Community Director Interview Preparation Guide
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Community Director related Frequently Asked Questions by expert members with job experience as Community Director. These questions and answers will help you strengthen your technical skills, prepare for the new job interview and quickly revise your concepts

34 Community Director Questions and Answers:

1 :: Tell me what initiatives would you take to increase engagement/retention/growth in our community?

Engaging, keeping, and attracting new users are goals for most (but not all) communities. Be prepared with two or three ideas to achieve these goals. Don’t worry about presenting original ideas here—you’re interviewing for a job, not providing free consulting advice. Just show the hiring manager that you have ideas. If you suggest ideas they’ve already tried, well, that shows you’re on the same page.

2 :: Tell me what communities are you a member of?

Your interviewer is asking this question to see if you can demonstrate your understanding of what a community is and what it means to belong to one. We’re all part of many communities throughout our lives. If you’re an active commenter on BuzzFeed and know the other commenters there, then you’re part of the BuzzFeed community. If not online, maybe you were a member of an after-school club or local charity. Be capable of talking about a time you contributed to a community in some shape or form.

3 :: Tell me how would you announce a new feature, initiative or respond to problematic users of the website?

Getting the candidate to draft up some email responses, forum posts or a blog post gives you some insight into their writing and communication skills, and how they approach solving problems by email. You can also find out whether they are finding it easy to pick up on the voice of your company, or have any thoughts about how to modify it when communicating with online customers.

4 :: Tell me which content should I be sharing?

Content works differently for each brand. Some fans appreciate videos more than photos, others like good ol’ fashion links. We all know that photos generally reign supreme on Facebook, but maybe your brand’s videos are engaging your users as well. Either way, the most important aspect of this is understanding which visual content your customers appreciate the most.

5 :: Tell me what tool do you recommend we build our community/new feature on?

If all they suggest are hosted community platforms, you might have a shill. An open-minded and competent community manager will be able to build a thriving space using free tools if necessary, and will most likely respond by asking what the requirements are, as this will dictate the toolset, not the other way around.

6 :: Tell me what made you choose Community Management as a career? And why are you interested in working for us?

The first part of this question will answer what makes them tick, and what matters to them when building and managing an online community. The second part allows you to ascertain whether they are knowledgeable about your product, passionate about being your digital mouthpiece and evangelising about your company. You could also ask them how they would identify whether an issue needs to be shared with another one of your departments, which also provides a good opportunity to move into describing your company structure and progress the interview to answering their questions.

7 :: Explain me which online communities have you managed in the past and what were your responsibilities?

An obvious question, but one that throws up almost everything you need to know about their skill set. An ex-Community Manager may turn out to be more competent than a Head of Community, depending on the scope of their role and their position in the organisation. As job titles are still very fluid, use this question to flesh out just how experienced they are and whether they were running teams or influencing any other departments.

8 :: How do you define a community?

“Community” as a term is something tossed around in conversation frequently, but few folks have thought to consider what it actually means. Good community talent will have their own opinions and theories and will be able to provide a succinct definition off hand. Red flag answers will include vague references to social media and content — and community management is not the same as social media.

9 :: Do you know what’s the difference between comments and answers?

Comments contribute to the conversation and can help users gain additional answers or perspective.

Answers are solutions or contributions that do not need further elaboration or clarification.

10 :: Explain me about a time you handled a member/customer who was difficult, impatient, or upset?

Many community manager roles involve elements of customer service. After all, you’re interacting with people daily and will often encounter someone who is reaching out to you with an issue that needs solving. Let your interviewer see that they can trust you to be the face of and voice for the community.

11 :: Tell me how do you define an online community?

Right off the bat, this question can stump many candidates. I’ve heard a lot of vague answers about social media platforms that veer off on an incoherent tangent until they fall off a cliff. Keep it straightforward by giving a simple definition that explains what an online community is: a group of people who share a common goal, cause, or interest and gather together to collaborate and discuss via the internet.

12 :: What is your experience with writing and blogging?

will be responsible for managing the company’s blog. Being familiar with the blogging community, various blogging platforms, and general blog writing skills will all play an important role in their day-to-day activities.

13 :: Tell me in what way are you a community person?

This question allows the interviewee to tell you about what communities they participate in on a daily basis and why they see themselves being a good fit for your role. This question will also draw clear lines between community folks and interviewees who are simply good on the twitters, can manage a support box like a pro, or can throw a fun party. It’s not that these skills are not important or relevant to being a community manager, but what’s more important is that there are true community skills supporting these efforts.

14 :: Explain me how would your strategy differ when managing our social media outposts and our branded community?

This is our first question referencing social media. This is a great one for probing for use of buzz words, generic statements about social media and kool-aid, fishbowl, echo chamber reactionism. We’re looking for an in-depth answer outlining the differences of each audience and why each platform should have its own focus and approach (engagement, attrition, monitoring etc), and what that would be. It’s also a good way to check whether the candidate has looked at your community eco-system before walking through your office door.

15 :: Tell us which online communities are you a member of?

I’d expect more than just a Twitter/Facebook answer here. A few niche examples suggest they are capable and aware enough to identify the right places to promote your own community and grow your audience. They are also more likely to have been exposed to different management styles which will help them craft something for your community, rather than blindly rehashing something they read in a book or blog (yes, including this one)

16 :: Tell me how many hours does a Community Manager work?

This will tell you whether your candidate truly understands the reality of managing online communities. Technically, unless you close your branded community at set hours, life goes on 24/7 online so candidates need to appreciate they may be on call when needed. If they say 9-5, say thank you and goodbye.

