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

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Scholastic Interview Questions

  1. 1.

    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.

      Rachelle'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."

  2. 2.

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

      There are terms in the publishing industry that are similar; however, the interviewer wants assurance that you fully understand the semantics. Briefly discuss what you believe to be the most significant difference between marketing and advertising.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "To me, the most significant difference between marketing and advertising is that advertising is simply one component of an entire marketing plan. The term marketing encompasses topics such as public relations, distributions, sales, market research, and more."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "Marketing refers to an entire plan when it comes to approach and distribution. Advertising is simply one facet of a marketing plan."

  3. 3.

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

      There is a multitude of publishing categories in which you could bring experience. This experience includes magazines, physical books, ebooks, catalogs, online publishers, newspapers, and more. Discuss with the interviewer the areas which you are most experienced. If you want to dive deeper into genres, you can certainly do that as well; especially if your experience is related to the publishing activities at Scholastic. Be sure to sound confident, and finish your answer by tying in how this experience will make you successful in your new role.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I am most familiar with book publishing, working with seasoned authors, often in the children and young adult realm. This experience will help me at Scholastic because I know how to move content that appeals to a wide audience with significant age and interest gap."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "Although I am new to publishing, I have the most experience reading and identify best with educational publications. The mediums that I am most familiar with include online magazines and other digital content. I have a great eye for design and layout for online publications and believe I could offer Scholastic some fresh insight."

  4. 4.

    When entering a new job, describe how you build relationships with your new coworkers and supervisors.

      The interviewer would like to know how you plan to start relationships with your new co-workers. Due to a wide variety of personalities, coworker connections can take time to form. How do you ensure that you have a strong line of communication with your co-workers and supervisors, right from the start?

      Here are some ideas for getting started on the right foot:

      - Be willing to accept feedback and help
      - Offer to join a committee or volunteer assistance in some way
      - Do not have an air of entitlement or act as though you know the ins and outs immediately
      - Avoid all company gossip, at all cost
      - Be thankful for the equipment that you have. Don't complain about your used computer or your slow dial out line!
      - Be early on your first day (and every day after that!)
      - Come dressed appropriately

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I understand that some relationships come quickly and others take time to nurture. When starting a new job all that I can do is be my true self and let my personality, integrity, and reliability speak for itself."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I understand that people like to talk about themselves. The best way that I can create new relationships with others is by asking them about themselves. Hopefully, we find common ground and make a quick connection!"

  5. 5.

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

      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. Employees who do not have goals set just beyond their reach are typically disengaged and unmotivated. 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 biggest clients' digital marketing strategy later this month. This account is the biggest that I have worked with, and it's a fascinating campaign. With that said, I look forward to joining your organization and working with large clients 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 in publishing started!"

  6. 6.

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

      The hiring authority wants to get to know you. One great way to do this is to ask about your interests. Generally speaking, you would want to pitch something you are knowledgeable in and passionate about. There is no right or wrong answer to a question like this; however, the interviewer will want to see that you are insightful and have enthusiasm for an exciting topic. If you choose an item that is related to Scholastic or their publication, that's great but certainly not a requirement for this to be a successful answer.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I read a lot of history books and find so much of it fascinating. In particular, ancestry and genealogy. If I could pitch you one idea for an article, it would be a how-to for people who were starting on discovering their family lineage."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "As a recent English Major, I have a keen interest in teaching the basics of English to ESL students. This topic is in high demand, and I would pitch it as a series of lessons on video and audio."

  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 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."

  8. 8.

    What drew you to our publication?

      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 Scholastic by coming prepared with some compelling reasons to work for them.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I have been a Scholastic customer since I can remember. I recall being so excited about the book order magazines arriving at our school. I would spend hours flipping through and carefully making my selections. To work here would be a great full circle event. Also, your publication has been going strong since 1920, making you one of the longest lasting publishing companies in the world."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "Initially, I was drawn to your publishing company because I have a keen interest in children's education. Your company is known to be a stand-out publisher in this 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 children and adults, alike."

  9. 9.

    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 Scholastic 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 Scholastic. 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."

  10. 10.

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

      Since Scholastic publishes books, 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."

  11. 11.

    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 Scholastic frontlist and backlist.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "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, Scholastic has 'Supergifted' on the frontlist at the moment, with the author's first book 'Ungifted' likely on your backlist."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "Right now, I would guess that 'What's His Face' by Gordon Korman is on the frontlist at Scholastic where 'A Scale of 1-10' may on your backlist since it's the last item listed on your website in the kids' section. Generally speaking, a newly published book will be on the frontlist where a book over a year in print will fall onto the backlist."

