Toughest Interview Questions!


An Interview can cause a lot of stress and a raised heartbeat. Stress can increase considerably when being asked unusual questions that we are not prepared for.

When looking for new employees, entrepreneurs often aim at exceptional talents, who can astonish with their creativity and innovative perspective on weighty matters for the company.

Finding the top talents would be difficult if the interviews were limited only to the painfully standard questions. Therefore, when recruiting candidates many corporations including world giants such as Apple and Google tend to ask how to resolve unexpected problems.

Business Insider presented a collection of Internet users strangest questions, which fell last year in the premises of several giants of global businesses. We present the most interesting one of them:

1.If you were given a box of pencils, list 10 things you could do with them that are not their traditional use. (Google Administrative Assistant)

  1. How would you test an elevator? (Software Development Engineer at Microsoft)
  2. How would you solve problems if you were from Mars (Senior Recruiting Manager at Amazon)
  3. Tell me something that you have done in your life which you are particularly proud of. (Apple Software Engineering Manager)
  4. If you were a street sign what would you be? (Sales Associate at Pacific Sunware)
  5. A Russian gangster kidnaps you. He puts two bullets in consecutive order in an empty six-round revolver, spins it, points it at your head and shoots. Click. You’re still alive. He then asks you, do you want me to spin it again and fire or pull the trigger again. For each option, what is the probability that you’ll be shot? (Internet Marketing Analyst at Facebook)
  6. Why wouldn’t I hire you? (Recruiter at Twitter)
  7. If you were to be a Sony product, what would you be? (Retail Sales Specialist at Sony)
  8. How would you estimate how many radio stations are in the US? (Product Manager at Google)


If you are looking for jobs in PR (Healthcare, Consumer, B2B, Fashion, Retail, Financial PR, Technology PR), Events, Publishing, Marketing (General, Digital) and Sales – do get in touch with us. Media contacts is one of the most successful media recruitment agencies in London. We have more than twenty years experience and our well trained consultants will be able to help you throughout the interview process, so no need to worry about tough interview questions!

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Success is doing what you love and making it a career, but I don’t know who will pay me to watch football / drink wine / sit on a beach / *insert-your-chill-out-of-choice-here*


Traditionally, we think of the Christmas / New Year break as a good time to take stock and reflect on our lives – all those magazines with articles espousing “New Year, New You” theories that are anything but “new”, spending time with family and / or friends, an extended break away from the office, losing track of what day it is.

It all adds up to an opportunity to consider our situation: What went well and what didn’t over the last twelve months? What am I happy or unhappy about? What would I change if I could? What New Year’s resolutions should I make? Should I bother with resolutions when I know I’ll inevitably break them? Or is that a self-fulfilling philosophy and should I therefore be less cynical about them?

The other time of year that gives us this opportunity for reflection is, well, right now. Summer holidays, evenings in pub gardens with friends, getting lost in books or watching an inspirational sunset. That distance from the coalface gives us a chance to think properly – not just a fleeting “shall I look at a job board?” or “Should we get round to decorating the bathroom?” Companies are often taking stock too (either literally or metaphorically) given that (terrifyingly) we’re not that far off the mid-point of the financial year.

So far, this post appears to be a collection of lists, so I’ll get to the point. We at Media Contacts like to meet with candidates before they’ve decided they want a new job. Discussing the market, your career and your options means that, when the time does come, the whole process is that much smoother. Perhaps there’s a particular training course you’re being offered and you’re keen to know if it is the kind of thing other companies are looking for on CVs, for instance. Or perhaps you’re keen to know what the jobs market is like as a reflection of how healthy your sector is. Whatever the reason, we’d love to hear from you.

My specialities are B2B tech, financial, corporate, professional services PR and public affairs and my contact details are below. For a confidential chat about your career, please do get in touch.

Alys Barber-Rogers

M: 07939 295 560

E: [email protected]


If you fancy a chat about any of the other sectors we work in, give us a call on 020 7359 8244 or email [email protected].

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Positioning Yourself for the Best Publishing Jobs in London


To get one of the best publishing jobs in London, you need to stand out from the crowd. Position yourself for success with our guide.


The publishing industry has always been a highly desirable choice for graduates, consequently, there is great competition for the best publishing jobs in London. This means that your CV, experience and approach must be impeccable to secure yourself a role.




