Journalist Interview Questions

The goal for a successful interview for a Journalist is to assess the candidate's writing and researching skills, their ability to work on multiple stories simultaneously, and their knowledge of current events and industry trends.

Want to Unlock the Secrets of Job Interviews?
Conducting job interviews is a critical task that requires preparation, structure, and a clear understanding of what you are looking for in a candidate.
Start evaluating candidates

Situational interview questions

  • A source has provided you with confidential information regarding a major company that could lead to a big story. However, they have requested anonymity. What steps would you take to ensure their identity stays concealed while still verifying the accuracy of the information?
  • You have been given an assignment to cover a controversial political topic that has opposing views. How would you approach the situation to ensure that both sides are accurately represented and given equal coverage?
  • You are working on a story that involves sensitive material about a community. How would you balance the need to report on the story accurately while also ensuring that the community members are not vilified or misrepresented?
  • Your editor has assigned you to cover a breaking news story, but you are not able to physically be at the scene. How would you gather information and verify sources to ensure that the story is accurate and timely?
  • You are conducting an interview with a subject who is being evasive or uncooperative with answering your questions. How would you handle the situation and still get the necessary information for your story?

Soft skills interview questions

  • Can you tell us about a time when you had to work with a difficult colleague or source? How did you handle the situation, and what did you learn from it?
  • How do you prioritize your workload and manage your time effectively to meet deadlines in a fast-paced news environment?
  • How do you approach interviewing individuals from diverse backgrounds and cultures, and what steps do you take to ensure fairness and accuracy in your reporting?
  • Have you ever had to navigate a challenging ethical dilemma in your journalism work? How did you address it, and what did you learn from the experience?
  • How do you stay up-to-date with developments and trends in your area of reporting, and how do you use this information to inform your work and engage with your audience?

Role-specific interview questions

  • Can you explain your experience with multimedia reporting and how you have previously utilized it in your work?
  • How do you stay up-to-date on the latest news stories and industry topics, and what resources do you typically use for research?
  • Can you walk us through your process for fact-checking and verifying information in a news story and how you ensure accuracy and credibility?
  • Can you discuss any technology or tools you have experience using to enhance your reporting, such as data visualization software or social media platforms?
  • How do you balance the need for a quick turnaround on breaking news stories with ensuring accuracy and thoroughness in your reporting?

STAR interview questions

1. Can you describe a situation where you faced a challenging deadline as a journalist?

Situation: Facing a challenging deadline as a journalist.

Task: Meeting the deadline within the given constraints.

Action: Detailing the steps taken to complete the assigned work within the given timeline.

Result: The final outcome achieved or the successful completion of the assigned work.

2. Can you share a time when you had to handle a delicate subject while reporting as a journalist?

Situation: Handling a delicate subject while reporting as a journalist.

Task: Ensuring that the subject is dealt with sensitively and accurately reported.

Action: The steps taken to report and present the subject matter in a balanced and appropriate way.

Result: The reception of the report by the stakeholders and any feedback received.

3. Have you ever encountered a situation where you had to make ethical or professional decisions while working as a journalist?

Situation: Making ethical or professional decisions as a journalist.

Task: Upholding the professional and ethical standards while carrying out job responsibilities.

Action: Detailing the thought process and steps taken while making decisions.

Result: The final outcome of the decision and any ramifications.

4. Can you discuss a situation where you had to collaborate with a team of journalists to work on a project?

Situation: Collaborating with a team of journalists on a project.

Task: Working effectively with the team and contributing to the project's success.

Action: Highlighting the approach and contributions made to the project.

Result: The overall success rate of the project and feedback received.

5. Can you describe a time where you had to adapt to a new journalistic format or technology?

Situation: Adapting to a new journalistic format or technology.

Task: Successfully adapting to new technologies and adopting new reporting formats.

Action: The steps taken to learn and adapt to new technologies and formatting requirements.

Result: The successful adaptation and impact on job delivery.

Do you use a modern recruitment software? If not, you're missing out. See how your life can be easier. Start your free 14-day TalentLyft trial.

Start my free trial