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GQ Magazine Interview
Questions

30 Questions and Answers by
| Jen Hong has worked as a strategist in financial services, fintech and health tech. She has interviewed with over 45 tech companies and also has 2-3 years of experience interviewing interns, analysts, managers, and senior executives as the operations lea

Question 1 of 30

What do you think about GQ Magazine's website? Do you think it's a responsive website?

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GQ Magazine Interview Questions

  1. 1.

    What do you think about GQ Magazine's website? Do you think it's a responsive website?

      GQ Magazine wants to make sure all its online efforts ultimately lead the customers to the website to explore the brand, its articles, and the products presented by advertisers. The interviewer wants to hear your insights on how to improve the website engagement to increase the number of visitors converted to buyers or subscribers.

      Check out GQ Magazine's website and test a few things such as finding specific article topics, asking questions to the support team, or navigating their careers section. In your response, include things they've done well and things they could improve to make the site more behavior-driven. Also, include any recommendations you may have to make impactful yet straightforward improvements such as simplifying the URL, page titles, adding search words, etc.

      Jen's Answer

      "Oh absolutely - it was clear that the website was designed to be responsive. Visually, the first impression was very appealing and inviting. It wasn't cluttered with too much content but had precise language about interesting men's topics. The tabs were intuitive. I think what would bring it to the next level is if you ask the visitors a couple questions about their content preferences to show a personalized page of most suitable articles they should explore first. For instance, the first article that came up for me was info on CBD Oil which is a topic that does not interest me. Had there been a few discovery questions for personalization, that would have been a nice touch."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I noticed that when I searched certain long-tail keywords such as tips for men's fashion, and best products for men's grooming GQ Magazine website wasn't on the top of the list. It might be a good set of keywords to add. Also, for certain articles, it might make sense to have the searchers be directed directly to the relevant product pages instead of the main page. Also, having a simple URL helps bring return customers and visitors. It's easier to share with their friends too so I'd suggest simplifying the URL to be more intuitive."

  2. 2.

    How would you increase magazine subscriptions in an online-centric world?

      In a world immersed in online content, the hiring authority at GQ Magazine would like to know how you would capture the interest of new magazine subscribers. Discuss one idea you have that would help print subscriptions to stand out in an online world.

      Jen's Answer

      "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 GQ Magazine has been a trusted men's magazine since 1931."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "Many people love the offering of traditional magazines such as classic articles and high-quality imagery printed on quality paper. There's just something nostalgic about it. To increase magazine subscriptions, I would focus on those offerings, that are not as convenient with online methods."

  3. 3.

    What has been the best short-form content project you have worked on this year?

      The interviewer would like to have more information on the project in which you are most proud. If you have a digital portfolio with you, this is a great tool to use when describing the best short-form content project you have worked on this year.

      Jen's Answer

      "I genuinely enjoy working on both long and short-form content projects; however, I do find short-form digital content to be especially thrilling to create. A favorite short-form project that I worked on this year was a series of educational shorts for a children's channel with which I collaborated. It was important to me that the messaging be clear while also being fun and educational. Mission accomplished, as the series received more shares, comments, and downloads than any other we have released in the past five years."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "This year I was part of a team that created a series of interactive landing pages for an upcoming film we were marketing. To include interactive elements such as reveal marketing, contests, and gamification, we grew engagement exponentially. I would love to show you more from my portfolio, which I prepared for you."

  4. 4.

    What will you accomplish in the first 90 days of working for GQ Magazine?

      It's a good idea to have a 30, 60, and 90-day plan set out when you go into an interview. This approach is especially important when you are applying for a higher-level position where immediate action and results are expected. You can jot down a few ideas or create a slide presentation with graphs - whatever makes you most comfortable! You can discuss numbers, training achievements, pain points the interviewer has mentioned in the past, or how you plan to fit in with your new team.

      Jen's Answer

      "In the first 90 days of working for GQ Magazine I plan to accomplish a deep understanding of your advertising client portfolio and begin to call on the advertisers who have been left cold for 60 days or more. I understand these are the most challenging advertising clients to resuscitate, but it's important to me that I begin my new role with a solid challenge."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I would like to accomplish a few things in my first 90 days. After giving it some thought, I believe the best action I can take is to get to know each member of the team whom I will be supporting. Some people like communication via phone, some in person, and others prefer a quick email. I plan to learn how everyone prefers to communicate."

  5. 5.

    What is your current salary?

      It is important to note that this question may be illegal, depending on your geographical location. If you are in a place where it is unlawful for a hiring authority or recruiter to ask this question, you can politely decline by saying, 'I am aware that this question breaches my rights as a candidate in the state of XYZ.'

      A potential employer will often want to base their offer on your current salary. Whenever possible, you should be transparent about your most recent earnings and be prepared to back up any salary requests in states or provinces where it is entirely legal to ask about compensation. Keep your answer simple, and to the point. It is indeed okay to ask the interviewer what they are offering in return!

