25 Managing Editor Interview Questions and Answers

Learn what skills and qualities interviewers are looking for from a managing editor, what questions you can expect, and how you should go about answering them.

An editor is someone who oversees the publishing process of a document, article, or book. They are responsible for the content, style, and accuracy of the work. Editors may work with authors to help them improve their work, or they may work with publishers to make sure the work meets the publisher’s standards.

If you’re looking for a job as an editor, you’ll likely need to go through a job interview. During the interview, you’ll likely be asked questions about your work experience, your knowledge of grammar and style, and your ability to meet deadlines. To help you prepare for your interview, we’ve gathered some common questions and answers that editors may be asked.

1. Are you familiar with the AP Stylebook?

The AP Stylebook is a style guide that many news organizations use to ensure consistency in their reporting. The interviewer may ask this question to see if you are familiar with the AP Stylebook and how it can be used to improve accuracy in your work. If you have experience using the AP Stylebook, explain what benefits you’ve seen from its use.

Example: “Yes, I am very familiar with the AP Stylebook. In my current role as Managing Editor, I have been using it on a daily basis for the past five years. I understand its importance in ensuring consistency and accuracy in all of our written content.

I also make sure that all of our writers are well-versed in the rules and regulations outlined in the AP Stylebook. I regularly review their work to ensure that they are following the guidelines correctly and making any necessary changes. Furthermore, I am always available to answer questions or provide guidance when needed.”

2. What are some of the most important skills for a managing editor to have?

This question can help the interviewer determine if you have the skills necessary to succeed in this role. Use your answer to highlight some of the most important skills for managing editors and explain how you use these skills in your current or past job.

Example: “As a managing editor, it is important to have strong organizational and communication skills. Being able to effectively manage multiple tasks at once while ensuring accuracy and quality are essential for success in this role. It’s also important to be able to work independently as well as collaboratively with other team members.

In addition, having an eye for detail and the ability to spot errors quickly is key for any managing editor. A good understanding of grammar, punctuation, and formatting rules is also necessary. Finally, being able to think critically and problem solve on the fly is invaluable when working in a fast-paced environment.”

3. How do you manage your time to ensure that you meet deadlines?

Managing editor job duties often include managing the time of other employees. Interviewers may ask this question to learn more about your time management skills and how you plan your schedule. Use your answer to explain a few strategies that help you stay organized and meet deadlines.

Example: “Time management is an essential skill for any Managing Editor. I have developed a system that helps me stay organized and meet deadlines without compromising the quality of my work.

I start by breaking down larger tasks into smaller, more manageable chunks. This allows me to focus on one task at a time rather than feeling overwhelmed by the entire project. I also prioritize tasks based on their importance and urgency. This ensures that I am always working on the most important tasks first. Finally, I use calendar reminders to help keep me on track with my deadlines. This way, I can easily see when each task needs to be completed and plan accordingly.”

4. What is your process for evaluating the quality of an article or piece of content?

The interviewer may ask you this question to understand how you evaluate the quality of content and whether your process aligns with their organization’s standards. Use your answer to highlight your ability to make decisions that benefit the company, such as ensuring writers produce high-quality content on time.

Example: “My process for evaluating the quality of an article or piece of content begins with a thorough review of the material. I look at the structure, organization, and flow of the piece to ensure that it is easy to read and understand. I also assess the accuracy of the facts and figures presented in the article. Finally, I evaluate the overall tone and style of the writing to make sure it fits the publication’s standards.

I believe my experience as a Managing Editor has given me the skills necessary to effectively evaluate articles and other pieces of content. In addition to having a keen eye for detail, I have developed a deep understanding of what makes good content. My years of experience have taught me how to identify potential problems before they become major issues, which helps to ensure that only high-quality work is published.”

5. Provide an example of when you had to manage a difficult or challenging employee.

An interviewer may ask this question to learn more about your leadership skills and how you handle conflict. When answering, it can be helpful to mention a specific situation or example of when you helped an employee improve their performance or behavior.

Example: “I recently had to manage a challenging employee situation while I was working as the Managing Editor at my previous job. This particular employee was consistently late on deadlines and would often miss important meetings. Despite multiple attempts to address this issue, they continued to be unreliable.

To resolve the situation, I decided to take a more proactive approach. I scheduled regular one-on-one meetings with them to discuss their progress and provide feedback. During these meetings, I also provided additional resources and guidance to help them stay organized and meet their deadlines.

