IN THIS ARTICLE
- Basic Social Media Interview Questions & Answers
- Entry-Level Social Media Interview Questions
- Senior-Level Social Media Manager Interview Questions
- How To Prepare for a Social Media Interview
- What To Do if You’re Stumped During a Social Media Interview
- Social Media Marketing Interview FAQs
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In its report about the Future of Jobs, the World Economic Forum identifies “digital marketing and strategy specialists” as one of the top five roles with increasing demand—the other four in the top five are tech jobs. Nested within this category is the role of social media manager, a job that has grown exponentially in recent years. Today, LinkedIn has over 40,000 social media manager positions ready to be filled.
If you’re looking to land a job as a social media manager, then you’re going to need to prepare for the interview. If that sounds daunting, don’t worry. We’ve got you covered. In this guide, we’ll review over fifty of the most common social media manager interview questions, along with their answers.
Basic Social Media Interview Questions & Answers
Across social media job roles and positions, most panelists begin their interviews with a few generic questions. These are designed to understand your skills, strengths, interests, and experience. Your answers to these questions will serve as the foundation for your conversation.
This is often the first question asked in any interview. When answering this question, begin by stating your name. Mention your experience with social media, highlight your achievements and make a brief comment about why you believe you’re the best person for the job. Keep your introduction as relevant to the role as possible.
For instance, you could say,
“I am Lauren, I have three years of experience as a social media marketer, managing Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook for a large consumer brand in the United States. In my previous role, I was responsible for customer engagement in the beauty category. My team and I grew the community by 10x, generating over 3000 leads per month. I am interested in the position because I believe it is a natural progression for me to take on bigger challenges and make a larger impact.”
How Did You Get Into Social Media?
Use this question to tell your story. If you’re transitioning from a traditional marketing role, explain why you believe social media is the next step in your career. If you’re a fresh graduate, discuss your interest in social media, when you started taking a serious interest, your personal online presence, and your vision for your career.
Related Read: How To Get Into Social Media Marketing
Why Do You Want To Work as a Social Media Manager?
This question is asked to ascertain whether you understand the seriousness of managing social media for a business. The interviewer is looking to make sure you don’t think it’s an easy job because you scroll through Instagram all day. Show them that.
Explain your interest in social media. Talk about your experience using social media for business. Discuss your specific interests—this could be a platform you love, goals you can achieve, industry challenges you’re excited to take on, etc. End your answer by outlining how you think this role will shape your career.
What Do You Know About Social Media Marketing?
With this question, the interviewer wants to know if you understand social media as a marketing function. Focus your response on that. Discuss the following:
- Target audiences and their preferences
- Business goals and ROI
- Content strategy and execution
- Copywriting and design
- Calendar management
- Analytics and measurement
- Social listening
Why Did You Opt for a Career in Social Media Marketing?
This is a question that invites you to tell a story. Your answer will help the interviewer understand why you want to build a career in social media. So, begin with a short introduction of your career thus far. Explain why you’re interested in a career in social media marketing. Candidates often say “it is an exciting space” or “everyone is on social media.” These are answers which don’t offer much insight, so be more specific.
You could say,
I’ve been in traditional marketing, managing print and television advertising for the last 5 years. While it has taught me a lot about marketing, I find a direct connection with the customer sorely missing. In my experience collaborating with the social media team at my previous job, I enjoyed the real-time interactions and instant feedback on social media invigorating. The ability to try and learn every day also excites me. So, I would like to pivot to this career.
How Would Your Previous Employer Describe You?
Be honest and truthful while answering this question. While the reference check will reveal the truth anyway, this question is also to gauge your self-awareness. It helps to demonstrate your strengths and acknowledge your skill gaps. Support your answer with examples from your past performance reviews, client feedback, LinkedIn testimonials, etc.
Your answer might be something like,
“My previous manager would call me creative and goal-oriented. I was responsible for managing the Instagram and TikTok channels for the brand. I designed the content strategy, wrote engaging copy, designed visuals, and managed everyday publishing. I also ran several creative campaigns for the Instagram channel, including our most successful one called ‘wear your attitude’, which resulted in 3x growth in sales that quarter. I was awarded the ‘social media champ’ award for this campaign by the global CMO.”
