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Screenwriter Interview
Questions

29 Questions and Answers by Christina Erne
Updated August 17th, 2018 | Christina Erne is a meteorologist and a journalist at News 10 ABC in Albany, NY.
Job Interviews     Careers     Media    

Question 1 of 29

Do you prefer to work at home or in the office?

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1.

Do you prefer to work at home or in the office?

Oftentimes, screenwriters are able to work from home if they choose. Writing careers often some flexibility in their hours and where they work, as long as the project gets done on time. The candidate should discuss which location they prefer to work and why they feel their work will be best performed here.

Christina's Answer

"I prefer working in the office, especially when I first start out, because I hope to learn from those around me. I like to throw ideas off of a team and reach a common goal to produce the best quality product possible."

2.

How does this job fit into your career plans?

The interviewer wants to know what the candidate has planned for the job and beyond, showing a person who wants to grow. The candidate should discuss why they feel this is a good position for them at this moment of their career based on their skills in screenwriting, and they should also discuss what skills they hope to learn so they can grow in the future and move on to future endeavors.

Christina's Answer

"I am a motivated individual and as soon as I realized I had the skills necessary to become a screenwriter full time, I wanted to pursue it. I hope to develop my writing skills here so in the future I can be your lead editor and screenwriter."

3.

How do you work under stress or time constraints?

Every job has some kind of stress, and especially writers face time constraints to get the job done based on when managers or clients want the play ready. The candidate should discuss how they have worked under pressure in the past and how they expect to see their work change based on stress in the future. The candidate should always remain positive about finding ways to improve on their career despite being stressed physically or mentally on the job.

Christina's Answer

"I find that I do some of my best work while under stress because I am able to work quickly and minimize my outside distractions."

4.

What style screenplays do you prefer to write?

The candidate should discuss what kinds of screenplays they feel they write best and what they enjoy writing. The interviewer can get a sense of the candidate's strengths by seeing what they enjoy writing and where their creativities lay.

Christina's Answer

"I find that my strengths are in comedic screenplays, or plays that focus on current hot topics and hot button issues. I tailor my works to a younger audience and I believe I can draw in that young crowd do all of the works we put out."

5.

What are your salary expectations?

The candidate should discuss what they believe they deserve to make in salary based on prior experience they have and the kind of work they produce. Starting salaries for screenwriters are typically between $20,000-$40,000. The candidate should discuss what they are willing to make based on the position.

Christina's Answer

"Since I feel I fit the description of this job so well, I believe I should be making $30,000-$32,000 to start. I hope we can come to an agreement representing my skills."

6.

How do you deal with criticism about your writing?

All writers and those in creative fields face some kind of criticism about the way they do their job, and the candidate should be prepared for different bosses to require different standards of writing and story development. The candidate should discuss their openness to adapting their writing style and storytelling techniques to the new clients and new works they will be producing.

Christina's Answer

"I find that every job requires different standards of my writing and storytelling, and I am willing to accept some constructive criticism to help me adapt in the right way for the job. I also believe these changes will be for the best, helping me become a better screenwriter overall."

7.

Where do you see yourself five years from now?

The candidate should discuss what kinds of skills and experience they will gain in this career, and where that will put them in the near future. Whether or not the candidate chooses to stick with the company or begin to apply elsewhere, they should be confident that their first choice would be to stay within the company and continue to grow their skills and be a strong asset to the team.

Christina's Answer

"In five years from now, I hope to rise up within this production company and be one of your top screenwriters. I hope to produce innovative scripts and I hope we can make them famous throughout the country because of our creativity."

8.

How do you communicate with others as a part of a team?

A screenwriter often has to work with a team of writers, and even with editors, and those who produce the show. Sometimes they are even directed by clients dictating the plot line of the entire duration of the screenplay. The candidate must be able to work well with a team and coordinate jobs, and should discuss their success in doing so in previous careers.

Christina's Answer

"I believe I am a great coordinator of a team and I encourage teamwork and cooperation throughout the duration of a project. I demonstrated this in my past job of being a screenwriter in the theater, and I hope to move my skills to your production company."

9.

How do you work to improve your writing on a daily basis?

A good screenwriter is someone who believes they are never truly done learning, and is always seeking ways to improve their workflow and writing techniques. The candidate should discuss the ways in which they strive to improve their writing, from doing lots of reading, doing research, or learning from others in the office.

