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Top 25 Newspaper Columnist Interview Questions

Question 1 of 27
Why do you want to become a columnist?
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Question 2 of 27
What do you hope to gain in this job?
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How to Answer
Any good candidate is looking for a job that will ultimately make them better at what they do over time. The candidate should talk about how they plan to improve their skills over time and how this will make them a better worker in the future. They also may talk about their ability to take criticism to improve what they do.

Answer Example
"I hope that over the course of doing the job, I will learn to be a more concise writer. I believe people will take me more seriously when I write shorter pieces with more packed information in it."
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Question 3 of 27
What will your work add to our publication?
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How to Answer
The candidate has the opportunity to talk about ways they hope to improve the quality and viewership of the publication. They may talk about previous work in adding viewers to a newspaper, or the ways they publicize their works so more people will tune in or read. They should discuss the ways they uniquely are able to make the publication grow and develop and how that will make the entire company stronger over time.

Answer Example
"I believe my upbeat attitude and interesting writing style and topics will draw in many people. I also think the way I encourage discussion online of my columns are a big hit."
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Question 4 of 27
How do you stay up to date with the latest world news?
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How to Answer
A good columnist is up to date with everything going on in the world, and not just pertaining to their specific column. This way, they can tie in local events, or national news, to their pieces and show how their column has a greater importance. The candidate should discuss the sources they get news from and how they stay up to date throughout the week to have a deep understanding of what is going on day by day.

Answer Example
"I stay up to date using Twitter by following accredited sources and reading the newspaper. I like to read newspapers because they are very in depth and I can help my readers connect to what they read in the newspaper earlier in the week through my column."
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Question 5 of 27
How do you combat negative feedback from viewers?
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How to Answer
People in the public eye, even those behind a computer screen or a newspaper, are vulnerable to people not liking their opinion or style. The candidate should discuss their experience with people not liking their column, and either rolling with the punches, or improving it when the criticism is valid. This means the candidate should have a good grasp on where they have room to improve, and where they should hold firm on their beliefs and write what they think is right. The candidate should express their views to the hiring manager and talk about how they deal with readers when they give negative feedback.

Answer Example
"This would not be the first time I have received criticism in the public eye. I used to be a reporter, and people would comment negatively on everything from my writing style to my outfit. I have learned to sort out what is worth responding to and what is just people wanting to complain about something."
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Question 6 of 27
How do you work with an editing team?
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Question 7 of 27
What is your experience with social media?
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Question 8 of 27
Do you prefer working in an office or at home?
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Question 9 of 27
What do you believe is your role in the community as a columnist?
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Question 10 of 27
How do you work under stress?
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Question 11 of 27
Are you looking for a part time or full time job?
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Question 12 of 27
If you could start your career over, what would you do and why?
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Question 13 of 27
What is your ultimate career goal?
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Question 14 of 27
Where do you see yourself five years from now?
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Question 15 of 27
Why is this job right for you at this time?
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Question 16 of 27
What do you like to write about?
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Question 17 of 27
What makes your writing unique?
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Question 18 of 27
Why do you believe you are a good fit for the job?
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Question 19 of 27
How do you describe your writing style?
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Question 20 of 27
Why do you want to write for this newspaper?
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Question 21 of 27
Why do you want to live in this city/state/community?
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Question 22 of 27
How do you plan on getting readers to read your column each week?
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Question 23 of 27
What do you consider your specialty topic to write about?
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Question 24 of 27
What credentials do you have to make people trust you?
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Question 25 of 27
What are your salary expectations?
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Question 26 of 27
What are your benefits expectations?
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Question 27 of 27
What is your experience with pagination?
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About Newspaper Columnist

August 18th, 2017

A newspaper columnist is oftentimes a freelance writer or journalist who shares their opinions with the public. They pitch stories to local or national newspapers to get their ideas or comments in the newspaper for the week. Columns can be written about anything from politics, to health care, to family life. A columnist develops his or her own voice that makes them intriguing to readers and relatable so people want to continue reading their thoughts. A columnist is responsible for coming up with their own ideas for stories, writing pitches for newspapers, and producing flawless writing to be published.

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