What About Our Company Interests You?
With this kind of interview questions for social media manager roles, the hiring manager is looking to gauge if you know what you’re getting into. Show them that you’ve done the research. Before going to the interview, read as much about the company as possible. Visit all their social media channels and form an opinion about their content.
In your answer cover:
- What you learned about the company
- What is of special interest to you
- Why is it interesting to you
- How you can add value to the company
Why Do You Want To Work for Our Company?
Most candidates prepare a generic answer to this question, which often comes across as superficial. To avoid that, make your answer as personal and authentic as possible. For instance, it might be a brand close to your heart or you might like the tone/style of their social media personality or the opportunity it presents to your career.
Use this question to demonstrate your desire to work for the company and your commitment to a long-term career there.
What Is the Most Challenging Assignment You Encountered on Your Learning Journey?
This question offers you a great opportunity to show the interviewer your problem-solving and crisis management skills. Choose an experience that was a significant challenge that you overcame.
Begin your answer by establishing the context—the organization you were working for, the timeline, your key performance indicators, etc. Follow up with a crisp description of the challenge you faced and its impact on the business. Explain how you approached the challenge and how you resolved it. If you later established processes to ensure this challenge is never faced again, mention that as well.
How Did You Ideate X Campaign?
In addition to the generic questions about social media, interviewers are also likely to ask you specific questions about your resume. Be prepared to be challenged on what you write in your resume.
While answering this particular question, explain the context, mention the teams you collaborated with, acknowledge your research and inspiration, and outline your plans including content calendar, publishing schedule, metrics, successes, learnings, etc.
How Have You Represented Brands on Social Channels in the Past?
A big part of a social media manager’s job is to ensure that the brand’s voice is authentic and consistent across all channels. This question is to test if you understand branding and how you can apply it to practice. While answering this question, discuss:
- Your understanding of what the brand stood for
- How you decided what content should go on the brand’s social media
- What content you rejected
- How you used copywriting to represent the brand
- How you ensured visuals and videos represented the brand
- How you spoke on behalf of the brand while engaging with the community
The best way to demonstrate this clearly is to use real examples from your experience. Mention specific incidents. If possible, quote specific social media content as well.
Entry-Level Social Media Interview Questions
If you don’t have any social media marketing experience, your interview for the first job can be challenging. In this case, it is all the more important to prepare more thoroughly. The following social media marketing interview questions and answers will help you with exactly that.
What Is Your Favorite Social Media Platform? Why?
Your personal favorite and the most effective one for business are often not the same. For instance, your personal favorite might be Instagram. However, if you work in the technology industry, the most effective platform for sales and hiring might be LinkedIn. By asking this question, the interviewer is seeking to understand if you know the difference.
Your best response is to mention both. For instance, your answer could be:
My personal favorite is Twitter. As a writer, I am more comfortable sharing my opinions in the form of short-form text. I’ve been on the platform and built a network of followers and mutuals who I enjoy interacting with.
However, as a social media manager for a beauty brand, my favorite platform is Instagram. It allows me the opportunity to visually show our audience how our products can transform their lives. The impact of pictures and short videos is much higher. The target audience is there too.
What Skills Are Key to Being an Effective Social Media Manager?
Answer this question by detailing a combination of social media and behavioral skills. Look at several job descriptions for the social media manager positions so that you can understand the skills hiring managers are looking for. Some of the most commonly sought skills are:
- Familiarity with social media platforms
- Ability to create/repurpose content for various platforms
- Project management skills for content planning and scheduling
- Collaboration skills to work with copywriting, design, video, and analytics teams to execute successful campaigns
- Problem-solving skills to handle criticism and win over followers
- Community management skills to interact meaningfully with followers and customers
- Crisis management skills to effectively manage negative campaigns or inadvertent mistakes
How Do You Keep Up With Social Media Trends?
This question is just a different way of asking “do you read?” You can simply answer this by outlining how you keep track of social media developments. You might subscribe to industry publications, follow digital marketing experts, listen to podcasts, regularly use all platforms, try new features proactively, etc.
