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Photojournalist Interview
Questions

27 Questions and Answers by Christina Erne

Updated August 30th, 2018 | Christina Erne is a meteorologist and a journalist at News 10 ABC in Albany, NY.
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Question 1 of 27
How do you develop contacts for stories?
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How to Answer
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.
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1.
How do you develop contacts for stories?
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.

Christina's Answer
"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."
2.
What are your salary expectations?
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.

Christina's Answer
"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."
3.
How well do you travel?
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.

Christina's Answer
"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."
4.
How do you work under minimal supervision?
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.

Christina's Answer
"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."
5.
How do you decide what is too graphic to show in visual form?
Some stations and publications have certain standards for what images can be shown and what cannot be shown. The candidate should talk about how they make ethical decisions in their stories. They should use any knowledge they have of the station and their policies and talk about how he or she will adhere to and follow these ethical policies.

Christina's Answer
"I know what I can and cannot show through my visuals when I consider that a child would feel uncomfortable seeing it. Even if something is graphic, I want to make sure people feel comfortable and I can evoke emotion out of them without bothering someone."
6.
What do you think is the main responsibility of a photojournalist?
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.

Christina's Answer
"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."
7.
Who is your biggest role model and why?
The candidate may discuss someone in their life, either professionally or personally, who they admire because of their strong traits. Through this answer, the candidate can show what types of qualities in a person they like and what kind of person they try to be as it relates to the job. Perhaps they admire someone who cooperates well with a team, or someone who is creative. It should give some insight into the person's likes and personality.

Christina's Answer
"My biggest role model in the journalism world is Christiane Amanpour. She is influential because she tells such great stories and is dedicated to her work. She uses her words to evoke emotion. I hope to be able to do this better, except with visuals one day."
8.
What types of stories are your favorite to document?
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.

Christina's Answer
"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."
9.
What is your experience with photography?
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.

Christina's Answer
"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."
10.
How do you work under pressure?
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.

Christina's Answer
"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."
11.
Do you prefer a boss who is hands-on or gives you space to work?
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.

Christina's Answer
"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."
12.
How do you stay up to date on the latest journalism news?
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.

Christina's Answer
"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."
13.
What is your experience with social media?
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.

Christina's Answer
"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."
14.
How does this career fit into your long term goals?
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.

Christina's Answer
"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."
15.
If you did not become a photojournalist, what other career would you have?
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.

Christina's Answer
"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."
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27 Photojournalist Interview Questions
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Interview Questions
  1. How do you develop contacts for stories?
  2. What are your salary expectations?
  3. How well do you travel?
  4. How do you work under minimal supervision?
  5. How do you decide what is too graphic to show in visual form?
  6. What do you think is the main responsibility of a photojournalist?
  7. Who is your biggest role model and why?
  8. What types of stories are your favorite to document?
  9. What is your experience with photography?
  10. How do you work under pressure?
  11. Do you prefer a boss who is hands-on or gives you space to work?
  12. How do you stay up to date on the latest journalism news?
  13. What is your experience with social media?
  14. How does this career fit into your long term goals?
  15. If you did not become a photojournalist, what other career would you have?
  16. Why is this company/publication the best fit for you?
  17. What is your least favorite story you have covered?
  18. How does this position fit into your career plans?
  19. Where do you see yourself five years from now?
  20. How would you describe your writing style?
  21. What is your experience with editing software?
  22. What is your experience working with a team?
  23. What is your favorite story you have ever done?
  24. Do you prefer still photos or video?
  25. What makes a good story?
  26. Why do you want to become a photojournalist?
  27. What are some skills you possess that make you a good fit for the job?
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