The candidate should discuss why they are passionate about taking this job, and how it will help them develop as an employer in the future. While they may mention what future goals they have within the company or in their career, the most important aspect of the question is about the candidate's interest in holding the position for a long time. Interviewers do not want a candidate who hopes to put the job on their resume and leave quickly. They are looking for someone who wants to do great work and stay around for a while.
"My goal ultimately in life is to support my family. This news director position will fulfill my dreams in my career and also will help provide food for my family. While my future in my career is uncertain, I hope this job will provide me with great improvement in my career and I look forward to making this newsroom very successful."
A good response would be an honest one about why the candidate became interested in news directing and why believe they are good enough to fit this job description. The candidate should discuss an event or series of events in their life that has lead them to this position, such as an extensive career in news, and a love for managing a team. A manager must have some kind of love for helping others and having a balance between control and compromise with their employees. The candidate should discuss this balance and how they believe they will be successful at it.
"I believe that I have had a lot of success in my past working with all of my team members, and people have always told me that I am a good decision maker when everyone else is uncertain. I feel that I am ready to lead a team and help lead us all to a strong newscast."
A hiring manager is looking for a news director who is able to tell the news team if certain stories need to be covered in exchange for other less important ones. The candidate should discuss what makes a good news story, and why certain ones should be favored or replaced over others. They should discuss how to address this with a newsroom, like having them cover the story of lesser importance on another day.
"For me, any breaking news, including fatalities, should be covered at the top of each newscast, because this matters to those in the local community. Any national stories or stories from other states that does not directly pertain to our viewers should be held as least importance."
The candidate should discuss any previous experience working with the sales department. Oftentimes, news directors are expected to help the sales department sell parts of the shows to companies who will help sponsor them so the station or publication has revenue. However, the news director must not make any news decisions based on business or financial partnerships they have. The candidate should talk about how they can stay partial to news regardless of other business.
"I realize how important it is to keep sales and news departments separate. While it is critical for us to sell parts of the newscast to sponsors to make some sort of revenue so that we can grow, I will be sure that they will never have a say in what stories we cover. Those decisions will stay within our company only."
The candidate should discuss how they plan to keep motivation within a newsroom. This may include writing memos to everyone at the beginning or end of the week congratulating certain people on good work for the week, or holding monthly meetings for reporters to help them improve. The candidate should want their team to be strong and excited to work every day, and they should prove to the hiring manager that they want happy employees.
"I understand how sometimes news can make employees exhausted and lose motivation. I would want to make sure they always have a reason to do great work. I will be sure to always tell employees when they do a good job so they know I am aware of it, and I will always be looking for suggestions to keep my employees excited to come in each day."
The candidate should discuss their experience working under pressure. News can break quickly and decisions often need to be made instantaneously. The candidate must prove that they can make these quick decisions with the same level-headedness as they would with less stress at the time.
"I am used to the high stress environment of a newsroom. I have experience making quick decision making and I know that I make the same decisions under stress that I do on a slow news day."
The news director should let reporters and producers pitch stories and decide which work best for the day, but news directors have the ultimate say on which stories should be covered. The candidate should prove that they are capable of making smart news decisions for the office based on what the community wants to hear most.
"While I will trust my staff to make good daily decisions without me, I will always be monitoring the top stories daily and will voice myself in morning and afternoon meetings if and when I find stories that are essential to cover. I will do my own digging for stories, and pitch them when I find ones that are important to report."
Oftentimes, getting to the position of being a news director requires many years of work in other jobs within the news department and in managerial positions. These other positions may have slowed a person's progress towards the ultimate goal of news director. If this is the case, the candidate should discuss how their previous careers and areas of work have made them experienced and a good fit for then news director position. Regardless of how slow or fast it takes someone to get to a certain career, the person should discuss how various careers have helped them become a good news director.
"Although it has taken me 10 years of my career to get to this position, I have always wanted to be a news director. After working in news and holding high up positions in news offices throughout the country, I believe I have all the qualifications necessary to make a good news director. Although it has taken me so long, I believe it was necessary to make me the perfect fit."
A good response would be for the candidate to describe what makes their newscasts the best based on their favorite, most compelling stories. The candidate should discuss what types of stories make up a good quality newscast, and how they will decide which stories take precedent in a show lineup.
"I think the most compelling stories are human interest stories, that lifts the spirits of those who watch. While breaking news is far more important and takes priority in a newscast, my favorite stories surprise you halfway through and have visual elements that make viewers excited to watch each day."
A good response to the question would be for the candidate to describe where they see their career going in the near future. They should be positive about their future in the company for which they are applying, but also show that they are striving for a larger goal, and they will treat the job seriously and constantly want to improve.
"In five years from now, I see myself working as a news director at this station, making huge improvements and making our station rise to the number one spot in the city. I hope this news director position will be a long-term career position for me, and I hope that in the future I will be known as a successful news director with the utmost respect in the community."
