Pursuing Publishing - Interviews

Welcome back to Pursuing Publishing, and happy Work In Publishing week! This post is a little bit different – instead of talking about the different roles in publishing, I wanted to focus on an element that is crucial in landing your first role: interviews. Interviews can seem like daunting, especially when you’ve never done one before, but I do think that the more you practice, the more comfortable and confident you will become. Part of the reason as to why I found interviews so scary, is because there’s the element of the unknown – what will they ask you, what will you say, what if you have a mind blank? Those are all the questions I would panic about before any interview. In order to help, I wanted to share the list of questions I’ve been asked during the few interviews I’ve had in publishing.

I’ve interviewed for various different roles in publishing, and you will be asked different questions according to what position you are applying for. I’ve tried to divide the more specific questions into separate categories, and I’ve created a more ‘generic’ list of questions that I’ve been asked across multiple interviews. I do want to stress that as a publishing newbie, all of the roles have been either internships or entry-level, so the questions I share here will reflect that. If you want a large overview of interview questions, then check out That Publishing Blog’s post on interviews here.

Here is the list of questions!

Generic questions

  • What books do you read?

  • What experience do you have managing data?

  • Why did you apply for the role?

  • What do you know about us?

  • Have you ever dealt with difficult people/had to nag or chase them?

  • Where do you see myself in a year’s/5 years’ time?

  • How do you stay organised?

  • What is your favourite working environment?

  • What do you do in your spare time?

  • Tell me about yourself?

  • What books have you read by us?

  • In your opinion, what are the most important skills needed for this role?


  • What is a book you have read recently and enjoyed?

  • What is a book you have read recently and didn’t enjoy? What would you change about the book?

  • What makes a good team?

Literary Scouting

  • What drew you to scouting?

  • What books do you read?

  • What films/tv shows do you watch?


  • Do you have any experience using Canva/InDesign in a professional setting? (I had mentioned on my CV that I knew how to use both programmes.)

  • Tell us about the online courses you have completed? (Again, I had written down the marketing courses I had completed on my CV.)

  • Do you enjoy/how would you cope with completing repetitive tasks?

  • Apart from in education, has there been a time you’ve worked towards deadlines?

  • How do you remain motivated?


  • What audiobooks do you listen to?

  • What do you think makes audiobooks successful?

  • What do you think has changed during lockdown in terms of the audio industry?

  • What podcasts do you listen to?

  • What would you look for in a voice actor?

If you want to add more questions to the list, then feel free to message/DM me, to create a more complete interview guide!

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