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Sandhills Publishing Company 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

How do you show your co-workers the importance of communication in the workplace?

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Sandhills Publishing Company Interview Questions

  1. 1.

    How do you show your co-workers the importance of communication in the workplace?

      The interviewer would like to know that you lead by example when it comes to communication in the workplace. Breakdown of communication in a business setting can have dire effects on the profitability of an organization. This effect is why it is essential, as a leader, to understand that 'telling' and 'showing' are two very different things when it comes to proper communication. Give examples of how you put dialogue into action in the workplace.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I show my co-workers the importance of communication through my willingness to ask questions if I do not understand the first time. I do not pretend to know something to save face. By creating an environment where questions are encouraged, we have increased communication greatly, and have seen a higher productivity rate as a result."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "In publishing, we have to communicate every small detail of our projects. I encourage this with my team by asking everyone to use our internal project management app that tracks our progress and needs, every step of the way. It's like web-based sticky notes!"

  2. 2.

    Besides compensation, what do you value the most in the workplace?

      Financial compensation aside, the interviewer would like to know what is most important to you when looking for a new job. Your answer will show the interviewer some direction when they are ready to make you an offer of employment. You can talk about health benefits, work-life balance, workplace culture, growth, or even continued education opportunities. The sky is the limit!

      Rachelle's Answer

      "What I value most in the workplace are growth opportunities. I am missing this in my current role and very much look forward to working with a company like Sandhills who will provide me with bigger moves as I prove myself."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "For me, the room for creativity and a flexible workspace is significant. This flex could include a great office where it's easy to collaborate, or the ability to work from home when needed."

  3. 3.

    Do you always double check or proofread your work?

      The interviewer would like to know if you are the type to proofread your work before submitting it. Double checking and proofreading are vital parts of a job well done. Assure the interviewer that you are diligent when it comes to presenting good, clean, work.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "Spelling and grammatical errors are a pet peeve of mine. I will triple check my work if there is time! I feel that it is essential to submit error-free work."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I make a habit of using spell check; however, I also lean on the editor teams to ensure that no mistakes squeak through before anything goes to print."

  4. 4.

    How do you react to an increase in your workload?

      Workloads will increase and decrease during particular times of your publishing cycle. The interviewer would like to know how you adapt when the work starts to pile up. Show that you are willing to work faster, put in overtime, or take work home when needed. You will also want to express your time-management abilities.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I fully understand that my workload will increase from time to time and I easily accept that. I prefer it when times are busy, so I do not mind an increase in workload now and then."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I tend to thrive under pressure, and always have, which is why I started a career in the busy world of publishing. I want to be a valued employee which often means doing more than my 'fair share.' I love being busy, so I thrive on those opportunities for more work and additional chances to prove my value."

  5. 5.

    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 Sandhills Publishing 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 Sandhills has made content available across many traditional and digital platforms."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "Augmented writing has become a trend that has caught my attention. It's a cheap and fast way to generate articles for SEO; however, I am not sure that it's the most reliable or helpful resource for trusted publications such as Sandhills."

  6. 6.

    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 magazine publisher, for instance, why not explore the impact that a social media campaign could have for subscription rates. 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."

  7. 7.

    If asked, how do you believe your coworkers would describe you?

      The interviewer is hoping that your coworkers will describe you positively and uniquely. The hiring authority wants to know that you can honestly say that your co-workers enjoy collaborating with you! Select a few positive and unique keywords that genuinely define your work ethic, but also position you as a stand-out candidate.

      Some great words to use:

      - Encouraging
      - Helpful
      - Engaged
      - Positive
      - Hard-working
      - Punctual
      - Reliable
      - Adaptable
      - Compassionate
      - Exuberant
      - Intuitive
      - Persistent

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I believe that my coworkers would describe me as curious, confident, and creative! I put a lot of effort into my work and always want our advertising clients to be happy with their ROI. I conduct a great deal of research into new marketing trends to ensure that I am delivering the best, most up-to-date solutions to my client projects."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I have been described as persistent, determined, and hard-working. Failure is not in my vocabulary as I will even take a perceived failure, and make it work for me. I do not give up, and, when things get harder, I dig in deeper."

  8. 8.

    Do you perform better in a group setting, or when working alone?

