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Universal Music Group 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 about a time when you used good judgment and logic to solve a problem.

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Universal Music Group Interview Questions

  1. 1.

    Tell me about a time when you used good judgment and logic to solve a problem.

      The interviewer wants to hear about a particular situation where you used good judgment to solve a work problem. Be sure to showcase your logic and reasoning abilities. Share a brief overview of the problem, discuss the pro/cons of each decision you could have made, and tell the interviewer why the solution you chose was the best.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "Logic is a huge part of the creativity in music and entertainment marketing, believe it or not. When I take on a new project, I always use logic to discover what the biggest pain point is. Using the logic and the thought process of our customers, I create a marketing strategy from there."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I use good logic every day! As an intern for my company's executive, I face a multitude of scheduling problems. Just yesterday I used logic by figuring out how to arrange their schedule through the path of least resistance. I called the most flexible appointments to reschedule, and worked my way down the list from there."

  2. 2.

    In your opinion, what is the most influential form of media today?

      Have a meaningful conversation with the interviewer on media influence. With so many forms of media out there, which do you feel is the most influential at the moment? Be sure to back your answer.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I feel that the most influential form of media today is social media and online content. As a whole, the human race wants fast, easy to consume, entertainment news. Our rate of consumption is unprecedented, and the fastest way to access it is through online content sharing."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "There are many important forms of media today - so many, in fact, that people seem to be getting overwhelmed. I would still say that traditional media, in the form of television and the daily news, is at the top when it comes to the number of people influenced and the quality of the content being distributed."

  3. 3.

    What is your favorite source for entertainment news and industry updates?

      The interviewer wants to see that you have a thumb on the beat of what's happening in the music industry. Universal Music Group needs to hire people who are curious and want to know what's going on minute-to-minute, always knowing which trends and topics to follow. Discuss how you remain up to date in the industry by mentioning a few different tools and resources.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "First and foremost, I follow UMG on Twitter for important live updates on what's happening in music entertainment news. I also follow a lot of top artists on Instagram, and I read Billboard magazine regularly. I fully understand the importance of being up to date on entertainment news and industry happenings."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "My top sources for entertainment news are all of the music awards! I watch the Billboard Music Awards, American Music Awards, the Grammy's, the MTV Music Awards and more. Also, I follow many top artists and labels on social media which provides me with up to the minute entertainment news."

  4. 4.

    With which sector of the music and entertainment industry are you least experienced?

      Similar to, 'What is your greatest weakness?', this question asks you to disclose the area where you are the least knowledgeable. It's essential that you highlight the area where you are least experienced while still showing the interviewer that you are confident in your ability to learn.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "When it comes to the music and entertainment industry, unions, and guilds are the areas where I am least experienced. I am aware that many artists are part of a union; however, I am not entirely sure how those union agreements impact the work done here at Universal Music Group. I am eager to learn the inner workings of topics such as this."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I am least experienced when it comes to entertainment law both locally and internationally. I have performed some research and read many articles; however, I feel it will take more dedication from me to grasp the complexities of entertainment law."

  5. 5.

    Tell me about yourself.

      When an interviewer asks an open-ended question like this, it can be challenging to know where to begin...and end! This question haunts many individuals who may have accidentally gone a little too in-depth into their personal lives. It happens. Keep your reply light, and work relevant. Share how you became interested in this career path and what you enjoy about it. This question offers an excellent opportunity to describe yourself by discussing the strengths and qualities that you bring.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I would say that I am both analytical and creative, I'm extroverted at times, but like to hunker down and work on my own to knock out projects. When not at work, I love attending musicals, museums, and traveling. Not only is it something I love, but also I think it helps me expand my horizons on how I approach my creative work."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I am a competitive individual who is driven and likes to win. In addition to my successful post-secondary career, I also spend time playing competitive sports. I give back by volunteering at the local animal shelter and working for a variety of annual fundraisers in our community."

  6. 6.

    How often do you take work home with you?

      There may be some overtime expectations in this role with UMG, and the interviewer wants to know that this is a concept you are willing to embrace. The interviewer would like to see if you work additional hours when necessary. The majority of people will work overtime hours or take work home with them on occasion. Talk to the interviewer about how frequently to take your work home.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "In the entertainment biz, one must always be willing to work whenever the creative moment hits you. I have a notebook with memos on my current projects that I often add ideas to at all hours of the day and night."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I take my work home with me whenever it is necessary. Some internships have held, I work from home nearly every day. Other roles, such as my current position, I do extra work from home just a couple of times per week."