      Jen's Answer

      "I am currently earning a base salary of $78,000 plus a car allowance of $900/month and health benefits. I am looking for a competitive salary in my next position."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "As I am a recent marketing graduate, I would like to be offered a fair salary that reflects my recent education. I am most concerned with joining an organization that will help me to grow my career in marketing. Compensation is not my primary driver."

  6. 6.

    Have you requested extra responsibilities in any of your previous roles?

      The interviewer wants to see that you have a desire to learn, grow, and try on new challenges! No hiring authority wants to hire the complacent employee so show them you are willing to see opportunity when it arises!

      Your willingness to take on additional tasks, with a positive attitude, gives the interviewer all the more reason to want to get to know you better. Hiring managers are looking for people who will be proactive and help to carry the team.

      Here are some ways you can gain extra responsibilities in the workplace:

      - Talking to your boss about your career goals and having a conversation about new tasks that may help to get you there
      - Offering to take work off of a colleague's plate, if they seem stressed.
      - Studying hard to become an SME (Subject Matter Expert) in software or topic that your boss would find useful
      - Just jumping in and take on a new responsibility!

      Jen's Answer

      "In my current role I asked my boss if I could take over the social media marketing. We are a small company, and my supervisor was struggling with it. Being a millennial, I am always on social media, and I understand what types of posts gain attention. After taking over the task, I grew our Instagram following from just 400 to 2000 in 2 months! I am always game for taking on new tasks, especially when they are in my wheelhouse."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I like to take it on myself to figure out the fastest way to get something done while maintaining my high standards. Then, I continue to innovate on that. I like being efficient and effective. The most recent addition to my responsibilities includes planning all promotions for the annual calendar and coordinating with sales on how they will pitch and execute those promotions."

  7. 7.

    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 magazine cover or layout of a new online article. 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.

      Jen's Answer

      "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."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "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."

  8. 8.

    What methods do you use to determine winning advertisements from the advertisement flops?

      GQ Magazine is home to many long-standing and discerning advertisers. The hiring authority is looking to see if you can readily identify what separates a winning ad campaign from a flop. When answering this question, try to take a more technical approach, discussing the tools you use to mine and analyze data, for instance. The interviewer will want to see your ability to think critically and pivot when needed.

      Jen's Answer

      "To prevent total advertisement flops altogether, I lean on A/B testing. I believe many answers can come to the surface when you take the time to test a few ideas and then measure the performance of each ad against each other. I rely heavily on data, but also make sure to compare the results of different channels, as one campaign may work very well on social or in print where another will not."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "In my current role, I have pre-determined benchmarks for KPIs such as click-through rates and quality of acquired leads. Looking at the data surrounding these targets will help me to understand better if an advertisement is a win or a loss. When an ad appears to be a flop, our team will pull it right away and give a further push to the one that is performing up to expectations."

  9. 9.

    Have you ever managed or helped with a content budget? If so, what type of budgets are you accustomed to working with?

      Before your interview, take some time to gather data related to the budgets you have worked with, and the times when you have come in under budget. This way, you will be prepared with specifics when asked about your budgetary experience.

      The interviewer wants to see that you have great insight when it comes to being budget conscious. Appropriate planning is one of the keys to a successful project, so be sure to discuss the steps that you take to plan a project's dollar spend carefully.

      Every dollar counts, even if you are working for a massive publication like GQ Magazine! If you do not have experience in budget management, refer to the fact that you are responsible and resourceful.

      Jen's Answer

      "Most of the budgets that I have worked within are spread amongst a variety of print production and creative costs. I have worked on budgets as small as $5,000 and as large as $15M. No matter the size of the budget, it's incredibly important that every dollar is treated as though it's my own; being wisely allocated and accounted for."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "Although my experience does not yet include budget management, I have made recommendations on cost savings when it comes to content writing and advertising. I feel that with the right training, and some more work experience, I will be ready to assist with content budgeting in no time."

  10. 10.

    Describe to me the types of digital or print media you are most experienced with.

      There are a plethora of digital and print media forms today, and the interviewer would like a breakdown of the ones with which you are most familiar. Some types of digital media include images, video, gamification, social media, websites, online channels and more. Print media could consist of magazines, newspapers, and various forms of advertising. Speak to the kinds of media you are most experienced with while being sure to address how this experience will help you succeed in this role with GQ Magazine.

      Jen's Answer

      "In my current role I work primarily with online channels such as YouTube and IGTV, creating video content. I also have experience working on projects related to gamification ads. I saw in the GQ Magazine job posting that you were looking for someone with in-depth knowledge with IGTV and Insta Stories for marketing. I would rate my knowledge in this area an 8 out of 10, leaving me very confident that I would meet your requirements."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "While completing my degree in Digital Marketing, I learned a great deal about digital media production and design for video and web platforms. Most of my experience is with creating compelling video ads, and shorts for use online and on social media. This experience could be beneficial for GQ Magazine's online efforts."

  11. 11.