Firstly, the industry is changing, so do your researh. You will need to develop a strong appreciation and knowledge about digital production to get the best publishing jobs in London or across the UK. Within one year, the industry went from being 90pc print-based to a 30pc digital business. In 2011, e-book sales grew by an incredible 370pc, and this market was worth around £250 million the following year.




Position yourself effectively for the right role too. Don’t be afraid to move into a role for a longer-term sideways step within a target organisation. Be mindful of the focus area that interests you. Make sure you have creative ideas and highlight these credentials to a potential employer to secure best publishing jobs in London. Learn about the trends affecting the industry in the longer term to show that you understand the future needs of readers and have ideas of how these needs can be met. Business and investment models in publishing are changing all the time. Give yourself the edge by being up to speed with them. Make sure you also secure work experience, whether it’s an internship, summer job or part-time role.




Of course, it goes without saying that your CV and cover letter must be impeccable and tailored to each job. Get a contact name, follow up on leads, send speculative applications and use social media to build your network. Another key route to finding out about the best publishing jobs in London or across the UK is to sign up to a specialist recruitment agency and make sure you are proactive in seeking out roles and putting yourself forward for them. Build your network and engage with it regularly to make yourself known. Enthusiasm and a desire to succeed will eventually pay off in your job search.




Feel free to contact us for more information.

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Publishing jobs in London are competitive – here’s how to stand out!

If you’re looking for publishing jobs in London then you will know how competitive the market is. Read on to find out how to give yourself the edge!

Anybody looking for publishing jobs in London will know just how competitive this particular arena is. With more candidates than ever going for every single vacancy, only the absolute strongest will survive. If you want to be sure of netting that dream job then you are going to have to go the extra mile in order to get it.  In this article we are going to give you a couple of great tips and tricks for getting ahead of your competition and getting yourself noticed – read on to find out more:



When prospective employers are advertising for publishing jobs in London they will find themselves with a huge job sifting through CVs. They will be looking for candidates who clearly demonstrate their passion for publishing, and their commitment to the industry, so anybody without previous experience will be unceremoniously cast aside. If you really want to prick their attention then you need to show that you have experience. Of course, everybody has to start somewhere and you may not have experience. If this is the case then it’s time to start looking for volunteer/intern opportunities at magazine and newspaper houses, book publishing agencies and similar set ups. You never know – the volunteering may even lead to a permanent job in-house. Even if it doesn’t, you will gain relevant industry experience and will be able to get a reference from someone in the appropriate field.



Networking is a very powerful force and you stand a far greater chance of success if you get out there meeting people. Join business networking groups and never miss an opportunity to hand out your CV and let people know that you are in the market for publishing jobs in London. Online networking is just as important, so spend time making sure your LinkedIn profile is current and up to date. The more time you spend interacting with people online, the more active your account will look, so try to take part in industry-specific discussions and debates.


Job hunting is not an easy undertaking, but the most successful people are the ones who spend time giving it their undivided attention. Be prepared to be patient – and always be on the lookout for that amazing opportunity to shine.


Finding a job is difficult no matter which industry you are in, but publishing jobs in London are particularly hard to find. Speak to the experts at Media Contacts for more great advice and tricks for getting ahead.


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Strategies for Securing the Best Conference Producer Jobs


This article looks at the attractiveness of conference producer jobs and ways to position yourself for employment success.

The conference industry offers excellent employment opportunities. Whether it is large scale events, specialist seminars, executive summits or not-for-profit conferences, the opportunities are excellent for permanent roles, contract positions and freelance conference producer jobs.


The Skills Required

If the industry is of interest to you, bear in mind you will need to be able to demonstrate a certain skill set to an advanced level. Conference production is a highly competitive job and those working within it are required to be highly organised and have excellent communication skills. You are likely to be working as part of a team but will be expected to manage your own workload. Initially the role involves a great deal of research – assessing the current needs and demands of a specific industry and writing a conference proposal that reflects your findings.


Having established the context of the conference you’re to produce, your responsibilities become more practical: acquiring speakers, managing budgets and ensuring that all arms of the events team are kept abreast of developments. While not directly involved in sales or marketing, there is of course an enormous amount of overlap – a conference producer will help design brochures, write communications material and try to make the event as appealing as possible to potential attendees.


At the event itself, you will need to be present to ensure that everything runs smoothly with the speakers, as well as it being a great opportunity for networking and new business development.


