You need a talented healthcare writer to contribute the kind of engaging writing that drives traffic, increases your authority, and boosts conversions. The challenge is that this isn’t quite as easy as hiring any other writer. You must be absolutely sure that the freelance writer you bring on board can produce the content you need about some serious topics in a credible way.

“Your money or your life” (YMYL) aren’t just words uttered in old movies. They are a part of Google’s search engine evaluator guidelines. YMYL web pages address subjects that deal directly with your money or your life and are held to a much higher standard than other types of content. 

“Your life” refers largely to healthcare content, as inaccurate or poorly presented medical information could impact people’s health and safety. You need a writer who can meet the quality standards set by search engines, so you should screen candidates carefully.

The best way to do that is to vet potential writers through the interview process. These 10 sample interview questions should help with that.

1. What Are Your Priorities When Writing Healthcare Content?

You may have a product or service to sell, but that shouldn’t be the primary focus of any healthcare writer. Instead, they should be concerned with accuracy, education, and communication first. Your trust, authority, and customer relationships will bring you more business over time than a writer who can convert readers in the short term.

2. How Do You Research Health-Related Topics?

Is the candidate able to identify reliable research sources? Do they have a solid methodology for learning about topics that may not be within their specific area of expertise? What does the candidate see as a valid research source? If you aren’t comfortable with your candidate’s answers to these questions, this should raise some red flags.

3. Is There a Niche that You Consider to Be Your Specialty?

Healthcare content covers a wide array of topics. Consider asking the candidate if there are any subjects that they are passionate about or already have deep knowledge of. This is a great way to see if their expertise aligns with your needs. At the very least, you will probably want to connect with a writer who specializes in topics related to your brand.

4. How Do You Explain Complex Topics to a General Audience?

Unfortunately, some healthcare content professionals want to show their “expertise” by making their writing more complex than it needs to be. In most cases, you want a writer who can take complicated health and medical topics and communicate them so that the average person can understand. Be wary of any candidate who doesn’t seem to embrace this.

5. What Drives You to Write About Healthcare?

It isn’t always necessary for a writer to have a degree in a healthcare-related discipline, but it’s always a bonus to have some sort of qualifications. They give the writer’s content added authority, which makes the work they produce for you even more credible. Your readers are likely to respond more positively if they see your writer is truly qualified to communicate on healthcare topics.

6. What Do You Know About Healthcare Writing and SEO?

You know about YMYL, but does your freelance healthcare writer? They should understand topics like keyword optimization and how content quality impacts SEO. Additionally, they should be able to articulate how healthcare blogs and websites must meet higher standards regarding the accuracy and relevance of the content they publish.

7. Are There Healthcare Topics You Truly Care About?

A writer doesn’t need to be particularly passionate or connected to a topic to create engaging content. It certainly helps, though. When writers care about the subject, they are more likely to be diligent about their research and ensure that they provide their target audience with relevant information. If the interviewee can connect with your healthcare niche, that’s even better.

8. Have You Ever Turned Down a Writing Assignment?

Any good writer will know when a particular assignment goes beyond their capabilities. When it comes to healthcare writing, the output must be timely, accurate, honest, and sufficiently detailed. It’s a credit to any writer when they know their limitations and are willing to turn down an assignment if they realize they are unable to deliver high-quality healthcare writing.

It’s also helpful to learn about your prospective freelancer’s views on the ethics of healthcare writing. If they’ve ever turned down an assignment because they were uncomfortable with the message they were asked to deliver, ask them to explore that with you further.

9. How Do You Find Content Ideas?

Many brands need freelance writers who can come up with healthcare topics relevant to their target audience. If this is a need for your company, add this to your list of interview questions. It can be quite revealing to learn how a candidate:

  • Sources topic ideas
  • Determines how they can approach timely subjects in a way that resonates
  • Identifies which topics are worth pursuing

When they give their answer, you can see how the depth and breadth of the content ideas they are likely to create aligns with your needs. For example, there will be a difference in the work you get from a writer who draws content ideas from medical journals and one who sources content from popular healthcare blogs.

10. Can You Briefly Describe Your Quality Control Process?

Editing, proofreading, and fact-checking should be part of every healthcare writing process. Any qualified healthcare content creator will hold themselves to high standards. They’ll also have a process in place to ensure that they are responsibly communicating information. This includes double verifying medical claims, ensuring that they vet sources appropriately, avoiding healthcare jargon, and writing so that the audience truly understands. 

Know Which Questions Meet Your Demands

Don’t hesitate to add to these questions or modify them to meet your hiring needs. The important thing is to ask questions that allow you to identify the qualifications you need in a healthcare writer. The answers can directly impact your ability to reach your audience.