Great West Newspapers Interview Questions

Updated May 29, 2017

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Anonymous Interview Candidate in Saint Albert, AB

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Application

I applied online. The process took 5 days. I interviewed at Great West Newspapers (Saint Albert, AB) in Apr 2017

Interview

I was contacted by someone on the hiring committee, through LinkedIn. We setup a chat at their offices in St. Albert. I had to reschedule from the morning, and they were accommodating. There were 3 people in the room, and one of them ran the show. I assume he had some executive role...I don't quite remember. They were asking very-much from the perspective of revenue-generating opportunities within the company, including and especially things like selling ad space in various media, including an app they had developed. After a couple of stilted scripted questions, I decided to take the perspective, that someone gave me the job, and it's Monday morning. I told them I considered it folly to spend time and effort on advertising, when the asset-itself held the key to substantial growth and success, so I would de-prioritize everything related to display advertising, and focus on ways to leverage the content. Work with the site-owners to clearly identify who their market segments (readers, etc) are. Perform keyword research, scored and filtered for each market segment. Then audit all the sites, and make changes to the content and SEO aspects of each site. Then, work to inform the site architecture, especially if there are any "gotchas" for an upcoming onslaught of content. Newspapers looking at revenue, in my opinion, are looking at precisely the wrong thing. Yeah, I said that too. I told them that, if I did an empathy map of the newspaper-reader, I would very likely find online-reading as one of the things in that person's daily life. The newspaper business has been myopically ignoring its markets online, resulting a vacuum that has been responsible for the creation of several media empires, including the Huff Post and vice.com. Then I pointed out that I felt enabling behaviour was causative. (lead balloon #1?) There, on those sites, vice, huff post, etc, I said, is the customer, the one you made sweet love to in the newspaper, by having actual-journalism, and real content. Those editorial principles are precisely the thing that will allow you to acquire those readers online, and open a vast, new market. Focus on connection between the great work and amazing professionals who already work for you, and all the discs and boxes and servers full of content that has never seen an IP address. I told them I would hire a couple of summer interns as archivists, to extract and digitize a bunch of that beautiful content, and then it could all come together. Additionally, there was some cutting to be done on the ad side of things, but more stuff to be done in terms of multimedia (audio-video), as well as a bunch of community development enhancement with the individual publications. I suggested they should use an enterprise community platform (like Jive Software), and get the regional social media person to moderate the communities. Great content, increased engagement, and a resolute focus on driving reader value. The word paywall, can be escorted from the building permanently. I can't say it was a satisfying interview for them, and tbh I felt like quite an outlier. That said, I feel like I gave them a real chance at making the assets into something sustainably valuable for readers and staff alike.

Interview Questions
  • They asked me about their app. The head guy showed it to me, and proudly told me how they had it made so you could "flip" the stories, by kind of a weird swiping-up on the screen.
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