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Hearst Magazines Digital Media 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

Who is your favorite author, and why?

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Hearst Magazines Digital Media Interview Questions

  1. 1.

    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 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.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "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."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "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."

  2. 2.

    What is the most significant achievement you have on the horizon?

      Hearst employs around 20,000 people across the world. If each of their employees has their eye on future accomplishments and growth, this will make their billion dollar company even more powerful. Hearst knows that employees who do not have goals set just beyond their reach are typically disengaged and unmotivated.

      When you show that you have goals and achievements on the horizon, you are letting the interviewer know that you put thought into your career and what you bring to your employer. This achievement does not need to be complicated. It can be as simple as finishing a beautiful Powerpoint presentation, finishing work-related coursework, or reaching a sales target.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I have some great accomplishments on the horizon including the launch of my company's biggest digital publication later this month. This project is the biggest that I have worked with, and I have learned a lot. With that said, I look forward to joining Hearst Magazines and working on large projects like this more often."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I am graduating with my English degree this month and will be ready for full-time work! I am excited to get my career started!"

  3. 3.

    Name for me some of the publications Hearst has in circulation. Which do you read most often?

      The interviewer wants to be sure that you have done your homework on their publication. Most major publications offer multiple sub-publications geared towards niche markets. Discuss which Hearst publications you are best versed in and why. Be sure to support your interests.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "From what I understand, Hearst Magazines has a plethora of different publications. These include Cosmopolitan, Country Living, Esquire, Men's Health, and Good Housekeeping. The magazine which I read most often is Cosmopolitan. I like to be informed on style and trends, and have used Cosmo as a resource since my teen years."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "The health publications released by Hearst Magazines, such as Men's Health and Prevention are hands down the one I read the most. As an avid health and exercise enthusiast, I appreciate the effort that goes into your informative articles."

  4. 4.

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

      The interviewer wants to know that you believe in the longevity of Hearst Magazines and the future of the magazine industry. Of course, since you are interviewing for a magazine publication, you want to keep your response positive. Be sure to support your opinion with the research you have done in the magazine publishing industry.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I was recently reading an article on trends and facts in the magazine industry, from a journalism publication which had some powerful ideas on the future of magazines. Even though the purchase of physical magazines has declined over the past 15 years, the number of visitors coming to a magazines' website had increased exponentially. I believe that alternative print publications will exist for many years to come; however, many mags will begin to rely more heavily on their digital subscriber base who still go to them for reliable, consistent, and trustworthy content."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I believe that magazine subscribers are also going to ask for digital subscription options, allowing them to pivot between the two mediums. Although sales of traditional print mags have decreased over the years, discerning readers will still turn to these traditional methods for reliable news. This engagement may be more digital and online, as time goes on."

  5. 5.

    What do you know about the nature of print advertising?

      The interviewer would like to know your current knowledge level when it comes to print advertising. Most magazines rely heavily on the revenue that comes from advertising, so it's essential that you bring an understanding of how this style of advertising operates.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "The whole 'print is dead' argument that some people make, when they argue against investing in print advertising is one hurdle that I love to overcome when it comes to print advertising. By nature, a magazine is more targeted to a specific audience, grabbing their attention for longer, ensuring that readers pay better attention to a printed ad than one they come across online. I believe there is strength in targeted print ads with great imagery and smart copy."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I know that print advertising is heavily trusted by well-established companies looking to advertise to a highly specific audience. Print advertising, when executed correctly, can have an incredibly effective impact and strong ROI."

  6. 6.

    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.

      Rachelle'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."

  7. 7.

