Talk about strengths that will be useful in the job and about weaknesses that are irrelevant to the job. But I'd advise against say you're too hardworking, for example, as a weakness, as it just sounds creepy.
Give an example. This shows that you can work to deadlines.
I can't say I dislike anything, but my least favorite part is the administrative work. I hate paperwork with a passion. And meetings. If it becomes monotonous, I don't enjoy it.
Again this is about researching the job and knowing the career structure. You have to be realistic, so avoid saying you expect to be the managing director as this just sounds arrogant.
I do not know more than that but what I can say is that the crossword puzzles are much harder when compared to the other leading newspapers.
This gives you a a chance to demonstrate your awareness of television and radio news and of current affairs programmes.
I enjoy reading my Toastmasters magazines for inspiration and newspapers so that I can know what is happening in the country.
This offers you an opportunity to demonstrate your knowledge of the industry, touch on the importance of freedom of the press etc.
The whole thing is challenging. You have to look out for the overall future of the newspaper, how it is perceived in the community, you have to look out for your staff. But the most challenging is getting people to reach their potential.
Make it relevant to the job. Identify the skills they are looking for and match them to the achievement. There's no point saying it was spending the night up a mountain in Wales with three friends if you don't say how that experience is going to help you do the job.
Before the interview sit down with a pen and paper and jot down your achievements and their relevance to the job.
Being an editor means you get to help people with their writing, and I like to read other people's work. I also just like helping people improve on what they already have.
Allows the selector to see if you can provide detailed, interesting and concise information. Think about skills and abilities you've acquired that apply to journalism and practice describing these.
$42,000 in salary, plus health insurance, a matched 401K, dental, vision, the usual benefits. I also get a two-week vacation, and will get three when I have been there for three years.
This could help the interviewer check if you have an interest in current affairs, people, places and events. It could also help the interviewer establish what types of assignments you might be able to deal with.
The magazine industry is a small industry. If you did work with X person, again, KIP (Keep It Positive). Even if you hated X person. Even if he/she made you cry into your Michael Kors tote bag every day. Even if the editor interviewing you says nasty things, just KIP. “Yes, we did work together! I learned a lot by working with her.” Next question!
Anything which helps the community in a positive way x.
Most newspaper reporters have to be willing to take low salaries. I started out at $26,000, went on to $35,000. But I was fortunate. Our entry-level reporters here make $22,000. With hard work, they can move up rather quickly. I want to hire people who want to move up, and will reward those who do. The devil you know is better than the devil you don't know.
Most local papers don't want to upset people. It's important to show your credentials, explain why you want to write a story and say where it will go in the paper. If the story is about a death, you could ask for a photo of their loved one. Most people are happy to talk, but if not give them your card and encourage them to contact you if they change their mind.
If you are going into journalism for a 9-5 job, then you are daft.
Every newsroom is different, but at some point you will have to work weekends and some evenings, because most news isn't planned.
Say you are flexible and more than happy to swap sunbathing in the garden at short notice to go and cover an exciting story.
Give examples of when you have done this in the past at university in work, and you will be well away.
A pretty straight-forward question, but now that you know editors like to ask it, think back through your list of clips and use the time to talk about something that sounds really impressive. Maybe it was an investigative piece you wrote for your school's newspaper, or maybe you interviewed someone really inspiring for your blog. Talk it up! Here, editors really just want to see that you're passionate about your work.
I list in order from the most important to least important.
I try my best, nobody is perfect but I like to be on time for anything.
The most rewarding thing is when you are actually able to help someone. My favorite success story is a man I hired when I first got here, who didn't have some of the qualifications of the other applicants, but who had a strong desire to be a professional journalist. I decided to give him a chance. Since then, he has moved on to be an assistant editor in another town, and I feel I had something to do with that.
My job is administrative, in that I oversee payroll and HR issues, but I also work alongside my reporters as an active member of the team. I do what ever needs to be done. Sports, is a large part of it right now, because school is in session, and we have six high schools in our town, and one Division II University. And there is also a lot of Junior High stuff going on right now. But it is my job to make sure that everything works smoothly, and that the news is adequately covered, and that the newspaper contains the important news in our town, every day. We have no interaction with the advertising part of the business in the newsroom. There are times when the ad people will come by and ask us to do something like covering a ribbon cutting, and I always tell them no.
A wise editor once told me that they wouldn't even consider someone for an interview if they didn't have a Twitter account.