Ultimately, this strategy worked and the employee’s performance improved significantly. They were able to complete their tasks on time and even exceeded expectations in some areas. It was a great example of how effective management can lead to positive outcomes.”

6. If hired, what would be your priorities during your first few weeks and months in this role?

This question helps the interviewer understand your approach to a new role and how you plan to make an impact. Your answer should include specific examples of what you would do in your first few weeks on the job, such as meeting with team members or reviewing current projects.

Example: “If hired for this role, my first priority would be to get a thorough understanding of the company’s goals and objectives. I believe that in order to effectively manage any editorial team, it is essential to have an understanding of what the organization is trying to achieve. This includes having a clear vision of the type of content they are looking to produce, as well as the desired tone and style.

Once I have a good grasp on the company’s overall mission and direction, I will then focus on getting to know the existing editorial team. It is important to understand their strengths and weaknesses so that I can develop strategies for maximizing productivity and efficiency. In addition, I want to ensure that everyone feels comfortable and supported in their roles.

The next step would be to review the current workflow processes and identify areas where improvements can be made. By streamlining the process, I am confident that we can increase our output while still maintaining high standards of quality. Finally, I plan to work closely with other departments to ensure that all content produced meets the needs of the entire organization.”

7. What would you do if you noticed a pattern of factual errors in an author’s work?

The interviewer may ask you a question like this to assess your editing skills and how you handle conflict. To answer, think about the most challenging situation you’ve encountered as an editor and describe what you did to resolve it.

Example: “If I noticed a pattern of factual errors in an author’s work, the first thing I would do is to speak with the author and explain my concerns. It’s important for me to be open and honest about what I’m seeing so that we can come up with a solution together.

I would also take the time to review the author’s previous works to see if there are any other areas where accuracy could be improved. This will help me understand the scope of the problem and provide insight into how best to address it.

Once I have identified all the issues, I would create a plan to ensure that the author understands the importance of accuracy and has the tools they need to make sure their work is factually correct. This may include additional training or resources, such as fact-checking software, style guides, and more. Finally, I would monitor the author’s progress over time to ensure that the changes are being implemented correctly.”

8. How well do you work under pressure?

Managing editors often have to meet tight deadlines and work under pressure. Employers ask this question to make sure you can handle the stress of the job. In your answer, share a time when you worked under pressure and how you managed it. Explain what steps you took to complete your task on time.

Example: “I have extensive experience working under pressure as a Managing Editor. I am highly organized and efficient, which allows me to prioritize tasks and manage my time effectively. I’m also able to remain calm and focused in stressful situations, allowing me to make quick decisions when needed.

In addition, I’m comfortable delegating tasks to other team members and ensuring that deadlines are met. I understand the importance of communication and collaboration in order to ensure success, so I always strive to create an environment where everyone can work together efficiently and productively.”

9. Do you have experience managing a budget?

Managing a budget is an important part of being a managing editor. Employers ask this question to make sure you have experience with financial management and can use your skills to help the publication succeed. In your answer, explain how you manage budgets in your current role or how you would go about creating one for your new job if you haven’t done so before.

Example: “Yes, I have experience managing a budget. During my time as Managing Editor at ABC Publications, I was responsible for overseeing the editorial budget and ensuring that we stayed within our allocated spending limits. I worked closely with the finance team to ensure that all expenses were accounted for and tracked in an organized manner.

I also took on additional responsibilities such as creating cost-saving strategies, negotiating contracts with vendors, and finding ways to maximize our resources. Through these efforts, I was able to reduce costs by 10% while still maintaining quality standards. This enabled us to remain competitive in the market and continue producing high-quality content.”

10. When selecting an illustrator or photographer for an article, what are your criteria?

Interviewers may ask this question to assess your ability to make important decisions. They want to know that you can select the best possible illustrator or photographer for a job and that you have criteria in place to help you do so. In your answer, explain what factors you consider when making these types of decisions.

Example: “When selecting an illustrator or photographer for an article, I take into account a few key criteria. First and foremost, I consider the quality of their work. I look at their portfolio to make sure that they have experience in the style and subject matter of the article.

I also assess how well they can meet deadlines. As a Managing Editor, it’s important to me that all contributors are reliable and able to deliver on time. Finally, I evaluate the cost of their services. It’s important to find someone who is within budget while still providing high-quality content.”

