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Capitol Records Interview
Questions

30 Questions and Answers by
| Rachelle is a job search expert, career coach, and headhunter
who helps everyone from students to fortune executives find success in their career.

Question 1 of 30

What decisions did you routinely make in your last position?

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Capitol Records Interview Questions

  1. 1.

    What decisions did you routinely make in your last position?

      The interviewer would like to know more about the types of decisions you are accustomed to making in the workplace. The way you answer this question will give Capitol Records a good idea of your level of experience, seniority, and ability to handle the decision-making requirements in this possible position.

      If the job you are interviewing for requires you to be decisive and quick on your feet, you will need to be able to provide examples of how you have done these things in the past. If you worked in tech support, you faced with problems that you needed to find solutions for regularly. If you worked as an agent, your job might have required that you know how to negotiate and make decisions on contracts.

      You may have faced decisions that became so routine you didn't think twice! Refer to these types of decisions and be sure to highlight how they have prepared you for a role like this one.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I routinely make decisions around hiring, career advancement, associate development, and talent management. I am very comfortable in these areas."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "In my previous role, as an intern and then as an executive assistant, I routinely made decisions on vendors, locations, caterers, and airlines. I thoroughly enjoy making those types of decisions as I am decisive and a great researcher."

  2. 2.

    From your knowledge, what is the primary purpose of a record label?

      Record labels such as Capitol Records have a few purposes which include:

      - Marketing of recorded music
      - Marketing of music videos
      - New artist recruitment & development
      - Music publishing
      - Copyright enforcement
      - Distribution

      Discuss what you believe to be the primary purpose of a record label.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I believe the purpose of a record label is to coordinate the production and manufacturing of a musical artist or band's work. A label will then lead efforts in marketing, promotion, and distribution. Copyright enforcement on behalf of the artists, their songs, and their videos is also a large part of a record label's job. Lastly, record labels and their scouts actively work on talent scouting and the development of new artists."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "The primary purpose of a label is to sign talented artists and then represent their work. These efforts could include marketing, campaigns, promotions, and even distribution. A record label also works hard to protect copywritten material on behalf of the artists."

  3. 3.

    Have you ever worked in a situation where the rules and guidelines were not clear? How did you cope?

      The interviewer at Capitol Records wants to know how you go about achieving goals when you lack explicit instruction from your manager or company. Part of the point of this interview question is to find out where your moral compass lands when company rules are not clear. Give the interviewer an example of a time when you had to cope with very few guidelines.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I worked for a small family-owned label for a while. Most processes were not formally written down or included in my onboarding training. I made it my project to create 'what-if' scenarios, get answers from the owners, and compile a troubleshooting list to work from."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I've had a position where the company had clear guidelines and procedures; however, the manager didn't follow the rules and instead implemented her own. This situation was not only odd but also tricky. To please my boss, I had to follow her rules but to move up in the company and please corporate; I had to follow theirs. Ultimately, I found an excellent middle ground that kept me productive, my boss happy with my productivity, and was presumably pleasing corporate. I later moved to a different department. All that to say, I'm comfortable in awkward, figure-it-out situations, and can find a way to succeed and keep all parties happy, no matter what the parameters."

  4. 4.

    When entering a new job, describe how you build relationships with your new coworkers and supervisors.

      The interviewer would like to know how you plan to start relationships with your new co-workers at Capitol Records. Due to a wide variety of personalities, coworker connections can take time to form. How do you ensure that you have an active line of communication with your co-workers and supervisors, right from the start?

      Here are some ideas for getting started on the right foot:

      - Be willing to accept feedback and help
      - Offer to join a committee or volunteer assistance in some way
      - Do not have an air of entitlement or act as though you know the ins and outs immediately
      - Avoid all company gossip, at all cost
      - Be thankful for the equipment that you have. Don't complain about your used computer or your slow dial out line!
      - Be early on your first day (and every day after that!)
      - Come dressed appropriately

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I like to ask my new colleagues for their best tips on how to succeed in my new environment, and also what they are currently working on. Creative types like to bounce ideas off of others which makes these two questions a very effective way to get to know others in the music and entertainment industry."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I understand that some relationships come quickly and others take time to nurture. When starting a new job all that I can do is be my true self and let my personality, integrity, and reliability speak for itself."

  5. 5.

    Why do you want to work with Capitol Records?

      There is a lot of competition for roles with Capitol Records. Come to your interview very prepared to discuss why you want to work for them, specifically. Perhaps it's their renowned training, the talent they represent, their reputation, or an experience you have had with an employee of their company. Whatever your response is, be sure to exude enthusiasm for this opportunity.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I have had my eye on a potential role with Capitol Records for a couple of years now. This application is my third application to Capitol Records in three years. It's important to me that I join a label that has a world-class reputation and offers unlimited opportunity for growth. The fact that your training is known globally as some of the best training in the industry is reasoning enough for me to pursue this opportunity eagerly."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "The Beatles and Paul McCartney are legends in the music industry, and I am aware that Capitol Records represents them. I believe that being the agent for longstanding talent says all that I need to know about your reputation and ability in this industry. I want to learn from, and work for, the best."

