This is an opportunity for the candidate to not only explain what they love about being a meteorologist, but how they got to where they are today. This is a chance for the candidate to give the potential employer a sense of who they are as a person, and they are free to inject stories about their childhood or life that makes them seem personable, interesting, and a great addition to the team. A meteorologist must also have great communication skills with others in addition to understanding the science, so a good response to this question would be giving anecdotes of experiences with weather in the past and how it inspired the candidate to continue studying meteorology. While this type of question elicits the candidate to give a personal story unique to each individual, good responses would also include one's passion for a certain type of weather event (ex: snow, tornadoes, hurricanes), one's determination to keep the public safe during severe weather events, and one's interest in watching climate change over time.
"I first knew I wanted to become a meteorologist when I watched my local meteorologist when I was a child. My parents always had the news on, and I was so interested to hear what the weather was going to be. I also loved how the meteorologist would stand outside in blizzards or rain storms and I thought the job sounded exciting. So I decided to pursue it in college, and found that there was so much science behind weather, and to this day I am constantly still learning!"
The candidate should respond honestly with any concerns, including salary, moving costs, or hours worked. They should mention why they are concerned with this issue and what would make them feel more comfortable about accepting the position.
"I am worried about moving to a city I have never lived in before because I do not know anyone here and am unfamiliar with the area. However, I look forward to exploring it and I hope I become friends with other employees here so they can show me around."
The candidate should speak honestly about what they are glad they have accomplished, and what they wish they have done. However, the candidate should always be positive about accomplishing those things in the future and should be forward-looking to their achievements to come.
"While I never thought my career would have brought me to all the cities and states I have lived in, I am glad I had those experiences. However, I look forward to finding one place I am excited to stay in for a long time, and I feel I can continue to pursue my dreams and keep advancing in meteorology at this station."
The aspiring meteorologist can respond by mentioning a prominent figure in the field of meteorology, whether it is a mentor, scientist, or national weather reporter. They should explain why this person is so interesting to watch and how they use the knowledge they gain from that person to improve their own forecasts.
"I look up to Ginger Zee as a meteorologist because she not only covers local weather, but also zooms out to the big national picture and explains why the weather is happening where it is happening."
A candidate should be honest with their schedule, but aware that the field of meteorology requires flexibility around the weather. The candidate should express how in the event of severe weather, they will be available to come in at any time to inform the public on what is going on. The candidate should discuss prior commitments they have outside of work, such as children or elderly parents, but discuss how they could find a way to put their career first if need be in certain situations.
"If I was asked to work extra shifts, I would have to check with my children's schedule first, but then I would be able to tell you as soon as possible that I would be able to come in."
Most people have taken on a position that was not a fit for them in the end. It's best top openly discuss any positions that you have held that were not a fit. This will assist the interviewer in being able to properly place you within their organization. Be sure to end your answer on a positive note, discussing how you bounced back from the misstep. Further, the candidate should talk about how they know their new career path of meteorology is the one for them and how they have learned from their previous mistakes.
"I originally went to college for reporting, but after a few years, I realized that there was too much stress involved in the career path. While I do not regret being a reporter for those few years because it taught me how to be in front of a camera and interact with the public, I am glad I have learned from my mistakes and found meteorology along the way."
The candidate should be honest about what they want to make, as compared to why they want to leave their previous job.
"At my previous job, I was making $40,000, but after receiving my American Meteorological Seal of Approval, I am a certified meteorologist and feel my expertise is worth $55,000. This would also help my moving costs."
A good response would show that the candidate is humble and able to take responsibility for mistakes. Meteorology is an imperfect science, and in order to be credible, they must admit mistakes when they happen or afterward. A candidate should respond by discussing their ability to recognize mistakes on the fly, such as incorrect numbers or text on their graphics and explain it to the public so they are not misinformed. They should also respond by mentioning that they would be comfortable addressing the issue later with the public so they will continue to be taken seriously.
"If I made a mistake on-air, I would immediately correct myself so the audience knows I was aware of my mistake. If I did not realize my mistake until later, I would post on any of my social media accounts the mistake so everyone would be aware of the correct information. I feel this is the honest thing to do."
A meteorologist should respond to this question with their general workflow day-to-day when they come into the office and produce a forecast. They should mention all of the credible sources they use to figure out temperatures, and mention a variety of maps they use to see how the weather will be changing and what that means for the viewing area. They should mention sources from both local radars and national ones, so they show they have an understanding of how weather throughout the country affects the local weather and climate.