11. We want to increase our social media presence. What would you do to increase our engagement on social media?

Social media is an important part of many businesses, and the hiring manager may want to know how you would use social media to increase engagement with their audience. Give examples of how you have used social media in the past to help your organization’s brand or company grow its online presence.

Example: “I understand the importance of having a strong social media presence and I am confident that I can help your organization achieve this. My experience as a Managing Editor has taught me how to create content that resonates with an audience, engage in meaningful conversations, and build relationships with followers.

To increase engagement on social media, I would start by creating a strategy that outlines our goals and objectives for each platform. This will ensure that we are consistently delivering content that is relevant to our target audience. I would also focus on building relationships with influencers and other organizations in our industry to expand our reach. Finally, I would use analytics to track our progress and adjust our approach accordingly.”

12. Describe your process for hiring new writers and editors.

Hiring is an important part of managing a team, and employers want to know that you have a process for making sure new hires are a good fit. Describe your hiring process in detail, including what steps you take when reviewing applications and conducting interviews.

Example: “My process for hiring new writers and editors starts with identifying the skills and experience needed to fill the role. I review resumes, portfolios, and references to ensure that each candidate has the necessary qualifications. Once I have narrowed down my list of candidates, I conduct interviews to get a better sense of their writing style and ability to work in a team environment. During the interview, I also ask questions about their past experiences and how they would approach certain tasks. Finally, I make an offer to the most qualified candidate who is the best fit for the job.

I believe that having a thorough hiring process helps create a strong team of writers and editors. It’s important to me that everyone on the team understands the goals of the project and can contribute effectively. By taking the time to carefully select the right people for the job, I am confident that we will be able to produce high-quality content.”

13. What makes you stand out from other candidates applying for this role?

Employers ask this question to learn more about your qualifications and how you can contribute to their team. Before your interview, make a list of three things that make you unique from other candidates. These could be skills or experiences that relate to the job description. Share these with your interviewer so they know what makes you an ideal candidate for the role.

Example: “I believe my experience and qualifications make me stand out from other candidates applying for this role. I have over five years of experience in managing editorial teams, developing content strategies, and overseeing the production process. During that time, I’ve had the opportunity to work with a variety of different media outlets, giving me an understanding of how to create engaging content across multiple platforms.

In addition to my experience, I also bring a unique set of skills to the table. My background in journalism has given me the ability to think critically and analyze data quickly. I’m also highly organized and detail-oriented, which allows me to effectively manage projects and ensure deadlines are met. Finally, I’m passionate about creating high-quality content that resonates with readers and drives engagement.”

14. Which editing software do you prefer to use?

This question can help the interviewer determine your level of expertise with editing software. If you have experience using a specific editing program, share that information and explain why it’s your favorite. If you haven’t worked with many different programs, simply state which one you’re most familiar with.

Example: “I have extensive experience using a variety of editing software, including Adobe Creative Suite and Microsoft Word. I prefer to use Adobe Creative Suite for most projects because it offers an array of features that allow me to edit quickly and efficiently. It also allows me to collaborate with other editors on the same project, which is essential when managing multiple deadlines. Furthermore, I am familiar with all of its tools, such as Photoshop, InDesign, and Illustrator, so I can easily create high-quality graphics and layouts. Finally, I find Adobe Creative Suite’s user interface to be intuitive and easy to navigate, making it my preferred choice for editing software.”

15. What do you think is the most important aspect of a managing editor’s relationship with the publisher?

The interviewer may ask you this question to assess your understanding of the role and how it fits into the company’s overall structure. Your answer should show that you understand the importance of a strong relationship with the publisher, as well as the other members of the editorial team.

Example: “The most important aspect of a managing editor’s relationship with the publisher is trust. As a managing editor, I understand that my role is to ensure that all content meets the highest standards and aligns with the publisher’s vision. In order for me to do this effectively, it is essential that there is an open line of communication between myself and the publisher. This allows us to discuss any issues or concerns in a timely manner, as well as collaborate on ideas for new projects.

In addition, having a trusting relationship with the publisher also means being able to provide honest feedback when necessary. It is important that the publisher knows they can rely on me to be candid about any changes that need to be made in order to achieve the desired results. Ultimately, by building a strong foundation of trust between myself and the publisher, I am confident that we will be able to create successful content that meets both our expectations.”

