In many states, it is now illegal for hiring authorities to ask about your current earnings. A question like this will give the interviewer a solid idea of what you are hoping to earn.
When you change positions, you want to see an increase in wage. Most interviewees will typically aim for a 7-15% increase for each time they change jobs. This range offers room for negotiations with the new company. This percentage increase reflects economic inflation, the unique skills you bring to the table from the last time you joined an organization, and growth in responsibilities.
The best way to discuss your salary expectations is to use your current earnings as an example if you are comfortable doing so. If this makes you uncomfortable, do give as many indicators as you can. Be open, and honest. Transparency is the best choice when salary based questions arise.
If you are newer to your career, or the area, and are unsure of what a fair ask may be, there are many reliable salary calculators available online.
Emerald Group Publishing Limited Interview Questions
What are your salary expectations?
In many states, it is now illegal for hiring authorities to ask about your current earnings. A question like this will give the interviewer a solid idea of what you are hoping to earn.
"Currently, I earn a base salary of $65,000 per year, and I would like to earn slightly higher in my next position, as I have additional certifications since my last salary negotiation took place."
"I would like to earn slightly above where I am now. Currently, I earn $15/hour plus benefits and a 10% commission on all sales. My target income for the coming year is $45,000."
When have you shown a willingness to learn a new method?
The interviewer would like to know when you have shown a willingness to learn new work methods. With changes in technology and publishing approaches, most professionals in this industry will need to alter their way of work from time to time. It is a great skill to have when you can approach a problem in a new way.
"When our company came under new management last year many new methods and policies came into place. I was able to learn many new approaches to our challenges in marketing and subscriber management. I quite enjoyed the process, and it brought a sort of fresh air to my daily routine."
"Social media algorithms change constantly and so, I have shown a willingness to learn the new methods by attending one new webinar per month. These webinars are usually focused on Facebook and Instagram strategies with some focus on Google analytics as well. This learning is focused digitally; however, it still helps us to promote our physical magazine subscriptions effectively."
Who is your favorite author, and why?
There is no right or wrong way to answer this question! Unless you do not know any author names off hand, which could turn out disastrous since you're interviewing for a book publisher! Think of your favorite author and be prepared to discuss on a meaningful level, why you appreciate their work. Giving a surface-level answer would be the wrong thing to do here.
"My all-time favorite author is Stephen King because of his incredible success. He's become the figurehead for suspense, horror, and supernatural fiction. On top of selling over 350 million copies of his books, many of these have become films, comic books, and television series. It's incredible what he has accomplished."
"From the time I was a kid, and still today, my favorite author is Judy Blume. She wrote young adult fiction that rubbed a lot of parents the wrong way, back in the 1980s and 1990s. She created this whole genre that came with important conversations that were once taboo. Decades later, she remains incredibly relevant in her space with many authors trying to emulate her style."
How do you go about fact checking, and researching sources?
In publishing, no matter which genre or medium you're involved in, it's essential that you check for facts before putting out any publication. Now, more than ever, a company can receive significant backlash from posting or publishing anything misleading or untrue. With Emerald Publishing, a lot of what they publish is related to learning and educational resources. This niche means that they have to be additionally careful to print the facts. Discuss the steps that you take to verify facts and sources for all content.
"At this point in my publishing career it's much easier for me to weed out an unreliable source versus a reputable one. When I first began my career; however, I trusted that many sources were credible, not accounting for the fact that there is so much fake news out there. Now, I triple check against our library of content, and online. Before any piece of content goes out, I will send it to our professional editor for a final once-over."
"I will dig deeper into any sources, quotes, statistics, and do my best to find where they originated. If I cannot find the original source, I simply will not use the source."
Walk me through your editing experience. How would you rate your editing skills from 1-10?
Even if your primary role with Emerald Group is not officially as an editor, the interviewer will want to see that you have a solid basis when it comes to language, context, tone, grammar, spelling, and more. Emphasize your solid command of the language, and your ability to pay attention to the small details. Discuss the types of editing jobs you have taken on, in the past.
"I have helped to edit documents large, and small, including whitepapers, web copy, and journals. I am confident in my language, spelling, and grammar skills. It's rare that a mistake will get past me, as I pay strong attention to the small details."
"Although I have not formally edited a document of significance, I do always make a habit of double checking my emails and other internal or external communication. I have used editing programs such as Grammarly in the past, for assignments and papers while attending university."
How do you transition between the creative and analytical sides of publishing?
Wearing multiple hats is the name of the game when it comes to publishing. One moment you could be discussing the analytics of a past publication where the next you could be giving your opinion on the design of a textbook cover or layout of a new journal. It's essential that you show the interviewer your ability to be flexible on the job by pivoting tasks regularly. If possible, give an example of a time when you were able to flip between creative and analytical.
