Today was my last day of my summer internship, and it was definitely bittersweet. The cupcakes were a big hit, and I worked straight through the day building flipbooks. However, my editors took me out to lunch and shared some tips and advice with me. Later, I asked my editor about what she looks for in an edit test. I have only taken two (one of which was for my internship) and my editor shared some really amazing tips.
Edit tests are generally vague. Editors are busy, and they typically write up edit tests quickly. So when it’s time to take one, work hard on it. Edit tests are indicators of how well you understand the editor’s shorthand. It’s also a great way to determine how well you’ll fit with the brand. One of my editors took an edit test for a different magazine, and she said she had a hard time coming up with quiz questions or advice. However, when she worked on the edit test for the magazine she currently works for, she had a good time working on it; it was fun for her to think of mockup pins or ideas for feature stories. Her boss was so happy that she understood the shorthand of the edit test and hired her.
When going for an interview, know the brand. What’s the vibe of the magazine? Consider whether the magazine is more likely to show avant-garde fashion or a J. Crew sweater. My editor suggested that an easy way to impress your interviewer is to point out a certain column and explain why you like it. Editors are very protective of the brand, so they want to make sure the intern they choose is respectful of that.
Like I said, editors know the brand very well. When you’re taking an edit test, most of the time you’ll have to explain what you would do to change the site, or maybe discuss what you like and don’t like about the brand. Knowing your audience is huge for acing the edit test. Some magazines may be working on a total overhaul (think Lucky), so new ideas are welcomed. However, you don’t want to fill out an edit test with all of your great ideas but make it sound like they’re so much better than the preexisting ways of the magazine. It’s all about the balance, said my editor.
On my edit test, I was asked for a mockup of something I would actually pin on Pinterest. If you’re asked that question, use the magazine for inspiration; go on the magazine’s Pinterest board and look at their captions. Are they short and snappy? Follow suit. It’s super easy to research, and the interviewer will know that you get it.
I had such an amazing time at the Mag during my internship. I learned a lot, made a ton of contacts and feel strongly that I can achieve everything else I set out to accomplish. Thanks so much for reading my weekly intern tales!