Top 20 Editor Interview Questions and Answers in 2023

Editor Interview Questions and Answers

An editor plays an essential role in the publication of books, newspapers, magazines, and even websites. They are mandated to revise, plan and organize all the materials that make their publication possible.

They also review story ideas, choose the materials likely to please readers, and suggest improvements that authors should make on their pieces.

Due to these useful and necessary roles, publication companies and offices are usually on the lookout for highly experienced editors.

This article will look at some of the questions you should expect in an editor’s interview to boost your chances of landing the job. Most of these will test your skills,  abilities, behavioral attributes, and modes of operation. Ensure that you prepare well and impress the interviewing panel.

Take a look at the following:

1. Why are You Interested in This Position?

Why do you want this job, or why did you choose to work as an editor? Whichever way you answer the question, make sure you sell yourself and show enthusiasm for this job. You can give a personal experience to show just how passionate you are at editing.

Sample Answer

I have always been passionate about writing and proofreading from a tender age. I would go through my fellow student’s compositions and essay writing and try to identify mistakes that the teachers may have missed. Therefore, I chose this line of work because it makes me happy and allows me to pursue my interests. I would therefore love to portray this passion and use all the experiences and expertise that I have gathered over time in your publishing company as an editor. I also read most of your works, and therefore, a chance here would be an honor.

2. What are The Roles of an Editor?

Do you know your job description? What were you doing in your former workplace? The interviewer wants to see if you understand what being an editor is all about. You can mention your roles in the former workplace or stick to the company’s job description if provided.

Sample Answer

Editors plan, coordinate and revise materials meant for publication. These can either be books, newspapers, websites, or periodicals. They also review different story ideas, decide what pleases the reader, and give comments to improve the product. If needed, the interviewer will suggest titles for the publication. ( You are allowed to mention as many roles as you want. However, we advise that you keep it short by mentioning only the integral roles.)

3. What Qualities Does One Need to Be an Effective Editor?

What makes one a good editor? The interviewer wants to know if you understand what it takes for one to be good at editing. Therefore, mention some of the skills, attributes, and general qualities that have helped you get better at your work.

Sample Answer

An editor should have a well-balanced and orderly mind, which is highly essential in this work. It helps in making the right calls and having a good perspective. They should also be highly organized and able to work accurately. Other qualities include good communication and writing skills and the ability to work in team settings and multitask. 

4. Mention a Challenge that You Experienced in Your Former Workplace and How You Solved  It?

This question seeks to reveal some of the obstacles that you encountered in your last workplace and how you solved them. The interviewer wants to know whether you are a problem solver capable of finding solutions to issues and not spending every minute complaining and running from office to office. Mention any experience that properly highlights your problem-solving skills.

Sample Answer

I moved to my former workplace from a small publishing company. The workload was, therefore, bigger than what I was used to. I had trouble catching up, and for the first month, I was behind schedule seven times. My supervisor was running out of patience, and by the loom of things, I wasn’t going to be around for long. I, therefore, made a conscious decision to organize myself and prioritize work while also working overtime when necessary, which worked.

5. Briefly Describe Your Experience

The interviewer wants to know some of the things you have worked on, accolades you have received, or the awards you’ve won in your career as an editor. If possible, have copies of these pieces of work to show them. If you have spent most of your career in publication companies and firms, then the gist of your experience is captured in your work resume and CV. Therefore, just offer a brief recap.

Sample Answer

This is my tenth year as an editor. I started as a writer for a popular online magazine before joining The People Newspaper, where I rose ranks and had my first editing gig. I then moved to The Wire as an assistant editor before quitting briefly for further studies. I then came back and opened up a consultancy which I have been running till now. However, I have missed the real job and would like to try it again.

6. What Do You Think Your Daily Routine Here Will be?

Have you envisioned some of the things you will be doing daily in your new place of work? You need to be enthusiastic about the job at hand and think about a day as an employee. You can mention your daily routine in your former workplace or use what you have gathered from the new workplace.

Sample Answer

My day will begin with an informal team catchup where we normally talk about our progress or any challenge that we may have faced. Given that this is a retail company, I will then ascertain or create titles for our promotions and ensure that the information we are putting out there is accurate. I may then add subtitles before attending the editorial team meeting, where we will discuss a few thugs about our submissions and share updates. I will spend most of the day before the computer going through our different publications.

7. Mention a Strategy and Mindset Needed in This Field

You can mention any strategy that makes your work as an editor better and easier. Remember, a strategy is how you go about your work. As for the mindset, mention a guiding perspective.

Sample Answer

A strategy that helps me in this line of work is being keen and having a good quality assessment practice.  I normally share my work with other senior editors for their opinions. As for the right mindset, everyone needs results. Therefore, a result-oriented Mindset is necessary.

8. Mention the Main Challenge That You Forsee in This Job

Have you taken time to think about some of the challenges you may face here? Mention the one that you believe ranks highest.

Sample Answer

I have spent most of my career working remotely. Given that this job requires us to report to the office, I may need a little time adjusting. However, I quickly adapt to change, and I’ll be good in no time.

9. How Do You Stay Motivated In This Role?

What gives you the strength to wade through the challenges that editors face? Tell the interviewer your source of motivation. However, make sure that it is not a material reason.

Sample Answer

I love my job. The happiness I derive when I do a good job gives me the strength to work every day. I also reflect on past successes whenever I encounter a challenge which has really helped me in this career.

