Sample writing tests for job interviews
Picture this: You’ve just applied for your dream PR job and everything seems to be falling into place. The company likes your resume enough to call you in for an initial interview. You nail it, so they bring you back to meet the senior executives, who also give you the thumbs up. But just when you think you’re home free, the recruiter utters two words that strike terror in your heart (cue the shower-scene music from Psycho): writing test.
Having graduated college—and perhaps even embarked on a successful professional career—you may have thought your test-taking days were safely behind you. But in today’s highly competitive job market, agencies and corporate PR departments expect candidates to possess a wide range of skills, including the ability to churn out basic press materials. That’s where the dreaded pre-employment writing assessment comes in.
“Writing tests are a very important part of the interview process for us, ” says Dawn Miller, CEO of Miller PR, a bicoastal firm which reps digital and entertainment brands. “Typically we ask the applicant to prepare a press release, a pitch, a bio or a company boilerplate, depending on the candidate and the skills required for the position we’re looking to fill.”
And it’s not just recent college grads whose writing chops are being evaluated. “We use writing tests for every single hire—at every level, ” says Amy Bermar, president of Corporate Ink, a Boston-based agency specializing in technology clients. “We began this more than 15 years ago, after the unhappy discovery that someone ‘senior enough’ to know how to write actually didn’t write very well at all.”