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Journalist Interview Questions

Get the inside scoop on how to answer common journalist interview questions.

Top interview questions to expect

1. Tell me about your background and why you’re interested in journalism.
2. Describe a time you had to meet a tight deadline under pressure.
3. How do you stay informed about current events?
4. Give an example of a story you’re proud of and why.
5. How do you handle criticism or negative feedback?
6. What are your strengths and weaknesses as a journalist?
7. Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?

Check the latest questions for this role:

Answering interview questions with STAR structure

To answer these questions effectively, use the STAR method. This stands for Situation, Task, Action, and Result. This framework allows you to provide specific examples from your past experiences that demonstrate your skills and qualifications.

Start by describing the situation or task you faced. Then, explain the action you took to address the situation. Finally, highlight the positive result you achieved. By using the STAR method, you can showcase your skills and abilities in a clear and concise manner.

Sample answers to above interview questions



1. Tell me about your background and why you’re interested in journalism.

Example Answer:
“I’ve always been passionate about storytelling and sharing information that matters. My background includes a degree in journalism and several internships at local news outlets. During my internship at [Name of Outlet], I was responsible for [Specific task]. This experience solidified my interest in journalism, as I witnessed firsthand the impact of [Impact of work]. I’m drawn to journalism because I believe it’s crucial to hold those in power accountable and to inform the public about important issues.”

Why this answer is strong:
This answer uses the STAR method by highlighting a specific experience (Situation, Task) and demonstrating the impact of the work (Action, Result). It also showcases the candidate’s passion for journalism and their understanding of its role in society.

2. Describe a time you had to meet a tight deadline under pressure.

Example Answer:
“While working on a breaking news story for [Name of Outlet], I had to write and publish an article within an hour. I had to quickly gather information from multiple sources, verify the facts, and write a clear and concise article. The pressure was immense, but I remained focused and organized. I prioritized the most important information and ensured the article was accurate and well-written. I was able to meet the deadline and the article was published on time, receiving positive feedback from my editor.”

Why this answer is strong:
This answer demonstrates the candidate’s ability to work under pressure and meet deadlines. It highlights their organizational skills and ability to prioritize information. The positive feedback from the editor further strengthens the response.

3. How do you stay informed about current events?

Example Answer:
“I stay informed about current events through a variety of sources, including reputable news websites like [List specific websites], social media platforms like Twitter, and podcasts like [List specific podcasts]. I also read industry publications like [List specific publications] to stay up-to-date on journalism trends. It’s important for me to consume information from diverse perspectives to ensure I’m getting a well-rounded view of the news.”

Why this answer is strong:
This answer demonstrates the candidate’s commitment to staying informed and their awareness of various news sources. It highlights their ability to critically evaluate information and their interest in staying current with industry trends.

4. Give an example of a story you’re proud of and why.

Example Answer:
“I’m proud of a story I wrote about [Topic of story] for [Name of Outlet]. I spent several weeks researching and interviewing sources, and I was able to shed light on a critical issue that was often overlooked. The story received a lot of positive feedback from readers and even led to some positive changes in the community. This experience showed me the power of journalism to make a difference.”

Why this answer is strong:
This answer showcases the candidate’s passion for journalism and their ability to produce impactful work. It highlights their research skills, ability to tell a compelling story, and the positive impact of their work.

5. How do you handle criticism or negative feedback?

Example Answer:
“I understand that criticism is a part of being a journalist, and I welcome it as an opportunity to learn and grow. When I receive negative feedback, I try to understand the perspective of the critic and see if there are areas where I can improve. I also take the time to reflect on my work and see if there are any areas where I could have done things differently. I believe that constructive criticism can help me become a better journalist.”

Why this answer is strong:
This answer demonstrates the candidate’s professionalism and ability to handle criticism in a constructive manner. It highlights their commitment to continuous improvement and their ability to learn from feedback.

6. What are your strengths and weaknesses as a journalist?

Example Answer:
“One of my strengths is my ability to research and gather information quickly and efficiently. I’m also a strong writer with a keen eye for detail. I’m always striving to improve my ability to write compelling and engaging stories. One area I’m working on is developing my video editing skills. I’m currently taking an online course to enhance my knowledge in this area.”

Why this answer is strong:
This answer provides a balanced assessment of the candidate’s skills. It highlights their strengths while acknowledging an area for improvement. It also demonstrates their commitment to professional development.

7. Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?

Example Answer:
“In the next five years, I see myself working as a journalist for a reputable news organization, covering [Specific area of interest]. I’m passionate about [Specific area of interest] and believe I can contribute to the conversation surrounding this important topic. I’m also interested in exploring opportunities in multimedia journalism and expanding my skills in video production.”

Why this answer is strong:
This answer demonstrates the candidate’s career aspirations and their commitment to the field of journalism. It highlights their specific interests and their desire to grow within the field.

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