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News Producer Interview
Questions

26 Questions and Answers by Christina Erne

Updated August 17th, 2018 | Christina Erne is a meteorologist and a journalist at News 10 ABC in Albany, NY.
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Question 1 of 26
How will your producing improve the quality of our television station?
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How to Answer
The candidate should respond by discussing their work ethic, their work product, and any other factors that makes them a productive part of the team. They should tell the hiring manager any plans or general ideas they may have to making the newscast a strong one, and perhaps any traits that set them apart from other candidates.
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Answer Examples
1.
How will your producing improve the quality of our television station?
The candidate should respond by discussing their work ethic, their work product, and any other factors that makes them a productive part of the team. They should tell the hiring manager any plans or general ideas they may have to making the newscast a strong one, and perhaps any traits that set them apart from other candidates.

Christina's Answer
"I look forward to using my contacts I already have in the area in the police department and the hospital to help us get information before any other station."
2.
Where do you see yourself five years from now?
The candidate should answer by telling the interviewer how they think the job will shape the course of the next few years of their life. They should discuss ways in which their skills will develop and evolve after spending years in this job position, and how other experienced members of the current team will help them grow. They should also mention a near-future goal they may have, but ultimately remain positive about how the current job would help them become a better producer.

Christina's Answer
"In five years from now, I see myself as a producer, perhaps still at this station, or perhaps in a larger market, where I manage a whole team of producers. I will share all of the knowledge I have about this job with them and help them be better producers like my mentors here will have helped me."
3.
What is your experience with the latest news formatting software?
Producers use computer programs to format their shows. The interviewer wants to know the candidate's experience formatting shows in various formatting programs, in the hopes that they will find a candidate who does not require much training. Even if the candidate does not have experience, they must prove that they are able to learn computer programs and various technologies quickly in order to perform the job.

The candidate should explain their prior work in formatting and how they expect their prior experience will help them succeed in the new job.

Christina's Answer
"In the past, I have worked with the formatting program iNews. Although I know different television stations use different formatting programs, I am confident that I can adapt to any program, and my writing will shine through once I learn how to use it."
4.
How do you decide what stories are most important to cover?
The candidate can answer by discussing their process of figuring out which stories should be at the top of the newscast, and which ones can follow later in the show. A good producer always know that the most pertinent breaking news stories should always lead the show, and stories of lesser impact or urgency should follow later in the show. While each producer has their own method of filling a newscast or a show, they should be able to tell the hiring manager that they will ultimately choose to send a reporter to the most hard-hitting and visually appealing news story of the day.

Christina's Answer
"When making the decision of what stories are most important to cover, I make sure that any hard-hitting and breaking news is always covered with video in some capacity. Any other news, whether it be less visual such as politics, or human interest soft stories, can then follow in order of urgency and timing."
5.
What are your salary expectations?
The candidate should bring up a realistic range of salaries they hope to make, based on previous salaries in past similar careers and other factors, including moving costs. News producers typically make between $25,000-50,000, depending on the market size. Remember that promotions and bonuses are all possible a few years after performing good work.

Christina's Answer
"Since I was making somewhere around $30,000 at my last producing job, I think I have gained much experience there to where I am really worth $35,000 at this station. I have improved significantly since I took that job two years ago and will make a large impact at your station."
6.
What time of the day do you work best?
News is a nearly 24-hour industry that requires people who work well at different times of the day. Candidates should discuss with the interviewer what time of day they work best, such as early mornings, late evenings, or during the daytime. This helps the interviewer determine if the candidate is a good fit for the open position. The candidate should be honest about the time of day they work best during, but also should be flexible and make themselves willing to work whenever they are needed. A good news producer has strong writing and producing skills that they can use any time of day, and the candidate should articulate this.

Christina's Answer
"While I work best in the early mornings because I naturally wake up early and do my best work before 7:00 am, I am willing to work late nights, and perhaps I will find that I also enjoy working with the faster pace of evening news."
7.
What types of changes can you make to scripts to improve the quality of a newscast?
The candidate should discuss with the hiring manager what skills they possess and can add to improving the quality of the show or making it run efficiently. They may talk about their writing skills, ability to work under pressure, their ability to make quick decisions and communicate with others, or their ability to figure out the best stories to cover for the day. They may also discuss working with other producers and helping each other edit along the way.

Christina's Answer
"I am a concise writer with great grammar skills, and rarely make large mistakes that would embarrass our station. I also am good at spotting mistakes in other's works. Finally, I am creative, so I am constantly finding new ways to make the story sound updated and improved."
8.
Why is a job in this city/state/community the right fit for you?
The candidate should highlight reasons why the city or state of the job where they are applying is a good location for them. The location may be good because of family and friends in the area, the weather, the news, or other factors that draw that person to want to move there. A hiring manager is looking for a producer who cares about the people and the place where they produce, and they are looking for a producer to answer this question by discussing why they want to work in that specific areas and make a difference in that community.

