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Assignment Desk Editor Interview
Questions

30 Questions and Answers by Christina Erne
Updated August 30th, 2018 | Christina Erne is a meteorologist and a journalist at News 10 ABC in Albany, NY.
Job Interviews     Careers     Technician    

Question 1 of 30

What is your experience using social media and the Internet?

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1.

What is your experience using social media and the Internet?

An assignment desk editor is expected to be well versed in using social media and the internet to find story ideas. They must be good at picking up on stories that may not show up as very prominent online, but can find a local angle of importance in the area. They need to be able to uncover stories and dig deep into the internet to find them. The hiring manager is looking for someone who is constantly monitoring the internet for story ideas and updates and letting everyone in the newsroom know as they come.

Christina's Answer

"Growing up in the age of technology, I have been using the internet and social media my entire life. I have learned tricks to find specific information I am looking for, and I believe I will be a valuable asset to the team because I am able to find out information that others cannot."

2.

What do you know about this area you want to work in?

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.

Christina's Answer

"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."

3.

What is your experience generating contacts?

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.

Christina's Answer

"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."

4.

Where do you see yourself five years from now?

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.

Christina's Answer

"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."

5.

What is your planning and scheduling experience like?

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.

Christina's Answer

"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."

6.

What scares you about the job?

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.

Christina's Answer

"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."

7.

What is your experience working in the news industry?

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.

Christina's Answer

"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."

8.

What are your salary expectations?

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.

Christina's Answer

"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."

9.

Are you interested in becoming a journalist one day?

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.

Christina's Answer

"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."

10.

Why do you want to become an assignment desk editor?

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.

Christina's Answer

"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."

11.

What is a mistake you have made on the job and how did you resolve it?

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.

Christina's Answer

"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."

12.

Would you consider yourself a curious person?

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.

Christina's Answer

"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."

13.

Would you feel confident making decisions on stories when other producers and directors are unavailable?

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.

Christina's Answer

"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."

14.

If you could start your career over, what would you do and why?

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.

Christina's Answer

"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."

15.

Are you able to sit for up to 9 hours a day?

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.

Christina's Answer

"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."

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30 Assignment Desk Editor Interview Questions
Win your next job by practicing from our question bank. We have thousands of questions and answers created by interview experts.

Interview Questions

  1. What is your experience using social media and the Internet?
  2. What do you know about this area you want to work in?
  3. What is your experience generating contacts?
  4. Where do you see yourself five years from now?
  5. What is your planning and scheduling experience like?
  6. What scares you about the job?
  7. What is your experience working in the news industry?
  8. What are your salary expectations?
  9. Are you interested in becoming a journalist one day?
  10. Why do you want to become an assignment desk editor?
  11. What is a mistake you have made on the job and how did you resolve it?
  12. Would you consider yourself a curious person?
  13. Would you feel confident making decisions on stories when other producers and directors are unavailable?
  14. If you could start your career over, what would you do and why?
  15. Are you able to sit for up to 9 hours a day?
  16. Do you consider yourself a proactive person, or someone who is more patient?
  17. How are your phone skills?
  18. How do you prioritize stories for the newsroom to cover?
  19. How do you work under stress?
  20. What is your experience digging for stories?
  21. Why is this job right for you at this time?
  22. Have you progressed in your career plans like how you imagined?
  23. What are your favorite types of stories to cover?
  24. Why do you prefer staying inside the newsroom rather than reporting yourself?
  25. How is your eyesight?
  26. Do you work well with a team?
  27. Do you consider yourself a leader?
  28. What makes you a good candidate for this position?
  29. What is your favorite part of being an assignment desk editor?
  30. How does this job fit into your career plans?
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