July 9, 2009
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Q. I had an informational interview with an editor when there were no job openings. Now there are and I have an interview with a recruiter. In my previous job experience, I’ve only ever interviewed with editors. Are there any differences in questions, styles or needs that I should be aware of? (The interview is very soon.)

Getting Closer

A. I think there are differences between interviewing with the recruiter and the hiring manager.

One is that, in most cases, recruiters will be more experienced interviewers than the hiring managers they work with. Recruiters are talking to people several or many times a week, but hiring managers do it far less often.

Another difference is that you should expect the people who are actually filling positions to ask more specific and pointed questions. They interview with specific, immediate openings in mind. Recruiters need to look for people who can work in several areas, and they may take a longer view of what a person’s hiring window might be.

In companies where news executives, not recruiters, make the decisions, you might have already had your most important interview. Recruiters can be more helpful, though, in helping you learn about other opportunities.

More about informational interviews.

Coming: This person, looking to move from a nonprofit to a news organization, is intent on finding a great editor. How does one do that?

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Joe Grimm is a visiting editor in residence at the Michigan State University School of Journalism. He runs the JobsPage Website. From that, he published…
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