The candidate should discuss what makes them interested in taking a job as an assignment desk editor. They should show the hiring manager how much they are passionate about the job and if given the opportunity would excel in it.
"I want to become an assignment desk editor at your station because I love finding new stories to cover. While I have never considered myself a good writer, I am good at finding stories and getting tips."
Assignment desk editors are responsible for answering all of the newsroom phone lines, which could be news of a breaking incident, locals wanting to share a story or something that has happened, or local officials calling to alert the desk of something. The candidate must be personable, calm, and able to gather all of the important information they are conveying so they can share with the newsroom with ample detail.
"I consider myself a personable person, and I am able to ask strangers the right questions and talk to them kindly even though I do not know them. I am able to ask hard questions over the phone to get good information, and can get off the phone respectfully yet quickly so I can continue working."
The candidate should discuss why or why not they plan on working as a full time journalist in the future. Oftentimes, being an assignment desk editor is a good transition job into being a reporter, in which case they plan on perhaps staying at the company for a longer time and growing over time. The candidate should discuss what their future plans are, as it relates to the news industry, and how they will grow into that future role based on what they learn in this job.
"I see myself becoming a reporter in the future because I hope my creativity will continue to develop as I am an assignment desk editor. I am already very curious and good at finding stories people care about, and one day I hope I gain enough knowledge about this local community that I can report on it myself."
Assignment desk editors are considered strong ones when they find ways to stay in touch with important contacts daily or weekly. They are expected to form strong relationships within the community so they aren notified whenever there is a story to cover. The candidate should discuss their experience forming these relationships and keeping them over time, and what success they have had in the past that they can share with this station.
"I find myself a very trustworthy person, and many people trust me with their information. I find that many people call me with story ideas because they know I will always respect their wishes in regards to when it is released or what information we share. In that way, I believe I am good at not only finding contacts, but keeping them."
While a candidate may think that always being proactive is the best response, they should always think about the honest answer for his or herself and why that is their type of personality. There are positives to being a patient person as an assignment desk editor, as well. For instance, someone who does not jump when breaking news is heard over the scanners may end up being a good thing, because they may send reporters on a chase for something that is brief and quick and not newsworthy. There are also positives to being proactive, like staying on top of local events and sending out notifications to those events that the station will be attending early in order to hold their spot. The candidate should discuss why they have chosen that quality and why it works well in this job position.
"I consider myself a proactive person. I am always looking for the next story and keeping up to date with the following days stories, not just what is going on today. I believe this is a good quality for your station because I will be able to keep everyone up to date on our next stories so we do not fall behind or miss anything."
Assignment desk editor salaries vary based on whether it is a broadcast news station, a print or online publication, or depending on where it is located based on market size. However, a starting salary for an assignment desk editor is between $20,000-$30,000. The candidate should present a range of salaries they hope to make based on their prior experience.
"I believe that my work is worth between $28,000-$30,000 because I have worked as a part time assignment desk editor before and I already have experience that makes me valuable."
An assignment desk editor is expected to sit for basically the entire daily shift and man the phone lines and social media accounts. They rarely can leave for long periods of time because they are the main source for listening to scanners and finding breaking news. The candidate should discuss their ability to sit for this long and concentrate.
"I believe I will be able to sit for 9 hours a day because once I am so focused on my work it will not bother me sitting that much."
The candidate should discuss another career they would be interested in based on their skill set and interests they have. They can reference the skills it takes to perform these careers and how they ultimately help the candidate be a perfect fit as an assignment desk editor.
"If I could start careers over again, I would become a movie director. I am good at leading a group, looking ahead, and helping others. I am also personable and can help people with their problems, but can ultimately keep my eyes on the goal. This helps me be a good assignment desk editor because I am able to speak up when I feel that a story needs to be covered."
It is imperative than an assignment desk editor has a passion for news. They must show their desire to work in the news industry and tell why they love it so much. Candidates should mention what experience they have with news, whether it is watching it producing it, or studying it, how that experience makes them a valuable addition to the team.
"I studied journalism in school, so I wrote and produced many news stories for 4 years. I love the excitement and speed of the news industry, and I am excited to join your team and help push stories forward."
An assignment desk editor should be ready to make big calls on news stories that should be covered if producers are busy. They are responsible for telling reporters which stories to go to for the day, and should have a good grasp on the most important stories for that community. The candidate may use this answer to talk about what they know about the local stories and what stories would take priority over others if they were making the decisions. They also should mention how and why they will make good choices for the station based on their knowledge of the news industry.