  6. 6.

    Who is your favorite band or musician, represented by Capitol Records? Why are they your favorite?

      Having an answer to this means that you have to have conducted a fair amount of research on Capitol Records before going into your interview. Think of the music that you listen to the most, and be sure Capitol Records represent them. You can chat a bit about why you like this band or musician, and what you hope to see more of, from them, soon. Be sure to exude positivity and enthusiasm in your response!

      Rachelle's Answer

      "My favorite musician represented by Capitol Records would be Halsey. I like her because of the authenticity in her lyrics, and the fact that she sticks to her true image and genuine self. She writes a lot of her music which is a big likability factor, in my opinion."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "Capitol Records has signed Katy Perry, and I cannot get enough of her music lately! The sound transcends musical genres. I also appreciate how transparent she is on their social media platforms with her struggles. It's fun to engage with her, and her loyal fan base."

  7. 7.

    How would you ultimately describe your work style?

      This question is not referring to your personality or character, but more towards your methodology when it comes to getting your work done. Talk to the interviewer about your day-to-day approach to projects, communicating with coworkers, or collaborating with clients.

      Your work style might be:

      - Collaborative
      - Well-Planned
      - Speedy
      - Flexible or Adaptive
      - Independent
      - Company-focused
      - Team-based

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I would describe my work style as highly team-based. I keep in mind that my pace, quality of work, and the outcome will always affect multiple people on my team. If I am unsure of the path to take on a project, I will consult with my team to ensure that my ideas align well with theirs."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I have a well-planned and highly mapped out working style. Before I leave work for the day, I ensure that my following day is good to go! I like to come to work in the morning feeling organized, and in control. Being an administrative assistant, this level of preparedness is always welcome by my employer."

  8. 8.

    What is your dream job?

      This question can be a bit tricky to answer since you don't want to give a reply that will make you seem like a bad fit for this role. A general rule of thumb, if it isn't related to your current career path, you probably should not mention it in an interview. It's fun to think about off-the-wall dreams like becoming a dolphin trainer, but an interview is not the time to express those dreams.

      Instead, focus on what you aim to gain from a career with Capitol Records. Perhaps you see yourself in that shiny corner office, or you want to work your way into a talent agent role, jet-setting all over the country to give presentations and perform essential negotiations. Or, maybe you are already looking at your dream career! Be brief in your answer and express how you plan to see this dream job realized.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "My dream is to be a marketing director for Capitol Records or even another Universal Music Group label. To get there, I am committed to continued education, taking courses on leadership, and gaining more project management experience. I see that your label has a multitude of paths available to reach a goal like this one, which is very exciting to me."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I am looking to make my way into an executive assistant position. Supporting your c-suite would be a dream position for me, and I look forward to earning my way into a role like this with your organization."

  9. 9.

    Name three artists you believe will have a breakthrough this year.

      The interviewer wants to see that you follow the music industry and that you have a genuine interest in what they do at Capitol Records. If possible, come prepared to discuss artists from this particular label. This type of example will show the interviewer that you have done your homework on their company and who they represent.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "Three artists under Capitol Records whom I believe will have a breakthrough this year include {list some hot new artists}. The marketing efforts put into their latest releases and the fact that they have had successful collaborations with other artists on your label are strong indicators of future success."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "The artists that have caught my eye this year include {list some hot new artists}. I think it's great that Capitol Records has put a lot of emphasis on finding new and diverse talent throughout multiple musical genres. I look forward to seeing these artists flourish in their careers."

  10. 10.

    What is your favorite source for entertainment news and industry updates?

      The interviewer wants to see that you have a thumb on the beat of what's happening in the music industry. Capitol Records needs to hire people who are curious and want to know what's going on minute-to-minute, always knowing which trends and topics to follow. Discuss how you remain up to date in the industry by mentioning a few different tools and resources.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "First and foremost, I follow Capitol Records on Twitter for important live updates on what's happening in music entertainment news. I also follow a lot of top artists on Instagram, and I read Billboard magazine regularly. I fully understand the importance of being up to date on entertainment news and industry happenings."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "My top sources for entertainment news are all of the music awards! I watch the Billboard Music Awards, American Music Awards, the Grammy's, the MTV Music Awards and more. Also, I follow many top artists and labels on social media which provides me with up to the minute entertainment news."

  11. 11.

    Who are considered the 'Big 3' record labels, and how does Capitol Records compete?

      The 'Big 3' record labels include:

      - Sony BMG
      - Universal Music Group
      - Warner Music Group

      These three record labels own nearly 80% of the music market. Since you are interviewing for Capitol Records, a sub-label of Universal Music Group, be prepared to discuss the other competition. How do they compete with each other to have the best talent in the music and entertainment industry?

