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.
"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."
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.
"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."
The hiring manager wants to find someone who is qualified for the job and believes they are ready to take on all responsibilities that come with it. The candidate should talk about their past experiences and what has lead them to this point and why those past experiences make them the best possible candidate.
"I believe this job is right for me at this time because I have been working at becoming a political reporter for years and I am finally ready to take on the challenge."
The candidate may talk about other jobs they once were interested in or other things they studied in school that they are passionate about. This shows the interviewer their other interests and realms where their knowledge may extend to help the entire team.
"In the past, I had been very interested in teaching. I feel that this helps me write stories that the public can easily understand."
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.
"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."
Political reporters are often asked to be on television or on some kind of visual reporting site like a website to tell their reports on a regular basis. The candidate should discuss their experience being on television or on an online show if this is the type of job they are applying for. They should be confident in improving their skills and conforming to the job's needs.
"I feel very confident sharing my findings each day on television. I have been a television reporter in the past, and I feel that I have a good grasp on speaking and presenting my reports each day."
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.
"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."
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.
"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."
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.
"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."
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.
"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."
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.
"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."
The candidate has the opportunity to talk about why they are so interested in politics and why they keep coming back for more in the career. They may talk about whatever they love most about being a political reporter, whether it is being surrounded by politicians, learning the inner workings of the government, or being the expert source in the newsroom on all things politics. They should be excited to talk to the hiring manager about their favorite part of politics to make them seem passionate and energetic about the job.
"My favorite thing about working in politics is that I am able to uncover wrongdoings by the government that others may not understand."
A hiring manager is looking for someone with some kind of prior experience in reporting, whether it is for a written, online, television, or radio outlet or publication. The candidate should talk about their experience reporting in the past and how they have grown over the years to make them an experienced candidate for this job opening.
"I have worked firsthand in at least two capital cities over my career and have been a vital resource in uncovering stories in politics others do not have the patience to learn about. I am proud of my experience and am ready to take another job doing just the same."
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.
"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."
Political reporters often travel for the job, whether it is following a certain candidate on their campaign trail, or traveling to a state house for work. The candidate should talk about their ability to travel for days at a time if necessary and their willingness to do so.
"I am so passionate about the job that I would travel whenever I am asked to do so. I love following politicians to see how they act on campaign trails and I am able to go wherever I am sent."
A good political reporter not only understands the inner workings of politics, but they also have special relationships with certain members of various branches they speak to often to get stories. Candidate should discuss their personality as it applies to befriending politicians and administrators and how that skill makes them a great reporter.
"I find that I am a very friendly and compassionate person and I love to listen to people's stories. I am a great reporter because I listen to people who want to talk and they know they can trust me to be honest and tell my stories equally."
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.
"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."
The interviewer is looking for someone who has some kind of experience in politics, whether they studied it in school, were a political reporter previously, or some other kind of experience in the field. They should demonstrate to the interviewer that whatever experience they have in the field makes them superior to other candidates.
"Although this is my first job as a political reporter, I used to intern at the state house. I learned a lot about how politics works and about various laws and how long it takes to get things moving. This gives me perspective into the work they do."
The candidate should discuss their ability to work at various times of the day and throughout the week, based on what times the scheduling manager assigns the candidate to work. Reporters are asked to work early mornings, late nights, and at various times based on breaking news. The candidate should make their availability clear.
"I am able to work whatever shift I am assigned to get the job done. I know how politics does not choose when it makes news, and I will be there whenever you ask."
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.
"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."
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.
"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."
The candidate should talk about their weaknesses in the job and what they find to be a challenge that makes them feel uncomfortable. While being challenged in a job is usually good, the candidate should talk about the troubles they face doing hard things and how they believe they can improve upon those struggles in the future.
"For me, the hardest part about being a political reporter is the early or late hours we are often asked to work. However, I feel that over time I will be comfortable enough in the position to be able to be more flexible."
A good hiring manager is looking for a candidate who can show their passion about certain topics or parts of the job. This demonstrates that the candidate loves what they do. The person should talk about their favorite story and why they felt so proud of it.
"My favorite story I have covered is when I followed a lawmaker through his typical day at work. I enjoyed showing this to the public because oftentimes lawmakers are a mystery and was a fun piece that the audience enjoyed and learned from."
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.
"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."
A political reporter is responsible for covering all of the local and national politics within their viewing area. The candidate must have good writing and speaking skills for writing news and reporting it live on television and online broadcast platforms. The candidate must have a strong understanding of the inner workings of legislature, politics, and political careers, terms and responsibilities in each branch.