The interviewer is looking for someone who is special and can produce work that goes above and beyond any other candidate's. The candidate should take this time to discuss what is so special about their work and why the company would be better off having them a part of the team.
"I am fearless when it comes to interviewing, even if I am asking tough questions. I will be the sports reporter who gets all of the answers before anyone else because I will be strong enough to ask the hard hitting questions."
The candidate should discuss their favorite sporting event comeback or historical event and talk about how the reporters covered it. This gives the hiring manager the idea that the candidate not only has studied sports over the years, but follows other sports reporters and has learned from them.
"In my opinion, the Red Sox winning the World Series in 2004 was the best comeback of all time. Reporters in Boston were ecstatic over it, and I think they did a great job covering the whole series from start to finish hyping up the team and their chance of winning it."
The candidate can talk about their experience playing sports on the flip side of reporting. Previous experience playing sports shows that the candidate understands what it takes to be an athlete, even on a small scale, and understands the inner workings of team dynamics.
"When I was in high school, I was team captain for the field hockey team. Through this experience, I learned what it takes to be a good leader, but also take direction from a coach. This taught me how to ask questions in interviews to captains because I understand the delicate balance they face between a team and a coach."
A hiring manager is looking for a candidate who is able to not only report good stories, but find new ones for the station to set themselves apart from the other local reporters. The candidate should describe some of the ways they find new stories in the community, such as developing contacts and relationships with athletes and coaches, or reading sports blogs online to stay up to date with lesser known events going on.
"I find unique local sports ideas at the gym. Whenever I am there, I talk to locals, especially those wearing sports gear, to see what is important to them in the world of sports that week."
The candidate should describe their type of writing and how it fits well with the company's writing style. This involves the candidate having prior knowledge and research on the company they are applying to work at and knowing what kind of writing they aim to create. The candidate should respond by showing that they are a strong and creative writer and can adjust to any writing style when asked.
"I believe that I am a creative and detailed writer. I use stellar grammar and always surprise readers with creative twists."
The candidate should answer this question by describing some of the skills they hope to develop in the very near future that will make them a stronger sports reporter at the station. The candidate should assure the interviewer that hiring them would be a long term decision that would be very beneficial to the company.
"Ideally, 5 years from now, I would love to see myself growing into a more prominent leadership role within your organization. My career interests align very nicely with your company's goals which helps me to see a great long term fit here."
Is this particular position a good fit? Is it a step up in your career or - a stagnant move that you are just complacent with taking until something better comes along? Assure the interviewer that this position will be challenging for you, is a step up in responsibilities, and that it fits with your overall career goals.
"My primary goal in my career as an HR professional is to eventually work my way from an Administrator level to HR Partner. I feel that what your organization offers is a strong path towards those goals and I am excited about what this position has to offer."
A strong reporter is able to create contacts who help them find story ideas. Sports reporters create contacts with athletes, coaches, and those inside the organization who will update them with the latest news from the team or department. The candidate should discuss their experience generating sources in sports or in other fields, and talk about how their ability to create strong relationships will strengthen the sports department.
"Once I do a story with an athlete or a coach, I make sure to swap business cards with them. Although I may not think I will need them again, it is always good for someone else to have my phone number, in case they ever want to reach out. In this way, I am able to collect phone numbers and contacts to use years in the future."
The candidate should discuss which type of sports they like to cover most and why. This gives the interviewer insight into the candidate's favorite stories to cover, and their experience on various levels of sports news. Generally, good sports reporters can cover sports of all levels, so a good response from a candidate would be one that is positive about any level of sports.
"I prefer reporting local sports because I love featuring young athletes that the community wants to see. However, national news is important to everyone and draws many viewers to the station."
Every day in the news industry can be different. One day, there can be many stories to cover and the reporter must choose one or two, and the next, there may be very limited stories to choose from. The candidate should discuss with the hiring manager how they decide which stories are most important to cover. The candidate can talk about the types of stories that matter most to the public, including breaking sports news like game scores and championship results. They must also discuss how they prioritize athlete injuries, and other soft news. Ultimately, the candidate should show that they understand that breaking sports news should always be covered before lighter stories, and that the types of stories that the community cares about most should be prioritized.
"Each day, I will pitch stories that are the most time-sensitive and recent. Once those are covered, I like to cover stories that are of the most interest to the public, such as a local favorite athlete or a feel-good story."
The candidate should use this question to discuss why they are so passionate about becoming a sports reporter. The candidate may mention why they have chosen to work in sports, and what in their past has lead to their interest in reporting, writing, and broadcasting. The candidate can set themselves apart from other potential candidates by mentioning some of their unique qualities and talents.
"I know sports reporting is the career for me because I grew up watching sports with my whole family. I have a deep knowledge about so many previous important sporting events, and I am also a great public speaker. I would make a great sports broadcaster because my knowledge and ability to talk on TV will make me a strong and trusted reporter."
The candidate can use this question to talk about where they envision their career taking them in the future, or some goals they have for the future. They may want to talk about some dreams they have in the field, a position they may want to achieve someday, or some talents and skills they hope to develop. The candidate should use this time to talk about how the current job will help them reach their goals.
"In the future, I hope to be a national sports reporter. Until that point, I still have to gain more practice reporting on live television, and working with athletes and coaches, and I believe this job will help strengthen me so that my dream will be closer to reality."
The candidate can answer this question by talking about their other interests and strengths. The candidate can talk about how their other interests helped them become a great candidate for this specific career.
