Journalism Interview Questions (with sample answers)

Journalism is a dynamic field that intersects with various aspects of society—politics, culture, and even technology. Given its versatile nature, the profession demands a range of skills, from sharp writing to critical thinking. If you’re a budding journalist looking to break into this competitive industry, acing the interview is a crucial step. In this guide, we provide an in-depth look at the most common journalism interview questions and how to answer them to help you prepare for your big day.

Setting the stage for the article, we’ll explore what employers in the journalism sector are generally looking for, from technical skills to personal qualities. Whether you’re vying for a role in broadcast, print, or digital journalism, this article aims to give you a comprehensive understanding of the kinds of questions you might face and how best to tackle them. So, without further ado, let’s get started.

Top 19 Journalism Interview Questions and Answers

Preparation is the key to success, and that couldn’t be truer for journalism interviews. Here are 19 questions commonly posed during such interviews, complete with detailed explanations and sample answers to give you an edge in your preparation.

1. Why did you choose journalism as a career?

This question aims to explore your motivations behind choosing journalism as a career path. The answer can reveal your passions and suitability for the field.

Sample Answer

“I chose journalism because it allows me to combine my love for writing with my desire to stay updated on current events. The field empowers me to be a voice for the voiceless, shedding light on stories that matter and can bring about change.”

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2. What kind of stories interest you the most?

Your journalistic interests can say a lot about your fit for a particular role or news outlet.

Sample Answer

“I’m particularly drawn to stories that focus on social justice issues, as they align with my personal values and interests. I believe journalism has the power to drive change, and these stories give me an opportunity to make a difference.”

3. How do you handle deadlines?

The journalism industry is often fast-paced with tight deadlines. This question assesses your time management and stress-handling skills.

Sample Answer

“I thrive under pressure and find that deadlines actually fuel my productivity. I prioritize tasks and create a detailed plan to ensure that I meet or beat the deadlines without sacrificing quality.”

4. Can you talk about your experience with investigative journalism?

Investigative journalism requires a specific skill set, including research, interview techniques, and ethical considerations. The question gauges your proficiency in these aspects.

Sample Answer

“During my time at XYZ publication, I led a three-month-long investigative piece on local corruption. The project involved deep research, multiple interviews, and ensuring complete factual accuracy while adhering to ethical guidelines.”

5. How do you ensure the accuracy of your stories?

Accuracy is fundamental in journalism. This question is designed to evaluate your commitment to delivering truthful and reliable information.

Sample Answer

“I always cross-reference facts from multiple reliable sources and make it a point to double-check even the smallest details. I also consult experts to validate technical or complex information to ensure accuracy.”

6. How do you go about finding a story?

Story scouting is an essential part of journalism, and this question tests your resourcefulness and initiative in this area.

Sample Answer

“I usually start by scouring social media, forums, and news aggregators to spot emerging trends or issues. I also network with people who can provide leads, and I often follow up on tips from the public.”

Legal know-how is crucial in journalism. This question aims to explore your understanding of the legal considerations that come with the job.

Sample Answer

“I have had to consult with our legal team on a sensitive story that involved a public figure. We made sure that every statement could be backed up with solid evidence to avoid potential defamation claims.”

8. What role do you think social media plays in journalism?

The journalism landscape has been significantly impacted by social media. Your view on this can provide insights into your adaptability and forward-thinking.

Sample Answer

“Social media has revolutionized the way news is consumed and shared. It’s a powerful tool for real-time reporting and audience engagement, but it also comes with challenges like the spread of misinformation.”

9. How would you handle reporting on a topic you disagree with?

This question probes your ability to maintain objectivity, a core principle in journalism.

Sample Answer

“My personal opinions are secondary to the facts. If I had to report on a topic I disagree with, I would approach it with the same level of professionalism and objectivity as any other story.”

10. Describe a challenging situation you faced while reporting and how you handled it.

This question is aimed at understanding your problem-solving and crisis management skills.

Sample Answer

“I was covering a protest that suddenly turned violent. Despite the chaotic environment, I focused on capturing essential details and footage while ensuring my safety and that of my team. We later

produced a balanced report on the incident.”

11. What is your process for preparing for an interview?

Interview preparation is crucial in journalism to get the most accurate and relevant information.

Sample Answer

“I start by conducting in-depth research on the subject and the interviewee. I then prepare a list of questions, focusing on open-ended ones to encourage detailed responses. I also set the recording equipment in advance to avoid technical hiccups.”

12. How do you build rapport with sources?

Building rapport with sources can often make or break a story. This question evaluates your people skills and ethical considerations in sourcing information.

Sample Answer

“I prioritize building a relationship of trust and mutual respect. I assure my sources of anonymity if needed and always maintain an open line of communication.”

The field of journalism is always evolving, and staying updated is crucial for success.

Sample Answer

“I subscribe to industry publications, follow influencers on social media, and attend webinars or workshops regularly. These practices help me keep a pulse on the latest trends and updates.”

14. How do you prioritize multiple stories at once?

In a bustling newsroom, juggling multiple stories is common. Your ability to prioritize effectively is what this question aims to gauge.

Sample Answer

“I use a combination of factors like deadlines, the importance of the story, and available resources to prioritize my work. I also keep a detailed schedule and set reminders to ensure that nothing falls through the cracks.”

15. What are your thoughts on citizen journalism?

Citizen journalism has both fans and critics. This question assesses your perspective on this growing trend.

Sample Answer

“Citizen journalism can be a valuable supplement to mainstream media, especially in breaking news situations. However, it should be cross-verified for accuracy, as it may lack the journalistic standards of traditional media.”

16. How do you handle constructive criticism?

Being able to accept and act on feedback is essential for growth in any profession, including journalism.

Sample Answer

“I view constructive criticism as an opportunity for growth. I listen attentively, ask for specific examples to understand the feedback better, and then apply it to improve my future work.”

17. How familiar are you with data journalism?

Data journalism is increasingly becoming essential in the industry. This question tests your skills or interest in this specific area.

Sample Answer

“I have basic experience with data journalism, including analyzing datasets to find news stories and using data visualization tools. I am keen on expanding my skills in this area.”

18. Can you work well in a team setting?

Journalism often involves collaborative efforts, and your ability to work in a team is crucial.

Sample Answer

“Absolutely, teamwork enhances the quality of reporting by bringing in diverse perspectives and skills. I’ve collaborated on several projects and have always found the experience enriching.”

19. Why should we hire you for this role?

This is your chance to summarize your skills and qualifications, and why you would be a great fit for the job.

Sample Answer

“I bring a blend of passion, skill, and experience to the table. With my proven track record in delivering high-quality journalism and my adaptability to the ever-changing media landscape, I’m confident I can contribute positively to your team.”


We’ve covered the top 19 journalism interview questions, complete with explanations and sample answers. With this guide, you should be well-prepared to face any journalism interview head-on. As you prepare, remember that journalism is not just about reporting facts but also about understanding their implications and conveying them in a way that is both engaging and informative. Good luck with your future interviews!

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Published by Sarah Samson

Sarah Samson is a professional career advisor and resume expert. She specializes in helping recent college graduates and mid-career professionals improve their resumes and format them for the modern job market. In addition, she has also been a contributor to several online publications.

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