Reporter Interview Questions

The goal for a successful interview for a Reporter is to identify their ability to gather information, write compelling stories in a deadline-driven environment, and demonstrate professional journalism ethics.

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Situational interview questions

  • Your editor has assigned you a breaking news story that needs to be published within an hour. You have limited information about the story and there are conflicting sources. What steps would you take to verify the information and publish a reliable and accurate story on time?
  • During an interview with a prominent public figure, they make an unexpected controversial statement that is completely off-topic. How would you handle the situation and steer the conversation back to the intended topic without offending the interviewee or jeopardizing the interview?
  • Your publication is being sued for defamation by a source you quoted in a previous story. The source claims that their reputation has been ruined and demands a retraction of the story. What steps would you take to investigate the claim and determine the veracity of the accusation?
  • You have been assigned to cover a political event where multiple parties with opposing views will be present. Your editor expects you to provide an objective and unbiased account of the event. Given that you have personal political beliefs, how would you ensure that your coverage maintains objectivity and impartiality?
  • You have been covering a sensitive and controversial story that has attracted threats of violence from some members of the public. How would you deal with such threats, ensure your safety, and continue to cover the story without compromising your journalistic integrity?

Soft skills interview questions

  • Can you describe a time when you had to juggle several projects simultaneously? How did you prioritize your tasks and ensure that each project received the attention it deserved?
  • Have you ever had to deliver difficult news in your reporting? How did you handle the situation and ensure that your reporting was fair and impartial?
  • Can you describe a time when you had to work with a difficult or challenging coworker or source? How did you handle the situation and maintain professionalism?
  • Have you ever encountered an ethical dilemma in your reporting? How did you approach the situation and ensure that your reporting stayed true to journalistic principles and standards?
  • Can you describe a time when you had to adapt to a new technology or platform in your reporting? How did you stay up to date with the latest trends and tools relevant to your beat or topic?

Role-specific interview questions

  • Can you explain how you would fact-check a source for an important news story?
  • How do you handle accuracy in reporting on a complicated or technical topic?
  • What tools or resources do you rely on for research and information gathering?
  • How do you approach interviewing a subject who might not be willing to share information or who is hostile to the press?
  • Can you describe a time when you had to report on a controversial or sensitive issue, and how you navigated ethical considerations in your reporting?

STAR interview questions

1. Can you describe a situation where you had to investigate a controversial story?

2. What task were you assigned when you covered a breaking news story?

3. What actions did you take when reporting on a story that required you to access confidential information?

4. What result did you achieve when you reported on a complex issue or topic that required extensive research?

5. Can you explain a situation where you had to report on a sensitive topic while maintaining unbiased reporting?

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