This article explores the frequently asked journalist interview questions and the best answers to each question. Study and practice them to ace your next interview. Doing so will help you to make a great impression during the interview.
1. Tell Me About Yourself
The interviewer wants you to summarize your abilities and skills that are relevant to this job.
Tip #1: Give an overview of your current position
Tip #2: Highlight your most important and relevant achievements
I possess a bachelor’s degree in journalism. I am currently working as a journalist at a local TV Station. I have over six years of experience in this career. I possess strong communication and listening skills. I can work independently, and I’m very organized in all my work. I believe I have what it takes to perform this role effectively.
2. Are You Willing To Travel Often?
The interviewer needs to know if you are comfortable traveling often to different places
Tip #1: Show your willingness to travel
Tip #2: Be enthusiastic and demonstrate your passion for travel
Before I decided to pursue journalism, I knew it would involve traveling a lot; to places to gather news. Travelling has always been my passion, and thus I enjoy it. From it, I get the opportunity to go to different places and learn about various cultures. Additionally, I interact with lots of people who help in building my career.
3. What Makes You Unique?
Here, the interviewer wants to know what makes you unique from the rest
Tip #1: Demonstrate the unique qualities you have
Tip #2: Focus on how hiring you would benefit the employer
I have gained fantastic skills in my previous jobs. I have a solid ethical core and integrity. I can handle any task related to the field and give out an excellent outcome. I have great communication skills; hence I can gain audience trust. I always have objectives and honest in my work.
4. Why Are You Interested In This Role?
This question aims at identifying the things which make you want to work there
Tip #1: Research about the company and know some details about it
Tip #2: Mention the aspects of the company that interests you
After researching about your company, I learned that you are very loyal, offer professional services, and treat your employees and clients well. Besides, my skills and experience match the requirements of this role. I also want to learn more from you and use my skills to contribute to the success of your company.
5. What are Your Greatest Strengths?
The interviewer wants to know your strengths
Tip #1: Share qualities and personal attributes that relate to a journalist
Tip #2: Talk of both your soft and technical skills
I am a good communicator. I have strong analytical skills that enable me to examine a situation and come up with interesting news. I easily get along with people through effective listening and communication. Thus, I get information fast and easily. Moreover, I’m disciplined, persistent, and offer professional services.
6. What Did You Like Most About Your Previous Position?
The interviewer wants to know what delighted you in your former workplace
Tip #1: Talk of the activities which took place that you enjoyed
Tip #2: Be specific and confident
The ability to cooperate among team members is what delighted me in my previous job. Every member was willing to go the extra mile. We all worked in peace with no dispute. In case of a misunderstanding, we all solved it maturely. The proven hard work from each member made it easy to work on projects, and we always succeeded.
7. What Is Your Greatest Accomplishment?
The interviewer seeks the answer to your best achievement
Tip #1: Talk of a few achievements which highlight your ethics and work
Tip #2: Give a relevant example that demonstrates the achievement
There was a time we wanted to get some critical news about a nearby community. The community was so hostile and could not tolerate any journalist. All my team members tried and failed. I mastered courage, learned the basics of their language, and used all my communication skills to gain their trust. In the long run, I managed to convince some village members; hence I got first-hand information.
8. What is Your Definition of Success?
This question aims at finding out your definition of success
Tip #1: Briefly state your understanding of success
Tip #2: Be straight to the point and eloquent
I interpret success as the ability to fulfill all my tasks on time for my team and the company. I always aim towards completing my duties as effectively as possible, balancing that with professional growth and contributing to larger organizational goals. In my former role, I achieved success by exceeding weekly metrics, implementing ideas that proved a success to the company, and meeting professional development goals.
9. What Are the Roles of a Journalist?
The interviewer needs to know the duties of a journalist
Tip #1: Highlight the roles performed by a journalist
Tip #2: Show that you are conversant with your roles
Journalists are responsible for educating the public about events and some topics and how they affect their lives. They spend much of their time interviewing expert sources, searching public records and other sources for information, and sometimes visiting the scene where a crime or other newsworthy occurrence took place.
10. Tell Me About a Time You Demonstrated Leadership Skills.
The interviewer wants to find out a time you showed the qualities of a leader
Tip #1: Prove that you have all the leadership skills
Tip #2: Demonstrate how you were able to reveal the leadership skills
I once headed my team in a project where we had to source children who had challenges. My main aim was to make the children go viral and get sponsors to help them. I used all of my creative skills and implemented ideas. Lastly, I ensured each team member did their tasks effectively. In the end, we managed to get more sponsors than expected; hence the children were helped.
