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10 Widespread Journalist Interview Questions and Solutions

Within the phrases of the late journalist, editor and newspaper writer Robert C Maynard, “Journalism isn’t a occupation or a commerce; it’s a campaign for fact”.

Certainly, because of journalists who uphold and honor this sentiment, we are able to preserve updated with present affairs and learn in neutral methods about how the world is altering throughout us. Actually, nice journalists usually assist ignite or preserve in movement that very change.

Should you’re a current graduate on this significant profession path, or have been within the occupation for some time and are in search of a brand new employer, learn on. We’ll define 10 widespread interview questions for journalists, and speak about why they’re requested and learn how to reply them!

1. “How do you handle tight deadlines?”

When interviewers ask about the way you take care of and work below tight deadlines, they wish to hear in regards to the (wholesome) coping mechanisms that assist you to navigate stress. Primarily based in your reply, they’ll get a way for a way organized you’re and the way you handle your time and prioritize duties.

In any case, working in journalism requires you to race in opposition to the clock, gathering correct data on occasions as they’re occurring and crafting informative, participating tales on restricted time.


Having labored on this subject for a couple of years, I do know all too effectively simply how briskly paced it may be. One necessary behavior that I’ve shaped which permits me to get my tales achieved as shortly and as precisely as doable is that of monotasking. Used with each day to-do lists and reminders — some days by the hour! — permits me to remain on monitor.

2. “Which of our writers is your favourite, and why?”

Like different widespread interview questions, akin to “Why do you wish to work for us?”, this query checks how acquainted you’re with the publication and the workforce behind it. Ensure you learn a couple of tales earlier than you attend the interview, as “I really haven’t actually learn something of yours” adopted by a clumsy silence gained’t sit effectively along with your interviewer.


My favourite journalist in your workforce is John Smith. I’m additionally enthusiastic about masking native present affairs, significantly politics, and I imagine that he does so in a method that’s each informative and accessible. I believed his most up-to-date opinion piece on press censorship was glorious.

3. “Which journalists do you admire?”

The folks we glance as much as can reveal loads about us, so it’s necessary to consider this query rigorously. Though there is no such thing as a proper or fallacious reply in terms of your likes and dislikes, just be sure you can justify your alternative of individual (or folks) right here.

Take into consideration the journalists that impressed you to start your personal profession. Was it their storytelling means that had you transfixed, or one other talent or high quality, akin to their empathy? This may inform the interviewer what you worth.


I’ve at all times discovered the work and profession of Christiane Amanpour to be worthy of reward. Her contributions to journalism have been vital, and he or she has impressed many ladies along with her braveness to pursue the occupation, together with myself.

4. “Describe your writing course of.”

Should you’ve been on this occupation for a couple of years, it’s unlikely that you simply consciously comply with a psychological guidelines step-by-step when getting ready to write down; it most definitely flows naturally and routinely.

Interviewers ask this query to determine in the event you work methodically and effectively, nevertheless. So, think about that you simply’re observing your self working away at your desk. What would you see?


Step one in my course of is to assemble data and confirm my sources so I can guarantee accuracy. Then, I think about the angle I intend to write down from, giving emphasis to creating my headline, opening line and first paragraph as highly effective as doable. For the remainder of the story, I comply with a transparent construction, figuring out what I’ll be touching upon in every part.

5. “How would you assist make our publication higher?”

The best way you reply this query will reveal how a lot “homework” you’ve achieved previous to your job interview.

You first have to acknowledge the belongings you do like about your potential employer’s strategy to journalism, after which correlate your personal abilities and work expertise with it. Don’t simply begin itemizing all of the belongings you assume they could possibly be doing higher when answering this query!


I’ve seen that, in current months, AB Media has expanded its workforce and started masking cultural information and occasions. That is an space of journalism I’ve in depth expertise in. Over time, I’ve shaped a community of connections that enables me to remain updated with the most recent happenings, together with small, area of interest occasions you in any other case wouldn’t hear about very simply.