16. How often do you recommend that writers and editors update their skills?

This question can help interviewers understand your approach to professional development. Showcase your commitment to continuous learning by explaining how you encourage others to do the same.

Example: “I believe that writers and editors should be constantly updating their skills. As a Managing Editor, I make sure to stay on top of the latest trends in writing and editing so that I can provide my team with the best advice possible. To ensure that my team is up-to-date on the latest developments, I recommend they take courses or workshops related to their field at least once a year. This allows them to stay ahead of the curve and remain competitive in their industry.

In addition to taking courses, I also encourage my team to read books, blogs, and articles related to writing and editing. By reading these materials, they can gain valuable insight into the current state of the industry and learn new techniques for improving their work. Finally, I suggest attending conferences and seminars where they can network with other professionals and learn from experienced experts.”

17. There is a disagreement between two of your writers about how to handle a story. What is your process for resolving the issue?

As a managing editor, you may be responsible for resolving disagreements between writers. This question can help an interviewer understand how you would handle such situations and whether you have the skills to resolve them effectively. In your answer, try to describe what steps you would take to ensure that both parties feel heard and respected while also ensuring that the disagreement does not impact the publication’s deadlines or quality of work.

Example: “When faced with a disagreement between two of my writers, I believe in taking a collaborative approach. My first step would be to bring the two writers together and have them discuss their perspectives on the story. This allows for both sides to be heard and can often lead to a resolution without any further intervention from me.

If that doesn’t resolve the issue, I will then take a more active role in mediating the conversation. I will listen carefully to each writer’s perspective and help them come to an agreement by offering suggestions or alternative solutions. My goal is always to reach a compromise that satisfies both parties while still meeting the needs of the publication.

Ultimately, as Managing Editor, it is my job to ensure that all stories are handled professionally and efficiently. I am confident that my experience and skillset make me the ideal candidate for this position and I look forward to helping your team succeed.”

18. What strategies do you use to motivate writers and editors?

As a managing editor, you may need to motivate your team members and encourage them to produce high-quality content. Employers ask this question to learn about your leadership skills and how you can help their writers and editors succeed. In your answer, describe the strategies you use to support your team members and ensure they are motivated to do their best work.

Example: “I believe that the most important strategy for motivating writers and editors is to create an environment of trust and collaboration. As a Managing Editor, I strive to foster an atmosphere where everyone feels comfortable expressing their ideas and opinions without fear of judgement or criticism. This allows us to work together to achieve our common goals in an efficient and effective manner.

In addition to creating a supportive environment, I also focus on providing clear expectations and feedback. By setting realistic deadlines and providing regular updates on progress, I ensure that everyone knows what is expected of them and can adjust accordingly. I also make sure to give timely and constructive feedback so that each team member has a better understanding of how they are performing and how they can improve.”

19. Describe a time when you had to make tough decisions as a managing editor.

Managing editors often have to make tough decisions, such as deciding which stories to publish and how much space to give them. This question helps employers understand your decision-making process and whether you can handle the responsibilities of this role. In your answer, explain what factors you considered when making the decision and how it helped achieve the publication’s goals.

Example: “As a managing editor, I have had to make tough decisions on many occasions. One of the most difficult decisions I ever had to make was when I was faced with a deadline that could not be met without compromising the quality of our work.

I had to weigh the importance of meeting the deadline against the potential consequences of delivering subpar work. After careful consideration, I decided it would be best to push back the deadline and take the extra time needed to ensure we delivered a high-quality product. This decision was not easy as it meant disappointing our client, but ultimately it was the right choice for our company.

The experience taught me the importance of making informed decisions and taking into account all aspects of a situation before coming to a conclusion. It also reinforced my commitment to always deliver the highest quality work possible, no matter what obstacles may arise.”

20. How do you ensure that the content produced by your team is consistent with our brand’s values?

The hiring manager may ask this question to assess your ability to ensure that the content you produce is consistent with their brand’s values. This can be an important part of a managing editor’s job, as they are responsible for ensuring that all content produced by their team meets the company’s standards and aligns with its goals. In your answer, try to explain how you would approach this task in your new role.