Do You Think There Is Anything About Social Media That Needs To Be Changed? If Yes, Then What Would It Be?
This question evaluates your ability to think critically about social media. In today’s business environment, it’s good to have an opinion. If you have specific concerns, voice them honestly. These could be commonly accepted issues like online trolling, sexism, etc. It could also be slightly controversial trends like moment marketing. Whatever your opinion, be clear and confident.
How Would You Add Value to Our Social Media Team?
You are unlikely to know how you would add value without knowing the nature of the existing team. However, when you’re asked this question, you have to try. Draw from the job description to know what their current gaps might be and explain how you would fill it. Focus on your strengths and unique skills. If you have industry/domain experience, highlight that.
End your answer to such social media interview questions by asking the hiring manager to validate your understanding. You might say, “does that answer your question? If you have any specific gaps or needs in your team, do tell me. I am happy to discuss if I can help with them.”
What Social Media Influencers or Brands Do You Follow? What Made You Follow Them?
If you’re social media savvy, this should be an easy question. Again, remember that your personal favorites might not be the same as those right for the brand. Keep this difference in mind while answering this question.
Do You Have Experience Managing Social Media Communities in the Past? Can You Name Some?
As an entry-level social media manager, you might not have this experience. That is okay. Be open about it and explain you don’t. However, in your personal experience or internships, if you have managed communities online, be sure to discuss that in your answer.
Related Read: How To Become a Social Media Manager With No Experience
Which Social Media Channels Do You Recommend for Our Business and Why?
This question has two goals. It tests your understanding of the company you are interviewing at and your knowledge of leveraging social media for business. Demonstrate your understanding of the company’s target audience, brand personality, products and services, business goals, etc. Choose the recommended social media channels based on these factors and explain your decisions clearly.
Senior-Level Social Media Manager Interview Questions
Here are the questions you can expect to be asked in an interview for a more senior social media manager position.
What Skills Does a Good Social Media Manager Exhibit?
In addition to basic social media skills, a senior-level social media manager might also be expected to hire and manage a team, handle budgets, and set social media KPIs. Depending on the role you’re interviewing for, discuss relevant skills.
How Would You Respond to a User Harassing Our Company’s Accounts?
As a senior social media manager, you will be expected to handle various kinds of followers each day. Some of them might be abusive too. Handling harassment is an integral part of your role. This question is designed to test if you’ve considered such eventualities. Make sure that you:
- Acknowledge that expecting harassment is part of the job
- Explain that you would react in a polite but firm way
- Demonstrate that you know the difference between harassing the company’s accounts and fellow customers
- Learn the community guidelines of the company you’re interviewing for and discuss how you’ll implement them
- Give examples of what you’ve done in the past to handle harassment
What Does Engagement Mean to You?
Typically, social media engagement refers to likes, comments, and shares on a post. However, an engaged audience is one that not only interacts passively with the brand but also has a meaningful long-term relationship with you. This can also be measured by metrics such as clickthroughs, mentions, use of brand hashtags, recommendations, etc.
While discussing engagement with your interviewers, focus on how it adds value to your brand, the company, and its performance.
How Would You Make Our Brand More Engaging on Social Media?
Depending on the brand, industry, products, location, and target audience, the engagement levels of content might vary widely. For instance, how-to videos might work well for a beauty brand, but case studies might offer better engagement for a B2B tech company.
How Would You Increase Awareness of Our Brand?
If engagement is about retaining existing followers and fans, awareness is about consistently expanding the reach of your brand to new audiences. So, the strategy to raise awareness needs to be different. It could be a combination of organic and paid social media, online events, and influencer marketing. Explore all possibilities and customize your answer to the company you’re interviewing at.
What Steps Do You Take To Block Spam and Bot Accounts?
Spam and bot accounts are a burden for brands, as they increase costs, waste time, and clog timelines. They also cause lower engagement and rankings, and affect conversion rates too. A good social media manager should be able to identify spam/bot accounts and eliminate them effectively.
Explain how you would conduct a social media audit to identify spam/bot accounts. List the tools you’d use. Discuss your strategy to report or block these accounts. Consider how feasible it is to manually block these accounts and plan accordingly. Also, outline how you plan to prevent bots from following you in the future.
