Pub Writes

About the publishing Industry, editorials, and reviews

Life in Agenting: Interviewing interns

Posted by Caitie F on April 3, 2015

It is that time of year – I am interviewing our summer internship candidates on Monday. I wanted to share some general publishing interview tips that I have learned over the years.

1. Read!

Preparing for publishing interviews is a little different from your usual job because you have to do one thing extra – you should read some of the agencies/imprints books. You can’t read everything, but read a few books so you can talk about their authors. It shows you are really interested.

2. Prepare!

You also need to prepare in the usual way – research. Does the job posting mention you need social media skills? Look at their social media page. Get familiar with their website and who is there. This is a great way to come up with questions – and you should have at least two or three, in case one of your questions gets answered during the interview.

3. Be enthusiastic!

You are applying because you love books and publishing, so you need to show it. Even if you are usually shy, you can overcome it because you are talking about books. We get it – a lot of us are introverts too!

4, Be nice

This shouldn’t have to be said, but don’t completely shit on our books. You can be critical – critical is VERY good, but saying “I don’t like x” and nothing else probably won’t get you the job. Also, just be nice in general. People who are rude during interviews drive me batty. And it happens.

5, Send a thank you note/email

Seriously, this makes a difference. It is really easy to do. I think a note is always better. I always had the note in my bag and stopped at a cafe to write it immediately after the interview. It usually arrived in tow days.

6. If you have an assignment, turn it in on time

Many publishing jobs/internships give you an assignment if it goes well, including LDA. Make sure you get it back on time. If the assignment is late, you won’t be considered anymore. We give at least a week, so you should be able to get it done. Time management is really important in every publishing job.


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