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

      The hiring authority is looking for details on your experience when it comes to cross-departmental collaboration. In publishing, it takes many passes through many hands to complete a project so, it's essential to Hearst Magazines Digital Media that you can work well with other people through a variety of departments. Give an example of how you collaborate with a diverse team, in your current role.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "In my current role we have a staff of 450 people within ten departments. Any given week I will collaborate with marketing, sales, human resources, and IT. These are the departments with which I collaborate most often. I believe that everyone has a great deal of value to offer so, for that reason, I embrace every opportunity to collaborate cross-departmentally."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I look forward to getting to know your marketing, editorial, and design teams here at Hearst Magazines. Currently, in my internship I have spent two weeks in each department, getting to know the ins and outs of publishing, design, marketing, sales, and even public relations. The experience has been invaluable."

  8. 8.

    What do you expect to be the most significant trend in publishing this year?

      When you come to an interview prepared to discuss industry trends and happenings, you are showing the interviewer that you have done your homework on Hearst Magazines Digital Media and that you have a vested interest in what they are achieving within their market. There is no real right or wrong answer here; as the interviewer just wants to know that you have done some research on the industry. So long as your response is intelligent, the interviewer should be happy with hearing your insight.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "From what I have read, the most significant trend in publishing is meeting the increasing demand from audiences to have their publications available through a variety of mediums. With a huge number of entertainment options available to consumers these days, it will be essential for publications to continue exploring multiple mediums. For instance, it's excellent that Hearst Magazines Digital Media has made content available across many digital platforms."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "Independent and new authors who are publishing onto alternative mediums such as Wattpad is one topic that has grabbed my interest. I understand that traditional publishers enjoy searching out for new authors on these platforms because it leads them to the authors and also their loyal readers. I believe we will see many more emerging authors discovered from online writing platforms like this."

  9. 9.

    Name for me your three favorite books, and why they are your favorite.

      Since Hearst publishes books, magazines, and more - the hiring managers want to make sure they are bringing on a team member with a passion for books, and reading! There is no wrong answer to this question. Open up about your favorite literary works.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I love reading and try to pick up a new novel at least once per month. I read a variety of genres; however, my all time favorite book series is the Harry Potter series. I have read through the entire book series about three times. The way JK Rowling builds a world of suspense and magic never becomes tiresome."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "My top three favorite books happen to be across multiple genres. One is 'All the Lives We Never Lived' by Anuradha Roy. This novel is by a renowned Indian writer who brings in stories from childhood with a theme of independence and finding oneself. The other is 'Becoming' by Michelle Obama, a memoir of the former First Lady. Lastly, the book of poetry by Rupi Kaur called 'Milk and Honey.' Her poetry is dark and beautiful."

  10. 10.

    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 career, 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 thoughts.

      Instead, focus on what you aim to gain from Hearst. Perhaps you see yourself in that shiny corner office, or you want to work your way into a senior editor role, or even advertising sales, jet-setting all over the country to give client 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 creative marketing director. To get there, I am committed to continued education, taking courses on leadership, and gaining more project management experience. I see that Hearst has a few paths available to reach a goal like this one, which is very exciting to me."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I thoroughly enjoy being in the magazine and digital publishing realm, and a dream role for me would include leading a bigger team, within design and copy. Your position caught my eye because you offer these opportunities and more, being a global billion dollar organization."

  11. 11.

    What is the key to success for a publisher in this digital era?

      The digital world is transforming traditional publishing, and the interviewer wants to know what you believe to be the key to success amidst this shift. Discuss what you think a publishing company should do, in this digital era, to remain successful and relevant. Keep your response positive rather than shifting into negative language. For instance, mention what is great about this digital era versus focusing on the hardships.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I believe the key to success for a publisher in this digital era is to remain relevant in your core area, while also exploring the ways that digital can complement your existing products. If you are a traditional book publisher, for instance, why not explore the impact that a social media campaign could have for a new editorial. As in any industry, it's critical that we remain up to date with technology so that we are always meeting our audience where they are showing up."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "The key to success in publishing, and many other industries is listening to your customers and taking action on what they are teaching you. For instance, in the publishing industry, it's critical that we deliver works on topics that people are searching for, and seeking out. We can accomplish this approach through surveys, polls, purchased data, and even some analytics on Google algorithms."

  12. 12.

