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Singapore Press Holdings 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

Tell me something about yourself that I wouldn't know from reading your resume.

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Singapore Press Holdings Interview Questions

  1. 1.

    Tell me something about yourself that I wouldn't know from reading your resume.

      The interviewer would like to get to know you apart from your resume. You are indeed not obligated to discuss personal matters such as your kids, or relationship status, for instance. Stick with a couple of fun facts to show the interviewer that you are a real person, too. Your answer should be unique so that you are a memorable candidate!

      Focus on unique non-work related skills or hobbies. For instance, you might share that you enjoy beat-boxing or making origami swans. Be prepared for the interviewer to stop you and ask you to perform your skill on the spot when it's possible! (This will make you unforgettable!)

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I am a certified yoga instructor, and I spent three months after college traveling and doing yoga. I spent six weeks in Asia and another six weeks in Latin America, and it was a fantastic experience that helped me to grow as both a yogi and a professional."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I am a complete organization nerd, which you may have already gathered from our interview time together. I have created and designed customer personal planners that are downloads which I sell on Etsy. My shop offers me a great side income, and essentially runs itself!"

  2. 2.

    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 and newspapers 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 and even newspaper are 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."

  3. 3.

    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 hired by Singapore Press Holdings. 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 Singapore Press Holdings and your authors to push record book sales this year."

  4. 4.

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

      There are a plethora of digital media forms today, and the interviewer would like a breakdown of the ones with which you are most familiar. Some types of digital media include images, video, gamification of many kinds, social media, websites, online channels, and more. Speak to the forms of digital media you are most experienced with while being sure to address the types listed in the Singapore Press Holdings job description.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "In my current role, I work primarily with online channels such as YouTube and IGTV, creating video content. I also have experience working on projects related to gamification ads. I saw in the SPH job posting that you were looking for someone with in-depth knowledge with IGTV and Insta Stories for marketing. I would rate my knowledge in this area an 8 out of 10, leaving me very confident that I would meet your requirements."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "While completing my degree in Digital Marketing, I learned a great deal about digital media production and design for video and web platforms. Most of my experience is with creating compelling video ads, and shorts for use online and on social media."

  5. 5.

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

      When working on digital content, you will be asked to remain in line with your employers brand, and even perhaps the brand of your clients. The interviewer would like to know how you ensure that you maintain a brand's voice, consistently delivering it across multiple platforms or channels. Discuss your best methods for preserving the brand voice, and be sure to express that you understand the importance of this skill.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "One tool that my current employer uses, and I find to be very helpful, is our internal Style Guide. This style guide is a tool for writers, producers, and creatives of all kinds, to refer to when they are unsure if their idea is on-track with the company's brand. Another method that I refer to often is to first storyboard the 'voice' that I want before beginning a project. I can create a clear narrative around the marketing effort very early on in the project."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I fully understand how critical it is to work within a brand's voice consistently throughout a project. One method that I enjoy using is to create a guide that outlines the jargon or colloquialisms that are acceptable to use in the campaign. Somewhat like a style guide, but easier to refer back to. I also feel it's important to make the voice of a brand a company-wide initiative so that co-workers can check in with each other to ensure all work is consistent and the best it can be."

  6. 6.

    Walk me through your experience in media and advertising.

      The interviewer at SPH is looking for an overview of your background as it relates to their industry. Because this question is so open ended, it can be easy to run away with your answer and even put your foot in your mouth.

      Offer a less than 5 minute brief of your related education or training, and then touch on the last 5-10 years of your career, depending on how far along you are in your professional career. You can discuss any related volunteer experience and don't forget to talk about any extraordinary skills you may have.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I have experience outside of my career in radio; however, it's primarily customer service based and not truly related to the media marketing career that I am focused on pursuing today. After graduating from ABC University with a degree in broadcast marketing, I worked for a local station that produced for both radio and television. The position taught me a great deal; however, they recently closed their doors due to fierce competition. Now, I am seeking a role related to my education but in a more lucrative environment."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I recently graduated with my diploma in broadcast media, so this is the first professional role that I have pursued. Before attending school, I spent a lot of my time volunteering at the humane shelter, working with abandoned and homeless animals. While attending post-secondary school, I worked as a hostess at a local pub. That role taught me a great deal about multi-tasking, customer service, and even math. I look forward to forging a wonderful career with your media organization."

