Being a photojournalist sounds like a simple job description, but actually involves many various tasks and responsibilities. The candidate should describe what they believe are the main responsibilities of a photojournalist, including finding stories on their own, finding people to interview, conducting interviews, taking photos and video, writing a script, editing the video, and publishing it all.
"I believe the main responsibility of a photojournalist is to create a story that is informational to the public based on visual aspects. I am an experienced journalist who loves telling stories through pictures and video, so this job is perfect for me."
The candidate should talk about their experience developing story ideas though people in the community. The candidate should talk about prior experience forming relationships and getting story ideas from others. The interviewer is looking for someone who is able to dig for stories and has the trust of the community.
"I develop contacts through being a part of the community, like talking to people at the gym, library, coffee shop, and more. I look online on blogs for things that people are talking about so I can create stories that people will care about."
The candidate can mention what job they would have wanted to have if they did not become a photojournalist. They should talk about what characteristics they hold that would make them a good fit for that job and how those characteristics make them ultimately a good fit to be a photojournalist.
"If I did not become a photojournalist, I would have wanted to become a history teacher. I love learning about the past and telling stories, and discovering new parts of it. Now I can channel that love for storytelling in photojournalism."
The candidate should discuss how they plan on working in this job, whether it is a long term position, or one that will help them achieve something greater in the future. While a hiring manager does not want to hire someone who plans to only be a temporary member of the team, the candidate should discuss their ultimate career plans. They may talk about what this job will help them achieve so that they can continue being successful down the line.
"I hope this job will train me to learn more about telling great stories through still photography. While I am experienced in storytelling, I hope to gain more insight into telling a story more visually, rather that just with words, so that someday I can work as a professional photographer."
A photojournalist is often required to post all of their story updates, final products, and interesting pictures and video to social media to spread the word. The candidate should discuss their knowledge of using social media and how they would use social media to promote stories and find new ones.
"I have been working with social media for many years and consider myself a social media expert. I have found many important stories through locals online who have shared stories that are important to them. I hope to find more stories thorough social media, and push my final products online to spread the word."
The candidate should discuss how they plan to stay up to date with all of the workings behind the scenes in the world of photojournalism. This includes all of the most recent stories in journalism, specific techniques that may be new in the field, and new and updated equipment in the field of photography. This gives the interviewer the idea that the candidate cares about the future of the field and hopes to grow with it.
"I love following all the latest news in journalism through blogs, and online forums for journalists. That way I stay up to date on everything I need to know that is changing in the field. I also adapt well to new technology on cameras so I like to stay up to date with that."
Photojournalists often have only a short time to produce their work, or are given a specific deadline they must meet for the project. The candidate should describe their experience working under tight deadlines and time constraints and how they produce the highest quality work under this pressure.
"I produce some of my best work under pressure. I love the challenge of working hard and fast, and find that if I give myself too much time to work on a project, I spend too much time overanalyzing my work. I feel that my best work is under a constraint."
While photojournalists do have editors, managers, and producers helping them put together a story, they often work alone for most of it. They often find stories for his or herself, put together the interviews, video, and then create the final product before it is checked over for errors before it is submitted. The hiring manager is looking for someone who works well on their own and does not require much help throughout the process. The candidate should discuss how they work on any given day if they are left unattended throughout an entire story.
"I work very well without much help, and in fact, I like working alone for most of the project. I enjoy seeing how far I can go without someone telling me how to change what I have done, and while I like some constructive criticism, I like the fun challenge of seeing how I can create my best work without anyone else."
The photojournalist should discuss what they hope to learn and gain from this job and where they plan to go in the future. While a hiring manager is not looking for someone who plans to leave the job right away, they are looking for someone who is interested in progressing and growing over the years to make them even better. The candidate should discuss what they hope to achieve through this job and where it may take them down the line.
"In the future, I hope to eventually be a photojournalist for National Geographic. Until then, I hope to gain much more experience in storytelling through this job, and improve my ability to tell stories through video. That way, someday I will have the necessary skills to travel the world and tell animal stories."
A photojournalist makes a wide range of salaries, based on prior experience, position, and location. A starting photojournalist makes between $30,000-$40,000, but photojournalists can expect to be paid more after more years of experience, higher markets, and more populated locations. The candidate should discuss their desired range of salaries and come to an agreement with the interviewer.
"Because I am a great storyteller and have proven myself over the years, I believe I would like to make between $32,000-$34,000."
The candidate should discuss where they see this job taking them in the near future. They may discuss ways they will improve in their career through taking this job, and how they plan to develop their skills to help them achieve future goals.
"In five years from now, I see myself being the national photojournalist for your station. I hope to improve my photography skills and writing so much that I am a valuable asset here, and I hope to prove that I am a great person to send on faraway stories."
The candidate can use this answer to set themselves apart from other potential candidates for the job. They can talk about certain skills they have, such as prior experience, that make them special and a good fit for the position. A hiring manager is looking for someone unique who is a particularly good fit for the location, job, or station.