How Do You Identify a Target Audience? Can You Explain Your Strategy Step by Step?
Knowing who you are talking to is the first step to building a strong strategy. These interview questions for social media managers are asked to ascertain if you have a customer-focussed approach to your work. Consider the following steps while answering this question:
- Defining buyer personas including age, location, interests, challenges, and spending habits that mirror the company’s core audience
- Conducting surveys or focus groups to validate your understanding of their demographic and psychographic profiles
- Conducting online research to learn where the audience is most active and why
- Performing competition or community research using tools like keyhole.co, Google Analytics, BuzzSumo, etc. to learn how your target audience interacts with each other and other brands
- Leveraging social listening tools to study the hashtags they follow and keywords they use
- Launching test campaigns to see what kind of audience your communication attracts the most
- Using A/B tests to see what works better
- Using Facebook Lookalike Audience to replicate your groups
- Revisiting and refining the target audience from time to time
How Do You Successfully Manage Multiple Social Media Accounts at Once?
This question is asked to understand if you have the capability to lead many accounts and campaigns at once. The best way to answer this question is to demonstrate your project management and time management skills. List the tools you use and outline any automation strategies you have up your sleeve. If you’re going to manage a team, also discuss how you will delegate, measure performance, and conduct reviews.
How Do You Handle a Social Media Campaign That Didn’t Perform As Expected?
There is no formula for success when it comes to social media. So, handling failures and learning from them is part of a social media manager’s role. While answering this question, explain how you will evaluate success or failure, conduct your retrospectives, identify causes, document learnings and apply them to future campaigns. If you can give an example from your experience, it would strengthen your answer.
How Has A/B Testing Helped You Strategize in Previous Roles?
With social media, you might post the same message at two different time slots to see what works better. You might try two different hashtags, video formats, or voiceovers. As an experienced social media manager, you are likely to have done this multiple times in your career. Pick an example that delivered significant results and talk about it.
Tell Me About a Time You Had To Handle a Social Media Crisis.
Crises define a good social media manager. From a small typo in an Instagram post to a major blunder of a misguided campaign, anything can go wrong on social media. How you react to it defines your career.
While answering this question, choose a crisis that had maximum impact. Explain the context, your intent, the incident, the backlash, your reaction, the results, and the lessons. Tell a story. No interviewer wants to hear “there was an embarrassing typo, so we deleted the post.” They want to hear the story about how you did the right thing when facing a problem.
What Goals Should We Set for Each of Our Social Media Accounts, and What Does Success Look Like?
Vanity metrics such as likes and comments are no longer a good indicator of social media success. Organizations are investing in social media to power business growth. This is measured through sales, conversions, lead generation, inquiries, subscriptions, referrals, repeat orders, and customer lifetime value.
How Do You Measure Success?
Businesses set goals for relative growth. For instance, a 20% increase in sales year-over-year is a goal that is achievable and reasonable. Return on Investment (ROI) is a good metric too. The number of sales you make for every dollar spent demonstrates whether the investment is worth it or not. Comparing this ROI with other channels can place this metric in context.
What Strategies Would You Use To Generate Leads?
A lead is typically an email ID or a phone number that a prospect enters into a form in return for information. This is treated as an expression of interest in the company’s offerings. Brands use a wide range of strategies to generate leads:
- Freebies, coupons, and offers
- Newsletter subscriptions
- Content in the form of lead magnets
- Social media contests
What Do You Know About SEO and Its Relationship With Social Media?
Social media is no longer a silo that works on its own. It plays a significant role in improving search engine rankings for brand content. A good social media manager needs to understand what kind of content is rewarded, what is punished, what adds value to the audience etc. It also helps to have a good understanding of Google Analytics and website performance metrics.
Which Social Media Tools Do You Use?
Tools are just a means to an end, so don’t worry about knowing the exact suite of tools that the company uses. Instead, focus on goals. Categorize the tools you use into research, planning, scheduling, listening, monitoring, and analytics. This will show the interviewer that you can leverage tools for a wide range of tasks.
What Are the Relevant Metrics for Tracking ROI on Social Media?
