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Reporter Interview
Questions

26 Questions and Answers by Christina Erne

Updated August 23rd, 2018 | Christina Erne is a meteorologist and a journalist at News 10 ABC in Albany, NY.
Question 1 of 26
Why do you want to report on this specific area?
View Answer
How to Answer
A candidate must use this question to set themselves apart from the others applying for the position by discussing why they will be a good addition to the news team in that area. The candidate should talk about their familiarity with the surrounding communities, the local hot topics, the environment, and any of the local stories that matter most.
26 Reporter Interview Questions
Win your next job by practicing from our question bank. We have thousands of questions and answers created by interview experts.
  1. Why do you want to report on this specific area?
  2. What are some techniques you use to evoke emotion from your interviews?
  3. What time of day do you work best?
  4. If you could start your career over, what path would you take?
  5. How do you work under pressure?
  6. How do you plan to form relationships with officials in the community?
  7. Do you consider yourself approachable?
  8. How are your organizational skills?
  9. What experience do you have making difficult decisions surrounding tragic stories?
  10. How would you describe your writing style?
  11. What is your experience working with a photographer?
  12. How do you work as part of a team?
  13. What is your experience with social media?
  14. Why did you decide to become a reporter?
  15. How do you plan to find new stories to cover?
  16. What unique qualities can you offer our station/newspaper/website?
  17. How does this position fit into your career plans?
  18. What are your career aspirations in the future?
  19. Why did you decide to become a reporter over other writing jobs?
  20. Have you progressed in your career as you have expected?
  21. What are your benefits expectations?
  22. What are your salary expectations?
  23. If you could choose just one subject to report on, what would it be?
  24. What is the most difficult story you have ever covered?
  25. What is your favorite story you have ever covered?
  26. Why is this job a good fit?
15 Reporter Answer Examples
1.
Why do you want to report on this specific area?
A candidate must use this question to set themselves apart from the others applying for the position by discussing why they will be a good addition to the news team in that area. The candidate should talk about their familiarity with the surrounding communities, the local hot topics, the environment, and any of the local stories that matter most.

Christina's Answer
"I want to be a reporter in New York City because I not only love the city and love the seasons, but I believe I am a perfect reporter to cover local breaking news. I am familiar with the businesses downtown and the issues business owners face there, and I feel that New York City business owners would have a trusted source to come to with me in town."
2.
What are some techniques you use to evoke emotion from your interviews?
A good response is to discuss how the candidate creates stories that do not only report facts, but also tell a story full of emotion. The candidate should discuss the types of questions they ask to interview emotional characters to evoke their strongest feelings about the subject. They should also talk about some of their favorite stories in the past and how they used thinking outside of the box to make the story unique and interesting.

Christina's Answer
"In every story I produce, I try to first write a story with strictly the facts, then I go back and add specific quotes from the person I interviewed that show their passion about the subject. I include pauses they may leave in speaking to best show their personality as well as their story."
3.
What time of day do you work best?
Reporters work around the clock, and there are many shifts open based on when the candidate feels they work the best. Reporters should figure out what time of the day they create their best work, and tell this to the hiring manager, so they can see how well the person may fit into the current open schedule. The candidate should also discuss how if made to work at a different time than is what they want, they could still work well for the company.

Christina's Answer
"I consider myself a night owl, and do my best work later at night. I would be a great nightside reporter going live at 11 p.m. However, I can work at any time of day, and know I would be able to adjust to a dayside team because I am very flexible."
4.
If you could start your career over, what path would you take?
The candidate should discuss another interest they have in careers and how while that path might not have been the right one for them at the time, the skills they possess help them in being a reporter.

Christina's Answer
"I wanted to be a history teacher years ago, because I love to tell stories to others. I am a great speaker and have a great memory. However, I realized being a reporter was the best career fit for me because I still get to tell stories, yet I get to create them myself."
5.
How do you work under pressure?
A reporter is expected to produce well written and visual stories often in less than a day. Tight deadlines often put much stress on reporters, and the hiring manager wants to see if the candidate is able to put up with the high stress career. A good response discusses the candidate's ability to produce good work while rushed or under pressure.

Christina's Answer
"I understand what it takes to create a story in just a few hours and still have it be my best work possible. I have experience writing clean work quickly with little to no mistakes for editors to check over, and I often enjoy the rush of being put under pressure to create my stories."
6.
How do you plan to form relationships with officials in the community?
A successful reporter not only finds the right people to talk to for a story, but also keeps a working relationship with the person or group so they may be able to reference them in the future. The candidate should discuss with the hiring manager how they stay in touch with contacts they have used and how they plan to make his or herself a trustworthy person for that contact to want to help again.

