Copywriters: 3 alignment checks for creative agency interviewing


Chris Ribaudo
Chris Ribaudo, Copywriter & Creative Director

Alignment is a key aspect when considering a job opportunity with a creative agency. Use these 3 baselines to check a potential position’s alignment with your expectations and goals.


Check alignment between the written job description and your expectations.

Does this really need to be said? I think so. Life is busy and often seems to move at the speed of a microprocessor chip.


So, make sure you've read the written job description carefully. There are different kinds of reading strategies for different types of tactics or situations. Don't just scan the job description. Read it slowly and thoughtfully. Make sure you understand everything on it. Be sure to mark what you don't understand or is unclear so you can remind yourself to ask about it in the HR interview.


Next, check the alignment between HR's written job description and the expectations of your prospective manager.

I was once offered a position by a global creative agency as copy supervisor. It wasn't until I was in the post that I realized the degree of difference between HR's job description used throughout the interview process and the manager's actual view of the position. There was a clear disconnect between HR and creative leadership in this instance. Not fun.


Be sure to check HR's job description against your prospective manager's view of the job description. Confirm they are aligned. Don't assume. Be proactive. Ask question and follow-up clarification questions to be sure what the HR recruiter is saying agrees with the actual manager or supervisor’s expectations.


Finally, check the alignment between the written job description and your manager's view of the genuine job breakdown.

This is often overlooked but is so important. If the job description states that you will be responsible for research, creative concepting, pulling through other's words, writing, editing, fact-checking, annotating, and submission prep. Ask for a rough percent breakdown of the time you will be expected to spend on each of these areas or tasks.


Although the job description may say copywriter or senior copywriter, there is a vast difference between a copywriting position that is 80% concepting and writing versus one that is 80% pulling through messaging and making editing tweaks on a route. Same job title but vastly different jobs on a day-to-day basis. Check the alignment and be sure this is the job you want.


Alignment matters.

Whether in business, your relationships, or even your body, alignment is key. It contributes to healthy and sustainable work relationships and promotes easier flow, fluidity, productivity, and joy in the process.

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