That may seem harsh, but in reality social media is such an important way of sourcing news stories. By not having a Facebook or Twitter account, you are automatically at a distinct disadvantage.
Mention how much you use social media, how you use it, and how you would use it to find a story.
Make sure you know how many Twitter followers you have! This was a question I got asked in an interview and luckily I knew the exact number.
Talk about your blog if you have one and tell them what type of people you follow or pages you like.
Also talk about the negatives of finding stories by using social media, for example making sure information is legit and how to trawl through all the spam!
Since you're interviewing for a job in publishing, editors want to know that you like to pick up a good book once in a while. Be ready to list off anything interesting you've read recently-books, blog posts, magazine articles. But don't just talk about the magazine where you're interviewing-editors have special brown-nose detecting powers.
I would provide them with guidelines of how the company expects the work and some pointers on how to write articles. They coud also shadow one of the senior writers to their work.
A college degree is preferred, but there is no substitute for experience, such as having been on a college newspaper, or a smaller weekly or daily. I hire people who can do a little of everything. One of the first things I did here was phase out the photographer position. My reporters were told to get some camera equipment and take photos themselves. A photography purist might say that the quality of our work would suffer as a result, but now I feel the quality of our photos have actually gotten better since we made that move. They need to be able to write in Associated Press style, take notes, write fast, and be accurate; and they have to do it quickly, because the presses are waiting.
I oversee a newsroom of six; it s a small-town community newspaper, so in addition to being in charge of the daily newspaper, I do a little bit of everything. In fact, I'm one of the six. We have a news editor, a sports editor who is a one-man sports department, a lead reporter, and two hybrid positions – one does reporting three days a week and works the news desk two days a week, and one who does sports reporting three days a week and news reporting two days a week. I also edit all the news stories for style and for mistakes. We still make mistakes. But we just make a correction and go on from there. I tell my reporters to do everything in their power to keep a mistake from happening, but if they are doing everything they can and are giving 110 percent, then I'm not going to eat their lunch.
Now, this isn't the time to slate all the things you dislike about the company's publications.
It will offend your potential employers and won't make you look very good.
This is a chance for the interviewers to get an outsider's view of their work and to see if you are capable of coming up with ideas which will improve the company as a whole.
Start off with positive aspects of their website/ newspaper, then move onto things they could improve on.
For example, you could word it like this: “You have great video content on your website, I think having more of this would drive people to the site.”
Editors want to know you have a strong social media presence. Steer the conversation toward the platform you love and use the most, and your enthusiasm for it will become evident. If the editor asks, “Well, what about Twitter?” Or, “What do you think of Facebook?” You say: “They're still strong and relevant ways to drive traffic.” (Or, if you really know your stuff, talk up the new guard of social, whatever that may be!)
☛ What is Web 2.0?
☛ What does Web 3.0 look like?
☛ What's the “next big thing?”
☛ What is the difference between social media and social networking?
☛ What do you think of social media consultants?
☛ What's the scariest part of social media?
☛ What's the most exciting part of social media?
☛ What social media blogs do you read? What research do you follow?
☛ Who's your favorite social media expert?
☛ Explain the difference between Facebook Like and Sharing on Facebook.
☛ If you're planning a vacation and will be out of touch and not able to get online for a week, what tools would you use to ensure social media updates are being posted?
☛ Write three headlines for news stories that you think will have tremendous success on social media. What makes the headline successful? Write a headline for a successful article about our company.
☛ How often should we update Twitter?
☛ How do you handle criticism of a company online?
☛ What would you do if someone started a parody account poking fun at our company?
☛ What is your policy for moderating comments?
☛ Would you pay a blogger to write favorably about our company?
☛ How would you show unique content only to fans on our Facebook page?
☛ Who in our organization should be blogging on behalf of the company?
☛ What is a “sneezer”?
☛ How would you perform competitive analysis in the social space?
☛ What do think about software applications that autofollow or try to get get large masses of friends on social network sites?
☛ What do the statistics look like for a healthy Facebook fan page?
☛ Explain what a retweet is.
☛ What is RSS? Why is it important?
☛ Have you ever gotten a piece of content onto the front page of Digg?
☛ How frequently do you update Facebook and Twitter?
☛ Which story in your portfolio are you most proud of?
☛ What was your role in conceptualizing and editing [this work sample]?
☛ Describe a time you worked with a team to complete a challenging project.
☛ Which tasks did you delegate? Who did you delegate tasks to and why?
