Awesome Tips for Acing an Interview

Monday, February 28, 2011

You may be acing your journalism classes with ease, but when it comes down to it, you're probably not going to get the job if you completely blow the interview. So here are a few tips to ensure that your interview goes well.

1. Know the day's news - one sure way to get your resume thrown into the "don't call" pile is by not knowing the current events going on. Make sure you wake up early enough to watch the news, read the newspaper, or any other way you use to obtain news of the day. This will save the awkwardness when they ask you, "What did you think of todays coverage?" and you have no response.

2. Know the competition - Sure it's essential that you know about the newsroom that you are applying for, but you also need to know what the competition is doing. This is useful for giving your imput about what you like and dislike.

3. Bring a copy of your resume - You may be thinking, "But I already sent them my resume and cover letter online why do I need to bring it in?" You're probably not the only resume that they recieved and they are recieving mass amounts of emails daily, so to ensure yours doesn't get lost in the pack, just bring it with you. Note about resume: Do not, I repeat not, have any typos.

4. Have an online portfolio - All journalists should have an online portfolio, especially those who work with multimedia, video, audio, graphics, etc. List the web address at the top of your resume, so they can pull it up before their meeting with you. If you show up with a flash drive, cd or something else, expect confused looks.

5. Have a Twitter account - You should always have an active Twitter account, especially if the position you're interviewing for relates to the web. Many newsrooms will excuse a use of a private facebook, but a candidate that does not use social media at all raises a red flag.

6. Bring ideas to the table - Newsrooms everywhere are looking for people who can help innovate and bring fresh ideas and perpsectives to the table. If you don't have at least a couple ways that may improve the newsroom, this can harm your chances of being chosen.

7. Remember soundbites - Journalists are busy people, so be sure to share your experiences and ideas in short soundbites, rather than long strung-out stories.

8. Have your own questions - One of the biggest interview killers is answering "No" when someone asks "Do you have any questions?" Have a few smart questions picked out, even if you already know the answer. It will make you sound more engaged and willing to learn. There are a lot of common questions asked like "Why do you want to work here?" "Where do you see yourself in five years?" or "What are your strengths and weaknesses". It is good to know what you are going to say, but don't rehearse it. It is easily spotted and creates the illusion that you can not think on your toes. On the otherhand, be ready to be thrown curveballs. Don't freak out; just take a few seconds, breathe and then answer. It's better to have a good answer than a quick one.


Kimberly Kurimski February 28, 2011 at 1:46 PM  

One thing that I always forget to do before an interview is to have some of my weaknesses prepared. I always stumble on that question. I think, "Why would I point out my flaws?" I understand why the employer wants to know these things, but it's always something I fail to prepare for.

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