Editor Interview Questions
Editors lead content strategy and manage content teams (writers, designers, developers, photographers, etc) in order to create exceptional, engaging content. As with any role, be clear on what you’re looking for in an editor before you invite candidates to interviews.
In some circumstances, you might not need an experienced editor and may be willing to hire a strong writer who is ready to increase their responsibilities. Or, you might be looking for a senior editor with a long track record of professional success. Perhaps you are looking for an editor with a specific industry background (e.g. healthcare, academia). Digital-only publications may want an editor with a strong digital portfolio and relevant skills such as SEO and social media. For best results, tailor your questions carefully to the role or add some of your own.
For editorial roles, as with any creative role, use a portfolio of work samples to jumpstart the conversation. You’ll get the most out of your interviews if you can see how their previous work is aligned with the kind of work you want to produce. Editors are also project managers. It is therefore useful to get candidates talking about how they would go about producing an editorial calendar, how they go about delegating tasks, and how thoroughly they understand your audience and business goals.
Operational and Situational questions
- 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?
- 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?