    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 will give them Hearst Magazine's hiring authorities a good idea of your level of experience, seniority, and ability to handle making decisions.

      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.

      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 these types of decisions have prepared you for a role with Hearst.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I was responsible for planning our digital magazine's content calendar which included emails, blog post topics, and social media posts, in addition to executing the plans. That means everything from creating a copy, to choosing images, and the like. Also, I collaborated with management to decide what promotions and sales we will be running and when."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I regularly made decisions regarding customer service inquiries and disputes. I had a standard set of criteria that I created, and I tried to let that guide me for consistency. in my service."

  13. 13.

    What drew you to Hearst Magazines?

      This question is similar to 'Why do you want to work here?'. To answer this question effectively, it's important that you have reasoning that is specific and will stand out from other people competing for this role. Giving a general answer such as, 'You have a great workplace culture' could potentially disqualify you from winning the role. Show the interviewer that you have done your research on Hearst Magazines by coming prepared with some compelling reasons to work for them.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I have read a few of your publication regularly for the past three years. Each month Hearst comes up with a fresh concept that is entertaining to a variety of audiences. For instance, I loved one of your editorials last month in Harper's Bazaar on what high heels looked like the year you were born. It read like a quiz but was also informative and very sharable. In addition to this, Hearst is highly involved in supporting human efforts through your 'Hearst for Humanity' launch."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "Initially, I was drawn to your publishing company because you publish so many of my favorite magazines such as Cosmo, Redbook, and Seventeen. Your company is known to be a stand-out publisher in the entertainment and lifestyle realm, and well respected. I also appreciate that you have recently made an effort to increase your exposure on social media channels like Instagram. Your feed is entertaining for magazine lovers like myself."

  14. 14.

    Tell me about your relationship with your previous boss.

      With so many employees and divisions, Hearst Magazines needs assurance that they are hiring someone who is a good match for their established management teams. One great way to do this is to learn about your relationship with your most recent employer. Be sure to remain positive, even if the experience wasn't. Avoid talking about any previous drama and do not speak poorly of your employer. Keep your answer short and respectful.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I have worked for the same boss for the past eight years. We have an incredible working relationship, taking every opportunity to learn together and bounce ideas off of each other. He will provide an excellent reference once we get to that stage."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "My previous boss spent a lot of time mentoring me, as I was a recent marketing graduate when she hired me. We get along very well, and she has already agreed to provide a positive reference on my behalf."

  15. 15.

    How can Hearst Magazines inspire your creative side?

      If an interviewer asks you any questions related to how they can help you, then you should rejoice! Companies 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 work schedule and a moveable workspace are all factors that allow me to be 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. Our workspaces flow throughout the office which is excellent for generating creativity through a change of scenery."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I appreciate you asking this question! Since my time as a student, I tend to concentrate heavily on my work, and sometimes I forget to take breaks. If you can encourage me to take my breaks to refresh my mind, I can create some excellent and creative work!"

  16. 16.

    Is compensation the most critical factor for you when taking a new job?

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  17. 17.

    Rate your listening skills from 1-10. What would your coworkers say about your listening skills?

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  18. 18.

    Tell me about a time when you were in danger of missing a deadline. What did you do?

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  19. 19.

    If your current company shut down today, what would you do to quickly adapt?

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  20. 20.

    The publishing industry has many tight deadlines. How do you manage your time, ensuring that your deadlines are met?

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  21. 21.

    If you could pitch me one idea for a book, article, or editorial, what would it be?

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  22. 22.

    How do you transition between the creative and analytical sides of publishing?

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  23. 23.

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

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  24. 24.

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

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  25. 25.

    What is your first reaction when you do something wrong at work?

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  26. 26.

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

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  27. 27.

    In which area are you the strongest: editorial, magazine sales, or marketing?

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  28. 28.

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

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  29. 29.

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

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  30. 30.

    With which publishing categories are you most familiar? How will this knowledge help you in this position with Hearst?

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