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The Best Job Interview You’ll Ever Have

Since starting our internship program at BookEnds every assistant we’ve ever had was previously one of our interns. Why wouldn’t she be? An internship is essentially the most extensive job interview you’ll ever have. Everything you do as an intern is preparing you for a career in publishing. How well you do the job, how enthusiastic you are and how well you connect with others in the office can determine what happens going forward.

The great thing about an internship program, and all of the amazing interns who have passed through our offices, is the easy access it gives us to future employees. As of right now we don’t have an openings for entry-level (aka assistant) positions at BookEnds, but when we do I know I won’t need to put out an ad or make a call for applications. I already have those at my fingertips. All I really need to do is talk to my team about who they think might be or might have been the best fit for us and make a phone call or two. Sure I might want to do a quick follow-up interview, but the nitty-gritty is done. As far as we’re concerned the short-list has already been made.

The same holds true when we hear about job openings at other agencies or publishing houses. The first thing we do is get a fresh and updated resume from any qualified interns and send it over for them.

When doing an internship, in any field, keep in mind that you are making those first connections toward your career. Whether you end up working for these people, or come across them later in life (it almost always happens), the impression you make can impact the next steps in your career.

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7 comments

    1. I wish we did Nikhi. I just haven’t yet figured out a way to make a remote internship advantageous to both us and the intern. So much of the intern’s job is hands-on.

    2. Dear Jessica Faust. This is Kristopher Pederson, again. I need to know if you are interested in my nonfiction book “no Suicides on the Property”. Please don’t send me anything else unless it deals with my book. I need to know ASAP to your intention regarding this one way or another…yes or no. Thank you, Kristopher Pederson.

      1. Wow. I don’t even… Wow. One: if you’re subscribed to Ms. Faust’s blog, you’ll still get these emails. It has nothing to do with your query. Also, I’m not Ms. Faust, but I highly doubt anyone would take you on as their client after the ridiculously rude way you just addressed her.

        Wow. *sighs*

        1. I agree, wow.
          I know all Bookends agents aim to respond to all applicants, I also know that they consider what working with an author would be like, not just the content of their manuscripts.
          As I tell my children manners cost nothing. Oh and if you look to the end of your blog email there is a unsubscribe link.
          On a brighter note, I wish both Bookends and your intern good luck this year.

      2. Kristopher, as others have said, if you subscribe to the blog you will receive an email notifying you of new posts. This has nothing to do with Jessica sending you anything, the onus is on you.

        I assume you posted this publicly because there are no email addresses listed on the submissions page anymore? NEVER contact an agent about your work this way until you have checked out every option for contacting them otherwise. You can find contact details on the FAQs page. It would be more discrete to post mentioning you are unsure how to contact about a submission and I am sure Jessica (or someone here) would nudge you in the right direction.

        Unfortunately, telling an agent they need to reply ASAP is more likely to result in a ‘no’ – after all, if they had the time to read it before now you would have heard. If they haven’t had time they aren’t going to drop everything else just to read your work.

        From your post I assume you are in the query trenches for the first time? On that assumption I’ll explain the process – hopefully that will help! The road to publication is a long one and Bookends is one of the wonderful agencies that responds to every query (sadly this is becoming much less common). So you will hear, one way or another, at some point.

        According to Bookends submissions page Our response time goals are 6 weeks for queries and 12 weeks on requested partials and fulls. So never follow-up a submission before those time-frames have passed.

        If you have an offer on the table from another agent the process is to ask that agent for two weeks to consider the offer. In that time you contact all other agents who have your work and advise them an offer is on the table and you need a response by x date.

        If you don’t have an offer, than you just wait. And don’t pretend you have an offer because this is a small industry and agents chat!

        Hope this helps.

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