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The Wall Street Journal Interview
Questions

30 Questions and Answers by
| Rachelle is a job search expert, career coach, and headhunter
who helps everyone from students to fortune executives find success in their career.

Question 1 of 30

What is the most significant achievement you have on the horizon?

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The Wall Street Journal Interview Questions

  1. 1.

    What is the most significant achievement you have on the horizon?

      When you show that you have goals and achievements on the horizon, you are letting the interviewer know that you put thought into your career and what you bring to your employer. Employees who do not have goals set just beyond their reach are typically disengaged and unmotivated. This achievement does not need to be complicated. It can be as simple as finishing a beautiful Powerpoint presentation, finishing work-related coursework, or reaching a sales target.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I have some great accomplishments on the horizon including the launch of my biggest ever content marketing strategy later this month. This account is the biggest that I have worked with, and it's a fascinating campaign. With that said, I look forward to joining The Wall Street Journal and working on significant projects like this more often."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "This year I have been working towards my Bachelor's in Advertising while also working full time. This effort has been challenging and rewarding all at the same time. My graduation date is this May, so that is the most significant achievement on the horizon."

  2. 2.

    How often do you take work home with you?

      The majority of people will work overtime hours or take work home with them on occasion, especially in the newspaper publishing industry where the news is constantly changing. Talk to the interviewer about how frequently you take your work home.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I make sure to utilize my work hours very efficiently, so the only time that I take my work home is when there is an extremely stringent deadline. I would say that, overall, I take my work home maybe twice per week. It's all about being diligent with your time in the office!"

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I take my work home with me whenever it is necessary. Some positions I have held, I work from home nearly every day. Other roles, such as my current position, I work from home just a couple of times per month."

  3. 3.

    How do you transition between the creative and analytical sides of publishing?

      Wearing multiple hats is the name of the game when it comes to publishing. One moment you could be discussing the analytics of a past article where the next you could be giving your opinion on the layout of a new online report. It's essential that you show the interviewer your ability to be flexible on the job by pivoting tasks regularly. If possible, give an example of a time when you were able to flip between creative and analytical.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I believe that I transition quite well between the creative and analytical. Generally speaking, I am more of a creative minded individual; however, my experience in business has allowed me to see the data and analytics behind a successful publication. So, in addition to my creative approach, I also ask myself or my team how our decisions will impact the company's bottom line. If hired, I will deliver a nice balance between analytical thinking and creative mindedness."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "My educational background is in business with a focus on accounting and financial management. This coursework means that I am naturally inclined to look at data such as numbers, results, spend, account activity, and ROI. With that said, I spend my spare time in creative writing, dabbling in design, and other activities that relax and entertain me. I believe that I will pivot well between the creative and analytical sides of publishing because of this variety in knowledge and interests."

  4. 4.

    How do you think that online media has changed traditional print and broadcast media approaches in the past 10 years?

      This industry is ever-changing, and all types of media outlets have been scrambling to keep up with the introduction of online media. Talk to the interviewer about your insights when it comes to the changes you have witnessed in traditional media since the introduction of online media.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "Online media has changed the way we digest information. Most people look for content online because it's fast and we can read the opinions of others which helps us to form our own. This content is both convenient and dangerous at times as it doesn't necessarily promote free thought. I think that traditional print media has become lighter and more entertainment-driven because of this."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I believe that online media has rapidly increased the amount of content that we feel we need in a day. Where it used to be that our parents would watch or read the local news once every morning or evening, we are now constantly logging in, and looking for updates on stories that may not even directly affect us. This response means that newspapers are often struggling with sales, and we have global 24/7 news channels."

  5. 5.

    Tell me about an organization or group outside of work that you contributed to.

      Many hiring managers will choose one candidate over another because of their volunteer experience. They feel that it shows strong character and selflessness - all qualities that make a great employee. Talk to the interviewer about your willingness to give back to your community in some form of volunteerism. If you do not have formal volunteer experience, you can draw on things you do in your spare time to assist friends, family, or even your current employer.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "For the past eight months, I have volunteered every Wednesday evening at our local animal shelter. I will help with grooming the animals, feeding them, and walking them. It's been an enjoyable experience and rewarding at the same time."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I have not formally volunteered in these most recent years; however; I spend a lot of time helping my sister, who is a single mom. I will babysit on weekends, cook dinners for her, and drive the kids to appointments when necessary. I feel that it is imperative to take care of the needs of the family."

  6. 6.

    Have you ever managed or helped with a content budget? If so, what type of budgets are you accustomed to working with?

      Before your interview, take some time to gather data related to the budgets you have worked with, and the times when you have come in under budget. This way, you will be prepared with specifics when asked about your budgetary experience.

      The interviewer wants to see that you have great insight when it comes to being budget conscious. Appropriate planning is one of the keys to a successful project, so be sure to discuss the steps that you take to plan a project's dollar spend carefully.

