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Sage Publications 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 do you know about our company culture?

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Sage Publications Interview Questions

  1. 1.

    What do you know about our company culture?

      Company culture and fit is a crucial factor when considering a career move. Assure the interviewer that you have put thought, research, and consideration of how the company culture at Sage Publications will work for you. Sage has a long history of being an independent publisher, and woman founded and owned. Mentioning this information would be an excellent start!

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I have researched your company through your social media channels and on glassdoor.com. Your employees have great things to say, and overall it seems that you have a positive work environment. I admire the fact that Sage was founded by a woman in 1965; a time when female entrepreneurs were few and far between. I look forward to joining an organization, like yours, that is upbeat and thoughtful with an eye on female entrepreneurship."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I looked through many positive reviews online about your organization and company culture. You offer great incentives to keep people motivated, and it seems to be the type of fast-paced publication environment that values innovation and performance."

  2. 2.

    Market research is essential to Sage Publications to help us understand where to take our business in the years to come. Rate your research skills from 1-10. Do you enjoy conducting research?

      In the publishing industry, research and reliable sources are everything. Assure the interviewer that you are capable of conducting robust and dependable research. Draw on your positive references when answering this question.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "One of the reasons why I would love to work for Sage Publications is because of your solid reputation for reputable educational sources and research. In my previous positions, I have earned recognition for my great research skills. When you call my references, they will attest to this as well. There is always room for improvement so I would rate myself as an 8.5 out of 10 for research capabilities."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "When it comes to research capabilities, I am most definitely a 10/10. An eleven even, if that is allowed! I love researching a large range of products and am very data and analytically minded."

  3. 3.

    What are your salary expectations?

      The best way to discuss your salary expectations is to use your current earnings as an example. Be open, and honest. Transparency is the best choice when salary based questions arise.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "Currently, I earn a base salary of $45,000 per year plus a potential 20% annual bonus. Last year my earnings were $52,000, and I would like to stay in the same range or slightly higher."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I am currently making $60,000 per year with two bonus opportunities. I am looking for compensation that is aligned with the role and provides an opportunity for growth."

  4. 4.

    Why do you think you will be successful in this role?

      Rather than just sharing how you have gone above and beyond, focus on how your qualities will help you to meet and exceed expectations. Discuss the reasons why will you be great at this job. Talk about your qualifications and skills that will help you to do this job well. If you can, match your strengths to the requirements outlined in the job description.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I know I will be successful in this role because I have been working in the publishing industry for five years with great training and mentorship. I have a solid understanding of how educational resources and curriculum are built, ensuring that I won't miss a beat when it comes to the type of publishing you handle at Sage. I am well-prepared for this next step in my career."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I am prepared with experience, equipped with passion and opportunistic about making a valuable contribution to your organization's work through this role."

  5. 5.

    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."

  6. 6.

    What drew you to Sage Publications?

      This question is similar to 'Why do you want to work here?'. To answer this question effectively, it's essential 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 position. Show the interviewer that you have done your research on Sage Publications by coming prepared with some compelling reasons to work for them.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I have read your brand story and was inspired. Each year, since 1965, Sage Publications comes up with thousands of fresh concepts for educational based learning. In addition to this, your company supports growth for women, which is important to me."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "Initially, I was drawn to your publishing company because I saw your name everywhere in my University textbooks and journals! Sage Publications is known to be a stand-out publisher in the education genre and well respected. I also appreciate that you have recently made an effort to increase your exposure on social media channels, ensuring you remain relevant in this digital age."

  7. 7.

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

      The interviewer is trying to assess which tasks and departments you will best work within. The way that you respond to this question could determine where the hiring authorities place you if you are hired by Sage Publications. Be honest with the interviewer on where you feel you best fit. Avoid pigeonholing yourself into one particular area.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I have strengths in a variety of areas; however, if I had to choose one stand-out area, I would choose book marketing. Some of the crucial book marketing steps that I have led include designing websites, building an email list for pre-sales, and creating social media strategies such as hashtag-driven contests."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I have performed well in all three of these areas but to choose just one, I would pick book sales. I have a solid background in sales with formal post-secondary education in sales and marketing. I look forward to working with Sage Publications and your authors to push record book sales this year."

  8. 8.

    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 book 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.

      Rachelle'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."

  9. 9.

    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."

  10. 10.

    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.