Christina's Answer
"I believe that Orlando is the perfect city for me to work because I went to college in this area. I know the types of people around here, and I even have some family here as well. I have many contacts in the area and want to use them to help find good stories."
9.
What are your career aspirations after this job?
The candidate should respond to this question by referencing how taking the current job would help them achieve a goal or dream in the future. The candidate should remain positive and excited about the current job for which they are applying, while also appearing to aim high in the future. The interviewer wants to know that the candidate is willing to work their hardest and look to improve constantly throughout the course of their contract.

Christina's Answer
"In the future, I hope to become a producer for a national news network. In the meantime, I know this current job will help me develop my skills to become the best producer I can be."
10.
What is your experience leading a team?
A good response to this question would be discussing previous experience working on a team and particularly instances where that person has been leading others. A hiring manager is looking for a producer who is able to keep the show and others around them running smoothly, even when approaching deadline or when part of the show falls through. A good response has the potential producer explain that they can juggle their own work while also helping others finish theirs.

Christina's Answer
"I consider myself a natural leader, and am capable of helping others edit their stories while I am trying to work on my own. A team leader is someone who is always willing to help and problem-solve, and I believe I am a quick problem solver, which makes me an efficient worker."
11.
How do you work under stress?
Being a news producer means being able to produce a clean show on television, even if technological glitches happen, reporters make mistakes, or breaking news occurs. A good producer is able to work through any and every problem under time restraints. A good response to this question would be to answer honestly about a person's capacity to work well under a constantly changing environment, and provide examples of how they have been able to do it in the past.

Christina's Answer
"I feel I work my best under pressure when I am forced to work extremely hard in a short amount of time. Once, my television station had to break the news of a plane crash during the 5 o'clock newscast, and I wrote the script to put at the top of the show after the first break, and our station was praised for being the first to report it."
12.
What is your experience with social media?
As the news industry becomes more focused on social media platforms, it becomes increasingly more important for anyone who works in news to use social media as a news gathering tool, and also a way to reach viewers quicker than ever before. A producer should discuss their previous experience using any and all social media platforms, as well as the ones where they find they have the most success reaching viewers and staying informed within the community. The goal is to have the hiring manager believe that the candidate is savvy on the internet and can reach a wide audience to have the latest stories.

Christina's Answer
"I work well with nearly every social media platform, and I especially enjoy Twitter and Facebook as ways to find the most up-to-date and breaking news. However, I have recently begun using Facebook Live to share video, and I find that I increase the number of viewers at my old station by discussing the stories we will be showing in our evening newscasts."
13.
Why did you decide to become a producer?
The interviewer wants to know why the candidate wants this job position. The candidate should explain why they are passionate about producing and mention the skills they have that will make them a successful producer. A good response shows that the candidate would improve the quality of news produced by the station and has a good understanding of all the responsibilities of the job description.

Christina's Answer
"Writing has always been my passion, and in college a professor recommended I look into writing for the news, because I love working under pressure and staying up to date with current news stories and events. I interned with a local television station and quickly realized that my writing skills would fit perfectly in the career, and I have never looked back since that day."
14.
What is your favorite part about being a news producer?
The candidate should discuss one or two specific parts of the job that drives them to go into work each day. These parts of the job should be motivating factors that show the person is passionate about the work they want to do.

Christina's Answer
" My favorite part about being a producer is the rush of adrenaline when there is breaking news an hour before the show. I am crunched for time, but excited to share the news as quickly and accurately as possible."
15.
If you could start your career over again, what route would you take?
The candidate may bring up other interests they have in their life, and possibly a different path they considered taking, but ultimately mention why they chose to become a producer. They should give the hiring manager some insight into other passions they have in life, and other qualities within their personality that make them special. They should ultimately come back to why they chose producing and why they believe this was the right choice.

Christina's Answer
"I once thought about being a teacher because I work well with children, make them laugh, but also do well explaining difficult topics to them so they can understand. Although I did not find teaching a good fit, my ability to write clearly for all ages helps me be the best producer possible."
More Interview Q&As
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26 News Producer 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. How will your producing improve the quality of our television station?
  2. Where do you see yourself five years from now?
  3. What is your experience with the latest news formatting software?
  4. How do you decide what stories are most important to cover?
  5. What are your salary expectations?
  6. What time of the day do you work best?
  7. What types of changes can you make to scripts to improve the quality of a newscast?
  8. Why is a job in this city/state/community the right fit for you?
  9. What are your career aspirations after this job?
  10. What is your experience leading a team?
  11. How do you work under stress?
  12. What is your experience with social media?
  13. Why did you decide to become a producer?
  14. What is your favorite part about being a news producer?
  15. If you could start your career over again, what route would you take?
  16. What is your experience with making quick decisions?
  17. Why is producing the best career path for you?
  18. What is your favorite part of watching the news?
  19. What part of producing are your most nervous about?
  20. How would you describe your organizational skills?
  21. How do you find new story ideas?
  22. What is your familiarity with this television market?
  23. What interests in your life have lead you down the path to becoming a producer?
  24. What is your experience with editing video?
  25. What types of shows are your favorite to produce?
  26. Why do you think this job is a good fit?
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