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Scholastic Interview
Questions

30 Questions and Answers by Rachelle Enns

Published May 6th, 2019 | 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 is the difference between a publisher's frontlist and backlist?
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How to Answer
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.
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1.
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 #1
"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 #2
"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."
2.
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 #1
"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 #2
"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."
3.
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 #1
"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 #2
"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."
4.
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 #1
"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 #2
"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."
5.
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 #1
"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 #2
"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."
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