Next Stop: Your Magazine Dream Job

What Smart Editors Ask During A Job Interview

By Heather Taylor

“So, do you have any questions for us?”

By now, you should know better than to answer “no” to this interview question. But what can you ask that will actually help you make a good impression? Rather than default to something canned about 401(k) plans, check out these pro suggestions that will prove you’re passionate and ready to take on the role.

“How does the day-to-day process work?”
Whether you’re interviewing for a remote or an office position, dig for details about how a typical day runs. Lucia Peters, associate lifestyle editor at Bustle, says asking this question goes beyond getting a feel for what’s involved in the workload. “It’s about having a sense for the right questions to ask and being a self-starter. It’s important that you’re able to function without a ton of hand-holding and are able to take initiative with your own projects, especially when you’re working remotely.”

“What sort of analytics software do you use?”
Want to know how a brand uses Snapchat, measures editorial success, and analyzes their performance? Ask away! Showing a genuine interest in the business side of editorial is always welcome during interviews, says Melissa Kirsch, deputy editor at SheKnows. Questions about traffic goals and social media strategy subtly demonstrates that you’re just as savvy about the business of editorial as well as its creative side.

“What pieces have you run that encapsulate the vision of your brand?”
If you’re ready to skip snoozefest minutiae questions (like what hours you’ll be working),  ask which articles sum up the publication’s mission and why, suggests Elena Sheppard, writer and former culture editor at HelloGiggles. It’ll give you more insight into the mission of the company.

In addition, you can chat with your interviewer about stories you know they worked on, says Melissa Bykofsky, senior editor at Woman’s Day and Redbook. The more specific you can be about the pieces, the better, as this further cements that you’re familiar with the brand and did your homework.

“What’s your hiring timeline?”
Before you wrap up an interview, make sure to ask this one! After all, you don’t want to be *that applicant* who keeps sending follow-up emails to see when the hiring decision will be made.

Above all, ask questions you’re curious about.
It’s always obvious when you’re asking questions for the sake of asking questions, so if you aren’t passionate about the topic, don’t bring it up. The fuel behind a good writer is always wanting to find out more, notes Peters, so ask questions with purpose.

And when in doubt, always follow Kirsch’s golden interview rule: “The best interview is a conversation. You don’t have to follow a script.”

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