The three top metrics for tracking ROI on social media are lead generation, sales, and customer lifetime value. While likes, shares, comments, clicks, and website visits are good indicators of engagement, an investment in social media might not be worth it if they don’t convert to sales.
How Do You Deal With Negative Comments or a Brand Reputation Crisis?
Simply deleting comments or ignoring criticism doesn’t make for good crisis management. A social media manager needs to be able to effectively respond to negative comments, placate angry customers, and handle critical hashtags. The best way to answer this question is by offering examples from your experience.
What Was Your Biggest Social Media Failure? And Why Do Think It Was Your Worse Experience?
Failures are par for the course. The interviewer is not interested in your failure as much as they are in your reaction to it. So answer these sorts of questions by explaining the failed campaign and delving deeper into your reactions and lessons.
How Do You Check and Stay on Top of the Latest Updates, Innovations, and New Platforms in Social Media?
Social media is a rapidly evolving arena. There are new products, updates, and platforms being launched every week. To stay on top, you need to have a strategy to track news and a habit to read. Discuss both. List the publications you read, podcasts you listen to, and influencers you follow.
Imagine: Google Has Devalued an SEO Technique You Have Used Successfully in the Past. What Do You Do?
These social media marketing interview questions are meant to test your adaptability to new trends and advancements in your line of work. Google is known to sunset techniques and technologies while tweaking the search page. In such cases, there is almost nothing one can do. The best response is as follows:
- Build the strategy in such a way that SEO is not heavily dependent on one tactic
- Weed out old content that might be detrimental to current SEO efforts
- Adapt to the new SEO standards to optimize future content better
- Continue to create quality content
What Do You Think of TikTok and Instagram Reels? Can We Leverage These Platforms?
Vertical short videos are the rage today. Users spend an average of 53 minutes per session on Instagram Reels! However, they are not the best strategy for all brands. For example, an education company can offer bite-sized lessons with TikTok and Reels to young urban audiences. However, a service brand that targets elderly suburban people might not have much use for this.
Depending on the company, its products, audience, and location, decide if TikTok and Reels are worthwhile strategies, and then explain your rationale to the interviewer.
Do You Think Giveaways and Contest Help Business? How Can We Conduct Such Campaigns on Our Facebook Page Where Followers Like and Share Our Regular Posts To Win?
Giveaways and contests are a widely successful way to generate leads for brands. The best way to answer this question is with an example. Think of a contest or a campaign you can run for the brand you’re interviewing with. Outline your idea and expected results.
Can We See Some Examples of the Social Media Projects You’ve Worked On?]
As a senior social media manager, this should be one of the easiest interview questions to answer. Choose your most successful projects. Discuss metrics and return on investment. If you’re able to, feel free to pull them up on your phone or a nearby computer and demo it.
How Do You Work With the Social Media Budget? What Is Your Strategy?
A senior social media manager is likely to manage several hundreds of thousands of dollars in budgets across paid media, vendor relationships, and teams. The interviewer is seeking to understand if you can manage this right. Outline your strategy for budgeting, and the right proportion of investment across various channels. Also, discuss how you will measure ROI.
How Would You Communicate With the Rest of the Company?
Social media management is a collaborative role. Discuss how you would build consensus, negotiate timelines, and manage budgets with major stakeholders. An example of how you’ve done so in the past would be helpful here.
What Are Our Competitors Doing on Social Media?
Before going into any interview, research the competition just like you research the company itself. Look at all social channels and identify trends, similarities and differences. Discuss your observations.
Do You Have Your Own Blog or Do You Regularly Publish Content on Your Personal Social Media Platforms?
Every social media professional is expected to have some kind of online presence, if at least to keep track of the latest trends. It doesn’t really matter how many followers you might have on Twitter or the number of monthly visitors to your blog. It is more to understand how you’re using social media for your personal needs. So explain your platform of choice, and how you use it.
What Is the Most Important Thing a Social Media Manager Should Be Doing?
This question is often asked to gauge what you think of as critical to your role. There is no right answer to this. Many social media managers believe that analytics is the primary task. Others believe listening is. You decide what is most important to your role and substantiate your choice confidently.