☛ Which of your pieces would you consider to be successful? How do you measure success?
☛ Tell us about your career history so far.
☛ What do you think makes you a good editor?
☛ Take us through the project-editing process from when you get the manuscript until the book is published.
☛ Do you have experience working with budgets?
☛ Have you worked with manuscripts a lot?
☛ Have you had to deal with a tardy author or freelancer?
☛ You say you have a close working relationship with your production department. Tell us about that.
☛ What do you know about [our company]?
☛ How do you feel about ebooks?
☛ Have you got any questions for us?
☛ How do you measure success on social media?
☛ What metrics do you use to measure the effectiveness of social media?
☛ How would you tell that a social media campaign has failed?
☛ What key performance indicators would you recommend to report on social media efforts?
☛ Write down a table of contents for a social media strategy.
☛ What elements should go into a social media marketing plan?
☛ Why would we want to pay for social media advertising?
☛ What are the best types of things to advertise on a social networking site?
☛ What analytics software packages have you used?
☛ Describe the most successful social media campaign you have ever seen. What made it so successful? Could you duplicate that level of success?
☛ Describe a social media campaign you ran from start to finish.
☛ Provide an example of a social media campaign you are current running. Show me what channels it is in. Describe the next steps for your campaign.
☛ What are the elements that make a video go viral?
☛ How would you get access to a new author when there isn't an existing relationship with them or their agent?
☛ What exactly would you say to the new author when first approaching them?
☛ If you started this job tomorrow, what would you do first?
☛ Tell us about your interest in [genre].
☛ What do you think a book needs to become a bestseller in this genre?
☛ Tell us about your current role.
☛ What do you think are the qualities you would need in this job to be successful?
☛ Do you write jacket copy?
☛ How familiar are you with the process of signing new authors?
☛ Do you know any agents?
☛ Which newspapers or magazines do you read to keep up with developments in this subject area?
☛ Would you miss working with [different kinds of books I was working with at the time]?
☛ For our business, would Twitter or Facebook be more effective?
☛ Why would we want to continue using MySpace?
☛ Why should we use social media?
☛ What would be the first thing you would do if hired for this position? What would your goal be for the first month? The first year?
☛ Would you use Facebook Like or Facebook Recommend on our site?
☛ What social sites should our company have a presence on?
☛ How would you integrate social media into our site? What buttons or widgets would you recommend?
☛ What percentage of our referral traffic would you think our site should get from social media sites?
☛ Give our company a grade on our current social media efforts.
☛ How would a social check in site benefit our business?
☛ What tabs should we have on our company Facebook page? Which one should be default?
☛ How do you define social media reach? What is the current social media reach our of our company?
☛ What are 5 things you would recommend to us to do immediately in the social space?
☛ Everyone needs a break. What do you read on your own time?
☛ How has your work experience prepared you for this position?
☛ How do you sustain interest in even the most mundane aspects of editing – proofreading, fact-checking, source-checking, etc?
☛ What social media platforms work well for increasing the reach of your content?
☛ How much do you know about SEO?
☛ What publishing platforms have you used before?
☛ How do you go about hiring talented people for your team?
☛ Which style guides do you prefer?
☛ Describe your experience with creating style guides.
☛ What advice would you give writers trying to pitch stories to your publication?
☛ What topics would you want to cover in an editorial calendar from October to December?
☛ What's your approach to giving constructive feedback to a fellow writer?
☛ How do you motivate your team in the face of tight deadlines?
☛ What would you do if you or a member of your team made a very public error or created a PR crisis? How would you handle it?
☛ How would you describe the voice of our brand?
☛ What is one thing you'd change about our publication?
☛ What are some of the challenges explaining social media to non-technical executives? How do you overcome objections about social media?
☛ If you were working at a firm which blocked employee access to Facebook, Twitter, and other social sites, do you think this is a good policy? If not, how would you convince the executive team to open up access for employees?
☛ What is the difference between moderating something and facilitating something?
☛ What are your strengths in social media?
☛ What are your weaknesses in social media?
☛ Which social bookmarking sites do you use?
☛ What social media tools do you use?
☛ What is your biggest mistake you've made in social media? How did you fix it?
☛ Have you ever held a live event in the social space? How would you market a live online event? How would you structure the event?
☛ How do you manage an online reputation? If one of our executives had a bad online reputation (bad press, etc) and wanted to fix it, what would you recommend?
☛ If we had a business crisis, what social media channels would you use to communicate through? How would you manage the messaging?