17 :: General Community Director Job Interview Questions:

☛ What about this position and our chorus mission interests you?
☛ Describe your conducting philosophy - especially working within a community choir setting.
☛ What are 3-4 primary elements that you would identify as central in teaching and demonstrating healthy vocal technique?
☛ Describe how you would plan and structure a 2.5 hour rehearsal with a community chorus.
☛ How does your music education and experience in choral conducting fit with the requirements that The Chorus is seeking? Give us some specific examples.
☛ Give some examples of working with singers that have varied music-reading ability and musical background.
☛ Have you worked with adult choruses that memorize their repertoire? Do you have recommendations regarding whether a chorus memorizes music or not?
☛ What is your experience working with and conducting world or global music? Do you have knowledge or know how to find resources in teaching music and pronunciation from a variety of cultures and languages?
☛ Describe your experience in coaching small vocal ensembles? What are the differences in coaching ensembles versus a larger chorus?
☛ Repertoire/Programming
☛ How do you shape and create a coherent and vibrant concert program? Describe a concert you programmed that was particularly strong.
☛ Our Chorus is unique in that it utilizes a Music Advisory committee which assists the Artistic Director in finding and reviewing concert repertoire. The final repertoire list for a concert is selected by the AD. How would you envision working with a committee in reviewing music? What might be the advantages and disadvantages for you as AD in working with this type of committee?
☛ The Chorus performs some music from Judeo/Christian traditions, but the vast majority of our music is secular or comes from a variety of global/spiritual traditions. Describe the musical genres you have conducted and how those experiences shape what you could offer to The Chorus programming.
☛ Is there a particular musical genre that you enjoy or specialize in?
☛ How do you help a choir to "peak" with you when it is performance time? What is your approach if a concert date is approaching and the chorus is still struggling to learn a piece?

18 :: Behavioral Community Director Job Interview Questions:

☛ Describe a time you developed a new policy. What did you do to make it work successfully?
☛ Tell me about a time when you implemented an HR initiative, policy or program that didn’t stick. What should you have done differently to avoid that?
☛ Tell me about a time you were successful in driving positive change.
☛ Describe a time when a manager came to you with a problem they couldn’t solve. What did you do?
☛ Tell me about a time you had foreseen a problem with employees/union/vendors. How did you prevent it from escalating?
☛ What actions did you take to shape organizational culture in your past role?
☛ What do you think was your most important contribution to the workplace in your previous job?
☛ Describe me a situation where you had serious challenges and road-blocks in doing your job efficiently. What did you do about them?
☛ Tell me about a situation where you had to disagree with your superiors. How did you approach this and what happened?

19 :: Difficult Community Director Interview Questions:

☛ How do you provide feedback to individual singers in a group context?
☛ When working with a chorus, what is the most difficult (irritating) thing for you and how do you deal with that?
☛ Give an example of a challenging situation you have faced in a rehearsal or with a choir and how you resolved it.
☛ How would you interact with a volunteer who has offered to take on a task but hasn't followed through? How do you determine how much responsibility to give them? How do you decide when it is appropriate to step in, take over and make sure the task gets done?
☛ Describe your experience working with a non-profit board and/or committees? What would be some of the challenges of being the only paid staff within an organization of volunteers?
☛ How do you manage stress in a work or personal setting? How do you manage conflict in relationships?
☛ How do you recognize and deal with burnout in yourself and chorus members? What is your level of comfort in delegating responsibility as a leader?
☛ Describe your ability to work on your own/ self-initiative. How do you balance offering strong leadership while working with a staff team?
☛ Describe your experience working with a board of directors in a non-profit setting.
☛ Describe your experience working with financial statements and budgets.
☛ Describe your experience working with diverse populations and flexibility in working with a diverse group of volunteers and personalities. Maybe prompt for GLBT connections if they don't go there: also cross-cultural situation, singers who are blind or with other disabilities…
☛ Experience working with diverse populations…
☛ The Chorus utilizes other arts mediums (dance, collaborations, etc) as a way of making our choral music accessible to a wide variety of audience members, and particularly audience members who may be less familiar with choral music. Are you comfortable working with a choreographer and/or with other community collaborations?
☛ What would you identify as the primary challenges of a position like this?
☛ What are your hopes in working with this organization? Where would you like to take it in a year? In five years?
☛ What do you need from a supervisor? What have previous supervisors said about your work?
☛ Describe your ability to work evenings and weekends, flexible schedules during performances.
☛ Are there any other skills we haven't touched on you'd like to share with us?
☛ What uniquely qualifies for this position? What do you want us to remember when we consider you as an applicant?

20 :: Operational and Situational Community Director Job Interview Questions:

☛ What’s your experience with HR software?
☛ What do you know about EEO laws/FMLA/etc.?
☛ What KPI’s do you use to measure the effectiveness of the HR function?
☛ If you have to use three words to describe the role of an HR Director in a company, what would those be? Why?
☛ How do the company’s HR needs influence strategic planning?
☛ What do you do to ensure the HR department’s objectives are aligned with strategic goals?
☛ What is company culture to you? How would you maintain it as the company grows?
☛ What can HR do to influence the company culture?
☛ What steps would you take to ensure diversity in the organization?
☛ How do you stay current and ensure compliance with employment laws?
☛ What is your role in assisting other departments in improving their people practices and adhering to policies?
☛ Let’s assume you encounter a problem but there are no official guidelines for solving it. What is your course of action?
☛ If one of the managers under your supervision made a serious mistake, what would you do?
☛ Imagine one of the stakeholders is asking you to implement a policy while you think it will not benefit the company in the long run. How do you handle this?