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  • Writer's pictureThe Publishing Post

Upskilling Tips for Applicants in Interviews

By Sukhpreet Chana, Grace Edwards, Misha Manani and Lydia Marshall


At the end of an interview, it is common for employers to ask applicants whether they have any questions they would like to ask. This is a chance for the interviewer to further understand your passion for the industry and your willingness to learn more about the offered position. Such an open question can easily make you feel stumped and unsure of what hiring managers want you to ask. To make sure that you end your interviews on a high note, we have compiled a list of what we believe are the best publishing-specific questions that will help you stand out to employers.


Types of Questions


Learning and development: There is always room for further training, which is key in publishing as it shows you are determined to progress with your career endeavours. Asking this question demonstrates your tenacity and drive to achieve goals and thrive within a certain company, even as an applicant. Training can be a core element in publishing as it helps you to learn new skills and expand your knowledge.


Challenges: This is a great way to engage with the hiring managers as it shows that you have thought about the role and are interested in how to overcome obstacles within it.


Inclusivity and diversity in the company: This is an important question to ensure that there is representation and diversity in the publishing community and everyone is able to speak up to create an enriched environment. This can help you determine whether a company meets your values and reflects the core principles of its mission statement.


What inspired you to pursue a career in publishing?: Even though this would be a personal question, you can gain a different point of view from the recruitment side by asking about their experience. It gives you an insight into what they have gained throughout their career journey and how they got to where they are.




Ask about specific books they have worked on: Hiring managers love to talk about the titles they have contributed to, whether it is because they acquired it, created the marketing/publicity campaign, pitched the book to a retailer or helped design the cover. Always tailor your question to the department you are applying for.


Engage with the responses from the interviewers: Your body language is important to consider while they are speaking, so make sure you sit straight, smile (if it has a positive tone), nod, maintain good eye contact and feel free to respond to what they are saying. If you can turn this of the interview into a conversation, it will put you at ease. Make sure to always thank the interviewer after each question.


Not have any questions: You will be asked if you have any questions, so have at least three prepared. It shows that you are curious, unafraid to ask questions and have thought about the role and company. Your questions also highlight to the interviewer what is important to you when applying for a position. Be relevant and thoughtful.


Interrupt the interviewer: You should give them a chance to speak and respond to your questions instead of cutting them off or quickly asking your next question. You need to show that you are respectful, a good listener and are interested in what they have to say.

Top Tips

Mirror the interviewer: This will allow you to make a good first impression on the interviewer. Be mindful of what they are doing. For example, if the interviewer leans forward when speaking to you, do the same. When you mirror the interviewer's tone and body language you will demonstrate confidence and show that you are engaged, friendly and invested in the job.


Take your time to ask questions: Don’t let your nerves get the best of you! When you’re nervous it can cause you to talk faster and stumble over words. Instead of rushing to ask the interviewer a question, take a deep breath and maybe even a sip of water. This will calm your nerves, enable you to remain poised and help you to structure your questions correctly.


Practice with mock interviews: This is an excellent way to prepare. It will give you the opportunity to develop your interview skills and receive feedback that will help you as you move forward. It will also allow you to become more confident and comfortable ahead of your interview.


● Repeat positive affirmations: Doing this is effective when it comes to handling imposter syndrome and self-doubt. It’s easy to overthink and feel intimidated. So, even before the interview, speak positively about yourself. Tell yourself that you are capable and competent.

Thank you for reading issue 95! Join us again for Upskilling Tips for Changing Careers in issue 96.


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