    What methods do you use, to work within a brand's voice consistently?

      When working on digital content, you will be asked to remain in line with GQ's brand. The interviewer would like to know how you ensure that you maintain a brand's voice, consistently delivering it across multiple platforms or channels. Discuss your best methods for preserving the brand voice, and be sure to express that you understand the importance of this skill.

      Jen's Answer

      "One tool that my current employer uses, and I find to be very helpful, is our internal Style Guide. This style guide is a tool for writers, producers, and creatives of all kinds, to refer to when they are unsure if their idea is on-track with the company's brand. Another method that I refer to often is to first storyboard the 'voice' that I want before beginning a project. I can create a clear narrative around the marketing effort very early on in the project."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I fully understand how critical it is to work within a brand's voice consistently throughout a project. One method that I enjoy using is to create a guide that outlines the jargon or colloquialisms that are acceptable to use in the campaign. Somewhat like a style guide, but easier to refer back to. I also feel it's important to make the voice of a brand a company-wide initiative so that co-workers can check in with each other to ensure all work is consistent and the best it can be."

  12. 12.

    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.

      Jen's Answer

      "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."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "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."

  13. 13.

    The customer avatar is key to building the right audiences for GQ Magazine's readership. How do you collect data needed to create an ideal customer profile, then determine the strategy for targeting prospective readers that are a match?

      The interviewer would like to uncover your experience with identifying, advertising to, and creating a following of potential readers and subscribers.

      Explain how you determine what kind of people would be interested in particular articles, ads, and why. Your answer should explain how you research information including demographics, location, educational or professional backgrounds, their challenges, and their goals. When it comes to targeting, you'll need to explain how you know where your customer avatar shops, the platforms they use most frequently for gathering information, and how they make purchases.

      Jen's Answer

      "When creating an ideal customer profile, I review analytics from our website, app, and CRM to see what kinds of people have purchased or shown interest in our publication. I hone in on customers that have the best buying habits or potential, finding out more about where they're live and work, income range, and other demographics. I take note of any trends or similarities among this group of customers. I may conduct surveys or interviews within my targeted demographic to further understand their motivations. This all helps me to craft a customer avatar, which becomes my center of a strategy for deciding on platforms, messaging, content, and promotions."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "In the past, I've had to create a customer avatar for a client that had no previous sales but was competing against existing businesses. To do this, I purchased market data to find out who my client's competitors and their customers where. I found out what those customers' challenges and goals were. I looked into data on spending habits, and conducted polls, often incentivizing participants so I could discover shortcomings in competitors' offerings. Using this information, seasonal, and demographic data, I came up with a target customer profile and put together a timely campaign to reach them with language that would appeal to their desire for a solution that would ultimately fulfill their needs."

  14. 14.

    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 hitting that proverbial publish button. Now, more than ever, a company can receive significant backlash from posting or publishing anything misleading or untrue. Discuss the steps that you take to verify facts and sources for all content.

      Jen's Answer

      "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."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "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."

  15. 15.

    With which advertising vehicles are you most familiar: billboards, print, digital, broadcast, or other?

      The interviewer wants to be sure that you bring the required expertise to work at GQ Magazine. Be prepared to discuss the advertising vehicle with which you are most familiar. If you have a portfolio of work, be sure to bring it with you to the interview, ready to show examples of the most impactful ad campaigns you have created throughout your career.

      Jen's Answer

      "The bulk of my career is with traditional print advertising including magazines and billboards. I have spent the past three years pivoting my career more towards digital ads; however, my greatest strength remains in print advertising. I look forward to bringing my years of experience to work for GQ Magazine, strengthening your reach in the print advertising and traditional media sectors."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I am most familiar with digital content and advertisements geared toward social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn. With that said, I have excellent copywriting skills that apply to other advertising vehicles such as billboards, television, and print."

  16. 16.

    Think about a difficult boss, professor or coworker. How did you successfully interact with this person?

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  17. 17.

    Tell me about your experiences giving presentations in front of large groups.

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  18. 18.

    Have you ever had to adapt your work style to fit team objectives?

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  19. 19.

    In your opinion, what is the difference between marketing and advertising?

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  20. 20.

    Tell me one thing about yourself that is not on your resume.

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  21. 21.

    Why should GQ Magazine hire you?

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  22. 22.

    When have you worked among a diverse group of people?

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  23. 23.

    Do you have a big career goal that, right now, seems unattainable?

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  24. 24.

    When change occurs in the workplace, do you naturally adjust or do you first think of the worst?

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  25. 25.

    Where do you believe the magazine industry will be in 5 years? Support your response.

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  26. 26.

    What do you know about the nature of print advertising?

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  27. 27.

    If you could pitch me one idea for a GQ Magazine article, what would it be?

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  28. 28.

    What drew you to our publication?

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  29. 29.

    Tell me about your experience collaborating with marketing, sales, editorial, and design teams.

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  30. 30.

    Walk me through your editing experience. How would you rate your editing skills from 1-10?

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