"If I had to make calls on which stories to go to, I would feel confident in my decisions because I find that I have a good grasp on the stories that are important here and I would take into consideration what the reporters think is important, as well."
A good assignment desk editor is someone who is constantly looking for stories and being curious about what is going on around them. They are always looking for more answers to questions and pushing people to get them answered. The hiring manager wants to know if the candidate is someone with the drive and curiosity to find out information for the benefit of the entire newsroom.
"I consider myself a curious person, and always have since I was a young child. I have always been getting myself into trouble searching for answers, and I believe that while back then it got me into trouble, now it is a skill that I can make work for the greater good of the entire newsroom."
The candidate should talk about what they hope to learn in this job and where those skills may take them in the future. Although the hiring manager may be looking for a candidate who plans to stick around, rather than leaving after a year or two, the candidate should be positive about gaining many skills necessary to be an essential part of any team.
"In five years from now, I see myself being a morning-side assignment desk editor. While in my first few years I hope to gain experience finding stories and relaying breaking news at every time of day, I hope to eventually know enough to run the desk completely myself in the early morning hours and find the important stories of the day that everyone needs to know when they wake up."
The candidate should answer by discussing what kinds of skills they feel that they will gain at this job and how that may help them in the future. Although the future is always uncertain, the candidate may talk about how their skills will benefit the company in the long term as they develop strong contacts and story ideas. No matter what the candidate has planned for the future, they should discuss what they hope to gain to make them a better worker down the line.
"I hope that this job will prepare me for any type of news job in the future, especially continuing on to be an assignment desk editor. At this job I will be able to refine my skills and learn more about what it takes to delve deep into communities and find stories, and down the line will become even more of an asset."
The candidate should discuss why they love being an assignment desk editor and what features of the job they enjoy doing the most. Through answering this question, the candidate should reveal not only individual features of the job that they enjoy, but also what intangible things they gain by doing it.
"My favorite part of being an assignment desk editor other than working in the newsroom is that my job changes every day. There are constantly new stories flooding in and I mediate them all."
The hiring manager is not always looking for someone who is already perfect at the job at hand, but wants someone who is passionate and will continue to improve while on the job. The candidate may reveal some of their flaws through this question, but ultimately should remain positive about finding a way to solve their insecurities.
"What scares me most about the job is that if I miss a good story tip or a breaking news that comes over the scanners, I have lost the station a position among the first team to get to the scene. However, over time I am confident I will get even better at catching everything that comes by my desk."
The candidate should discuss what makes them special on the job. They may talk about certain qualities that make them a good assignment desk editor, such as a good listener, a curious person, or someone who is able to lead and direct groups of people. They also may talk about what sets them apart from others, such as their personal experience living around the area. They should make themselves stand out in this answer.
"I am the best candidate for this position because I grew up in this town my entire life and already have formed contacts and relationships with local law enforcement. I have family who also works around the area and they are constantly giving me story ideas. I have the knowledge of the local area that not many others will have."
The candidate should discuss their experience being a leader and what kind of leader they tend to be. Assignment desk editors make tough calls on what stories the newsroom should cover and often have to step up and tell the newsroom what is important to cover and what should not be. They cannot be afraid of confrontation, and once breaking news comes over, they must be proactive and make sure everyone is aware. The candidate should talk about their experience in doing this or how they would react when given the chance to step up.
"I consider myself a leader because I am someone who is confident in my own decisions. I believe that I know enough about the job that I make good decisions and my opinion is valued. I also like to help others, and work towards our common goal, so we all succeed."
The candidate should discuss their experience working as a part of a group and what role they tend to play in it. They should talk about their experience balancing power with others, taking instruction, and giving direction when necessary.
"I love working with a team in a newsroom because we are all working to find the best news to cover and do it the best we can. My role is to relay the news to the producers, and together we can make a great product. I love help that others give to me and I love helping others."
Assignment desk editors are expected to sit at a computer all day and dig for stories on the internet, or reading papers. The candidate must feel comfortable doing this all day, and should talk about their ways to relieve their eyes throughout the day and how they manage to continue to focus and do their best work throughout.
"Even though I wear glasses, I have experience staring at a screen for long periods of the day. I often like to get up every few minutes and avert my eyes so they can re focus, but I am usually so focused that I want to continue working without issue."