      Rachelle'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."

  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 author. 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.

    Describe yourself in just three words.

      By giving you only three words to describe yourself, the interviewer knows that you are going to choose carefully! Try to use words that are unique and will set you apart. You want to avoid giving an answer that everyone else has likely given. Time to get out your thesaurus and choose some fun and new descriptive words!

      Rachelle's Answer

      "If I had just three words to describe myself I would say that I am positive, enthusiastic, and available."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "Just three words to describe me is a challenge! I would say that I am happy, helpful, and transparent."

  13. 13.

    When thinking about your experience with educational content, describe the target audience of the publications you have worked with.

      Because educational content can have many different types of users (K-12, post-secondary, corporate, etc.), the response to this question will give hiring managers at Sage a better sense of the publication types on which you have worked. Highlight the general skills you have strengthened and the knowledge you attained through your past experiences and how these skills will help you be a valuable contributor to building and improving educational products for Sage Publications.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "The majority of my experience has concentrated in building an educational curriculum for students in grades K through 12. Through my work building content for this group, I learned the importance of listening to reader feedback. Because I did not have a background in education, it was vital for me to familiarize myself with the needs and requirements of these learners. Using several rounds of revisions, I was able to help build effective learning based content. I know the communication skills I have developed, and my understanding of the K-12 reader group will allow me to make valuable contributions to meeting the needs of Sage Publications's target audience."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I have worked on educational content for the corporate environment. More specifically, the written content used for internal training and management. The material was highly customizable and allowed internal human resources departments to monitor and pace the training employees received. Because each client's needs varied, I cultivated my client relationship skills as I worked to understand their varying needs and requirements. Also, I learned a great deal about different learning styles and implemented my knowledge into the training products I helped to create. These skills and knowledge will undoubtedly help in meeting the needs of Sage Publications's readership audience."

  14. 14.

    Do you prefer to work on your own, or as a part of a team?

      This question is not a trick one! The interviewer is trying to get a feel for your personality and how you interact with others. You may work well without the need for much management or direction, or perhaps you are better driven by a collaborative and team led environment. Either way, be honest with the interviewer about your preferences without leaning negatively, either way.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "Whether I am doing an independent project, or working in a team environment, I always give my best. I enjoy the camaraderie of working in a team, but I can be successful working autonomously as well."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "As a professional in publishing, I have a good blend of independent and teamwork experience. When it comes to strategy for a new project, I love working in a team environment. Once it comes to the final details of the content or copy, I prefer to work in a quieter, more focused environment."

  15. 15.

    What makes you a great problem solver?

      Employers want to know that you have a systematic approach to problem-solving. Consider the skills and qualities that help you successfully face problems. Perhaps you have a keen eye for detail. Maybe you can see opportunity when others can only focus on the issue. Share your strengths as a problem solver, and your ability to come up with innovative solutions.

      Strong problem solvers are:

      - Systematic thinkers
      - Open minded
      - Okay with being wrong sometimes
      - Always researching and exploring
      - Able to identify the core problem
      - Able to reverse engineer a challenge to avoid future issues
      - Ready to come up with multiple avenues that work well for all stakeholders
      - Are do-ers and not worriers

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I am a great problem solver because I can compartmentalize all aspects of a problem before studying it. I also like to bring more experienced team members in to add to the solution. I will never try to be a hero and solve a complicated problem without tapping into the resources around me."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I have been told that I am an excellent problem solver and I believe this is because I have a bit of an engineering mind. I can take the issue, work backward to solve it, and then use that resolution as a basis for avoiding future issues to come up. I am also a big-picture thinker which allows me to come up with various resolutions per problem."

  16. 16.

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

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  17. 17.

    How do you handle stress on the job?

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  18. 18.

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

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  19. 19.

    Where do you believe the educational journal and textbook industry will be in 5 years? Support your response.

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  20. 20.

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

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  21. 21.

    What type of experience have you had working in the education industry?

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  22. 22.

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

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  23. 23.

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

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  24. 24.

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

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  25. 25.

    How would you increase Sage Publications' journal audience in this online-centric world?

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  26. 26.

    What is the difference between a publisher's frontlist and backlist?

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  27. 27.

    What are the benefits for an author or educator to publish their work with Sage Publications versus self-publishing?

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  28. 28.

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

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  29. 29.

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

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  30. 30.

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

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