      Every dollar counts, even if you are working for a massive company like The Wall Street Journal! If you do not have experience in budget management, refer to the fact that you are responsible and resourceful.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "Most of the budgets that I have worked within spread amongst a variety of digital production and creative costs. I have worked on budgets as small as $5,000 and as large as $15M. No matter the size of the budget, it's incredibly important that every dollar is treated as though it's my own; being wisely allocated and accounted for."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "Although my experience does not yet include budget management, I have made recommendations on cost savings when it comes to content writing, video production, and talent acquisition. I feel that with the right training, and some more work experience, I will be ready to assist with content budgeting in no time."

  7. 7.

    How do you go about fact checking, and researching sources?

      In publishing, no matter which genre or medium you're involved in, it's essential that you check for facts before hitting that proverbial publish button. Now, more than ever, a company can receive significant backlash from posting or publishing anything misleading or untrue. Discuss the steps that you take to verify facts and sources for all content.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "At this point in my publishing career it's much easier for me to weed out an unreliable source versus a reputable one. When I first began my career; however, I trusted that many sources were credible, not accounting for the fact that there is so much fake news out there. Now, I triple check against our library of content and online. Before any piece of content goes out, I will send it to our professional editor for a final once-over."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I will dig deeper into any sources, quotes, statistics, and do my best to find where they originated. If I cannot find the original source, I simply will not use the source."

  8. 8.

    Describe to me the types of digital media you are most experienced with.

      There are a plethora of digital media forms today, and the interviewer would like a breakdown of the ones with which you are most familiar. Some types of digital media include images, video, gamification of many kinds, social media, websites, online channels, and more. Speak to the forms of digital media you are most experienced with while being sure to address the types listed in The Wall Street Journal job description.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "In my current role, I work primarily with online channels such as YouTube and IGTV, creating video content. I also have experience working on projects related to gamification ads. I saw in The Wall Street Journal job posting that you were looking for someone with in-depth knowledge with IGTV and Insta Stories for marketing. I would rate my knowledge in this area an 8 out of 10, leaving me very confident that I would meet your requirements."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "While completing my degree in Digital Marketing, I learned a great deal about digital media production and design for video and web platforms. Most of my experience is with creating compelling video ads, and shorts for use online and on social media."

  9. 9.

    What do you know about the nature of print advertising?

      The interviewer would like to know your current knowledge level when it comes to print advertising. Most newspapers rely heavily on the revenue that comes from advertising, so it's essential that you bring an understanding of how this style of advertising operates.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "The whole 'print is dead' argument that some people make, when they argue against investing in print advertising is one hurdle that I love to overcome when it comes to print advertising. By nature, a newspaper is more targeted to a specific audience, grabbing their attention for longer, ensuring that readers pay better attention to a printed ad than one they come across online. I believe there is strength in targeted print ads with great imagery and smart copy."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I know that print advertising is heavily trusted by well-established companies looking to advertise to a highly specific audience. Print advertising, when executed correctly, can have an incredibly effective impact and strong ROI."

  10. 10.

    Name for me some of the topics we cover in The Wall Street Journal. Which do you read most often?

      The interviewer wants to be sure that you have done your homework on their publication. Most major publications offer coverage of multiple topics geared toward a broad audience range. Discuss which Wall Street Journal topics you are most interested in and why. Be sure to support your interests.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "From what I understand, The Wall Street Journal covers a variety of topics including finance, politics world news, employment and many more. My primary interests are in finance and politics. I like to be informed and well-rounded on multiple subjects."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "The finance articles released by The Wall Street Journal are hands down the one I read the most. As an avid current financial market enthusiast, I appreciate the effort that goes into your unique articles."

  11. 11.

    In your opinion, what is the most influential form of media today?

      Have a meaningful conversation with the interviewer on media influence. With so many forms of media out there, which do you feel is the most influential at the moment? Be sure to back your answer.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "Although I want to say books and newspapers; I feel that the most influential forms of media today are social media and online content. As a whole, the human race wants fast, easy to consume, entertainment news. Our rate of consumption is unprecedented, and the fastest way to access it is through online content sharing."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "There are many important forms of media today - so many, in fact, that people seem to be getting overwhelmed. I would still say that traditional media, in the form of television and the daily news, is at the top when it comes to the number of people influenced and the quality of the content distributed."

  12. 12.

    Name for me one skill mentioned in our job posting, that you do not possess. How will you gain that skill?

      The interviewer is asking for you to highlight your weaknesses. There are many ways to ask 'what is your greatest weakness'; however, the interviewers at The Wall Street Journal will always have a more thought-provoking way of asking this question. Before your interview, comb through the job posting and pick out a skill where you have room for improvement. Then, discuss what you could do to strengthen that particular skill.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I have an intermediate level of experience with ad creation, but would love to say that I am an expert. When I saw this requirement on your job posting, I knew that I met that basic requirement, but I want to do better than basic. For that reason, I have enrolled in an online course called 'Compelling Ads' I am excited to strengthen my skills in this area."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I noticed that you're seeking out five years of sales experience in the print and publication industry. My sales experience is in selling SaaS and other digital products; however, my sales training will still complement the needs of The Wall Street Journal as everything is subscription based, just as it was in my previous role."

