Journalist Interview Questions and Answers

Posted in Career Blog

Journalists play an integral role in society by bringing consumers the news they need to make decisions and understand the world around them. The following journalist interview questions and answers will help your potential employer determine your ability to fulfill the obligations of the position.

What Qualities Does a Good Journalist Possess?
The main qualities that a good journalist should possess include the ability to work well with others, above average communication skills, unsurpassed knowledge of current affairs and a highly analytical mind. “I understand that I must be able to anticipate the news stories that are most important to the public and convey them in a manner that is easily understood while still on point. I also understand that I will need to work well with other members of the production team so that tight deadlines can be met” is a great answer. It is short, to the point and confident; all of these things will leave a lasting impression in the interviewer’s mind.

How Do You Stay on Top of the News?
Since your knowledge of current affairs will play an integral role in your career, your interviewer will likely want to know the methods you use for staying up to date. You should provide a list of the newspapers and magazines you read most often, the newspapers on which you rely, the television stations you watch for the news, and the websites you most commonly visit. You should also provide some information about your favorites, their styles and even their target audiences. This will provide your potential employer with information about your journalism style and prove that you understand the industry.

How Do You Handle Serious Problems in Life?
Although this may seem like a very personal question, it will provide your interviewer with plenty of information about you and your coping skills. Things do not always flow as expected when it comes to journalism, so your interviewer will want to know how you overcome objections and handle the frustrations that are likely to arise. You could discuss a sudden change in your financial circumstances, a divorce that affected you, an emergency trip you had to plan on a budget and with a limited amount of time and more. Your answers should be truthful and detailed in order to let your personality shine through.

What is Your Favorite News Story from the Last 12 Months and Why?
This is a great question and one that can be a lot of fun to answer. Be honest here and provide your interviewer with an example. Some of the things you should discuss include why accuracy was so important in reporting the story, certain things that made the story stand out to you, some questions that you may have asked differently, any extra elements you may have brought to the story and even a different angle that you may have taken. All of these things show imagination and innovation—things that are very important in journalism.
A journalist must be able to provide the news factually and objectively, but there should also be a bit of creativity, as well. Above all, you should demonstrate your dedication to the industry and to the consumers who will read or watch the news.

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