Explain Something That Is Complicated but That You Know Well.
This is a test of your communication skills. So, your answer need not be about social media at all. Do you know to solve a Rubik’s cube? Do you understand Einstein’s theory of relativity? Go for it. Just make sure you explain it clearly and concisely.
What Project or Task Would You Consider As Your Most Significant Accomplishment in Your Career to Date?
This too has no right or wrong answer. This question is about understanding what is important to your career. Your accomplishments could be a collection of small wins or one big win. It can be related to social media, your professional habits, a change in attitude, or just about anything. Make sure this is significant and authentic to you.
How Would You Pitch My Company to Me As if I Were a Potential Customer?
This is the social media equivalent of “sell me this pen.” The goal here is to test if you understand your audience, can communicate in their language, persuade them to be interested and close a sale. Focus on the interviewer and customize your pitch to what they are likely to be interested in.
How Does Customer Service Fit Into Your Strategy?
Every external-facing channel is a customer service channel. This holds true of social media as well. You might launch a campaign for a new product, but you can’t stop a disgruntled customer from seeking updates on their order or raising a question. Answer this question by explaining how customer service is integral to social media. Also, explore how you might implement customer service as a strategy.
Why Should We Hire You?
This is one of those tricky social media marketing interview questions. Unless you know what exactly the interviewer is looking for, you might not be able to give a convincing answer. So, go back to the job description. Say,
I understand you’re looking for someone with these skills to take over these responsibilities. I have these skills (list them) and have experience delivering on these responsibilities (list them). I am known to be detail-oriented, creative, organized, and outcomes-driven. I believe I also have a unique combination of experiences that makes me the perfect fit for this role.
How To Prepare for a Social Media Interview
Now that we’ve covered some of the questions you’re likely to be asked in your interview, let’s cover some other things you can do to prepare. Begin by thoroughly reading the job description. Understand the role you’re interviewing for. If possible, look up other members of the organization’s social media team on LinkedIn and understand what they do. Then, research the company and its social channels. Do the same for its competition.
Review your resume and think about the responsibilities and accomplishments you’ve mentioned. Recall stories from your work experience to substantiate them.
Refresh your memory on popular tools, latest trends, and successful campaigns. Think about your own social media presence as well. Lastly, go through the above comprehensive set of social media manager interview questions and think of how you’d answer them. You’re all set!
What To Do if You’re Stumped During a Social Media Interview
If you feel stumped by a question they’ve asked, remember that it’s okay. If you need time to think, ask for it and take a moment to gather your thoughts. If you don’t know the answer, admit as much. You can always return to it in the end, if you feel ready later. Make sure you don’t give an ill-considered answer when you’re stumped.
Social Media Marketing Interview FAQs
We’ve got the answers to your most frequently asked social media interview questions.
How Do You Introduce Yourself in an Interview?
The best introductions are short and relevant. Outline the skills, experience, and accomplishments that are most relevant to the role you’re applying for.
How Long Should You Prepare for a Social Media Interview?
This depends on how long you’ve been working in social media, and when you left your last position. If you have been at a social media job for a long time, then you wouldn’t need to brush up your skills that much. But if you’ve had a gap, you might need longer to prepare. Take as much time as you need.
Are Social Media Interviews Difficult?
They can be. Organizations today place significant importance on social media as a marketing and customer service channel. But if you’ve chosen the role you’re best suited for and prepared thoroughly, you will be able to sail through the interview process comfortably.
What Questions Should You Ask at the End of Your Interview?
An interview is a mutual evaluation process. Like the interviewers are gauging if you’re the right fit for the role, you must also find out if the job is right for you. To do this, ask the following questions:
1. What are the key performance indicators for this role?
2. How would this role contribute to the organization’s vision and growth?
3. What qualities must one have to be successful in this role?
4. What challenges is the company facing today and how can this role help in addressing them?
5. Who would I report to? Will I get a chance to meet them?
6. What are your expectations from this role through the first 1-2 quarters?
7. What is the growth path for this role?
8. Can you tell me about your company culture?
9. Have I answered all your questions?
10. Do you have any feedback for me?
11. What are the next steps and when can I expect to hear from you?
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