Christina's Answer

"I am constantly striving to improve my writing. I find that learning from others in the office who have been working here as a screenwriter longer than me will teach me what viewers are really looking for."

10.

In what ways do you strengthen a team?

A hiring manager is not only looking for a skilled worker, but also wants someone who is a good communicator with others and who works well with a team. The candidate should discuss their experience being a part of one, and the ways in which they will make the team better and stronger.

Christina's Answer

"I am a great addition to any team because I help move the team forward. I am a determined individual and love to check jobs off my list and progress forward quickly. I can help motivate a team to get things done."

11.

What previous experience do you have as a screen writer or in another writing career?

In order to be a successful screenwriter, one must do a good amount of writing and have experience with writing stories. The candidate should discuss their writing experience in the past and how it has developed over time. The candidate should discuss their other writing experience and how it relates to the job they are applying for as a screenwriter.

Christina's Answer

"I have been writing nearly my entire life, but went to college to learn to fine-tune my screenwriting skills to include commands and stage cues. I feel one of my strengths is developing characters and elaborating on scenery."

12.

Why is this job right for you at this time?

A variety of candidates will be applying for the job, with all different ages and backstories. The candidate should discuss why they feel this job is right for them at this time, given their previous experience, and where they hope to go in the future. The candidate should have a good explanation as to why they feel they are ready to take on this job, and why they believe they are prepared to do so.

Christina's Answer

"I believe this job is right for me at this time because I have been preparing to be a screenwriter for years. I have been taking other writing jobs to learn from others and practice my skills, and I am ready to jump in and do it."

13.

What other jobs have you taken that differ from screenwriting?

The candidate should discuss other jobs they have had in the past, and what skills they have gained from working in this other field. The candidate should discuss why they ultimately decided to leave the job, but what do they believe made them a better worker because of it. The candidate should discuss what new and unique skills and talents they bring to the screenwriting position from other careers others perhaps do not have.

Christina's Answer

"In the past, I took a job as a language tutor. I feel that being bilingual in English and Spanish is very important in any job, and will help me incorporate any Spanish into screenwriting to attract a wide variety of audiences."

14.

How would you describe yourself professionally in five words?

The candidate is able to give the interview a window into the type of person they really are in the workplace outside of the interview. The candidate should use words that they feel really represent them and how they are as a person, not a robotic worker.

Christina's Answer

"I would describe myself as intelligent, energetic, generous, understanding, and unique."

15.

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

Everyone has faults, and the ability for someone to recognize faults in themselves shows they are self-aware and hopeful for change. The candidate should discuss some drawbacks in their character or in their workflow, but ultimately talk about how these flaws are fixable over time.

Christina's Answer

"I have always considered myself a better independent worker rather than someone who works well with a team. However, I find that I sometimes produce my best work when I have a team and I know that over time I will be able to work well with the team I am given."

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29 Screenwriter Interview Questions
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Interview Questions

  1. Do you prefer to work at home or in the office?
  2. How does this job fit into your career plans?
  3. How do you work under stress or time constraints?
  4. What style screenplays do you prefer to write?
  5. What are your salary expectations?
  6. How do you deal with criticism about your writing?
  7. Where do you see yourself five years from now?
  8. How do you communicate with others as a part of a team?
  9. How do you work to improve your writing on a daily basis?
  10. In what ways do you strengthen a team?
  11. What previous experience do you have as a screen writer or in another writing career?
  12. Why is this job right for you at this time?
  13. What other jobs have you taken that differ from screenwriting?
  14. How would you describe yourself professionally in five words?
  15. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
  16. Do you prefer writing short or long pieces?
  17. Are you flexible with your work hours?
  18. Who inspires you in your writing?
  19. What are your benefits expectations?
  20. Why do you want to become a screenwriter?
  21. How do you continue a flow of creativity day by day?
  22. What kinds of skills do you hope to gain from this job?
  23. If you could choose a different career, what would you do and why?
  24. In what ways do you set yourself apart from others as a screenwriter?
  25. What is your favorite project you have ever worked on?
  26. How did you know you wanted to become a screenwriter?
  27. What is your favorite genre of writing?
  28. What kind of writer are you?
  29. What kinds of skills do you have that make you a good screenwriter?
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