  7. 7.

    Describe to me what you believe to be our radio stations' target audience.

      The interviewer would like to see that you have done adequate research on Singapore Press Holdings before your interview. You should be able to do an online search on the demographic that SPH reaches with their radio stations. Other ways to explore their target audience could be to check out their social media accounts, and website. Take note of the marketing language they use, the imagery, and the genres of music they primarily play.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I have researched SPH stations, specifically One FM 91.3, and believe that your target audience is the Baby Boomers, Generation X, and others who find a sense of nostalgia in hits predominantly from the 80s, and 90s. Your target audience appears to be professionals of all genders, age 40+. Your target audience seems to love music from Michael Jackson, Led Zeppelin, Madonna, and more. Your social media accounts show the most engagement from these generations as well."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "Kiss 92FM is a top hits style radio station, playing music from 1990 to today. My knowledge and research tell me that your target audience includes Generation Z, and Gen Y primarily. I would say that most of your listeners are born between 1980-2010. Is this accurate to say?"

  8. 8.

    Do you have a well-established network of contacts in the media industry? If so, how did you go about building this network?

      The hiring authority at Singapore Press Holdings wants to see that you are actively involved in pursuing a healthy and well-networked career within the media industry. Discuss what you do to network, to get your name 'out there' and to meet new and exciting people. Show that you are social and interested in building a life-long career within media and entertainment.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I have been in the media industry for eight years now and make a point to attend at least a couple of industry events every month. It's my nature to open up a conversation with people new to me, as I am curious about their career path and their connections. The first gig I ever landed in the industry was through networking, so I am a big believer in the impact of building a robust network."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I was able to get my foot in the door for this interview at Singapore Press Holdings by letting people in my network know that I was seeking out new opportunities. It certainly helps to have a secure network when passively seeking new career paths. I build my network by nurturing relationships through trust, connecting regularly, and staying involved in events throughout the year."

  9. 9.

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

      In a world immersed in online content, the hiring authority would like to know how you would capture the interest of new magazine subscribers. Singapore Press Holdings is responsible for many highly popular magazine publications, so it's essential that you are prepared to discuss one idea you have that would help print subscriptions to stand out in an online world.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "Print media is still very relevant, especially when a publication attracts a particular niche. In an online-centric world, I would place focus on the nostalgia that comes from reading your favorite magazine, along with the fact that SPH has been a trusted magazine publisher for over 30 years."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "Many people love the offering of traditional magazines such as feeling the pages flip through their fingers, or getting new mail. To increase magazine subscriptions, I would focus on those offerings, that are not available with online methods."

  10. 10.

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

      Since Singapore Press Holdings publishes books in both English and Mandarin, under their publishing label Straits Times Press, 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.

    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 SPH and the future of the magazine industry. Of course, since you are interviewing for a media conglomerate highly involved in 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."

  12. 12.

    The media world is always changing.Have you ever helped to implement a significant company change in one of your past roles?

      The interviewer would like to know that you have the type of personality where you can take the initiative without it being a formal requirement of your position. Show that you are happy being an engaged part of your company, and team.

      Perhaps a new company policy was coming into place, and you helped to execute some changes. Maybe a new employee benefits program was introduced, or new software implemented. In your example, be specific about what you did, and the impact your actions had - whether short or long term.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "Last month our company introduced a new software program called XYZ. I was already familiar with the program because I had used it in a previous role. I offered to do employee training on the program, and my boss agreed to it. I took a lunch hour to give my presentation and then offered myself as the subject matter expert, moving forward. The implementation went very well, and my boss was thankful for my help."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "In a previous role, I took point on coordinating the migration of our website and e-commerce platform. The project required a lot of departmental cross-collaboration, working with an outside agency, editing, and testing the entire site. It was a several-months-long project, but ultimately, it was completed successfully and led to a 67% increase in e-commerce sales."

  13. 13.

    Singapore Press Holdings controls a variety of radio stations. List a few of these for me.