  13. 13.

    The news runs 24/7. How do you feel about an overnight shift, working on weekends, and holidays?

      It is vital to The Wall Street Journal that you offer flexibility in your schedule. Since the news never stops, neither will The Wall Street Journal and their news reporting efforts. Discuss your calendar with the interviewer, highlighting any limitations that you may have. Be as flexible as possible, showing that you are a team player.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "In my current role, I worked the overnight shift for eight years. Through my tenure and solid news programming work, I earned a seat in the daytime news operation. This shift is my preference for any roles moving forward. With that said, I have no issue working overtime or jumping into the odd overnight shift to help out my team."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "Being new to my career in news programming, I fully understand that I should take the types of roles offered to me at this time. If The Wall Street Journal has overnight shifts with some overtime, weekends, and holidays then count me in. I am looking forward to carving out a career with The Wall Street Journal and have no issue starting where I am needed."

  14. 14.

    How is social media changing the way people consume news, today? What can The Wall Street Journal do to remain relevant?

      With 'fake news' running rampant, we are quick to blame online content and social media platforms for the misinformation. Today, people read an article or a post, share it, it goes viral, and before you know it, millions of people are misinformed about a significant topic. However, it isn't all bad!

      Social platforms allow people, who may otherwise not take the time to sit down and watch a network news program, to stay in-the-know. Talk to the interviewer about what The Wall Street Journal can do to embrace this movement. Be sure to compliment them on the efforts they already have in place.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I believe that social media has changed the way people consume news today in both positive and harmful ways. We do have a lot more 'fake news' going on today, being spread rapidly due to the ease of social sharing. With that said, social media is now the primary source of news online, giving broadcasters a unique opportunity to put out omnichannel content, furthering their reach. From what I see, The Wall Street Journal is doing an excellent job in remaining relevant. My only suggestion would be to increase the content on Instagram's IGTV, which is relatively new but very relevant."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "Social media is broadening the conversation to include people who would otherwise not take the time to be involved in current events. Take political campaigns these days, and how many more people are going out to vote or even becoming involved in social movements such as #metoo. I follow The Wall Street Journal closely on multiple channels and think you are doing an excellent job in remaining relevant and staying in the conversation. Creating viral hashtags is another valuable effort that I can help The Wall Street Journal with, should I be the successful candidate."

  15. 15.

    How do you react when you are dissatisfied with the quality or the outcome of your work?

      The interviewer would like to know how you respond to failure in the workplace. There will always be a time when you are not happy with your work, but your reaction is what will determine whether or not you recover from the disappointment. Show that you have the maturity to be able to respond to dissatisfaction productively.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "The last time I was dissatisfied with my work, I asked my boss if there was time for me to re-do the components with which I was not happy. The deadline was tight, but I did not believe that it should affect the quality of what I delivered. She agreed, and gave me the time to revisit the aspects that I felt were not up to my usual standard."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "In marketing and media, there is often room to play around with our work and bounce back from mistakes. I allow myself to make mistakes, tweak my work, and play around with different designs, for instance. A creative mind is always seeking improvements."

  16. 16.

    The media industry is all about communication. At The Wall Street Journal, strong communication is at the forefront of what we do. How would you describe your communication skills? Rate your communication skills from 1-10.

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  17. 17.

    If The Wall Street Journal hired you today, what would you accomplish first?

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  18. 18.

    The newspaper industry has many tight deadlines. How do you manage your time, ensuring that your deadlines are met?

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  19. 19.

    If you could pitch me one idea for an article or column, what would it be?

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  20. 20.

    Walk me through your editing experience. How would you rate your editing skills from 1-10?

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  21. 21.

    Rate your research skills from 1-10. Do you enjoy conducting research?

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  22. 22.

    What methods do you use, to work within a brand's voice consistently?

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  23. 23.

    With which publishing categories are you most familiar? How will this knowledge help you in this position with The Wall Street Journal?

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  24. 24.

    What is the key to success for a publisher in this digital era?

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  25. 25.

    What expertise do you bring in digital KPIs and analytics?

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  26. 26.

    Where do you believe the newspaper industry will be in 5 years? Support your response.

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  27. 27.

    How would you increase newspaper subscriptions in an online-centric world?

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  28. 28.

    Who is your favorite The Wall Street Journal columnist, and why?

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  29. 29.

    What drew you to apply at The Wall Street Journal?

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  30. 30.

    How do you stay up-to-date on current events, sports, and general news topics? Which news sources do you follow?

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