Where to Find the Best Jobs

You’ll find conference producer jobs through a range of routes. The best starting point is usually a specialist agency. It is well worth registering your CV accordingly and spending time with a recruitment agent working within the sector. Present yourself as though you are going to interview and be proactive with your job search. You may also find roles online (job boards and company websites) and in print media. Social media is also an increasingly valuable source of contacts and leads. Network broadly within the industry and seek out opportunities to gain valuable work experience.


Get the Right Experience

Relevant experience of producing conferences is essential for securing the best conference producer jobs, so aim to find opportunities working on various types of events, even if they are on a voluntary basis. Seek feedback to understand if there are any areas in which you can improve your delivery. Constant skills development and learning opportunities are the key to long-term success within the industry, along with the ability to maintain an excellent network and promote yourself as a trusted and competent ‘safe pair of hands’ that always delivers.



If you want to land the conference producer jobs of your dreams then contact Media Contacts to see how we can help. You can follow this link to browse our current jobs.

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Graduate jobs

If you’re going to be graduating this year, now might be a good time to start thinking about how you plan to spend at least the next few years of your life – time ticks on and soon enough the 10p rise in the price of a pint at the union will be the least of your concerns.


While the graduate job market is definitely improving, with a recent study of employers predicting a 9% rise in graduate recruitment this year (BBC News), finding work can still be an incredibly trying experience (particularly if applying to the ultra-competitive grad schemes).


One major way in which a recruitment agency can help is in providing a trusted conduit to employers. The numbers in which graduates apply for jobs are such that many businesses simply don’t have the resources to cope with the recruiting process; for reasons of expediency, many potentially excellent candidates will be filtered out immediately on the basis of something minor. Recruiters play an important part in combating this: come to us, we’ll run through your options with you; provide impartial advice; and if we have an appropriate role, we’ll send you over to our clients with the Media Contacts seal of approval.


This way, candidates aren’t wasting their time applying for jobs they’re unlikely to get and, on the other side of the coin, employers aren’t seeing people that are unsuitable – everybody wins! That may sound a bit cheesy but there’s no denying the logic.


So, if you fancy yourself as a graduate trainee / Account Executive/ Sales Executive in the media sector and feel that your talents need bringing to the attention of a top class organisation, don’t hesitate to get in touch. We have a number of open jobs and you can click here to know more about job search/ interview preparation.

Posted in Advertising & PR, Communication PR, Design & Creative, Digital, Events, General, Graduate, Healthcare PR, Interview tips, Media, Pharmaceuticals, Recruitment Consultancy, Sales | Leave a comment

A guide to Conference Producer Jobs


Conference producer jobs are one of the important roles within the events industry. Conference producers are entrusted with the responsibility to organise and plan a successful event or series of events which can involve having a say in every area of the event, from its inception, to its concept, to running it on the day. It’s a very busy and often stressful role but can be highly rewarding when an event you were responsible for is a great success.

Think you have what it takes to be a great conference producer?

Well here are the skills we think you’ll need..

What does a conference producer job involve?

The role is generally very varied. Conference producers jobs generally ensure that every week is likely be very different from the last.

Generally a conference producer’s main tasks are:

  • Writing a proposal for an event which involves a lot of in depth research and planning
  • Finding and attracting the right speakers to ensure a high quality event, which requires strong communication skills
  • Being responsible for the content of the events brochure, which involves strong writing skills
  • Finding sponsors to ensure maximum profitability of the event


What skills are needed to be a good conference producer?

  • Communication skills – the role will see you needing to contact a range of people via email and telephone including potential sponsors and speakers
  • Attention to detail – You will be responsible for every aspect of an event so it’s essential to pay high levels of attention to every major and minor detail of the event
  • Time management skills – There is a lot to plan when it comes to organising an event so ensuring you manage your time effectively. Too much or too little time spent on an aspect of the event can lead to a poor event


Feel you’re up for the challenge of entering the exciting world of conference producing? Why not take a look at the current conference producer roles on our website or give us a call!

Posted in Events, General, Job description, Recruitment Consultancy | Leave a comment

Thinking of a career in Publishing?


