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Political Reporter Interview
Questions

28 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 28
What is your experience with social media?
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How to Answer
Political reporters are expected to be updating social media with information about their stories so the public can have the most up to date information throughout the day on stories they care about. They may be expected to tweet, use Facebook, Instagram, and even Facebook Live during their shifts. The candidate should discuss their experience with social media and what kind of social media user they are.
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Answer Examples
1.
What is your experience with social media?
Political reporters are expected to be updating social media with information about their stories so the public can have the most up to date information throughout the day on stories they care about. They may be expected to tweet, use Facebook, Instagram, and even Facebook Live during their shifts. The candidate should discuss their experience with social media and what kind of social media user they are.

Christina's Answer
"I grew up with social media and consider myself an expert at it. I am skilled at balancing my work with also updating the public quickly in quick bits of information and videos when possible."
2.
What unique skills do you have that make you the best candidate for the job?
The candidate should find a few examples of skills that make them a unique hire at the station and why they are the best candidate for the job. Perhaps the person has special skills that make them a creative writer, a passionate interviewer, or something in the realm of politics. The hiring manager is looking for someone who is special, and the candidate should prove they are worthy of elevating the job.

Christina's Answer
"I believe I am the best candidate because like others, I am exceptionally good at getting interviews with top politicians. I believe my kind demeanor and my likability makes me the best candidate to score our station great interviews."
3.
Where do you see yourself five years from now?
The candidate should talk about what their near-future plans may be within the station they are applying for, and what skills they hope to gain within that time to make them a stronger worker in the future. The candidate should remain positive about wanting to work in the job for the next few years, although the future is uncertain, and should discuss where they may see his or herself in the company down the line.

Christina's Answer
"In five years from now, I hope to be the lead 6pm political reporter at your station. I am a strong political reporter but after a few years of learning my way around your state house, I will be on top of all the latest news people care about."
4.
What is your ultimate career goal?
Whether the candidate's final career move is a few years away or a few decades off, the candidate should talk about what they believe is their ultimate goal. This will show the interviewer what kind of ways they will be trying to improve on their skills, and what kind of worker they may be.

Christina's Answer
"I hope to finish my career as a political analyst for CNN. I am from the DC area originally and would love to end up working at home, and before I get to that point, I hope this job covering politics will teach me how to talk casually about politics in a way that people understand."
5.
What is your comfort level asking tough questions?
A political reporter should have the experience to ask hard questions to politicians and draw out answers that are superficially answered. A hiring manager is looking for someone with the skills necessary to get the truth out, and the candidate should describe their experience doing so.

Christina's Answer
"I believe I am a strong person who does not take no for an answer, and I will prove myself at this job. If I sense something is not making sense, I will push until the truth comes out."
6.
Why do you want to become a political reporter?
A hiring manager is looking for someone with an intense passion for what they do. The candidate should talk about why they love doing this job so much and why their love for the career stands out among other candidates.

Christina's Answer
"I want to become a political reporter because I have been reporting for a number of years, but have always been interested in politics. I am ready to move into a more niche career and focus my work."
7.
When did you become interested in politics?
The candidate should talk about what inspires them to work in politics and how they began their career and developed their interest. Whether it was something they loved as a child, began their interest in college, or something they became passionate about later in life, they should talk about what motivates them to go into work each day and report on politics.

Christina's Answer
"I first became interested in politics in college when I joined a young Republicans club, and from there, I realized that I could speak eloquently about politics. I studied politics for years and feel that I understand the inner workings of the government."
8.
Do you consider yourself comfortable in state houses?
The candidate should be someone who will be respected in governmental offices like state houses for their reporting and overall professionalism. The candidate should talk about their experience working in these types of environments and how they get politicians to respect them.

Christina's Answer
"I wanted to become a political reporter because I do feel comfortable in the state house and in governmental offices. I feel that I ask respectful questions yet push when I need to, and this makes politicians respect me."
9.
How do you describe your writing style?
The candidate should talk about what kinds of writing they have worked on in the past and how they plan to write for the publication. Oftentimes the hiring managers are looking for a specific type of writing style to fit with their works, and the candidate should have done prior research into the company to make sure they would be a good fit. The candidate should talk about their writing strengths and how they know they will be a good writer for them.