A responsibility of a news director is to fire employees that are not performing as well as they should be, despite every effort to train them properly. A news director must be able to try their hardest to work with employees who are not performing up to par, and also know when it is time to let someone go and hire someone who is more qualified for the position. The candidate should give examples of how they know when someone is no longer fit for a position and how they will deal with someone who may be emotional or upset after being fired.
"While I have never directly fired someone before, I can tell when someone is either not putting all of their effort into a job, or is no longer fit for the position. I want to be sure that our news department produces the best quality work possible, and if someone is no longer able to produce the work, I will be sure to find someone who can."
The candidate should describe their personality traits and how they help to make a good manager. The candidate should describe what they consider a successful manager, including someone who is open to helping others, knowledgeable about news, and is a good decision-maker for the news and sales departments. A manager is expected to work well with all employees in the news department, including reporters, photographers, producers, and assignment desk editors. In answering this question, they should touch on how they plan to manage each of the departments, with a moderation of understanding and power.
"I describe myself as a level-headed and understanding manager. I recognize that managers are expected to make hard decisions within the news department, but are also expected to help the reporters write and edit interesting stories. A good manager must always have the best interests of the company in mind, and I believe that my ability to direct others and help everyone do the best work they can do will make the company a success."
A news director typically makes a yearly salary between $60,000-$100,000, depending on the market size of the station in which the job is. The candidate should discuss their previous salary and give a range of salaries they hope to make based on their experience and previous work in similar positions.
"I have worked in many big sized television stations in the past with the utmost success. I would hope that my experience is worth $100,000-$105,000 here, because I know I can help your station grow and improve over time."
A successful candidate can describe to the interviewer how previous experience in news or as a manager will help them work well in the new position. The candidate should describe aspects of their personality that make them a good fit for a managerial position, such as the ability to work well with a team, and good compromising skills. The candidate should also describe what past experience in news they have, and how it helps them make the best possible decisions for the news department.
"Having previously worked in the news industry, I understand how there are often difficult decisions that need to be made on ethical stories. I have made good decisions professionally in the past, and I know I can help others make good decisions to make a successful newscast. I have always worked well with a team, and I believe my advanced knowledge of news will help me lead others."
A news director must be able to make financial decisions for the team, whether it is paying certain reporters overtime for covering big and long-term stories, to sending a news team to cover a national story or event, such as the Olympics. The news director must make smart decisions that will benefit the news station and attract viewer's interests. The candidate must discuss how they weigh the importance of these various financial decisions.
"I believe that I am good at managing funds to make our news product the best around. I like to save some money each month or quarter to reward my employees and keep their spirits up, through overtime pay and occasional office lunches. However, we must save some funds for the inevitable national news story that we should cover to be a unique local news source there."
A news director is able to not only help others write well, but be a great writer themselves. They must have previous writing and editing experience, and can prove to the hiring manager that they will make beneficial changes and improvements to the writing product that comes out of the news department.
"I used to be a writer myself, so I am very experienced in helping others create their best work. I am able to edit scripts quickly and weed out any poor or colloquial writing. I also am creative, which helps me work with writers and reporters to create unique stories with unexpected twists and scripts that will set us apart from other stations."
The candidate should answer by discussing why this local area is so important to them and what they can offer. If the candidate is not previously from this area, they can discuss how they offer fresh perspectives to the news and marketing strategies there. If they have lived in this area before, they can discuss how their previous experience makes them a more qualified candidate.
"I am originally from this state, and I am glad to be back working for the people here. I understand what news is important to this state, and I have much experience with the local issues and hot topics. I will make an experienced member of the team."
A main responsibility as a news producer is to hire employees in the news department. The aspiring news producer must demonstrate how they would be able to find a successful producer to add to the team, and be assured that they will be a good fit. The candidate should discuss their previous experience interviewing future employees and knowing what qualities in a producer are most important in finding. Some qualities the candidate could mention are experienced writers, creative thinkers, quick editors, and passionate workers in the news industry.
"I have worked alongside many producers throughout my journey in news, and I know how important it is to hire a producer who works quickly and can help others. I would look for a producer who is passionate about news and always looking for new ideas to bring to the table on his or her show. I am confident that my hires will work well here, as I can spot great producers very easily."
A main responsibility of a news director is to hire reporters. The candidate must discuss their experience in hiring employees, or interviewing others. The candidate may discuss qualities in reporters they look to hire that will help their final product, including reporters who are passionate, are good multi-taskers, and know the local area well. A good response shows that the candidate knows what it takes to be a successful reporter and can spot these qualities in others.
"Previously being a reporter myself, I know what it takes to tell a great story. I understand how dedicated you must be to the community and how hard you must work to be first on the scene and uncovering hidden truths to help others. I look for these qualities in others that I had myself to do my job."
