Writing for Careers

Project 2: Composing “All the Right Questions”

I researched interview questions for an editing job and then composed my own 10 questions for an editing job interview.

1) What editing tools or programs do you use regularly and why?

[This allows the interviewer to see what kind of tools and programs the candidate is familiar with and why they use them. This allows the company to see if their editing tools and programs align with the candidates and how much of a learning curve there will be if not. I put this question higher because it’s a fairly simple question about editing tools.]

2) Would you consider yourself more left-brained or right-brained when editing and why? Left-brained being a more logical process and right-brained being a more creative process.

[This is to see if the candidate sees the editing process as more of an extension of the creative process, or more of a logical, fact-checking process. I feel the creative would be more helpful for jobs where the editing is looking to critique content and ideas while logic would be more helpful for jobs looking to critique accuracy, style, and grammar. I also think this would show more of the personality of the candidate since it’s focusing on their opinion. I put this question early on because it’s more of a fun question compared to other question topics.]

3) Tell me about a project you’ve recently edited. What is your editing process?

[This is to get a closer look at an example of their editing process and what type of projects they’ve worked on recently. I lead with the tell me about the project because I want an example of their editing and their recent projects, but I added the what is your editing process to get them to focus on how their editing process works specifically in the example. This sets apart editors that have a process and to see how it aligns against the company’s process. I put this question higher because it’s probably a question people are expecting since it’s an editing job.]

4) How do you keep the tedious parts of editing interesting?

[This question is to see if how the candidate stays motivated in their job even when it gets tedious and repetitive at times. This could set apart the editors with a passion for the job. This is in the first half of the questions because it’s a lighter question just asking about motivation.]

5) What is your biggest strength in writing, and how does that assist you as an editor?

[This allows editors to bring up what they’re good at and how that makes them stand out compared to other candidates. This would allow companies to see if the candidate brings any strengths missing from the team or if the candidate’s strengths specifically align with what they are looking to fill in the position This is in the first half of the interview because it’s also a question I feel people will be expecting and it’s a more positive question.]

6) How do you prefer to be critiqued, and how does that influence your own critiquing style?

[This allows the company to see if the candidate is used to dealing with critique. If someone has a preferred style of receiving critique, that tends to influence their own style. This also allows the company to see how the candidate’s style of editing compares against theirs. I put this question in the second half of the interview because criticism can be a difficult topic.]

7) How do you handle the stress of being an editor? Give me an example of time you were in a high- pressure situation and how you managed the situation.

[This allows the company to see if the candidate is able to handle the stress of the job in a healthy way. I asked for the example to see if they have successfully worked through a stressful situation or if they’ve learned how to from a previous experience. I put this in the second half because stress management can be difficult to do.]

8) If you have an inbox full of emails, a big project due at midnight, and a smaller project due at noon, how do you prioritize the order of work and why?

[This allows the company to see how the candidate prioritize projects and how that compares to the company. This also allows the employers to see the logic behind how the candidate prioritizes work. I choose a long-term and short-term project along with a daily task to see how they work. I put this question near the bottom because there’s a lot of thinking and not really a right answer.]

9) If a writer can’t make a deadline, how do you handle the situation and what factors influence that decision if at all?

[This question allows the interviewer to see how the candidate views deadlines. Some people view them as final with no room for negotiation while others may be more flexible depending on what type of deadline it is, why the deadline isn’t being met, how late is the project, etc. This allows the company to see how the candidate would handle the situation and why as well as how that aligns to the company’s view on deadlines. I put this question basically last because deadlines can be a complicated topic.]

10) Why do you want the job and what editing experience will you bring to the position?

[This allows the candidate to make their final pitch of why they should be hired for the position. If they can get this answer to resonate with the interviewer, they’ll probably hear from the company again. I put this question last to end on a lighter note, but also to give the candidate the opportunity to make any final points they think will strengthen their interview.]

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