The Job Interview


Back in my former life I was a News Director. I also worked at more stations than I can count (it's more than 10... I know that).

In all the jobs that I was called in for an interview, I got an offer for every one of them expect one. And to be honest, I know I wouldn't take that job if it was offered anyway.

So, I'm here to give you some tips to nail the interview.

These days, when a station decides to bring you in for an interview, the job is yours to lose. Stations just don't have the cash (or don't want to spend it) to fly you in and put you up in a hotel, without being really serious about hiring you.

Of course if you work at another station in the market and the ND calls you for an interview, it might just be an intel mission.

When I was a News Director and posted a job and someone in the market called me, I brought them in for an interview every time. Even if I knew their work and I wasn't impressed, I still would sit down with them. Not because I wanted to hire them, but I wanted to try and get some inside information on the competition. You will be surprised at how much you can learn about your competitors in those situations. 

So, in other words, I was using the person ton get info, fully knowing I wasn't going to offer them a job. I know... I'm a bad person.

But let this be a warning to you, if you apply across the street and the News Director meets with you....he/she might just be using you. Of course, they also might be interested. The best thing is to not give them any info on your current station.

Tell them that you respect your station and you wouldn't want me doing that if I worked for you. This shows the ND you're not going to "talk out of class" and that you can be trusted. Use this advice and they can't use you.

The one question that seems to be asked so many times in an interview is "tell me what is your main weakness?"

They'll ask you about your strengths as well, but that's easy one. The question is, what do you say when someone asks you about your weakness?

You make your weakness sound like a strength. Say some like "I guess my weakness is I'm a perfectionist and a workaholic. I care maybe too much and I want to make sure that if I do something, it's done right and I'm going to do whatever it takes to make sure that happens." Sounds like the kind of weakness your boss would like all his/her employees to have.

Remember that all News Directors have egos. Play to that! Make sure you compliment them on how great the newscasts look. Also, when they say something about their news philosophy. respond with "that is so is cool to finally meet a News Director that gets it."

Once you do these things the job is yours. And when they make you an offer, just know there is more money in the budget then what they are offering you.

If the ND offers you $50,000 you can bet the budget for the job is closer to $55,000. Never take the first offer.

Another good tactic is go for more vacation time. Say they offer you a job and $50K, you counter with $60K. The ND tells you that there is no way that is going to happen.

Comeback with $57K and ask for an extra week vacation. The ND will counter with a lower offer. Say they comeback at $53K. Tell them $55K and the extra vacation time and we got a deal. 

You never get what you don't ask for...ever!

The problem is, if you battle over money with the ND before you even get the job, it might leave a bad taste in their mouth before you even start the job. 

That's why you hire an agent. Any good agent knows how to get you the most the station can offer. More and more Producers are hiring agents. Agents are not just for on air people anymore.

Not many News Photographers have agents yet, but I'm sure that day is coming as well. If you're a shooter use the tips above to try and get you the most coin.

Good luck and I hope you land that next job!