  7. 7.

    From your knowledge, what is the primary purpose of a record label?

      Record labels such as Universal Music Group have a few purposes which include:

      - Marketing of recorded music
      - Marketing of music videos
      - New artist recruitment & development
      - Music publishing
      - Copyright enforcement
      - Distribution

      Discuss what you believe to be the primary purpose of a record label.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I believe the purpose of a record label is to coordinate the production and manufacturing of a musical artist or band's work. A label will then lead efforts in marketing, promotion, and distribution. Copyright enforcement on behalf of the artists, their songs, and their videos is also a large part of a record label's job. Lastly, record labels and their scouts actively work on talent scouting and the development of new artists."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "The primary purpose of a label is to sign talented artists and then represent their work. These efforts could include marketing, campaigns, promotions, and even distribution. A record label also works hard to protect copywritten material on behalf of the artists."

  8. 8.

    Is compensation the most critical 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

      "Several factors are important to me when taking a job. Compensation is a driving component but so is the company mission, culture, benefits, and location. I am looking to have an easier commute than I currently experience."

  9. 9.

    How do you handle a larger than average workload?

      The interviewer at UMG wants to know that you can handle the workload required of you in this position and that you will not become overwhelmed if/when workloads unexpectedly increase. When workloads increase, stress levels do too. How do you react?

      Here are some suggestions on how to handle a large workload:

      - List your tasks and prioritize them
      - Think of which jobs add to the company's bottom line, and start there (Closest to the money!)
      - Exhale. Relax for a minute and collect yourself
      - Organize your tasks by which ones you can complete independently and which ones you need help with
      - Take sufficient breaks, so you do not exhaust yourself
      - Communicate your struggles with your leadership or team

      Rachelle's Answer

      "When I have a large workload on my plate, I do not stress over the tasks that are in front of me. Rather, I make a simple plan of which tasks are a high priority and which tasks are a lower priority. The higher priority tasks, I complete first. Through this system, I can focus on my tasks individually, rather than stress out by the multitude of tasks ahead of me."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "With enthusiasm! Having a large workload is part of being in the music and entertainment industry. I prioritize the work and enlist additional resources where necessary."

  10. 10.

    What do you know about Universal Music subsidiaries and labels?

      Major record labels such as Universal Music will have sub-labels and other subsidiary companies to serve various genres of music and entertainment. Show the interviewer that you have done your homework on their company before your interview by listing a few of these things that you should know. Keep in mind that you don't need to start listing off every single subsidiary of Universal Music. You just have to show the interviewer that you are engaged and genuinely interested in their organization.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I know that your most well-known sister companies and labels include Interscope Records and Capitol Music Group. I have researched Universal Music Group extensively and was very interested in finding that you also own Def Jam Recordings. I am eager to learn even more about your diverse company."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I know that Universal Music Group has been around for decades, representing artists such as Kendrick Lamar and Drake. Your labels encompass multiple musical genres including hip hop, country, pop, and even jazz. The labels I am most familiar with include The Verve Label Group and Island Records."

  11. 11.

    Who are considered the 'Big 3' record labels, and how does Universal Music Group compete?

      The 'Big 3' record labels include:

      - Sony BMG
      - Warner Music Group
      - and, of course, Universal Music Group

      These three record labels own nearly 80% of the music market. Since you are interviewing for Universal Music Group be prepared to discuss the other competition. How do they compete with each other to have the best talent in the music and entertainment industry?

      Rachelle's Answer

      "Sony BGM, Warner Music and Universal Music make up the 'Big 3' in the music industry. I believe that the best way UMG competes with these other two competitors is to work hard to sign the worlds' most celebrated artists to your core label. This approach includes being competitive when it comes to what you offer the artist. Also, working hard to scout hot new talent is a significant factor in your ability to remain ahead of your competitors."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "The big three record labels are Sony BGM, Warner Music Group, and Universal Music Group. Together, these three hold 80% of the music market. The best way to remain competitive is to continue gaining access to the world's core talent and signing them to your primary label. The second part of this strategy is to be the first to find and sign hot new talent."

  12. 12.

    How does your post-secondary education apply to the music and entertainment industry?

      The interviewer would like to know more about your post-secondary education, and how it will benefit Universal Music Group, should you be hired. Expand on what you already have laid out on your resume and be prepared to discuss how particular coursework will translate well into this role.