      Rachelle's Answer

      "Sony BGM, Warner Music and Universal Music make up the 'Big 3' in the music industry. I believe that the best way Capitol Records and Universal competes with their competitors is to work hard to sign the worlds' most celebrated artists to their core label. This approach includes being competitive when it comes to what you offer the artist. Also, working hard to scout hot new talent is a significant factor in your ability to remain ahead of your competitors."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "The big three record labels are Sony BGM, Warner Music Group, and Universal Music Group. Together, these three hold 80% of the music market. The best way to remain competitive is to continue gaining access to the world's core talent and signing them to your primary label. The second part of this strategy is to be the first to find and sign hot new talent."

  12. 12.

    Would your former or current boss describe you as a worker who gladly goes the extra mile to complete their tasks?

      You can say that you will go the extra mile, but it's best to give a real-life example to the interviewer about a time when you did just that. Offer up your references to Capitol Records as well and discuss with the interviewer what you feel your most recent employer would say about you. Give examples of how you go the extra mile in the workplace.

      Here are some ways that employees will go the extra mile:

      - Starting on an upcoming project ahead of time, without being asked.
      - Taking action on any feedback, they receive from their manager. Taking action means attending a class to improve a skill or reading a self-development book to help with communication skills at work.
      - Coming to meetings ready to brainstorm or, better yet, with ideas already jotted down.
      - Creating new ways for themselves or their team to maximize efficiency.
      - Going out of their way to make their customers happy.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "Going the extra mile is something that I deliver, and expect from my team. When everyone puts in 100% of their energy into a project, incredible things can happen. When you call my references, they will most certainly discuss my dedication to my work."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I sure think so! I have always put my best foot forward, and I very much dislike being bored. I go the extra mile whenever possible because that's what great employees do! I have received very positive feedback from all of my previous employers."

  13. 13.

    Describe an ongoing problem at your current or former employer, that you were able to overcome.

      Every place of employment has its challenges, and Capitol Records is no different. Talk to the interviewer about a specific issue that you were able to overcome in your previous role. Be sure to remain positive. Avoid complaining or saying negative things about your last employer or co-workers.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "An ongoing issue in our marketing department was a lack of funds allocated to the projects that our board had already approved. It seemed as though they wanted us to perform miracles with very little financial support. To overcome this, we created a catchy new hashtag, and it ended up going viral on Instagram. Luckily we did not have to spend funds to make this happen, and we were able to promote our product to an audience much larger than we thought possible."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "Clear communication was an ongoing problem in our office when I first started as an intern. With the support of management, the use of Microsoft Project, and a weekly status email template, I helped them quickly overcome the communication issues. All five of our departments are now talking to each other instead of pointing fingers."

  14. 14.

    The world of entertainment never sleeps. Are you willing to work long hours, evenings, weekends, and holidays?

      The interviewer wants assurance that you understand the work at Capitol Records isn't just schmoozing, attending celebrity events and being a part of posh promotions. Working for a record label is hard work and requires grinding into the nights, weekends, and on holidays. Assure the interviewer that you are ready for this commitment.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I currently work 60+ hour work weeks with a 24/7 cell phone and am on my email most of the day. I am prepared to work long and hard hours, doing what it takes to succeed in the entertainment industry."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "As a recent graduate, I am well equipped and highly prepared for the fact that I need to work demanding weeks and long hours, to rise above the rest in this competitive industry."

  15. 15.

    How can we inspire your creative side?

      If an interviewer asks you any questions related to how they can help you, then you should rejoice! Companies lie Capitol Records, who ask potential employees what they can do for them, are often a flatter organizational structure and often fabulous companies to join. Think of a time when your creative juices were flowing. What were the surroundings, or which resources were available to you? Be sure to thank the interviewer for a question related to your needs!

      Rachelle's Answer

      "Thank you for asking! For me, a flexible and a moveable workspace are all factors that allow me to be at my most creative. For instance, in my current role, we can start late and stay late, or come in early to have a quiet coffee and get our day going. Also, I do not have one specific desk. Our workspaces flow throughout the office."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I love to exercise my creativity, so - thank you for asking! I am at my best, creatively speaking when a team mentality is encouraged. This mentality could mean group huddles at the beginning of the day, group coffee breaks, or after-work drinks."

  16. 16.

    What type of situation would make you quit your job?

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  17. 17.

    With which other companies are you interviewing?

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  18. 18.

    When have you faced an unexpected difficulty?

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  19. 19.

    With which sector of the music and entertainment industry are you least experienced?

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  20. 20.

    What do you think about the future of record labels?

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  21. 21.

    How would you market an artist when you do not enjoy their work?

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  22. 22.

    How does your post-secondary education apply to the music and entertainment industry?

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  23. 23.

    What are your career goals in the next 3-5 years with Capitol Records?

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  24. 24.

    Talk about a recent entertainment campaign that caught your eye.

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  25. 25.

    Capitol Records has an illustrious client list which includes the best of Hollywood. How will you remain professional in the presence of the world's hottest celebrities?

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  26. 26.

    What could Capitol Records do to increase record sales for our lesser-known artists?

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  27. 27.

    Where do you find new music?

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  28. 28.

    If Capitol Records hired you today, what would you accomplish first?

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  29. 29.

    What personality traits should an entertainment industry professional possess?

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  30. 30.

    What are some of the biggest challenges you would expect a record label or entertainment company to come across?

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