"When I first get in for my shift, I go to the National Weather Service website to check the forecast discussion to see if there are any severe weather warnings or advisories posted for the area. I next check the NAM, GFS, FUS, MOS and MEX text data for at least three major cities in our viewing area to come up with my temperatures, winds, and conditions for the next seven days. I also check the NCEP models and a frontal map to see where the high and low pressures are surrounding are area and how they will affect us."
The interviewer is looking for the meteorologist to discuss what changes in the person's life has lead to their interest in this job in the specific city, state, or station. The candidate could respond by talking about why they love the particular city, state, or news market so much. They can mention certain characteristics of the newscast they enjoy, such as the interaction between the anchors, or the graphics the meteorologists use. A good response would not only mention how this career move is beneficial to the candidate, but also should mention how their addition to the station would be beneficial for that television station.
"I have spent many years as a meteorologist at television stations across the country, but many of my friends and family live here. I wanted to be closer to them so I would have the opportunity to deliver the weather to an audience that I know and care about."
A good answer to this question involves the candidate highlighting their best strengths in relation to what the potential new television station does and does not have. A candidate could mention their past experiences and how their successes and failures in the past have lead them to become an expert in their field. The candidate should highlight their strengths in forecasting, communicating with team members, interacting with the public on social media, and bantering on live television with the anchors. The interviewer is also looking for the candidate to bring a unique characteristic to the table that sets them apart from others. A good response would include expressing the candidate's expertise in all fields of meteorology.
"Coming from a previous market with many snowstorms and blizzards, my expertise will help the weather departments accurately forecast the timeline of events for an upcoming storm and correctly predict snow totals. I have much experience with snow graphics, so I can help the department create exciting new ones to get viewers interested."
A good response to this question is not only mentioning a slight blunder in the meteorologist's previous experience, but more importantly how they have improved since that moment. Good responses include explaining a small mistake from the past, instead of a large problem the person created, and intelligently explain why they know they made a mistake and how they know they would not make it again. Some challenges a meteorologist could respond with would be missing a certain weather features in their forecasting, undershooting the temperature for the day, or not predicting a significant weather event far enough in advance. The goal of answering this question would be to show one's expertise in the field.
"In the past, I have struggled to locate tornadoes on a base reflectivity map. However, in one particular summer season, I learned that using a base velocity product and the echo top height will help me identify them better. Now, I know how to identify tornadoes quickly so I can inform the public faster to keep them safe."
A good response to this question is for the candidate to tell the interviewer how their command of the science behind meteorology and their mastery of being on live television makes them feel comfortable in any situation. The candidate should respond by explaining to the interviewer their confidence level in their forecasts, and how that confidence leads them to perform their best on air in any given situation. A candidate also may mention an example from previous work and how they potentially saved lives by giving continuous coverage to a severe weather event without instilling fear into viewers.
"I am very calm under pressure during severe weather events. Although there is so much to do during these times, like continuously checking the satellite and radars and making sure I am delivering the most up-to-date and correct information, I am able to do so quickly in between my hits. I enjoy the rush and excitement of severe weather, and do not sound rushed or panicked, even though the public may be scared."
A meteorologist can respond by mentioning different pressures they may face in the job, such as technology failures, adverse interactions with co-workers, or added pressure from working extra shifts. The candidate should respond by mentioning these potential stressors, and how they plan on resolving any of them as they happen. They must prove that they will complete their job successfully, and that the viewers will not notice any issues.
"No matter what is going on at work or at home in my personal life, viewers would never know, because I keep my personality consistent in front of the screen. If I am having issues with someone or something at work, I address it head on and right away, so it can be resolved, and I can continue my great work."
The candidate can respond successfully by discussing their favorite aspect of the weather, adding why they enjoy working with it every day and how they plan on exciting viewers on the topic. An interviewer is looking to find a candidate who loves what they do and can express this excitement to others. The best meteorologist is someone who not only knows the science, but is passionate about the work, and a good response to this question would be one that makes the interviewer interested watching them work. A good response could be anything from working with others, showing their personality on television, or mentioning their favorite weather event, and why they care so much about succeeding in it.
