The major role of a communications specialist is related to the management of information related to the firm or organization they work for, to create a positive brand image. This includes the management & handling of social media, PR (public relations), press releases, and related tasks. For being an effective & successful communications specialist, one needs to have a basic degree or diploma, preferably in the fields such as journalism, public relations, or communication.
When any firm or organization is looking for a communications specialist, they need someone to meet their expectations. The talent & skills of an individual are tested by them in the interview. The major expectations for the role of communications specialist are out-of-the-box thinking, punctuality, and creativity.
So, during the interview, the candidates can expect questions from them. Moreover, the interviewer may like to know more about the individual’s perspectives, previous experiences & qualifications. Good preparation & a calm mind during the interview will help you to prove that you are fit for the role of a communications specialist.
The Top 21 Communications Specialist Interview Questions You Should Be Aware Of
1. Why do you want to join as a communications specialist at our firm or organization?
The main reason why an interviewer asks this question is to understand the motive behind your application for the role of a communications specialist at their firm or organization. All you have to specify is the reasons for your candidature. Mentioning the role as your passion, and showcasing enthusiasm can earn you a few brownie points.
I feel that this opportunity will serve as a medium to pursue my passion. I have a strong opinion that my candidature for this role will help me evolve professionally as well as personally. Considering that your organization is a top MNC with major goals & missions aligning with my views & ideals, my recruitment as a communications specialist will surely be mutually advantageous.
2. What work does a communications specialist do?
Here, the interviewer wants to understand your perspective about the role of a communications specialist.
A communications specialist has a major role of acting as a mediator or a bridge between the organization and the media, the stakeholders & the public.
3. What are their major tasks?
The interviewer wants to know whether you are aware of the major tasks that a communications specialist needs to perform. Mention the tasks that one expects from a communications specialist. Stick to the details mentioned in the job description (as that’s what the organization is looking for).
They are expected to do tasks such as curating & handling the content of the organization’s social media accounts, creating a positive brand image with the help of mass-appealing awareness campaigns as well as creating press releases & newsletters for publicity. Some other major tasks of a communications specialist are to mentor advertising, handle media inquiries, manage creative events by the organization & oversee events & campaigns done by other third-party organizations for the organization.
4. What skills does a successful communications specialist possess?
The interviewer wants to assess & know the perspective of the candidate about a successful communications specialist. This helps them to understand the benchmark set by the candidate. Mention the best possible skillset that a communications specialist should have. Try to keep the answer aligned with the job description.
A successful communications specialist needs to have good leadership skills. They should believe in themselves. They need to be confident about their plans & strategies but also have an ear to take in suggestions. They must have great communications skills, both oral as well as written. Being a good orator & writer is always an added advantage. Reading books is a preferable hobby.
They have a sharp tactical mind which helps them to swerve through tough times. They possess great interpersonal skills and have an attractive & charming personalities. They have a keen eye for minute details & are good at convincing people (especially stakeholders & customers). Additionally, good communications specialist is great at presenting themselves at seminars & presentations.
Having a problem-solving approach is an additional advantage. This helps in finding a solution for a problem quickly & effectively. Being creative is a must for any communications specialist. Additionally, being witty is always better. A successful communications specialist must be punctual & strictly related to deadlines. They always ensure that the brand reputation is never tampered with, instead work on elevating it.
5. What would your daily routine as a communications specialist look like?
The interviewer wants to assess the candidate’s understanding of the role of a communications specialist. Moreover, they want to know how the candidate will plan their schedule once recruited. Try to share your thoughts over the question based on your knowledge & previous experiences.
According to my understanding, the daily routine of a communications specialist would be like: I would join the office early in the morning. Preferably, I would have already read all the major newspapers while having my morning coffee. I will quickly assess the trends of social media for that particular day. I will quickly engage myself in planning my day further. The majority of the time would be spent in curating & delegating tasks for advertising, creating campaigns for brand promotion & awareness, attending meetings, and handling emails.
Moreover, if there are any other problems or issues that require my attention, I will respond to them quickly. I will also closely monitor the feedback on the firm’s social media handles along with the outcomes of various marketing campaigns in the general public. If necessary, then I will take action based on the type of feedback received. I will ensure that I adhere to the firm’s social media schedule. Keeping the firm’s social media handles active, creative, and buzzing would be my priority.
6. How was the experience at your previous firm?
The interviewer will assess your experience & the way you describe your previous firm. They will look if you have relevant experience for the job you are being interviewed for. Try to share your experiences with a positive attitude.