11. What Are the Qualities That a Journalist Should Poses to be Effective?
The interviewer wants to understand the qualities a journalist should have
Tip #1: Mention all the great qualities a journalist must have
Tip #2: Only mention qualities relevant to the job
A journalist should know current affairs, have investigative skills to assess a situation and get relevant results. He or she should have good communication skills to communicate with the team members, follow all the ethics related to journalism, and be persistent and disciplined with their work.
12. What Major Challenge Did You Face During Your Last Role? How Did You Handle It?
The interviewer seeks to know the difficulties you encountered and how you solved them
Tip #1: Highlight the struggles you faced in your role
Tip #2: Explain how you solved them and how it added value to you
During my previous role, my major challenge was during sourcing for news. The people I asked for details about a car incident gave false information. So the story that was aired was not entirely correct. We risked losing our fans. However, I adapted the approach of asking for details from witnesses and also inquiring about a story from different people.
13. Describe Your Daily Routine as a Journalist
The interviewer intends to know the daily routine of a journalist
Tip #1: Highlight the tasks performed by a journalist daily
Tip #2: Be eloquent and realistic
My daily duties include traveling to places where incidents occur, talking to residents and witnesses to obtain first-hand information about happenings, and compiling news stories. Also, I go over stories to correct mistakes and make sure they sound interesting before sending them to the newsroom.
14. Describe Briefly About Your Journalism Experience.
This question explores your experience as a journalist
Tip #1: Mention your experience in the journalism field
Tip #2: Talk of the skills you have acquired in your previous jobs
I have worked as a journalist in my current workplace for over six years. I have acquired all the essential skills a journalist must have. I have excellent written and verbal communication skills. I am ambitious and always desire to succeed. Besides, I am very persistent, honest, and discipline in all the work I do.
15. What Kind of Strategies and Mindset is Required for This Role? Explain With Example
The interviewer wants to assess your knowledge regarding the approaches and outlook one needs to be successful in this role.
Tip #1: Mention the techniques you use to succeed
Tip #2: Explain the mindset to have to ensure success
Maintaining a positive mindset is very important in this job. No matter the challenges I encounter, a positive mind helps me see meaningful ideas in it. The approach I employ is confidence in whatever I do and perseverance. I also uphold professionalism and integrity in all my work. For instance, I ensure to collect stories from witnesses and never create my own.
16. How Do You Stay Motivated at Work?
The interviewer wants to know what motivates you to keep working
Tip #1: Mention all sources of your motivation
Tip #2: Be brief and eloquent
My passion for the journalism profession keeps me going. Since many people rely on my news to learn what’s trending, I’m always inspired to fulfill their needs. I always strive to give the best.
17. Why Did You Choose to be a Journalist?
The interviewer needs to understand why you decided to be a journalist
Tip #1: Highlight the factors that made you opt for journalism
Tip #2: Demonstrate what you love about journalism
I love interacting with and meeting new people. Journalism has given me the right opportunity to get to know people from all walks of life and have the chance to hear their stories. I have been able to help those in need by making them find good Samaritans. Journalism has allowed me to gain a new perspective that will benefit my career and the organization.
18. Describe a Time You Failed in This Role and the Lesson You Learned
This question aims to examine whether you learn from your mistakes.
Tip #1: Mention a situation you failed
Tip #2: Highlight what you learned from the failures
There was a project I was working on accomplishing. I decided to do it independently and didn’t want to seek advice from my colleagues. The project took me longer than the usual time it takes when we work as a team. The results were not satisfactory, and I was tired at the end. However, from this encounter, I realized the importance of teamwork; hence I let go of selfishness.
19. What is The Biggest Challenge That You Foresee in This Job?
This question aims at evaluating the challenges you foresee in journalism
Tip #1: Demonstrate the biggest challenges in journalism
Tip #2: Talk about measures to solve the problem
The greatest challenge in the journalism field is in obtaining correct information from people who don’t want to reveal facts. Some people are never willing to give out their views. Others are usually very hostile. But I will use my skilfulness to draw information from such people.
20. What Skills Do You Employ When Interviewing Individuals for Stories?
The interviewer wants to understand the skills you use when acquiring stories from people
Tip #1: Mention the significant methods you use to get stories
Tip #2: Prove a previous experience where you used the skills
I believe excellent communication skills are the best tool for interviews. Nonetheless, persuasive skills also play a huge role. I once dealt with a girl who reluctantly refused to speak; she was so shy and full of fear. I used my persuasive techniques to gain her trust. Moreover, patience and good planning and organization skills are also vital in this role.
As you prepare for an interview, you may wonder about questions that are likely to be asked. Interviewers tend to be different; hence their queries may vary. Practice these questions and answers will help you develop a compelling talking point that will enable you to make a great impression during the interview.