Christina's Answer
"I know how important it is to create working relationships with good contacts in the area. I have experience working well alongside police officers, and I know at your station I will be able to keep in touch with police officers well and be sure to keep their information quiet until they allow us to release it so we may build up trust with them."
7.
Do you consider yourself approachable?
A successful reporter is able to talk to anyone about any topic and gather information. A reporter must have an approachable personality so that they can approach anyone, whether someone is happy to talk about their story, or does not want to talk about an emotional one. A good response explains the candidate's personality and how they plan to talk to strangers in various situations and gain the insight and information they need to cover the story.

Christina's Answer
"I consider myself a friendly person who always approaches others with a smile, or with a gentle voice. I consider myself open, so others feel comfortable sharing their story with me, even in times of despair."
8.
How are your organizational skills?
A successful reporter is well organized and is able to juggle various types of stories and contacts from many different fields. The reporter should respond by discussing what organizational skills they possess and how their skills will help them be a good fit for the job.

Christina's Answer
"I am a very organized person who keeps folders of all my story ideas, and contacts. I keep my job organized in this way so I am always able to access phone numbers, addresses, and previous notes on a story quickly, so I can be sure to make deadline for the day."
9.
What experience do you have making difficult decisions surrounding tragic stories?
A hiring manager is looking for a candidate who is able to report on often sad or emotional stories with a level head. The candidate must show they are able of reporting on difficult stories by making good ethical decisions. A good response would be to give examples of previous difficult stories and how the candidate has dealt with covering it, despite the tragedy or emotions involved with it.

Christina's Answer
"No matter the emotional aspect of the story I report on, I am able to keep my professional work separate from my personal emotions. While I have covered many stories where parents have lost young children in a tragic event, I must report the story fairly and accurately, and must keep my own emotions separate so I can give the story the time and justice it deserves."
10.
How would you describe your writing style?
The candidate may respond by describing their writing style and how it fits well into the job description. A successful response provides examples of how the candidate's writing has been strong in the past, and how the style would fit well in the current job.

Christina's Answer
"I describe my writing as descriptive and colorful. My writing has been successful in the past because I have had many people approach me in my previous job telling me how interesting and fun my writing was, and I believe I can use the same colorful and visual writing in this job to bring the words to life and attract new readers."
11.
What is your experience working with a photographer?
The candidate should respond to the question by discussing past experience working with a photographer capturing photos and video alongside the reporter during the daily workflow. A successful reporter knows how to work well with a team to create a both visual and well written story, and should demonstrate their knowledge of photography and how they can help direct a photographer to the parts of the story they want most photographed.

Christina's Answer
"I have experience working with a photographer, and I enjoy working alongside someone else to capture my story best. While my writing often speaks for itself, I like having the second opinion of a photographer to add a visual aspect to big stories, and together our work provides a great piece that viewers will learn a lot from."
12.
How do you work as part of a team?
A reporter works with producers, photographers, editors, engineers, and more every day at work. The candidate should discuss with the hiring manager their previous experience working with a large team on a daily basis, and how they will be a functioning part of the daily work flow at the office. The candidate may respond by giving examples of how they have worked with others in the past and how they plan to work well with a team in the future.

Christina's Answer
"In college, I worked with a small team of other students to produce our newspaper. We each had a specific role we had to complete on time, and relied on each other do to it to the best of our ability. I often got my work done early, and even helped others complete theirs, so our newspaper editions would get out on the shelves in time."
13.
What is your experience with social media?
The candidate must demonstrate their extensive knowledge and mastery of social media. A successful reporter knows how to reach out to find stories on social media, as well as informing the public on the most up to date and breaking stories on social media platforms as they happen. The candidate should respond by giving examples of how they have used social media in past reporter jobs and how frequently they plan on posting and updating their sites in the current job.

Christina's Answer
"I extensively use Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to update my viewers. I produce Facebook Lives every shift so the public will be on top of the stories I am covering that day before our nightly newscast. I have gained many followers over the years and they have given me story tips on my social media accounts."
14.
Why did you decide to become a reporter?
The candidate should discuss with the interviewer what skills they have that make them a good reporter and what motivated them to study and practice to become one. They may discuss people who have influenced them and why they feel they will do a good job based on their writing skills, interviewing experience, and more.

Christina's Answer
"I wanted to become a reporter because I have always been a curious person. I love learning the most up to date news, and I feel that my writing can help others stay up to do date and accurate as well."
15.
How do you plan to find new stories to cover?
The candidate should show the hiring manager that they have a good understanding of local stories in the current area and have ideas on how to uncover more hidden stories, as well. The candidate can respond by mentioning their favorite places to find story ideas, such as cafes, local restaurants, parks, or talking to their neighbors. A successful reporter feels comfortable being a part of the local community and talking to locals about what matters to them in order to find the most important stories to cover, and a good response shows that the candidate knows what matters to the community.

Christina's Answer
"My favorite way to find new stories is to sit in a local coffee shop with a newspaper. I can listen to what the locals are talking about and what is buzzing in the community and I can even ask some of them about current topics to see what matters most in the news that week."
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