10. Mention a Strength that Makes You Qualified for This Role?

Do you have what it takes to be a good editor? Try to relate a key requisite to one of your strengths.

Sample Answer

I know how to pay attention to details. I am a keen individual and cannot let even the smallest of details pass me, a highly needed skill in editing.

11.  Why Do You Want to Work For Our Agency?

Why did you choose this particular agency or publishing house out of all the possible options? This is a chance to praise your potential employers and assure them that they are better than the rest. You can also mention some. of their award-winning books and publications to increase your chances of success.

Sample Answer

I have always wanted to work here. Your company has a superb choice of writers whose works have consistently made it to the bestsellers list. I believe that I can fit in your team of editors and make a good addition to this company. I would also like to be nurtured and exposed to new challenges, and your company is just the right place for that.

12. How Will You Meet The Deadlines Here is an Editor?

The interviewer wants to know how you will organize yourself and prioritize work to meet all your deadlines. Remember, this is a business, and the company expects you to work faster while maintaining high-quality work. Therefore convince the interviewer that you will not miss deadlines.

Sample Answer

I will plan my work at the beginning of the day by listing everything that needs to be done and then prioritize them based on urgency before getting to work. I will also set deadlines for every task to avoid falling out of schedule. I do not also mind working overtime or taking work home, provided that it helps me meet the set deadlines.

13. What Do You Normally Do if an Author Does Not Like Your Work?

This is an operational question that seeks to understand how you handle specific aspects of your work. Your author needs you, and therefore whichever way you run such a scenario, make sure that you do not compromise your standards or work style.

Sample Answer

I have been lucky to come across several supportive and understanding authors who accept their mistakes and even allow me to improve them on their behalf. However, the fewer times I have disagreed with authors, I normally stick to my style and let them know that I am editing the work specifically for the readers and not them. Most of them understand afterward.

14. How Do You Normally Handle Criticism?

You should expect your work to be criticized as an editor. You may be tempted to grow an ego given your essential role in publication, but that is not healthy for your career. Your answer should convince the interviewer that you appreciate criticism and improve your craft based on constructive feedback.

Sample Answer

My time in this field has taught me that criticism is important. I appreciate feedback from critics as they make me better at what I do. I normally ask for opinions on most of my pieces before giving the publication the green light. Therefore, I do not mind constructive feedback and receive them with an open heart.

15. What Do You Expect From Other Employees in this Office?

As an editor, you will be working with other people in the office. Your job needs lots of collaborations from authors to the additional chief editors. However, remember that you need to expect a lot from yourself too, as your effort should be highly required.

Sample Answer

I expect a collaborative spirit, professionalism, and clear communication from my workmates, which I greatly believe and pride myself in. I also expect a lot from myself. I would like to always focus on my job and have control in my work to help advance the objectives and missions of this establishment.

16. How Do You Normally Determine that the Pieces You are Writing are Good?

What is your quality control test? This is an operational question that seeks to determine just how good you are at your job. It will also show whether your tactics match that of the organization.

Sample Answer

I normally run my pieces through several software that check for grammatical errors, correct flow, and any other error that may have escaped me. Once I am done checking for mistakes, I go through my work again, this time more keenly.  I also believe in getting feedback from others, and therefore, I usually send my pieces to other senior editors to go through and tell me what they feel about them. (There are several quality control tests that you can undertake. Ensure that whatever you mention works)

17. What Payment Model Do You Prefer?

This is a simple question that just needs you to pick whatever will work for you. Conduct some research to identify all the payment models the company supports. However, your answer should show your flexibility and ability to follow the company’s rules and desire to give your all to the job.

Sample Answer

I will accept your company’s standard model of payments after you have followed with the other editors,  whether based on the number of words or pages. I have experience with both and therefore understand all their perks.

18. If You Had Two Projects with the Same Deadline, but One Client Wouldn’t Stop Making Calls Whereas the Other is Easygoing, Which One Would You Focus on First?

The interviewer is testing how you prioritize your work. Remember, to ensure that everybody is satisfied; you need to meet the set or agreed deadlines as an editor. Therefore, weigh these two scenarios and bring your prioritization skills to light.

Sample Answer

Whenever I have many things to do, I deal with the most urgent ones first. Clearing them gives me the right mental strength to focus on others and not spend my time worrying. In such a scenario, I would rather tackle the one whose owner keeps calling first to give me enough time and the right mental space to focus on the other.

19. Can You Multitask?

The interviewer wants an affirmative answer because this job may need you to conduct more than one role at a time. You will have deadlines to meet and lots of work to handle, which means that you should be in the right mental space to take care of more than just one task.

Sample Answer

I know just how important multitasking is in this line of work. I can effectively do that, given that I have been in this field for quite some time. I have learned how to juggle several roles without compromising the quality of my work.  However, I ensure that I only multitask when necessary.

20. Who is Your Ideal Supervisor?

Be very careful when answering such a question. Inasmuch as your answer should portray a nice and understanding supervisor, desist from mentioning traits that will enable you to be in a comfort zone. Mention traits that you would have I’d you were a supervisor.

Sample Answer

My ideal supervisor is strict with deadlines and quality of work but also understanding. I believe that a supervisor should be ready to help their surbodianates whenever the latter runs into a problem. Therefore, a strict but understanding and supportive supervisor would be good for me.


We have looked at some commonly asked questions in editors’ interviews, which should boost your chances of landing the job. Make sure that you also try and come up with your ideal but right answers to ace the interview. We wish you all the best!

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