6. “What do you learn in your personal time?”

Bestselling writer Stephen King, who has bought over 350 million books all over the world, has stated the next: “Should you don’t have time to learn, you don’t have the time to write down. Easy as that.”

Studying is crucial to enhancing your craft as a author. Should you obtain this query throughout the interview, take into consideration the web publications you comply with on a weekly foundation in addition to any books (even ones unrelated to your occupation!) you’ve not too long ago learn and loved.


When it comes to digital publications, I learn the New York Occasions, usually with my cup of espresso within the morning! I significantly take pleasure in their phrase video games, too. The place books are involved, I’m a fan of artistic nonfiction. A few of my favourite writers embody Tobias Wolff and Dorothy Allison.

7. “What software program and instruments do you utilize for work?”

An evaluation by the Nationwide Abilities Coalition and the Federal Reserve Financial institution of Atlanta has proven that 92% of all job roles require digital abilities. Journalism, after all, is one among them.

As journalists harness expertise for storytelling, staying updated with breaking information, researching matters, and reaching their viewers, it’s necessary to provide the interviewer a way that you simply’re assured in your pc abilities.


Moreover the apparent reply — phrase processors! — I’m aware of utilizing content material administration programs, content material analysis platforms and note-taking apps. I additionally make use of social media platforms for staying knowledgeable, connecting with my viewers and producing story concepts.

8. “Describe a time while you pitched your personal story.”

This is likely one of the commonest journalist interview questions for individuals who have been within the occupation for a while. Whether it is posed to you, you may presume that the interviewer needs to seek out out in the event you’re the kind of one who takes initiative — an necessary high quality, particularly in journalism.

They’re additionally gauging your creativity and significant considering, as figuring out what tales will resonate most is one other very important means to have as a journalist.


Once I was working at XY Media, I pitched a function story on environmental air pollution, wanting to attract consideration to the long-term impression of poor air high quality on folks’s well being. I’m adamant in my perception that residents need to know the way detrimental our determination makers’ actions might be, akin to the brand new intra-city freeway that was below dialogue when my story went reside.

9. “Give us some examples of your finest work.”

By asking this query, the interviewer needs to gauge your personal notion of what makes a narrative impactful, in addition to discover out what you take pleasure in engaged on and what a few of your skilled accomplishments are.

Should you can, speak about measurable outcomes right here, akin to a narrative that attracted excessive internet visitors or a multimedia function you labored on that gained an award.


A narrative I’m actually happy with is one I produced final summer season. It began as an investigation into corruption within the well being sector, and ended up evolving and mixing completely different multimedia components: audio interviews adopted, in addition to a brief documentary.

10. “What qualities do you assume a journalist will need to have?”

Although gentle and technical abilities (akin to time administration and utilizing publishing platforms) can, to a big extent, be taught, private qualities are sometimes inherent components of us. They, too, might be developed, however your “built-in” strengths may give you a pure increase in terms of finishing up your job.

Take into consideration different journalists you admire. What units them aside? Is it their curiosity, willpower, fearlessness or one thing else?


At the start, an amazing journalist will need to have glorious communication abilities, significantly writing abilities. In addition they have to have an inquisitive persona, integrity, and thick pores and skin in the event that they’re to come back ahead with a narrative that is likely to be perceived as controversial.

Remaining ideas

Getting in for a job interview generally is a nerve-wracking expertise. The extra you become familiar with widespread interview questions and observe forming your personal solutions, nevertheless, the simpler the method shall be.

Bear in mind to start out early, learn into the historical past of the publication you’ve utilized to work at, and strategy the interview course of with authenticity and honesty. In any case, these are two qualities that assist journalists earn folks’s respect — and what higher option to present you might have what it takes than to let your true colours shine by way of on the interview?

We hope you discovered our listing of journalist interview questions and solutions useful. Are you able to consider any extra questions so as to add to our listing? Tell us within the feedback part under.

Initially revealed on October 14, 2014.

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