This is how a typical interview with a prospective senior editor will go. Rather than asking the questions as an interviewer would, I like to discuss relevant areas in depth, like in an informal chat.

If the candidate doesn’t interest me much, the discussion is over within 15 minutes. But if the candidate shows some competence early on, the whole talk takes over 40 minutes. Long discussion is a good discussion for me.

So here are the discussion areas. I know they read like questions, but while the ‘interview’ is on, the questions below feel more like subject areas we take up one by one:

  • Tell me a bit about yourself. Your family, education, career so far.
  • Does Calcutta suit you? The daily commute.
  • His ambition and career focus
    • Let’s talk about your ambitions and where are you headed.
    • What kinds of positions would you like to have in the future?
    • Where do you see yourself two/five/ten years from now?
  • His dedication to this profession
    • Why did you choose this job? Also, why this profession?
    • What appeals to you most about the prospect of coming to work here?
    • How can this job further your ambitions?
    • Did you apply to other places too?
  • What difficulties did you face while writing the test – and editing too?
    • Were they overwhelming?
    • Was the test easy to understand?
  • What difficulties can you face as a researcher and writer?
    • How would you overcome them?
    • How would you do a feature on “Selling a House”?
    • Which abilities does an editor (and a writer) need the most?
    • Think of a really good piece of writing (news as well as feature). What makes a news story (or a feature) good?
  • What would your friends say are your strongest attributes and your weaknesses?
  • How good do you think you are at English? On a scale of 1-10.
    • Do you read? What do you read? Fiction or non-fiction?
  • What are 3-4 things you’d like to accomplish early on? What kind of help would you need from me and others to achieve those?
  • Do you see any obvious improvements we could make in the portals?
  • What can I tell you about the job or the portals that you’d like to know?
  • Any other questions you want to ask me?
  • I’ll let you know within a week.