      If you bring post-graduate work experience, give examples of how your education has helped you succeed in your career up to this point.

      If you are a recent graduate, you could choose to discuss one or two classes that equipped you with skills you can apply to this job.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I have a Masters' in Law and Entertainment which gave me top-notch industry knowledge from the start of my career. The courses I took helped me to develop skills in short and long-term strategic planning in this competitive industry. I also learned a great deal about project management, performing arts, and cultural entrepreneurship."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I recently completed a series of courses geared for entertainment management and artist relations. These courses will round out my Business Law degree, offering me a balanced perspective on entertainment and the law. I look forward to applying what I have learned in this role with Universal Music Group."

  13. 13.

    How would you market an artist when you do not enjoy their work?

      Without explicitly discussing any artists that you do not care for, try talking more about the approach you would take if Universal Music Group asked you to help market them. Setting your musical tastes or personal preferences aside, would you work hard to ensure this artist got the most out of their record deal?

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I understand that not everyone at UMG will like absolutely every talent that is signed. That's just part of the job, and it's good to have preferences when it comes to taste in music. That's part of what makes us unique. If I were asked to market an artist whom I did not particularly enjoy, I would work just as hard to market and promote them as if they were my all-time favorite. Through the process, I would likely develop a new appreciation for the work!"

      Rachelle's Answer

      "My personal preferences would never have an impact on how hard I would work for an artist signed with Universal Music Group. Whether I enjoy their work or not, it's my job to help them succeed, create profit opportunities for the label, and operate at 100% capacity every day."

  14. 14.

    Do you have a big career goal that, right now, seems unattainable?

      The interviewer would like to know more about your most significant goals when it comes to your career. Have you ever heard author Jim Collins' thoughts on the importance of building a Big, Hairy, Audacious Goal (BHAD)? The concept is embraced by many organizations where they believe that every person and company should have an ambitious long-term goal that seems near impossible to reach. You can read more about it in Jim's book, 'Built to Last.'

      Keep your answer career-related and as relative to this particular company as you can. You want to avoid saying that your BHAG is never to work again, or to work for their competition!

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I have a huge career goal that involves me completing my MBA while working full time. I know it will take a great deal of dedication and discipline and it has been done before. I feel that this level of education will greatly assist me in this career as I will have a fuller understanding of entertainment law and international business."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I believe in the importance of setting meaningful career goals. When I dream of my ideal career pursuit, I am working towards becoming the executive assistant to the VP of this organization. I know it's a long way from an intern role, but I am willing to do what it takes to reach my goals!"

  15. 15.

    Would you consider yourself a creative person?

      Talk to the interviewer about any interest that you have in creative activities and how you have implemented your creative desires in the workplace. Even if you do not consider yourself to be a 'creative person,' there is a significant change that you have made creative minded decisions in your career.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I am someone who alternates back and forth with the right/left brain, but I will always consider myself a very creative person. I admire the creativity and unconventional thinking in the entertainment business and musical arts."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I consider myself creative! I have had a flair for the arts and thinking outside of the box, ever since I was a child. My mother says I danced before I could walk and I always loved to take on new creative projects."

  16. 16.

    When have you worked among a diverse group of people?

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  17. 17.

    Tell me about your experiences giving presentations in front of large groups.

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  18. 18.

    What was the most significant change you have had to deal with in your career?

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  19. 19.

    How do you like to be recognized for your accomplishments?

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  20. 20.

    What are some of the biggest challenges you would expect a record label or entertainment company to come across?

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  21. 21.

    Talk about a recent entertainment campaign that caught your eye.

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  22. 22.

    What do you think about the future of record labels?

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  23. 23.

    If Universal Music Group hired you today, what would you accomplish first?

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  24. 24.

    Universal Music Group has an illustrious client list which includes the best of Hollywood. How will you remain professional in the presence of the world's hottest celebrities?

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  25. 25.

    Where do you find new music?

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  26. 26.

    What could Universal Music Group do to increase record sales for our lesser-known artists?

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  27. 27.

    Who is your favorite band or musician, represented by Universal Music Group? Why are they your favorite?

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  28. 28.

    The world of entertainment never sleeps. Are you willing to work long hours, evenings, weekends, and holidays?

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  29. 29.

    Name three artists you believe will have a breakthrough this year.

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  30. 30.

    What are your 3 favorite forms of entertainment?

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