      This question is meant to test the amount of research you did on SPH before your interview. If you go into the meeting to 'wing it'; chances are, a question like this will reveal how engaged you are in the interview process. Most media companies run a variety of radio stations. Discuss which ones SPH has in their portfolio. Bonus points if you mention a radio station of theirs that you listen to most often.

      Some of their radio stations include:

      - 96.3 Hao FM
      - UFM 100.3 in Mandarin
      - Money FM 89.3
      - Kiss 92FM
      - One FM 91.3 in English

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I understand that Singapore Press Holdings has an interest in a variety of radio and broadcast stations such as Kiss 92FM and Money FM 89.3 The station that I am most familiar with, and listen to in my car every day is Kiss 92FM. I appreciate the variety of music that you play, and the commercial-free hour while I am on my commute home from work!"

      Rachelle's Answer

      "Singapore Press Holdings has an impressive media portfolio which includes radio, magazines, and online media. I was most impressed to see that you are a publicly traded company with interests all around the globe. I look forward to joining your successful media company."

  14. 14.

    What can Singapore Press Holdings, and Straits Times Press, do best, for an up and coming writer?

      SPH would like to get an idea of the ways you feel they could support authors and writers. Discuss with them what you believe to be their responsibilities in this collaboration but also discuss how you will hold up your portion of the duties. How can SPH best ensure an author's success, and what are you willing to do to make sure you support their efforts?

      Rachelle's Answer

      "For an up and coming author, I believe that Straits Times Press, and SPH as a whole, could help by not only assisting in the sale of a book or other written work but also to teach the writer about the industry and how to navigate its ins and outs. Negotiating lucrative contracts is another important aspect for Singapore Press Holdings to handle. As an experienced publishing professional, I know first hand how challenging it is for an author to fight for their work and its worth."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "As an up and coming author myself, I believe what SPH could best do for a new author is to teach them how to navigate the publishing industry. In turn, I believe that new authors could better deliver their work, spending less energy on negotiating and editing, and more energy focused on their creative craft."

  15. 15.

    Have you ever had to pitch an idea? If so, how was your presentation received?

      If you are new to your career in media, the idea of pitching may make you feel weak in the knees. If you have the experience, you may still feel the nerves but are calmed by the knowledge that you have nailed the formula of a compelling presentation.

      Wherever you are in your career, the interviewer would like to know if you will enter this role, ready to pitch excellent ideas to clients of Singapore Press Holdings or even to internal departments. Be sure to touch on the fact that you are confident, creative, and persuasive by nature.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I have pitched ideas numerous times in my career; whether it be for television show ideas, digital marketing methods, or social media campaigns. I believe that part of what makes me so valuable to my employer is my ability to jump into any meeting with confidence and present my ideas with enthusiasm."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I am newer to my career; however, I gained a lot of experience in presenting and delivering pitches while attending post-secondary education. What I learned in University is that with some research, robust data, and a dash of creativity, I can pitch anything, as long as I have the right framework in place. I recently completed a course by Oren Klaff on Pitch Mastery, which I believe will benefit Singapore Press Holdings greatly when it comes to my future involvement in pitch meetings."

  16. 16.

    Name for me one effective method for driving audience engagement in the television and radio industry.

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  17. 17.

    In a streaming-centric time, how can Singapore Press Holdings increase the number of listeners to our radio stations?

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  18. 18.

    What radio stations do you have as your presets?

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  19. 19.

    How would you solicit new advertising business for our radio stations?

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  20. 20.

    What expertise do you bring in digital KPIs and analytics?

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  21. 21.

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

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  22. 22.

    Do you believe paid social campaigns are useful for promoting book releases, and if so, why?

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  23. 23.

    What are the benefits for an author to publish with SPH's Straits Times Press, versus self-publishing?

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  24. 24.

    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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  25. 25.

    If you only had social media platforms for event promotions, with zero budget for ad spend, what would you do?

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  26. 26.

    Who is your favorite author, and why?

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  27. 27.

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

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  28. 28.

    Do you have experience creating marketing materials for event promotions?

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  29. 29.

    Singapore Press Holdings strives to be first in all we do. How do you stay ahead in the latest television trends?

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  30. 30.

    Walk me through your experience working alongside other departments, including Marketing, Ad Sales, Press, Research, Digital, and Social.

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