"I believe that I transition quite well between the creative and analytical. Generally speaking, I am more of a creative minded individual; however, my experience in business has allowed me to see the data and analytics behind a successful publication. So, in addition to my creative approach, I also ask myself or my team how our decisions will impact the company's bottom line. If hired, I will deliver a nice balance between analytical thinking and creative mindedness."
"My educational background is in business with a focus on accounting and financial management. This coursework means that I am naturally inclined to look at data such as numbers, results, spend, account activity, and ROI. With that said, I spend my spare time in creative writing, dabbling in design, and other activities that relax and entertain me. I believe that I will pivot well between the creative and analytical sides of publishing because of this variety in knowledge and interests."
The publishing industry has many tight deadlines. How do you manage your time, ensuring that your deadlines are met?
The interviewer would like to know what you do to ensure that your deadlines are met and that you are consistently on time with projects and other expectations. Discuss how you stay organized, getting into the small details of how you plan your day or the tools you use to track your work and progress. You can mention a time when you were close to missing a deadline, including the actions that you took to ensure you delivered on time.
"With five years' experience in the publishing industry, I fully understand that my day can change on a dime. I remain on top of my deadlines by being prepared for a plan B at all times. Also, I track my progress and tasks through an app called Trello. This type of application works well for communicating with my team, ensuring we all work hard to meet expectations."
"I learned during my time in university that deadlines are met most easily when there is organization and when tasks are properly mapped out from the start. I learned the hard way, having to cram in a few assignments because I was not well prepared. Now, when I begin a project, I create a timeline with an estimate on how long each task will take. From there, I divide my time."
Looking at your resume, it seems there are certain skills necessary for this position that do not stand out. How do you think you will be able to compensate for these missing skills?
Most job descriptions will have a long list of requirements. Hiring managers are aware that, to find a candidate that checks ALL of the boxes, can sometimes be impossible. If you are missing some of the 'nice to have' or even the 'must have' skills listed in the job description, do not fret! Be open about your shortcomings and discuss with the interviewer how you plan to compensate for those.
"I understand there are skills on my resume of strong interest to you and I am prepared to work double time to correct any shortcomings you may see on my resume. If you could point to me which areas you feel I lack experience, I would be happy to elaborate on those today."
"Could you share with me which skills you are seeking? I have a diverse range of internship experiences that I can certainly elaborate on."
What have you done to improve your knowledge in the last year?
The interviewer wants to know that you are interested in your industry, and career growth, enough to take your professional development into your own hands. Even if your current employer does not offer perks like industry conferences or tuition reimbursement, there is no reason why you cannot take the initiative.
- Read industry or career-related books
- Subscribe to relevant podcasts
- Enhance your education with an additional certificate
- Attend a conference related to your career or personal growth
- Teach yourself a new software program
- Read established journals and websites regularly
- Find a mentor who is senior to you, in your particular industry or career path
"This year, I committed to improving my knowledge by reading one book per month. I mapped out my twelve books ahead of time, including topics on my career, the industry, personal development, politics, history, and leadership. I would be happy to share the list with you if you'd like!"
"My current agency does not have a budget for a lot of additional training, coursework, or professional development. For that reason, much of my added learning opportunities are self-led. This year I decided to teach myself more about PhotoShop, to become so good that I could upload my own YouTube videos one day. I would say that I am 3/4 of the way there. It's taken great dedication and patience; however, this is a skill that I am very excited to add to my professional repertoire."
Which career development goals have you set for yourself this year?
One of Emerald's goals is to help research and researchers make an impact in the world through the publication of educational resources, journals, books, and more. The interviewer would like to know that you are motivated to better yourself personally, and professionally; supporting an excellent cultural fit. Career development can come in many forms:
- Trade Shows
- Seminars & workshops
- Online coursework
- Finding a mentor
Discuss with the interviewer how you plan to develop yourself professionally this year and be sure to tie this into how your goal will benefit Emerald Publishing, should they choose to hire you.
"This year I have set the goal to read one new book per month, all related to leadership, goal setting, maximizing efficiency and other business-related topics. I am just a few months in and can already see how this infusion of knowledge is boosting my work performance."
"Setting career goals is fundamental. This year I set the goal to be promoted to Assistant Editor. I achieved this goal just two months into the year! Now, I have set my sights on a more significant editing role. This career goal is what drove my application to Emerald Publishing."
How do you handle stress on the job?
The interviewer would like to know if you can appropriately handle the stress related to this job. Discuss how you can thrive, even during the most stressful times. You can keep your answer brief. If you can, provide an example of a time when you implemented a stress-management technique in your current role.
