You can share how you’ve engaged in professional networks and used insights to drive innovation and team performance. Provide examples of applying trends to active positive outcomes in team projects.
How do you envision the future of our company?
If you are interviewing for a C-suite role, you’ll be at the helm of future strategic decisions for the company. The interviewers will be interested in your thoughts about the company’s future and how you envision your role there. You need to describe where you see the company going and how you plan to help orchestrate that vision with your role.