"I believe I am uniquely fit for this job because I am a great journalist and storyteller who has been working in this particular state for many years. I already have developed many contacts here and look forward to finding stories no one else will have."
The interviewer is looking for someone who is uniquely passionate about the job and loves doing what they do. The candidate should set themselves apart by explaining why they are so passionate about the job, why they got into the career in the first place, and what makes them so motivated to do the job daily.
"I wanted to become a photojournalist because I believe pictures tell stories better than words do. This job is focused on using visuals to evoke emotions from viewers, rather than using words. I believe I can add emotion to your publication through my photography skills."
The candidate should demonstrate their experience working with cameras, video cameras, and photo editing software that is necessary to do the job. The candidate should discuss any prior experience they have working with these technologies and talk about any prior projects they have created through using video editing software. If the candidate does not have much experience with these things, they should discuss their ability to learn quickly based on their knowledge of other forms of technology.
"I have worked with cameras for at least five years now. I have been using video cameras since college when I worked for our university television station. I adjust easily to any form of camera or video camera."
The hiring manager is looking for someone who has extensive knowledge of creating a story, from the idea in the beginning to the final product with written and visual elements. The candidate should describe in their own words what they believe makes up a good story, whether it is getting the best interview possible, using visuals from tiny details to tell a larger story, or getting the most emotional sound bite and a close up shot to the victim. The candidate should discuss how they will work to create the best stories possible through these ideas of what stories should be.
"I believe a good story is made up of both strong written elements and visual ones, too. Pictures tell a story better than writing ever could, so the best stories capture important images, whether it is the moment the house burns down, the tear rolling down the victim's cheek, or the child busting into a large smile seeing her father."
The candidate should discuss whether they prefer working with still images or video, and why they prefer this type of photography. The hiring manager uses this question to see if the candidate is able to fit the job description properly, but also can see where the candidate's strengths in photography are.
"I prefer working with videography because there are many techniques to taking videos that tell a story better than a still one could. For instance, panning from one person to another, or zooming in or out, highlights the most important part of the video."
The candidate should describe their favorite story they have ever produced and what makes it their favorite. This example should be a story where they have done some of their hardest work and produced a piece of work that is highly praised. This shows the types of stories they prefer working on and what there strengths are.
"My favorite story I have ever done is when I covered a military family reunion at the airport. Their emotion was easily captured though video and pictures better than words could ever describe. I love stories that make people smile."
The candidate should talk about what stories they like working on the most and why they feel they are so good at these particular ones. This gives the interviewer an idea on where the candidate fits into the job, and if the person is versatile to work on any type of story.
"My favorite types of stories to cover are stories about animals. The public enjoys seeing pictures of animals, and always brings a smile to people's faces. Also, videos and pictures of animals tell more than any written or spoken elements could, because obviously animals cannot speak."
A photojournalist often works alone on their own stories, but works with a team to develop the story, edit it, and publish the final work. A good photojournalist not only does their job well, but helps others, and works well with others helping them edit and give feedback. The candidate should discuss their experience working with others in the field of journalism and how they fit the job well.
"I have worked with a team in the past and I know I am a great member of a professional team because I am willing to help others to reach a common goal. We all want to create the best and most interesting and informational product possible, and I have proven to work well with others."
Photojournalists often may have to travel far to get a great story. This includes bringing all of their gear, developing contacts in faraway places, and working and contacting the newsroom remotely. A good candidate is someone who can work alone during many of the stages of work, while still communicating well with their managers and producers.
"I am used to traveling with my cameras and in fact I am someone who loves to explore. I am good at learning new places quickly."
A photojournalist is expected to be able to not only shoot and record their own work, but edit it into the best possible product out of their own artistic take on the story. The candidate should discuss their experience editing and what types of programs they have used in the past.
"I am familiar with many types of editing programs, including Final Cut Pro X, Avid, and Edius. I also use Photoshop well. However, I adapt quickly to editing programs and can learn whatever your company uses."
The candidate should talk about how they describe their writing style, and how it fits within the job description. They should discuss their creativity when writing stories, and how they use words and writing to supplement their visual aspects of the product.
"I describe my writing style as highly descriptive and surprising. I like to surprise my readers and viewers with twists and turns in the plot line to keep the story interesting."
The candidate should discuss how they like to work and how they may work with each type of manager - one who likes to give lots of feedback throughout the process, and one who likes to step back and have the photojournalist do the work. The candidate should discuss their experience with both types of bosses and how they would be able to ultimately work with either one of them during the job.
"I prefer a boss who gives me some space to do my work because I feel I usually have a good grasp on what I am doing and love to inject my own creativity into the story. However, I also like getting feedback on my work and ways to make it better."
A photojournalist is responsible for using pictures and video to tell a story. They must have a mastery of photography skills and knowledgeable about all kinds of photography techniques and editing practices in order to capture the most important visual aspects to tell a story or relay a message or feeling. They are responsible for also knowing about storytelling and journalism in order to best convey meanings through video and pictures.