"My favorite part of being a meteorologist is how every day is different. The weather constantly changes day to day and even year to year, and I enjoy studying the changes and why they are happening. I hope I can inspire others to find this exciting, as well."
A good response to this question would be to mention the graphics programs the meteorologist is familiar with. This will show the interviewer what they are capable of working with, and that they would need minimal training upon starting the job. The candidate should mention programs such as Intellicast, OB, WSI MAX, etc., and the types of graphics they know how to create and edit within the program.
"I have worked with numerous weather graphics programs for years. I am most familiar with working with WSI MAX, where I know how to edit any kind of existing graphic. I also know how to create graphics in this program, and in the past have created a Neighborhood High Temperatures map for my previous station that viewers really enjoyed. I could make any graphic necessary for any show, and hope to create new graphics for upcoming holidays."
A candidate should respond to this question with highlighting one part of the current way the meteorologists at the station work and a suggestion to improve it. Interviewers are looking for the candidate to show that they have watched this particular weather team extensively and already have ideas on how to improve the show. While it is not a good idea to criticize the current weather team, this is a chance for the candidate to show that their addition to the team would benefit everyone and improve the quality of the show. A good way to respond is to use the candidate's knowledge of weather and use that to give a suggestion to improve part of the show.
"While I love how the meteorologists begin each of their weather segments with showing the radar, I would be interested in incorporating more web cameras into the show. That way, we can give viewers a live look outside right at that moment, and then move into what is to come in the next few hours."
The aspiring meteorologist can respond by discussing where they want to see themselves in the next five years as it relates to meteorology. The candidate should respond positively about the television station and their career path, mentioning how they think they have chosen a career they will stick with for the rest of their life and could not see themselves doing anything different. A good response should convince the interviewer how much the candidate loves weather, and would never have to worry about the candidate being unhappy. Also, a good response will be forward-looking and goal-setting, so the interviewer knows the candidate constantly wants to improve and grow as a meteorologist.
"In five years from now, I see myself as a successful meteorologist who has an extremely strong grasp of weather. I see myself being a valuable part of a weather team, and perhaps the chief meteorologist. I see myself being the most respected weather source in the city, no matter where I am living at the time, and I hope to gain this station valuable viewers."
A good response would be describing the candidate's social skills and abilities in front of a camera. A successful meteorologist is able to talk with the anchors about news stories and human interest stories before and after their forecasts without talking too much or ostracizing viewers. The candidate should discuss their confidence in front of a camera no matter the topic, and their ability to make conversation with anyone. They should also add how their particular personality traits make them a particularly good addition to the anchor team, and how the viewers may react.
"No matter who I am working with at the anchor desk, I am able to find smooth transitions into or out of my weather segment with them. I am able to make conversation and laugh with nearly anyone, and over time my relationship with the other anchors will only strengthen and become more fluid."
A good response to this question would be to explain why forecasting is so important to the aspiring meteorologist. A good answer would include aspects of the person's previous experience and how their love for weather sets them apart from other meteorologists the station could hire. It is important for the interviewer to know that the meteorologist is knowledgeable about various aspects of climatology, not just forecasting, but ultimately chose forecasting for a good reason.
"Although I am also passionate about environmental science and protecting the environment, I decided forecasting was the career for me because I wanted to be sure I could keep the public safety in the event of severe weather."
A meteorologist is a scientist who forecasts the weather by using their advanced knowledge of atmospheric sciences. They are responsible for using their command of math and science to predict weather and climate and explain the weather on television to the public in a clear and simple way by using graphics, satellite and radar images, and statistics.
To prepare for an interview in meteorology, one must prepare to explain their experience in meteorology, including presenting copies of a degree in the field, or official credentials provided by an official meteorology group, such as the American Meteorological Society. They must be able to discuss their previous experience in forecasting, and provide examples of some of the storms or severe weather events they have covered and forecasted and how they predicted correctly.
They must be able to provide a video reel of examples of previous live weather broadcasts and explain how they react on live television when new weather information breaks or technology fails. They must also provide examples of their experience with weather graphics programs, such as WSI, Intellicast, OBS, etc. They must also be able to discuss their ability to work with team of weather casters and creating a forecast with a team, and coordinating with the newsroom in the case of severe weather events. Aspiring meteorologists should also be able to provide examples of their presence on social media, including Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and more to disseminate their forecast to viewers and in some cases warning the public of severe weather.