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.
"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."
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.
"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."
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.
"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."
The candidate should explain why they chose a career in news, rather than writing for another type of job. The candidate should consider that the news industry is one that is fast-paced, visual, and constantly changing. The candidate can respond with examples of their favorite reasons to watch news, and the types of ways they try to attract others to want to watch, as well.
"My favorite part about watching the news is they always sum up stories quickly and clearly for the viewers. Many people do not have much time to watch the news and want a snapshot of what happened that day. When I come into work as a producer, I try to make my writing as clear and concise as possible so it would be the type of news I would want to watch."
A good response is for the candidate to highlight their strengths and why they are so fit for being a producer. They may mention why other careers are not a good fit for them based on the skills they have that are tailored to being a producer.
"I knew producing was the best career for me because I love to write all day long. I knew a job that was constantly changing would be the perfect fit for me."
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.
"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."
The candidate should bring up examples of them working well with making a quick and important decision, either in other producing jobs or in other aspects of life. They should discuss how their ability to work quickly and think on their feet will help the whole team function well together.
"In one of my previous shows, we had two different breaking news stories at once, with only one reporting team. I made the quick decision to send the reporter to the plane crash instead of the fire because more people were potentially injured and it was in a more heavily populated area. I am able to react quickly to these types of questions so we can send the reporter on the road quickly."
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.
"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."
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.
"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."
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.
"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."
Organization is an important skill for a producer to have, since they are responsible for juggling multiple stories at a time, as well as keeping track of the work they must finish before showtime. The candidate should demonstrate that they are well suited to juggle multiple tasks at once on a tight deadline, and keep track of future events and stories. Not only is a hiring manager looking for a producer who manages their time well, but also can organize a show in terms of the flow of stories that follow one another. A producer knows the most fluent way for a show format to run, based on topics in that day's newscast or show, and organizing the order in which they follow is a talent that a hiring manager looks for.
"I believe that I am a very organized person. I make sure that every time I come into work, I organize my show into breaking news at the top, commercials at the end, and leave room for all of the stories that may pop up throughout the day in between. That way, I can see what time I have left to fill a show."
The candidate should prove to the interviewer that they know all responsibilities of being a news producer, and how their past experience has taught them how to do all of these things well. They should mention how their skill sets will make them a good addition to the team. They can mention parts of their personality that make them a good producer, such as being a team player and working well under pressure, or could mention how their knowledge of the city or state will help them find stories that are meaningful to the people that live there. This is also an opportunity for the interviewer to see if the candidate matches up with the job opening and if they will be a good fit given the position that is open. The candidate should be honest about their skills and be confident in what they think they can add to a newscast.
"I believe this job is a good fit for me because I grew up around this area, so I know the stories that people around here will want to know about most. Also, I am a quick and clear writer, and know how to produce interesting content for anchors to read. My sense of humor will help me find stories that viewers will find enjoyable and funny."
News programs are full of various types of content, from breaking news, to feature stories, to half-hour or hour-long talkshows. All of these programs need producers writing the content, planning the graphics and video to use alongside the script and anchors, and the order that the show will follow. A candidate should discuss with the interviewer their strengths and what types of shows they most enjoy working on. They should explain why this type of show is their favorite to write and format. The candidate should also mention other types of shows and how they could adapt to other types of writing and formatting styles, as well. The candidate should show flexibility, but also highlight their best work through the answer of this question.
"My favorite shows are ones with breaking news or severe weather. I enjoy writing under pressure, and I enjoy having a very full show with lots of live reporters to fill the time and add excitement to the show. That way, we always have something new and exciting once we come back from a commercial break. However, I also could work on the local cooking show, because I enjoy writing about food and I enjoy having a little more time to write creative content."
A producer is expected to know how to edit video to add to their show. The interviewer is looking for a candidate who can answer this question by referencing their editing experience.
"In the past, I have edited with iMovie, Avid and Edius. I know how important it is to be able to edit video quickly to add to my shows, and I am confident I can work fast to do so."
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.
"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."
The candidate should answer the question by explaining why they want to be a producer based on other interests they have. They should give examples of their other qualities that make them a good producer. They may also talk about previous jobs they have had, even outside the field of news or producing, and how these previous jobs, careers, or decisions in life have lead them to news producing. Whether the candidate discusses successes of their past or failures, they should always end positively, with how events of their professional life have lead them down the road to find the career of producing.
"When I was younger, I always loved fiction books. I read a lot of books and eventually tried writing my own. I thought that someday I would be an author, but as I got older, I realized that I was also interested in politics and current events. I decided to become a producer because I knew my writing skills would help me succeed, while also writing about topics I care about."
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.
"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."
The candidate should demonstrate their knowledge about the area where the television station is located. They must know a little bit about the geography, politics, current events, and demographics of the area. This shows that they can write good stories that the locals will understand and want to watch. The candidate should bring up what they know about the area and how their knowledge of it will help them produce a good show in that area.
"While I am not originally from Florida, I know that many older people over 55 years old watch the news primarily, so I will be more aware of stories that their age group will care about. I also know that weather is important to the viewers because hurricane season can be deadly. My knowledge of Florida so far will help me get a good jump start when I begin the job."
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.
"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."
A producer is expected to find good stories to fill their newscasts. A good response to this question touches on a few ways the candidate plans to learn about the stories that matter in the community, including meeting with local representatives, politicians, and school board members, talking to locals in coffee shops, and reading up on continuous issues that face the area. A candidate should demonstrate their extensive knowledge of finding good stories and their interest in finding new content.
"Each weekend, I go to some of the most popular local spots in the community, like cafes, bowling alleys and movie theaters. I listen to what people are talking about, so at the beginning of each week, I can compile a list of trending topics that locals are interested in."
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.
"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."
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.
"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."
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.
"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."
A television news producer is responsible for compiling all parts of a newscast into a rundown of the order of how the show will progress. A producer plans a list of all of the stories and news reports in order of importance and relevance to the community from top to bottom of a show, and writes scripts for anchors to read and follow throughout the newscast. A producer is responsible for editing video to include in the show, writing clear and concise scripts for anchors and reporters to read on television, and knows how to give commands to the anchors and directors to progress through the show. A producer must have advanced writing skills for television broadcasting, a command of using video, sound, and pictures to convey a story, and the ability to keep calm in breaking news and directing the television personalities in the event of last minute story updates, changes, or emergencies.
To prepare for an interview for a career in news producing, a candidate must be able to give examples of successful television broadcast shows they have produced, or give examples of shows they have assembled, including samples of their writing. A producer must be able to show that they are calm under pressure. They also must explain how and why they are able to direct a show, including giving cues to anchors, directions to directors to bring up various graphics, packages, camera angles, and live shots, especially when something goes wrong.
A potential producer also must prepare to talk about their skills as a manager to a team of people. Producers must have a command of the most pertinent stories in their television market in order to make executive decisions on what stories are most important in telling for that day. Producers must be able to discuss with a reporter or photographer where they must report on, and must be able to express to the hiring agent how they will be able to manage a team to create the most visual, engaging and interesting news show possible.