☛ What areas of social media would you recommend outsourcing?
☛ What are the risks with becoming involved in social media?
☛ Which is the best social check-in site?
☛ Are you the mayor of any place?
☛ What do you do offline to increase your online knowledge?
☛ What do you know about the company?
☛ What made you want to work in publishing?
☛ What career hopes do you have?
☛ What kind of books do you enjoy?
☛ How do you respond to conflicting priorities or juggling many things at once?
☛ What do you think makes good AI and jacket copy?
☛ Are you aware of the considerations involved in designing a book that will be co-editionable?
☛ Describe your current role.
☛ What are your strengths and weaknesses? (The interviewer said: ‘This is a cliche question but it does reveal something about self-perception')
☛ Why are you interested in working with [genre]?
☛ (Talking about benefits of not being a native English-speaker): But on the other hand, does it put you at a disadvantage with more colloquial language and books that are written perhaps not in perfectly grammatical English?
☛ Sometimes, projects are running late because, say, we're waiting for input from the author, and he is not responsive. How would you deal with this?
☛ What experience do you have in Picture Research?
☛ Do you check layouts at layout stage?
☛ What things do you pay attention to when you are checking plotters?
☛ Do you have any questions for me?
When I was in junior college, I applied for a scholarship to work on the college newspaper, and I really loved it. There was a weekly newspaper in that town, and they advertised for a news reporter. I got the job, probably because I was willing to work cheaper than anyone else. But once I started doing this, I never looked back. When I went to my four-year college, I majored in communication and was on the weekly newspaper there. I started out as a staff writer. One semester I was sent to work in the state capitol, covering the legislature, and after that I covered college football. When I graduated, I went to work for a small county newspaper as a sports editor for two years, and then moved to another state and took a job as the news editor for a daily paper. This job, the one I have now, was the logical next step. It took me about 10 years to get to this stage in my career. It is mandatory to be able to do everything, and understand what the other people in the newsroom do. It's not really effective to take direction from people who have never done the job you do.
Talk about your writing skills, your willingness to sometimes work irregular hours, your determination to succeed and to work to deadlines.
This question comes up time and time again in some form, so be prepared for it.
It shows the interviewers you are a modern day thinking journalist. So for example, if this is an interview with a newspaper, in this digital age the first thing you would do is get something up on the website.
Explain how you would get something up and published like: “It has been reported there has been an explosion in an industrial building in Chilwell, more to follow.”
Inform your editor and get someone to check social media for pictures and eyewitness accounts, which you'll use for quotes for an updated version of the story.
Call the emergency services so they can officially confirm what has happened. What ever you do, keep updating the website with more information.
I never had to edit anything under a strict deadline but if I did I believe the only way to meet the deadline is to deal with it as soon as possible.
This is when you give the elevator pitch about how perfectly qualified you are for this job. Hopefully, you've read up on the job description by this point, so here, talk up anything relevant to that description. And hey, we all know interning can equal major grunt work, but whatever you do, don't speak poorly about anywhere you've worked. You've known this editor for what, 5 minutes? Trash talking that quickly can only make you look bad, and the editor will assume you'll do the same at his/her magazine.
I have been on the newspaper since the beginning of freshmen year, and I have only missed maybe 2 meetings. I am dedicated and will be at every meeting.
I will not say that I am the best, I think that each person is has their own gift, mine is an undying will to keep going even when things that going my way, so if you choose me that is what you are going to get, a relentless worker.
This can be an intimidating question to answer on the spot, but that's why I'm telling you about it now! Editors typically ask this in a very genuine way-an interview is an easy way for them to get feedback directly from a reader. Brushing up on a few back issues should spark a few ideas (and is good prep overall), but the key here is to use soft, constructive language. Instead of “I hate this,” it's, “I'd love to see more of this.”
There isn't necessarily a right or a wrong answer to these kind of competency-based questions. If you are just out of university, the interviewer knows that, and wants to hear you talk through your thought processes as you attempt to solve the problem.
Door knocks or ‘death knocks' aren't a myth and unfortunately these things happen more often than you may think. In case you don't know, death knocks are when a reporter goes to the house of someone who has recently been bereaved to interview them.
I once heard a horror story of a journalist who went on her first death knock and someone opened the door, greeting her by chucking a bucket of water over her head.
In my last interview I got asked how I would cope with door knocking and even though they sound like horrible things to do, you have to approach the situation with sensitivity but in a firm manner.