"If I could choose another career, it would be a professional athlete because I am very athletic. Being an athlete also means working well with a team, and knowing a lot about how sports work from the inside, so these skills help me be a successful and passionate sports reporter."
Sports reporters always work as a part of a team, with other reporters, photographers, producers, and editors. A good candidate is able to work well with others, take criticism, be directed to certain stories, and help others do their work. The candidate should respond by talking about their experience working with teams in a professional setting and how this will make them a strong reporter in this job.
"I know from interning how important it is to work well with a team. Producers often dictate where the reporters go of the day, and a good team member is able to roll with the punches and still do my best work."
The candidate should describe their experience working with cameras, both video and still. Sports reporters are typically expected to shoot video and take pictures for their newscasts, newspapers, and online articles. A good candidate is able to give examples of their work, and describe what types of equipment they are familiar with.
"I used to shoot high school sports games for my school. I am familiar with using any model of DSLR cameras, and am a quick learner with cameras."
Discuss with the interviewer why you are looking to make a change, and how this particular role fits well with the changes that you are seeking. Be sure to give a more in-depth answer than the typical "I am looking for growth" answer that so many interviewers hear. Be thoughtful and draw upon the research you have done on the company.
"I am looking for growth"
This is an opportunity for the candidate to describe why they are so passionate about the industry and what has lead them to this point. This will give the hiring manager a good idea of why the candidate wants to do the job well, instead of just wanting to take any job that comes along.
"I realized I wanted to work in sports when I reported my first story at my university. Before then, I was just going through the motions of my classes, but after covering my first college soccer game, I knew the rush of adrenaline was something I wanted every day for the rest of my life."
Typically, sports reporters are expected to dress well while going to sporting events and look clean-cut and put together. Because of this, sports reporters may request specific benefits for the job, including stipends for makeup and clothing. For online or printed publications, the stipend may be for a camera or gas money for driving to stories. This is the opportunity to discuss with a hiring manager what the candidate hopes to receive as a part of the daily requirements at the station or publication.
"Since I am live each night, I am expected to wear makeup, which can be costly. My last station paid for my makeup costs up to $50 a month, and I would appreciate if you could do the same."
A sports reporter makes a wide range of salaries, based on the television market or publication size, years of experience, and the sport/s they are covering. A starting sports reporter can expect to make between $22,000-$33,000, whereas more experienced ones can expect much more for their work. This is an opportunity for the candidate to discuss with the hiring manager how much they want to be paid within reasonable limits.
"Since I have been a sports reporter for local sports for 4 years already, I have significant experience finding local stories that mean a lot to the community. I feel that it is reasonable to ask for between $40,000-$43,000."
A hiring manager wants to know how the candidate reacts to sporting events in their personal time as a little insight into the person's personality. While this does not directly relate to how the candidate works in a professional setting, it provides some insight into the person away from work and their energy level. It also shows how the person studies a sports game, like keeping an eye on player statistics, or gauging fan reactions.
"I consider myself a quiet sports game spectator. I am often running numbers through my head about player statistics and am concentrating on specific plays."
The hiring manager asks this question to see where the candidate is weakest in their reporting. The candidate should be honest with their response and mention their least favorite sport to cover and why. However, they should spin the answer positively and give suggestions on how they plan to improve on those weaknesses so they will be a strong member of the team on all fronts.
"My least favorite sport to cover is Lacrosse because it is a relatively new sport. I am still learning about it and it is still developing into a national sporting event, but still is relatively small. I hope that over time I can learn to enjoy it and learn more about it so I can make it a prominent sport in our area."
The candidate should discuss their favorite sport to cover and why they like it so much. They should mention their specific strengths working with this sport, the athletes, or the fans. A good sports reporter is able to report on virtually any sport or any story related to sports or sporting events, and should discuss that regardless of the sport, they are able to do their best work. However, they can show a preference for one based on specific skills.
"My favorite sport to cover is professional hockey, specifically the Bruins. My father grew up in Boston and over the years has taught me so much about the team and its history. I know all about their sporting history against other teams, and am constantly staying up to date with the latest professional hockey league events and news."
A hiring manager is looking for a candidate who is ultimately looking to improve in the job, and wants to hear about someone they look up to. This gives the hiring manager some insight into the candidate's future goals and the type of sports reporting style they attempt to mimic or learn from.
"I admire Toni Reale on Good Morning America as a sports broadcaster because he adds so much personality, energy, and sophistication to his sports reports. I hope to someday be as compelling as he is."
All professional reporting aside, the interviewer wants to know the candidate's favorite sport to watch outside of work. This shows the interviewer what the candidate is most passionate about in the field and what sport may be the best fit for reporting for that individual based on their knowledge and pure love for it. The candidate should answer by giving insight into their personal life a bit, and why they enjoy watching that particular sport.
"I love to watch baseball the most. I used to watch it with my grandfather growing up, and he taught me so much about the history of the sport. Now, I like to watch it with my children, so I can teach them a little bit about it too."
A sports reporter works for either a television station or an online or print news publication. They are responsible for covering the local stories that pertain to sports, from young children's leagues, to the major leagues. They are often expected to take pictures and video of the sporting events and write and report the highlights of the game or event. Sports reporters are also expected to cover any news surrounding former sports players, and stories relating to fans of the sport, as well as the future of the industry of sports. Sports reporters must have excellent writing skills and an extensive knowledge of all sports that are popular within the region.