Example: “As a Managing Editor, I understand the importance of ensuring that all content produced by my team is consistent with the brand’s values. To ensure this consistency, I first work closely with the marketing and communications teams to make sure that everyone understands what those values are. Once we have established a clear understanding of the brand’s values, I then create guidelines for my team to follow when creating content. These guidelines include specific language, tone, and style requirements that must be adhered to in order to maintain the brand’s desired image. Finally, I review all content before it is published to ensure that it meets these standards. This process ensures that all content produced by my team is consistent with the brand’s values and helps protect the integrity of the company’s message.”

21. What experience do you have in creating editorial calendars?

Managing editors are responsible for creating editorial calendars that outline the publication’s content plan. This includes when stories will be published, what types of articles they’ll include and how often they’ll publish new content. Interviewers ask this question to see if you have experience with this process and whether you can contribute to their team effectively. In your answer, explain two or three steps you take in creating an editorial calendar.

Example: “I have extensive experience in creating editorial calendars. In my current role as Managing Editor, I am responsible for developing and maintaining an editorial calendar that outlines the content strategy for our publication. This includes planning out topics, assigning writers, setting deadlines, and ensuring all content is published on time.

I also have a good understanding of how to use analytics data to inform editorial decisions. I regularly review website traffic and reader engagement metrics to identify which topics are resonating with our audience and adjust our editorial calendar accordingly. This helps us ensure that we’re publishing content that is relevant and engaging to our readers.”

22. What approaches do you take to maximize reader engagement?

Managing editors are responsible for ensuring their publication’s content is engaging and relevant to its audience. Employers ask this question to learn more about your strategies for increasing reader engagement. In your answer, explain how you plan out the layout of a publication and select stories that will interest readers. Showcase your communication skills by explaining how you share these ideas with your team.

Example: “I believe that reader engagement is the key to success for any publication. To maximize reader engagement, I focus on creating content that resonates with readers and encourages them to keep coming back for more.

To achieve this, I use a variety of approaches. First, I ensure that all content is well-researched and accurate. This builds trust with readers and ensures they are getting reliable information from our publication. Second, I strive to create content that is interesting and engaging. This can be achieved by using creative visuals, storytelling techniques, and interactive elements. Finally, I make sure that all content is optimized for search engines so that it can reach as many people as possible.”

23. Do you have experience working with remote teams?

As a managing editor, you may need to work with writers and editors who are not in the same location. Employers ask this question to make sure you have experience working with remote teams and can manage them effectively. In your answer, share an example of how you managed a team that was not all in one place. Explain what challenges you faced and how you overcame them.

Example: “Yes, I have extensive experience working with remote teams. In my current role as Managing Editor, I manage a team of writers and editors who work remotely from all over the world. I’m comfortable using various collaboration tools such as Slack and Zoom to ensure that everyone is on the same page and can easily communicate with one another.

I also understand the importance of setting clear expectations for each team member and providing regular feedback so that everyone knows what’s expected of them. I’ve found that this helps keep morale high and ensures that projects are completed on time and to the highest standard. Finally, I’m experienced in creating processes and procedures to help streamline workflow and make sure that everyone is on track.”

24. How would you handle an author who refuses to accept feedback and edits?

As a managing editor, you may need to work with authors who are not open to feedback and edits. Employers ask this question to see if you have strategies for working with challenging personalities. In your answer, share two or three ways that you would approach the situation. Explain that you would try to be as respectful as possible while also being firm in your expectations.

Example: “I understand that authors can be passionate about their work and may not always agree with feedback or edits. As a Managing Editor, I believe it is important to approach any situation like this in a respectful and professional manner.

My first step would be to discuss the author’s concerns and try to find common ground. I would explain why certain changes are necessary and how they will benefit the overall quality of the piece. If the author still refuses to accept the feedback, I would then move on to other solutions such as offering alternative suggestions or working together to come up with a compromise.”

25. What criteria do you use when assigning stories to writers?

The interviewer may ask you this question to understand how you prioritize your workload and make decisions about which stories get published first. Use your answer to highlight your organizational skills, attention to detail and ability to work under pressure.

Example: “When assigning stories to writers, I use a few criteria. First and foremost, I consider the writer’s experience with the topic at hand. If they have prior knowledge or expertise in that area, then it makes sense to assign them the story.

I also look for an appropriate balance between experienced and new writers. It is important to give newer writers opportunities to develop their skills while still ensuring that experienced writers are given challenging assignments.

Lastly, I take into account the writer’s availability and deadlines. This helps me ensure that all stories are completed on time and to a high standard.”


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