We get many enquiries from candidates looking for publishing jobs in London. As has been the case for a long-time, publishing jobs have been in high demand as people are attracted to the vibrant environment of the media industry, the chance to be intellectually stimulated and the financial and job satisfaction offered by working in publishing. The question therefore is, how can you get ahead of the crowd if you are looking for your first publishing job? We would recommend the following:


–          Do your research: there are many different publishing jobs on offer and many potential applicants do not seem to have understood the differences between them – do you want to work in magazine, digital or book publishing? All have quite different entry points and career paths. Also, what function would you like to work in – editorial, sales, marketing, design, production, commissioning, licensing etc? It is vital to have decided what type of publishing job you are looking for before even applying – employers will want to see a clear sense of purpose and a strong understanding of what you are applying for


–          Demonstrate an interest in publishing: employers receive so many applications for junior publishing jobs that they will typically automatically reject those that do not demonstrate an interest in publishing on their CV. You can do this through three different ways – purpose, experience and training. For purpose, you should have a brief Profile at the top of your CV that states exactly what type of job you are looking for and why you will succeed in it. For experience, any internships/placements/volunteer work (e.g. local newspaper, student publishing etc) shows a clear and early interest. For training, if you can attend a relevant course either in a skill such as editing or in a relevant software package it will certainly help. For journalism jobs, we would strongly advise some comprehensive post graduate training


–          Sell yourself: have you thought about what skills employers will be looking for? If so, it is vital that you can demonstrate these. The number one skill or character trait is enthusiasm, followed closely by enthusiasm. Sometimes the less experienced job seekers beat people with stronger CVs to publishing  jobs by getting on the phone to potential employers and explaining why they should hire them

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Medical writing in the “digital age”


How much has the role of medical writer changed over the past few years?


As many people working or interested in a career in medical or healthcare communications will know, digital communications are taking the industry by storm as pharmaceutical companies seek to reach patient groups and healthcare professionals in ever more innovative ways.  In the past couple of years, we’ve seen campaigns ranging from viral videos for disease awareness campaigns and augmented reality apps being used as sales aids and everything in between.  But what does this mean for the humble medical writer?  Has the job description of medical writer changed with the advance of digital media?


The answer is – no, not really.  The key skills are still the same and the qualities that employers look for haven’t drastically changed.  The core of the job is still to communicate clinical and scientific information in a way that is accessible and accurate.  It is still governed by regulations that are regularly updated.  What has changed is how the work that a medical writer produces is used.  In the “olden days”, a medical writer would focus exclusively on traditional print media or journals.  Now, the work produced by a medical writer is used for a much wider variety of both print and digital media.



Candidates and Employers


For those looking at starting a career in medical writing, the market is very favourable at the moment.  We’re seeing more entry-level roles, writing academies and internships and things are definitely looking up.


The qualities and qualifications that medical communications or healthcare communications agencies look for in potential medical writers has, as I mentioned, remained relatively unchanged.  You’ll need a life science degree, preferably a post-graduate degree (either MSc or PhD), some research experience and some writing experience.  This writing experience can be anything from your dissertation, thesis, published papers, blog, poetry…  The list is almost endless.


The market isn’t just looking up for the juniors – if you’ve got a bit of experience under your belt, the opportunities are available to get involved in something a little different, to head up a writing academy as a senior medical writer, to lead an award-winning team as a principal medical writer or make that move to a more creative medical copywriting role.


For employers as well, there is an expanding pool of talent of experienced hires with digital knowledge or talented juniors with a passion for all things digital.


Whether you’re an employer seeking the highest-quality medical writers or a job seeker searching for the latest medical writing jobs in your area, contact our highly qualified team to discuss your needs.


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Bigger budgets.


As George Osborne delivers the budget this week in the hope of further improving the economic circumstances, many businesses may too be drawn to thinking of their spending plans for the year ahead. If you want to descend into clichés, then there are plenty currently apposite: you have to speculate to accumulate; nothing ventured, nothing gained; make hay while the sun shines; and so on. With increasing commercial opportunities available, many directors will be starting to dream of all that extra potential hay, and wondering if they couldn’t do with a few more farmers to help out.


Apologies if you got bogged down in the metaphor there and I hope you’re managing to keep up – that was of course supposed to be a general point about the job market and not a comment on improved employment prospects for agricultural workers (if anything the recent flooding is unfortunately likely to mean the opposite for those involved in the actual business of making hay). Essentially what I’m trying to say is that if you’re thinking about your hiring needs, or about changing your job, now might be a good time to put the wheels in motion.


You may have noticed that the improving job market is a recurring theme in our blogs (and quite frankly, if you can’t work out why, then you need to go and sit in the corner). The economy is on the up, businesses are growing, good quality candidates are in demand and we’re here to help.

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