Practice Interview for Journalism plus Tips for Media Interviews

 

Try a practice interview for journalism, answering typical questions and also getting tips on how you should answer. There are also other questions students have been asked at journalism interviews.

Further Help

 

JOURNALISTS need good written communication skills to produce quality copy, CREATIVITY to find new angles for old stories, PERSUASIVENESS to persuade reluctant people to be interviewed, LISTENING SKILLS to pick out the nuances of the story, INVESTIGATIVE SKILLS to find new stories and AUTONOMY to be able to work independently.

Employers will be looking to see how you can talk about and demonstrate these skills at your interview.picture of newspaper The sort of evidence you could offer includes:

What qualities do newspaper editors look for?

Before you arrive ...

Before your interview research the company. At interview try to be relaxed and show you have a sense of humour - this is important for journalism where you may be working under pressure. Make sure you've done some student journalism: a portfolio of articles you have written is useful (see our portfolio page). Have a list of questions to ask - journalists need to be inquisitive, so by asking questions you are demonstrating on of the skills of the job!

There follow some of the questions that might be specifically asked of students at interviews for journalism and other media jobs. General interview questions are not asked here, so you might also like to try the general or multiple choice interviews as well for standard interview questions that can be thrown at any candidate, also our answers to 150 common interview questions. Click on "First Question" to begin. Think carefully about how you would answer, then click on "Show Answer Tips" to get an idea of how you should be answering.

  

If you have been to an interview or assessment centre recently please fill in our interview report form to help other students.

Other questions you could be asked

Tips from interviewees

Subbing and proofreading tests

A newspaper or magazine might give you a "subbing test". Here you would have to correct any spelling and grammatical errors in an article, cut it back to a given word count or space while still retaining the sense and main message, possibly re-write it and perhaps create a headline for it. They will be looking for good spelling and grammar, a good structure to the document and an economical and flowing writing style. It would not be necessary to use proof correcting marks, but if you could, it would be viewed positively.

You would probably be given an article appropriate to the publication. This might be an amended version of a real article with a variety of errors, a worst-case scenario of what you might face in the job. You might be told how many errors to look for. There will be typographical mistakes, grammatical mistakes and probably examples of poor style and awkward phrasing too. There may also be duplication as well as inconsistency of facts and layout to find.

A publication seeking an experienced sub-editor might expect them to sub a whole page, including sizing and captioning photographs and designing a page using a publishing software package, the main ones being In Design and Quark (you can download free demos of these programs from the links on our computing skills page). If you know the correction notation, that could be helpful but it's not essential and standards of candidates tend to be low so if you are good it could greatly enhance your chances. The toughness of testing depends on the prestige of the publication. National newspapers would expect extremely high standards. Low budget magazines might just take the best they can get.

There is an excellent on-line subbing test you can try at www.terrygault.co.uk/subtest.htm

You wil find a very good proofreading test at http://careers.guardian.co.uk/cv-mistakes

ZigZag Education have produced a Proofreading Training Pack which is good value
http://zigzageducation.co.uk/synopses/3923.asp

Also see our our Copywriting information (separate page) which includes information on the IPA Copy test

 

Back to the practice interviews menu or Answers to 150 common interview questions