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Interviewing an Editor

Many authors and writers wonder if they really have to interview an editor before hiring them. The answer is always yes and it does not matter if the author or writer’s best friend worked with the editor in the past or not because, when it comes down to it, the editor is not working for a friend, they are working for the author or writer. The editor could be one of the best editors ever, but that does not matter if the editor and the writer are not on the same page as far as what the editor is supposed to be editing and the type of style the writer wishes to maintain in their writing. The only way to find out if the editor and the writer are compatible in terms of goals, writing styles, and understanding is through an interview. There are multiple types of interviews that the writer can choose to conduct with the editor and there are multiple questions that should be asked during the interview.

Types of Interviews

The first type of interview is the traditional in person interview where the writer and editor meet face to face for the interview. This is generally the most preferred interview method because it allows the writer and editor to interact naturally, which can allow the writer to get a better understanding of the editor as a person and as a professional to discover their level of professional compatibility.

Editors are located all over the world and editors and writers do not always live in the same city let alone the same state, which sometimes makes the traditional in person interviews impossible. When the editor is not living locally to the writer, web-cam and phone interviews can be used. Web-cam interview is generally the preferred interview method when the writer and editor cannot meet face to face as it still allows the interview to have a visual element. However, since not every computer has a built in web camera, sometimes a phone interview needs to happen instead.

No matter the type of interview the writer chooses to use, it is vitally important that the writer and editor do, in fact, speak to ensure that they are both on the same page and the editor is qualified to do the required work.

Interview Questions

When it comes to figuring out the types of questions the writer will ask the editor during the interview, it is best to have a list of questions prior to the interview. However, the writer should also be flexible and willing to add in any extra questions that pop up during the interview. The questions should focus on the editor's prior work experience, if the editor has any knowledge about the topic of the writing that requires editing, and the types of services the editor includes in their work. These questions should be kept broad so as to not limit the editor’s responses to the questions.

Lastly, when the interview actually happens, make sure to record it (and inform the editor that you are recording the interview on the recording) as this will allow you to review the editor’s responses when it comes time to make the final decision on which editor you are hiring.

Written by Readers’ Favorite Reviewer Sefina Hawke