  12. 12.

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

      The interviewer would like to know how much emphasis you put on pay when considering a new position. In addition to compensation, there are many other factors in a fulfilling career. These other factors may include:

      - work/life balance
      - amount of travel involved in the role
      - overall medical and health benefits
      - additional perks such as car allowance, cell allowance, spending account
      - the industry you will be working in
      - amount of vacation time
      - the type of clients you would be working with
      - the location of the company
      - career growth opportunity
      - the size of your new team
      - the company's reputation
      - overall workplace culture.

      Talk to the interviewer about other factors that are important to you when considering a new job. If you are not sure on details for this role, you can ask!

      Rachelle's Answer

      "Salary is important to me because I know that I am skilled and well educated. With that said, I do look at the full picture which includes factors such as benefits and the amount of paid vacation time."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I am earning my way through University right now, so the two most important factors to me are flexibility in my schedule, and the opportunity to earn a fair wage. I am available evenings and weekends but come next semester; I will be available during most afternoons."

  13. 13.

    How do you like to encourage ideas in others?

      The interviewer would like to know how you have encouraged others to think creatively. Encouragement to others is a great skill to possess. Talk to the interviewer about your ability to promote creative ideas in your team members.

      Here are some ways that you can encourage ideas in others:

      - Get to know them and what they like to work on
      - Send an encouraging email letting them know you like their plan or ideas
      - Publicly praise their efforts
      - If they are doing a great job, offer them more related opportunities
      - If you are a leader, then tell them that you like their ideas
      - Say things like 'Well done' or 'Nice work' regularly
      - Show that you believe in their quality of work before they even deliver it

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I encourage my team to tap into the best parts of themselves. It helps to ask probing questions to get them to generate ideas on their own. I have found that by painting a long-term vision for where I want to go, my team will often jump in with creative solutions to get us there."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I like to encourage other people to be creative in their thinking and present ideas to the company, no matter how off the wall they may seem. Some of our most successful employees are ones who are confident in their ability to bring forward their unique ideas. I encourage participation through an open door policy and strong praise for those who show initiative."

  14. 14.

    How has your current job changed over the years?

      The interviewer wants to know more about your career progression. Additional responsibilities, promotions, and changes in your job title all indicate that you were competent and successful in your role. This question allows you to go more in-depth about how your job has evolved. If nothing has changed much over the past couple of years in your position, focus on what you have learned. Are you better at managing teams now that you have gone from supervising one to five people? Are you exceptionally good at problem-solving now that you've learned to troubleshoot IT related problems? Talk about how the changes in your job have taught you new skills and helped you develop the ones you already have.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "When I initially started my job four years ago I was a junior level associate. Today, I am responsible for leading a team of 8 junior associates. My role does not look the same at all, and I am thankful for the growth opportunity that my current company has offered me. In addition to the change in leadership responsibilities, I have also enjoyed two major promotions. I attribute this to hard work and dedication."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "Initially, I was hired as a part-time sales associate. I graduated from college and received a promotion to full-time customer service lead, then assistant manager. My role now includes correspondence with our corporate head office, interviewing candidates, and training new hires. I love to learn new processes and look forward to the challenges this role with Scholastic will offer."

  15. 15.

    What type of work environment allows you to be the most productive?

      The interviewer would like to know how to ensure a healthy level of productivity from you. Are you able to be productive in any environment? Are there particular types of situations that you find distracting? Discuss your preferences with the interviewer. Be sure to research the kind of environment that offered in this position before the interview.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I work best in environments that are organized, well-scheduled, and positive by nature. I hear that Scholastic offers this type of environment. Is that correct?"

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I understand that the Scholastic work environment is very collaborative. I come from a similar environment and found that I could be very productive when there was the 'buzz' of a team around me. I can also be productive in quieter environments although that isn't my preference."

  16. 16.

    What are your strengths?

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  17. 17.

    Where do you see your career one year from now?

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  18. 18.

    Tell me about a time that you failed. How did you get back up again?

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  19. 19.

    When have you been asked to perform a function or complete a task in which you had little or no experience in doing?

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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.

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

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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.

    What are the benefits for an author to publish with Scholastic versus self-publishing?

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  24. 24.

    How would you increase magazine subscriptions and physical book orders in an online-centric world?

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  25. 25.

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

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  26. 26.

    If Scholastic hired you today, what would you accomplish first?

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  27. 27.

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

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  28. 28.

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

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  29. 29.

    Who is your favorite author, and why?

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  30. 30.

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

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