I worked at my previous firm for 3 years. During this role, I understood a lot of practical aspects while working as a communications specialist. I have grown in confidence and understood the tasks & roles of a communications specialist. My experience at the previous firm has helped me evolve as a communications specialist. It has also improved my strategy formation and overall my organizational skills. My bachelor’s degree in journalism aided me to have a better relationship with media outlets.
7. Mention one problem that you solved as a communications specialist in your previous firm(s).
The interviewer wants to know about your problem-solving skills. It also gives them an insight into your capabilities. Candidates should readily answer this question based on their previous experience. Keep the answer to the point & brief. Highlight either the brainstorming aspect of the solution of the problem.
In my previous role as a communications specialist at a young startup, we faced a series of backlash on Twitter about one of our best-selling products. A hashtag related to the firm’s product was trending. I quickly understood the problem & its intricate details. It started due to a micro-influencer who posted a lot of negative content around the product.
I quickly published the startup’s perspective as a press release ensuring that we are looking into the matter. I contacted the micro-influencer regarding her issues and asked her to describe her problem in detail. It turned out that she was allergic to one of the components of the product. The allergic advice was already mentioned on the label of the product as well as on our website. She was allergic to the component but was unaware of it.
The social media users just followed her negative content, without even trying the product themselves. We quickly guided the micro-influencer about her mistake. She was quick at deleting the negative content & issued a public apology. I quickly boarded her as one of our faces for the brand and rewarded our loyal consumers who posted their positive experiences during this negative backslash.
8. What is the biggest challenge for a communications specialist?
The interviewer wants to know how well you understand the role of a communications specialist & self-introspect about the same.
The biggest challenge for a communications specialist is not being able to keep up with the dynamic work behavior. There can always be a situation where one cannot solve the problem, and this can worsen the brand reputation. In such a situation, keeping calm & believing in myself is one of the toughest challenges.
9. What keeps you updated & motivated about the role?
Reading journals & books helps me to keep myself updated & motivated.
10. Did you ever fail in solving a problem as a communications specialist?
The interviewer would like to know about your reaction when you fail. Answer based on your previous experiences.
During my initial year, I noticed a FaceBook group that was sharing baseless negative content about my then firm. I didn’t take any action back then. Fast forward to the next year, the group has 15k members. I finally did take action, but an early one would have saved some valuable resources.
11. Why are you the best candidate for this role?
The interviewer wants to know about your confidence. Ensure that the answer aligns with the job description.
I have qualified with a bachelor’s degree in journalism from a top college. When I went through the job description, it felt as if this role was tailor-made for me. I have the required skills & experiences that are required for the specified role. I have excellent experience of 5 years as a communications specialist at an established firm as well as a startup.
12. What kind of thinking does the role require?
The role requires strategic & tactical thinking. Out-of-the-box thinking is an added advantage. One should be quick to assess the situation, brainstorm, and solve the problem.
13. How do you handle tough situations?
The interviewer wants to assess your capabilities. Based on your experiences & job description, share your perspective.
Foremost, I keep myself calm and analyze the options available to me. Furthermore, I also assess the possible outcomes. Discussion with the team helps to come out with the best possible solution for the problem.
14. What suggestions do you give to our organization?
The interviewer wants to test your research about the organization.
I think that the organization hasn’t planned its social media marketing properly. I would work on bringing in more influencers, creating interesting campaigns & contests, and who would not like a bit of humor!
15. What’s your take on collaboration?
The interviewer wants to test your organizational skills.
Collaborating with influencers, media outlets, advertisers & the organization’s team is vital for a communications specialist. It is essential for smooth working.
16. Is social media important for a communications specialist?
Social media is the key for the organization to represent itself to the public. Considering today’s world, a communications specialist needs to spend a lot of time on social media to create brand awareness, solve queries, and analyze feedback.
17. Which form of marketing interests you?
I am in awe of social media marketing. I feel it is one of the most important, cost-effective, efficient, and necessary marketing strategies for any organization.
18. Do you have any idea about press releases?
As I am from a journalism background, I know about press releases.
19. Assume that an advertising campaign has flopped. What would you do in that situation?
The interviewer wants to test your problem-solving capabilities.
First, I will go through the analysis of the advertising campaign which helps me to understand it. Second, I will sit with a team to hear their perspectives & possible solutions. The last step would be creating another campaign based on the analysis of the flopped campaign.
20. How do you identify the target audience?
I would do market research. This helps me understand on which platform my target audience exists & spends the most time. Moreover, I also can analyze the kind of content they enjoy. This helps me to strategize as well.
21. Do you have any queries about this role?
Interviewers usually are open to solve your queries about the role you’re applying for. If you have anything in your mind, don’t hesitate.
I am content with the role. I have no queries.
Download the list of questions in .PDF format, to practice with them later, or to use them on your interview template (For Communications Specialist interview):
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