A news director is expected to make the best decisions for the news department, but also must take into consideration the wishes of the sales and marketing departments. A successful news director is able to balance working between various departments and splitting their time so that everyone is satisfied. A good response proves that the candidate is able to keep the news department running smoothly and reporting the most important news possible, while also helping the sales department make money off advertising, and the marketing department to extend the reach of the company.
"While I hold the news department as my utmost importance, I understand there must be also a balance between other departments and jobs within the company. Without compromising the integrity of the news we produce, I aim to help sales and marketing do their jobs with the best interest of the station in mind, so that we can all prosper in the community."
Managers in the news industry are constantly concerned with increasing viewership and ratings within the community. They often track ratings each day, or even each show, and based on those numbers, they figure out how to improve the shows and news department. A good response makes the interviewer aware that the candidate knows how important it is to keep up with monitoring viewership and is constantly finding ways to get more loyal fans. The candidate should present a few examples of how they plan on improving ratings, such as adding fresh and new content and ideas to the shows, or switching up the personalities that appear to see if viewers prefer different reporters and anchors at different times of the day.
"I understand how important ratings are, and I have experience tracking viewership each ratings period. I plan on keeping track of this often, and making adjustments in the news department accordingly. For instance, I would make sure that each month, at least two reporters have a special report to run that we can advertise, or there is at least two deep investigative pieces of the utmost importance to the locals."
A good response is to discuss specific examples of ways the candidate plans to make the company a stronger one. Ways of answering include creating new segments for the television shows, hiring writers and editors who have strong skills to make each product an error-free and flawless one, and motivating workers to do their best work by offering them tips and providing promotions for those who go above and beyond.
"I know that I am capable of making your company an even better one over time. Although you already have many great practices in place, I would want to ask each reporter and photographer what shift they prefer to work, so our workers will be their happiest and most efficient when they come in. I also will host open office hours each day so employees can come in and discuss any issues they have, so that they can be quickly resolved with me."
The candidate should describe why they believe the news industry is the right fit for them and how they stay motivated each day. Good responses include the candidate discussing why they want to work in news, what experience they have working in news, and what about news makes them interested each day.
"I wanted to get into the news industry because I have a passion for telling stories and doing deep investigation. I want to help the community in which I live become a more honest one. These qualities in me will make me a perfect candidate being a news director."
The candidate should discuss what skills in previous jobs they have attained, and how being a manager of a news department is right for them at this point in life. Why are you choosing to move? Why are you choosing to have more responsibilities within a company? The candidate should discuss any skills they have that make them a perfect fit for the job and why it is best for them to take a managerial position at this time in their life.
"Becoming a news director feels right for me at this point in my life. Previously, I worked as a news reporter, so I have ample experience in the news department, but as I get older, I realize that I no longer have the energy to go out every day and interview people. I feel that my extensive knowledge of news will benefit the news department, and I am ready to stay in the office every day and help others."
An interviewer is looking for a candidate who is excited for the new opportunity in their career, but also is striving for a goal in the distant future. A good response to this question discusses why the candidate believes they are a good fit for the position, how they will grow in the position, and how it may help them achieve more success in the future.
"In the future, my ultimate goal is to direct a national news department. I have always wanted to be a news director because my managerial skills are strong, and I know I will continue to grow as a news director in this position. Along the way, I will make this news department strong, and perhaps someday along the line, this job will give me the proper skills to move into a higher market."
The candidate should respond by giving background on what in their professional life has lead them to want to become a news director. The candidate should be honest about why they want to become a news director based on how their career has progressed thus far and what they hope to gain in working this job. A candidate may respond by discussing their passion for managing a news department, making tough ethical decisions, and creating new and interesting segments for all shows and publications to make the company a strong one in the community.
"I wanted to become a news director because I have a passion for helping others. I like to help the reporters create the best stories they can by directing the news department to choose the stories that are the most important to the community. I want to be a mentor to others and help the whole news team create their best work."
A news director is a person who runs the news department at a local newspaper, or local or national broadcast television station. They are responsible for managing all photographers, reporters, editors and producers who produce content for each television broadcast show or newspaper edition. They are responsible for hiring new talent, making decisions on what stories and events to cover, and providing feedback on each show or edition. Each show or newspaper is a direct product of the management and direction of a news director, and they are constantly managing their employees and updating segments, columns, and providing suggestions to improve writing and reporting to produce the best quality show or edition possible.
To prepare for an interview in this career field, an aspiring news director should be able to show examples of how they can manage a large group of people. They should also be able to provide examples, either written or visual, of shows or newspapers that they have directed. A successful news director improves the station's broadcasts or newspaper editions by adding content or suggesting new writing techniques to appeal to various audiences and capture the most important parts of the story or event.
A news director should be able to discuss with a hiring agent the most important principles of journalism and their take on the ethics of journalism. They should be able to explain their ethical practices, such as their take on dealing with difficult or tragic news. A news director should be able to convey how they stay level-headed and calm in making difficult decisions and provide examples of how they have done this in the past.