Top 20 Journalist Interview Questions and Answers in 2021


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

Sample Answer

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

Sample Answer

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

Sample Answer

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

Sample Answer

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

Sample Answer

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

Sample Answer

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

Sample Answer

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

Sample Answer

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

Sample Answer

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

Sample Answer

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

Sample Answer

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

Sample Answer

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

Sample Answer

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

Sample Answer

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

Sample Answer

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

Sample Answer

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

Sample Answer

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

Sample Answer

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

Sample Answer

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

Sample Answer

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.

Conclusion

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.

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