      It is okay to lean one way more than the other when answering this question; however, the key to a firm answer is to show that you are capable of performing well in either setting. Discuss the environment in which you currently function, and how you ensure that you are successful in your day to day performance.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "Currently, I perform most of my tasks in a group setting. I am a strong collaborator and know how to gain buy-in from my team, gaining their excitement when it comes to new projects. With that said, I am also very capable of generating great ideas when I work on my own."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I love group settings and would choose a team based role over an independent role any day. I can certainly deliver on my own - in fact, I spent many years as a freelance editor; however, my preference is to work in a collaborative environment."

  9. 9.

    What feedback did you receive from your most recent manager?

      Every manager has a different approach to giving feedback. Some prefer to save it for the performance review while others dish it out on the regular. Your response to feedback is much more important than the feedback itself. Even if it was negative, if you can take it as constructive criticism, you can improve yourself and your skills.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "My manager told me that I was spending too much time on the details of a project. I realized that I could be such a perfectionist that I lose track of time and am often hyper-focus on things that just aren't that important. I'm learning to prioritize the steps I need to take, and the required tasks when working on a bigger project."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "My most recent supervisor commended how hard I worked and gave me additional responsibilities beyond my role, which was a huge compliment. I feel good about my work ethic and talent. The areas for improvement she pointed out where not getting caught up in the details of a project, which I know I can spend too much time on."

  10. 10.

    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 Sandhills Publishing 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 Sandhills Publishing. 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."

  11. 11.

    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."

  12. 12.

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

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

      Rachelle's Answer

      "From what I understand, Sandhills Publishing has many different publications including TractorWorld, AuctionTime, Machinery Trader and RentalYard. The magazine which I read most often is AuctionTime as I spend a lot of weekends with my dad scoping auctions for deals on farm machinery."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "The RV Universe publication released by Sandhills Publishing is hands down the one I read the most. As an avid camper and traveler, I like to look at what's available. I have the goal of owning my own RV one day."

  13. 13.

    What questions do you have for me?

      It's always a great idea to have questions ready for the interviewer. Review the Sandhills website and other online resources to ensure the queries you have are not mundane, or redundant. The last thing an interviewer wants to hear is a list of items you could have found the answers for from merely watching a video on their company site!

      Here are some sample questions:

      - When would you like to have this position filled?
      - How long has this role been vacant?
      - Is this a replacement search or a newly created role?
      - What is your favorite part about working for Sandhills?
      - What is the company's primary goal for this position in the next 12 months?
      - Is there anything from my background and experience that I can clarify for you?
      - What do you see as the most significant change in the publishing industry over the past three years?
      - Is there any reason why you would not hire me?

      Rachelle's Answer

      "Thank you for asking - I do have a few questions. What is top of mind when it comes to filling this role? Also, what types of career growth opportunities would follow this position? And lastly, do you have internal candidates who are also interviewing for this position?"

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I would like to ask if there is anything in my background on which you need clarification? Also, after discussing everything today, is there any particular reason why I would not be the best fit for this role with Sandhills Publishing? "

  14. 14.

    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. 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.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "Currently, I earn a base salary of $45,000 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."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I am negotiable with my salary expectations. However, I am not inclined to lose compensation. Compensation to me, though, is not only net pay. I take into account work hours, commute. overnight travel, health benefits, etc."

  15. 15.

    When it comes to problem-solving, are you a strong collaborator?

      Show off your teamwork skills by giving an example of when you successfully collaborated with your coworkers. Be sure to demonstrate how you communicated your thoughts or opinions. Highlight how your contributions, or ability to ask for help, made a difference. Explain how you are a team player who enjoys working alongside others.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I love having impromptu brainstorm sessions with my team. It keeps everyone on their toes! When an issue comes to light with a particular magazine issue, for instance, I will approach the problem with the entire team and open the floor, at the end of the meeting, for suggestions."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "In publishing, it is imperative to collaborate and gain different sides of the story, and new opinions. I try to seek out my team's opinions on projects all the time. I find everyone has something to contribute and can help me see a problem or strategy in a way that I may not have ever considered."

  16. 16.

    What challenges are you looking for in a position?

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  17. 17.

    What work situations excite and motivate you?

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  18. 18.

    Why do you want this job?

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  19. 19.

    Which career development goals have you set for yourself this year?

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  20. 20.

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

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  21. 21.

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

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  22. 22.

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

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  23. 23.

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

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  24. 24.

    What drew you to our publication?

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  25. 25.

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

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  26. 26.

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

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  27. 27.

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

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  28. 28.

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

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  29. 29.

    How do you go about fact checking, and researching sources?

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  30. 30.

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

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