Sample communications specialist job description and interview questions
A communication specialist is often an entry-level position in many organizations. However, that does not mean hiring for the role is not important. These individuals will often represent your organization in front of employees, the public, and more. With that in mind, it’s important to find someone that’s a good fit and who will be able to grow within your organization.
So, if you’re looking to hire a Communications Specialist or hoping to become one, take a look at this sample Communications Specialist job description to learn about the key job duties and required qualifications. You can also explore some useful questions to ask Communications Specialist candidates during job interviews.
What is a Communication Specialist?
A Communications Specialist is an employee that supports a company’s internal and external communication strategy. This role can span several areas of business. They may collaborate with public relations and media relations, digital marketing, human resources, product marketing, and other internal departments on communications issues or projects.
Communication Specialist job description template
The Communications Specialist will draft and publish a variety of communications to promote the company and develop its brand image. They will also act as the spokesperson for the company at special events, conferences, and when communicating with media outlets. This person will take a strategic approach to delivering internal communications and external brand messaging to clearly convey information to a variety of audiences.
Develop and execute a corporate communications strategy.
Drafts content for external company communications including website copy, social media content, press releases, and more.
Regularly proofreads all other marketing materials.
Plan communications and marketing campaigns.
Plan events, give presentations, and speak at press conferences to promote the company.
Work with freelance writers, content creators, and graphic designers to oversee the creation of company assets and promotional materials.
Update the company website regularly with product information, blog posts, and updated copy.
Publish internal communications through employee newsletters, emails, and other channels.
Must be detail-oriented and work well under pressure.
Ability to demonstrate strong public speaking and presentation skills.
Thorough knowledge of word processing and desktop publishing software programs, including Microsoft Office Suite, Adobe Photoshop, and email marketing software
Bachelor’s degree in English, Communication, or a business-related field.
At least two years of experience in a related field such as marketing or public relations.
Must possess excellent communications skills and organizational abilities.
Communication Specialist interview questions
Here are some helpful questions to ask when interviewing candidates for a Communication Specialist role.
How has your past experience prepared you for this role?
There are several pathways to a Communications Specialist role. You may be interviewing candidates with experience as a Public Relations Specialist, Marketing Communications Specialist, Marketing or PR Assistant, or other roles. For entry-level roles, candidates may even draw upon experience in internships or communications roles in student organizations. There is no singular pathway to this role, but it is important to understand how the candidate’s past experience has helped them build effective communications skills and prepared them for this role.
With this answer, the candidate should be sharing a little background about what they did in past roles and what skills they could bring to the position. It is particularly helpful when candidates also share specific examples of past projects that prepared them for the role. Feel free to ask candidates to expand upon anything or provide more specific examples.
What is your approach to managing company social media communications?
Digging into the candidate’s approach to social media content and communications helps you gauge whether the candidate will be a good fit for your company. There are a lot of different approaches to social media writing, and the right one often depends on your company’s brand and target market. Ideally, the candidate will mention tailoring the communication strategy to your audience, developing your brand’s voice on social media, or staying up to date with current social media trends.
Look for a candidate whose approach matches yours well. If your company gets a lot of business through social media, you’ll want a Communications Specialist that stays up to date with trending topics and formats on social media.
How do you approach internal company communications during stressful or challenging times?
Communications Specialists largely focus on external communications, but they are also great resources when you need to craft important internal announcements or communications. Communicating during periods of change or when tensions are high is a very special skill set. The way that your company communicates during these periods can have a huge impact on employee morale.
Dig into how they approach these communications including how they adjust their tone to convey the right message, how they choose the right communication format or channel for these messages, and how they anticipate the attitudes and needs of the target audiences. It also helps to invite them to share past examples of important internal communications that they helped deliver.
Describe a time you were successful in delivering the company message to a target audience. What was the key to its success?
This question gives the candidate an opportunity to showcase their past achievements during the interview while also providing insight into how they approach their work. This is a great way to learn more about the candidate’s past work and what type of strategies or work styles they would bring to the role at your company. Feel free to ask clarifying questions to dig deeper into how exactly they approached this communications project and how they made it a success.
Tell me about a time a campaign didn’t perform as well as you expected. What should you have done differently?
This question allows the candidate to reflect back on their past communications work and identify a time that things did not go as planned. The purpose of the question is to help you understand how the candidate deals with an underperforming campaign. It can be disappointing when a campaign that you are excited about and expect to do well falls flat, but a great Communications Specialist will use it as a learning tool to improve future campaigns.
The candidate should be able to explain how they could have done something differently to improve the campaign. It is even better if they explain how they used that experience to improve their approach to future communications projects. They should also demonstrate self-awareness and accountability by acknowledging any mistakes they made in the process.