You have to respect the families wishes if they tell you to go away. Leave your number with the family, sometimes they will call you. Refer to the PCC code and talk about the ethics of journalism.
This can verifying your interest in writing.
There's no such thing as a typical workweek. You never know what kind of day you are going to have until you get to work and see what phone messages you have, and what is going on in town. And there is a lot of administrative work – payroll, HR issues.
Some careers, it may take years to see the results of your labor. But mine is there daily, waiting for me in my driveway every morning.
I typically get to work about 8 a.m. and work sometimes as late as midnight. Two of my reporters are on a salary, meaning they can work more than 40 hours without being paid overtime, but the rest of my staff is paid hourly, so the burden falls on me or one of my other editors if extra work is needed. We are all supposed to work five days with two days off, but that often doesn't happen, or when it does, the next week we make up for it by working six days. My typical week is 50-60 hours, and sometimes 70. Also, keep in mind, I do a lot of my work at home. And I often eat lunch at my desk.
I don't know if the people outside of the business, looking in, realize how much time goes into it. We give up a great deal of personal time to do this job.
I think the immediate return on your investment is the best thing. Some careers, it may take years to see the results of your labor. But mine is there daily, waiting for me in my driveway every morning.
In my last two interviews I never spoke about my experiences of working a part-time job at Costa Coffee, because I didn't think they were relevant.
In my last interview, however, I was encouraged to talk about it and it enabled me to find the perfect example of working as a team whilst under a lot of pressure.
If you have an example of working as part of a team in a newsroom then use it, but if you don't, think about the time when you ran the student newspaper or when you were at work and had to make 10,000 lattes in a day, whilst showing the new person what to do and talking to the customers at the same time.
If you go to an interview for a trainee reporter role and haven't found your own story before, then there is something wrong!
Being able to find your own stories is a key quality of a journalist, so make sure you have at least one example to show to the interviewers.
It doesn't have to be anything groundbreaking, but a it should be a story that shows you can do the following: spot a story idea, have the confidence to pitch the idea to a newspaper, know who to talk to for quotes, are able to write the story without help and can take a picture.
All of this shows initiative and that you already have the basic skills of a reporter.
If you are going into a management programe they might ask this. It can seem tricky if you're just out of university and you think you haven't had a job.
Leadership comes in all facets of life – through clubs or societies, through managing your local football team. Try to bring it up to date as much as possible rather than harking back to school days when you were a prefect.
Editors always love hearing a good answer to this question, but they also use it to see if your goals align with the position for which you're being considered. Answer honestly, but try to connect the dots as much as you can.
I have read blogs but I cannot remember any of them at this time. What I could say is that they did help me to improve my writing and editing greatly which is why I am here today.
I would have a private meeting to understand how they are feeling and what they feel when I edit their work. I would explain that their work is very good (if it was!) and that editing it was just bringing it up to scratch with house-style. They don't need to take it personally as it is not a reflection on the quality of their work, it's just my job to do that.
I sometimes find this question a bit difficult because I think it wouldn't be as simple as people in the police force, hospital staff or local councillors.
Think about others who could give a tip off for a story – for example key people in the area such as teachers, shop owners or other key members of the community.
Tell the interviewers how you would get to know people in the community so you'd be the first one they'd contact if a news story broke out.
It's usually the people you least expect who give you a diamond of a story.
This is an opportunity to show that you know a little bit about the company, its background and training programmes.
I was once asked if I would be OK with writing the Table of Contents even though it had been years since the page was part of my job description. But I said yes, and got the job, and actually didn't mind doing it until it was eventually taken off my plate a year or so later. Bottom line: Just say yes. Job descriptions are what you make of them once you get your foot in the door-until then, just prove that you're someone who is willing to roll up your sleeves and get the job done.
Once I moved into the interviewer seat, this is the question I noticed other people stumbling over the most. Editors know you're probably applying to 10 zillion other places, but they at least want to feel like you'd be more excited to work at their brand than, say, your hometown gas station. Challenge yourself to come up with something unique and personal. (When I worked at a teen magazine, 99 percent of people said they wanted to work there because they “loved it growing up.” That's great, I thought, but why do you want to work here now?) Is it the magazine you always save space for in your suitcase? Do you love a particular writer? Did they publish a story that impacted your life in a meaningful way?
To improve my writing skills, because I believe as an editor or in life in general one can never stop learning or perfecting their craft. So yes eventually I want to become a lecturer.