How would you handle sensitive writers who question every edit you make?
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"A lot of writers are sensitive, which is understandable because they often put their heart and soul into it and they're doing the very best that they can. As an editor, I might be making tiny little edits on grammar and punctuation, which the writer might see as a slight. So I need to acknowledge their good work and the efforts they make. I might not have time to talk about every little edit, so I'll ask them to write down all their concerns so that we can have a meeting where we can talk about the newspaper's expectations and guidelines. That way we can meet the deadline and the writer still gets to be heard and understood."
An editor is a leader and manager of people and must therefore show sound judgment of character as well as diplomacy.
A sensitive person will require patience and compassion in conjunction with firmness. This kind of person is best led through a combination of consent and firmness.
Explain your understanding of the underlying principle of how you should lead this kind of person. Then talk about what actions you would take, bearing in mind that there are always deadlines to meet.
Tell me about your post-secondary education. What was your favorite course? Which was your most challenging?
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"I really enjoyed my creative nonfiction course because it taught me many different ways to convey a single truth, which I think is going to be a great asset in the human interest pieces. And the most challenging course was poetry. In that class, I learned how to do close readings and how to give effective constructive criticism, which definitely will help the writers turn in their work faster."
The duties of a newspaper editor require strong attention to detail in the way that language is used. To choose your favorite course, think about a class where you enjoyed paying attention to the use of language. To choose your most challenging course, think about a class in which you made a big leap forward in your education as it relates to planning, revising, or reviewing written content.
Choose courses where you're able to demonstrate growth in areas that are important to the publication and department you're applying for. For instance, some newspapers may focus on politics while others may focus on local news, or you may be applying to edit for the food section or the human interest section. When possible, bring examples to life by relating them to benefits to the newspaper or department.
"I like a progressive company that's always looking for ways to improve and that's willing to commit to small experiments to make incremental improvements. Ideally, I'd be working with people who are just as committed to excellence as I am, and my boss will be open to letting me earn her trust so that there's less communication overhead, meaning I can be more efficient and not encounter any bottlenecks that might delay my work and cause me to miss deadlines."
The answer to this can be a complex one.
In order to give the interviewer confidence that you'll fit into the organization over the long term, do some research on what current employees are saying. Check out company reviews like Glassdoor and see if you can connect with employees—past or present—on LinkedIn or any other social media. Get a sense of the pace, the relational style, and the expected behaviors.
To develop your response, think about how you like to be treated; the quantity of work expected; and any other factors that are important to you. Imagine that you've already been extended the offer: what questions would you have that concern whether you would be happy in this position and in this organization? How do you want your boss to treat you? What are the non-negotiables, the things tat are absolutely essential?
In your response, speak on three different topics: what the values that drive company's demands and expectations for the employees; how you're expected to accomplish that (e.g. job duties); and who you're working with.
What would your previous supervisor say about your time management skills?
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Many people may reflexively respond that they're excellent at something when they're asked what they themselves think of an ability of theirs. The interviewer is trying to get a better gauge of your time management skill by framing the question from an external perspective. It has the added benefit of assessing your integrity and your relationship with your superiors.
Be honest in your response. If your supervisor would say that you're good at time management, give a brief explanation of your methodology. If your supervisor wouldn't say that you're good at time management, say that your supervisor would say that you could use improvement, not that you're bad. Quickly move on to methods that you have learned and applied. Show that it's the things that you're bad at that you become the most consciously proficient at. End your response assuring the interviewer of your time management skill by saying that these methods are what enable you to meet your deadlines.
Editing is the process of selecting and preparing language, images, sound, video, or film through processes of correction, condensation, organization, and other modifications in various media. A person who edits is called an editor. In a sense, the editing process originates with the idea for the work itself and continues in the relationship between the author and the editor. Editing is, therefore, also a practice that includes creative skills, human relations, and a precise set of methods.