Journalists Interview Preparation Guide
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JOURNALISTS Interview Questions and Answers will guide you about good written communication skills to produce quality copy, CREATIVITY to find new angles for old stories, PERSUASIVENESS to persuade reluctant people to be interviewed, LISTENING SKILLS to pick out the nuances of the story, INVESTIGATIVE SKILLS to find new stories and AUTONOMY to be able to work independently. Journalists Interview Questions and Answers guide is to unlock your Journalists potentials.

49 Journalists Questions and Answers:

1 :: What qualities do you need to be a journalist?

Working as part of a team is common in many media jobs. It is important that you can get on and work quickly and efficiently with the other technical and creative production team staff. Time very literally is money in media production so there is no room for staff difficulties or temperament. When there are tough deadlines or late nights everyone must pull together to complete the task at hand. An employer will want to know that you can meet these demands and that you can establish a working relationship very quickly with people who you may be meeting for the first time.

You also need good written and oral communication skills and must have a crisp concise writing style - writing essays is not good evidence for this! They will expect you to have a good knowledge of current affairs and an inquisitive nature, and to be flexible - especially with regard to working hours. Many demands can be made on your time, so how experienced are you in putting in extra hours?

2 :: What experience do you have that is relevant to this job?

The key issue! It is a vicious circle that to be accepted as a journalist you need to already have some practical journalism skills and experience - usually be writing for the student newspaper, but community or free newspapers and magazines are equally acceptable. Occasionally graduates have got into journalism by arguing brilliantly why they have never participated in journalism before but this is rare!

Gather a portfolio of articles you have written. This may be no more than 6 to 8 articles you have had published. They shouldn't all be film reviews - you need to have some real news items too. One or two can date back to school, but it's important to have recent material - best of all commercial publications - they don't need to be front page stories.

"The Writers and Artists Yearbook" lists publications that will pay for copy and also tells you how to lay it out for submission. For Radio or TV, tapes of university or hospital radio broadcasts can help, but keep them short.

3 :: How do you keep informed of the news?

Here they may be looking at what papers you read and whether you know the differences between the major broadsheets. A common question for TV journalism is about the difference between BBC and ITN news coverage. Also, don't forget the Internet - this is now a major source of news and current affairs.

Before your interview try to make sure that you keep an eye on all the major news media and the different ways they cover the news - what type of stories do they priorities, do they have a political affiliation, who is their target audience, is there a particular style?

Consider the more popular forms of news availability in particular. How detailed are they in their coverage?

Be prepared for supplementary questions relating to any of the following:

* Who covers the news most accurately?
* Who covers the news most superficially
* What are people normally doing when they "get" the news?
* Which news story has been of particular interest to you lately?

4 :: What computer packages have you used?

Computing skills are becoming important in all jobs - rather like the skill of driving. If you can use a word-processor well then tell them - although some journalists type with two fingers, word-processing is a valuable skill in journalism - if you can't do it then learn! Start by word-processing your essays.

You could also mention if you have used a database, Microsoft Windows or email. They will almost certainly not be looking for specific skills, just a general familiarity and willingness to learn. Desktop publishing skills could be useful especially if you are aiming at sub-editing posts where a knowledge of layout, fonts and kerning will be useful - "Quark" is the industry standard DTP package.

The Internet is becoming increasingly important and you may be asked your views on how it is effecting the traditional journalistic media. Try to learn how to use it, so you can talk from a position of experience

5 :: Describe a big problem in your life and how you coped with it?

When working with other people things do not always run smoothly. They may ask you what kinds of difficulties you have had with others and how you have overcome them.

You should be willing to discuss this frankly, because there are bound to be times when you will face these situations in the future. As a trainee journalist on a local newspaper, for example, you may be required to get stories from people or organizations who do not wish to co-operate. Your persistence, tact and resilience could all be examined in this situation and are all features which can be expressed when discussing this issue at interview.

Examples of problems you have coped with might include:

* Sorting out accommodation
* Divorce: your own or your parents'
* Financial difficulty
* A sudden change in circumstances
* Having to deliver bad news

6 :: Which story over the last 12 months would you most like to have covered and why?

Answer honestly! The actual example you choose is immaterial. They will be looking for enthusiasm and a real interest in the subject you choose - obviously pick a story that you know something about as you may get questioned about it.

A similar question is about who you would like to interview and what would you ask them.

Try and demonstrate in your answer:

* Your awareness of a big news story
* The need for accuracy in its reporting
* Elements which made it noteworthy
* What extra you might have brought to it
* Questions you would have asked
* An angle you might have taken

7 :: Are you competitive for Journalist Job? Give an example?

A Careers Adviser recently visited the main production site of a local television station. Upon asking about opportunities for work experience for students he was told there was every chance to arrange this. What any interested student should do was to contact the company direct and make a request, stating clearly the kind of experience desired and the times when available. The Careers Adviser verified this with the personnel department and was told that while this certainly was the appropriate procedure it would not by itself secure the hoped for work experience.

To cut a long story short any applicant would have to make numerous applications by letter for work experience. The student must convey a dogged, persistent, resolute intent to work for the company. You may not need to express quite this level of determination at interview, but by the actions you have already taken (perhaps in obtaining the interview in the first place) you need to show your determination to work in journalism

8 :: Will the UK join EMU in the next 5 years?

Questions like this are testing your general knowledge of current affairs. Similar questions might be along the lines of "Who is the Minister of the Environment?"

Make sure that you read a quality newspaper regularly. They won't be expecting you to take a particular line with these questions - almost any answer would be acceptable as long as it showed some understanding of the subject.

If you really don't know anything about the subject of the question, you are best to say this honestly and perhaps to then make some sound general points based on logic.

Sometimes the interviewer will take the opposite view to you. Here they are likely to be playing Devil's Advocate to see if you can stick to your guns and argue your case effectively!

9 :: Have you any questions about this post of Journalist?

Remember that two key traits of journalists are an inquisitive nature and the ability to ask the right questions so demonstrate these at interview! The best questions to ask are those that you really would like to know the answer to, rather than those you can find in books on interview skills. If you research the company well enough, you will find a number of questions naturally arising that you wish to be answered.

You should, though, concentrate on questions that show your interest in, and motivation to do, the job itself, rather than the rewards it will bring. So, for example, you should ask about training and career progression in preference to pay and pensions!