Christina's Answer
"My writing style is very straight forward and concise, which I know is important in political writing so it is easy to read and not confusing. I know it will work well with your publication because many of your writers also work with this style."
10.
What skills do you hope to gain during this job?
The candidate should be inspired that the new job will help them grow as a person while they help the organization gain a good reputation as well. The candidate may strive to improve their writing, on-air skills and personality, their credibility, and more. They should discuss where their strengths lie and what they hope to improve upon over the years of working the job.

Christina's Answer
"During this job, I hope to be a stronger reporter but also learn much more about working in politics. I studied international relations in college but I hope to learn more about the way each individual state works."
11.
Have you progressed in your career as you had hoped?
Whether the candidate has progressed slowly, fast, or somewhere in between in their career plans, the candidate should find positives in their particular trip. The candidate can talk about things they regret, certain avenues they are proud of, and ultimately how those routes have lead them to this job.

Christina's Answer
"I have progressed in my career quite quickly. Although I may have jumped faster than most, I believe it is because my skill level is worthy of much more, and I believe I can deliver in this job."
12.
How do you work as part of a team?
The candidate should show that they are a team player who is able to work well with others and coordinate throughout the day. Being a political reporter means working out of other buildings like the state house, so the reporter needs to be able to stay in constant contact with their points of contact like their producers throughout the day providing updates.

Christina's Answer
"I feel that I am a great addition to a team. In my previous job, I worked as a multimedia journalist who constantly worked hours away from the station to create my stories, and never missed a time slot. I know I can do this and make you proud at this job too."
13.
Do you feel more skilled at writing or reporting live on television?
The candidate should talk about their strengths in political reporting, whether it is the writing aspect of the job, or the entire package including presenting their work on an online or broadcasted platform. The candidate should be positive about being able to do whatever the job requires of them, but also should talk about their strengths so the interviewer can properly place their talents.

Christina's Answer
"I believe my skills are best used when they are utilized together with both my writing and reporting on air. I am a well rounded candidate and I can do everything myself."
14.
Who inspires you?
The candidate may name someone, whether it is someone in the field of political reporting or beyond it, who inspires them to grow in the job. The candidate should give the interviewer an idea of someone they hope to become or learn from.

Christina's Answer
"I am inspired by my mother, who was a state senator for ten years. Although she was not a reporter, she influenced my love of politics, and taught me the inner workings of politics. It gave me a strong understanding of what I will be reporting on."
15.
How do you work under stress and time constraints?
Political reporters often have short periods of time to share information with the public during breaking news to make newscasts. The candidates should talk about their experience working under pressure during a time crunch. They should talk about how their work is affected when they only have short notice and how confident they are in their work regardless of the time they have to do it.

Christina's Answer
"I feel that I do some of my best work under stress because I can tune out everything around me and focus on the true point of the story. Some of my best work is when I turn stories around quickly."
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28 Political Reporter Interview Questions
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Interview Questions
  1. What is your experience with social media?
  2. What unique skills do you have that make you the best candidate for the job?
  3. Where do you see yourself five years from now?
  4. What is your ultimate career goal?
  5. What is your comfort level asking tough questions?
  6. Why do you want to become a political reporter?
  7. When did you become interested in politics?
  8. Do you consider yourself comfortable in state houses?
  9. How do you describe your writing style?
  10. What skills do you hope to gain during this job?
  11. Have you progressed in your career as you had hoped?
  12. How do you work as part of a team?
  13. Do you feel more skilled at writing or reporting live on television?
  14. Who inspires you?
  15. How do you work under stress and time constraints?
  16. What is your experience being on television live?
  17. What other careers have you taken interest in and why?
  18. Why is this job right for you at this time?
  19. What are your benefits expectations?
  20. What are your salary expectations?
  21. What is your favorite story you have ever covered?
  22. What is the hardest part of the job for you?
  23. Are you able to work flexible hours?
  24. How much experience do you have in the political field?
  25. How do you form relationships with politicians?
  26. Are you able to travel while on the job?
  27. What is your experience reporting?
  28. What is your favorite thing about politics?
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