"I handle stress very well, and when you call my references, they will attest to this fact. When I am under pressure on the job, I focus on the task at hand and make sure not to get distracted. Staying on a deadline is very helpful, and I will delegate when necessary to alleviate some stress."
"Stress is part of any demanding job, and I embrace it to the fullest. I take good care of myself and prioritize my workload to maintain a healthy balance in my stress levels."
What is the difference between a publisher's frontlist and backlist?
In publishing, a frontlist is a list of a publisher's newly published book titles. A backlist is a list of a publisher's older books. The backlist is usually a book that is off the bestseller list and has been in print for more than a year. The interviewer wants to see that you understand these terms which are pretty basic in the publishing industry. Keep your answer simple and, if possible, give specific examples from books that are currently on the Emerald frontlist and backlist.
"I understand the frontlist to be newly published book titles where a backlist would be books that have been in print for about a year or more. For instance, Emerald Publishing has around 3100 titles total, with about 250 new titles on the frontlist each year."
"Right now, I would guess that there are around 200 educational titles on the frontlist at Emerald, since you publish around 250 new titles every year. Generally speaking, a newly published book will be on the frontlist where a book over a year in print will fall onto the backlist."
Tell me about a time when you were in danger of missing a deadline. What did you do?
There can be a great deal of pressure in the publishing industry so, this question is designed to learn how well you work under pressure. Avoid choosing a time that you were in danger of missing the deadline because of poor planning on your part such as procrastination. Instead, choose a situation that was out of your control.
"I was once part of a project that had a major set back based on the crash of our project management software. I went to the project backup database, quickly reviewed everyone's open tasks, rearranged the schedule and called an emergency team meeting to set us back on course. We barely made it in time, but we made it."
"During curriculum writing, we had some conflict about what would be added, cut, or kept. Because of this, we got a bit behind. Ultimately, we ended up working extra hard and some longer hours than usual in the last week to make the final revisions to the curriculum. I believe that passion showed in our final work because it was the most fun, inspired, and arguably effective curriculum we'd developed to date."
How would you increase Emerald Group's magazine subscriptions in an online-centric world?
In a world immersed in online content, the hiring authority at Emerald Publishing would like to know how you would capture the interest of new readers to their thousands of published journals. Discuss one idea you have that would help print media to stand out in an online world.
"Print media is still very relevant, especially when a publication attracts a particular niche. In an online-centric world, I would place focus on the nostalgia that comes from reading your favorite magazine, along with the fact that Emerald has been a trusted source for journals and educational media since 1967."
"Many people still love the offering of traditional magazines and journals. To increase subscriptions or readership, I would remain hyper-focused on best serving the niche you do best at Emerald."
How was your performance measured, in your most recent role?
The interviewer would like to understand better the key performance indicators you needed to meet in a more recent role, and how precisely those KPI's were measured. A good interviewer will recognize that the top candidates ALWAYS understand how they were measured, and where they landed in regards to their performance against others in a similar role.
It is a red flag to an interviewer if the interviewee responds with 'I don't know,' or worse yet - 'My company didn't measure my performance in any way.' Every company pays attention to employee performance metrics; it's just that some ways are more evident than others.
Some ways that your employer might measure your performance:
- The rate of absence, late days, and sick days
- Setting specific objectives for you, related to a task
- Amount of work returned or error counting
- Timed tasks
- Feedback provided by coworkers and management
- Number of sales
"In my previous role as a content marketer for a digital publisher, my employer measured me by a range of social media analytics, client feedback, and overall satisfaction, as well as project churn rate. My KPI's were always sitting about 20% above expectations."
"We had online customer surveys in my most recent role. Another KPI was the number of items sold per transaction. I was consistently in the top 10 out of 100 for our region."
How do you motivate yourself to keep going, even when you do not feel like remaining on task?
Tell me how you brought value to your most recent position.
Would you say you are a better verbal or written communicator?
With which other publishing companies are you interviewing?
Where do you believe the magazine industry will be in 5 years? Support your response.
In which area are you the strongest: editorial, book sales, or book marketing?
If you could pitch me one idea for a book, article, or editorial, what would it be?
What are the benefits for an author or educator to publish with Emerald versus self-publishing?
Name for me your three favorite books, and why they are your favorite.
With which publishing categories are you most familiar? How will this knowledge help you in this position with Emerald Publishing?
What is the key to success for a publisher in this digital era?
What drew you to Emerald Publishing?
Tell me about your experience collaborating with marketing, sales, editorial, and design teams.
Tell me about a project you completed recently that was ahead of schedule.
What do you expect to be the most significant trend in publishing this year?