The candidate should discuss why they have chosen this job over others offered in the newsroom. They may discuss what specific skills they will gain in this job opposed to other ones and how this job will make them stronger in the long run. They should also answer by talking about what strengths they already possess and how they will succeed at this job over other jobs that are available.
"I enjoy being an assignment desk editor over a reporter because I feel more comfortable finding stories. While my writing may not be as creative as reporters, I have more time and skill to dig for stories and make phone calls to find the most interesting stories of the day."
The candidate should discuss any experience they have with scheduling and planning based on stories they have found. They are responsible for knowing all of the anchors and reporters at the station and create master lists of future story ideas and who will cover them based on everyone's strengths. The candidate should prove that they are organized, have a good memory of events that are coming up, and have a good grasp on future events that are worth preparing for, previewing, and covering with multiple teams if they are incredibly important.
"I have always considered myself a very organized person, and have always been good at keeping my busy schedule on track. I feel that I can share my organizational skills with others and keep track of all the stories we have in our planner so that we do not forget some of the most important ones of the day, week, and year."
The candidate should discuss what types of stories they believe are best to put forward for the day. They may talk about various types of stories, like breaking news, soft stories, political news, and more, and what kinds of news they like best to have reporters cover and why. Although assignment desk editors typically do not cover stories themselves, they are responsible for choosing stories to cover for the day, and should show a good grasp on what stories are preferable to share, and which could be rescheduled for future days. Sample: :My favorite types of stories are breaking news, because it is my responsibility to hear the information first, share it with the newsroom, update the anchors, create orders for new graphics, and call the reporters to redirect them. This is a chance for my skills of contacting officials and getting us first on the scene come into play."
Oftentimes, it takes people longer to get to where they want to go in life than others. The candidate should be honest with the interviewer and discuss how their career is going, and how things may have changed over time. If the candidate is completely changing careers and trying something new, the interviewer wants to know what has influenced the change and why they believe this job is ultimately going to help them achieve success in the future. The interviewer is also looking for someone who is confident of their future, instead of worried about the past.
"Although it has taken me a few extra years to find my passion of an assignment desk reporter, I am glad that I found it now. I have taken many other routes in my life, but none of them allowed me the ability to work in news and gave me the creative space to find stories like in this career. I am glad I found it while I did."
The candidate should talk about a time where they have made a mistake on the job or not succeeded in the way they had hoped, and how they made it better. This is a chance for the candidate to reveal something about his or herself that may show a flaw in the career, but they ultimately should talk about how they have learned from their mistakes and are now moving forward and working to resolve it over time.
"One time while working on the desk, I was aware we had a court case to attend for the day, but I did not read it closely enough and did not send a crew there. We were the only station not to cover it, and our viewers were disappointed we had missed a big story of the day. Going forward, I will pay closer attention to stories we should cover, and mark each important story with an asterisk so I am extra cautious."
The candidate should discuss previous career moves they have made and what they have learned up to this point to make them a good fit for the job. They can also talk about why this job is right for them at this time, and where it may help them go in the future.
"I want to get my start in news, and I do not think that being a journalist is a good right start for me. I would rather do something where I work closely with them but ease into the business a little slower. In the meantime, I am passionate about storytelling and breaking news, so I believe finding stories is the perfect job for me, and will help me learn more about reporting."
The candidate should talk about their experience with news in this local community, town, city, or state, and what knowledge of it they can add to the station. They should talk about some of the important issues facing the community, and why they are passionate about helping to tell these stories. They may also talk about the tangible things they enjoy about the area, such as the weather, the topography, the location, and the people.
"I want to work in New York City because I have lived here in college and know a lot about the area. I feel like one of the locals and know that the stories I choose will be ones they will care about. I also feel that when we get calls into the station, they will hear a native voice, and it will make them feel more comfortable to tell their story."
An Assignment Desk Editor is responsible for collecting story ideas for the news station or written publication to cover. Assignment Desk Editors find stories for the day and for future planning purposes. They are responsible for answering the news tip phone line and fielding breaking news, making calls to police and fire departments, and alerting the newsroom with the most up to date breaking news coming in. They are responsible for managing the newsroom calendar with story ideas and plans.
The Assignment Desk Editor also acts as a mediator between the producers and the reporters in the field. They alert the reporters of any breaking updates or big stories they need to go to. They are responsible for keeping up to date with all of the latest stories of the day via social media and making phone calls to top local offices, officials, and courthouses.