17 Music Journalist Interview Questions and Answers

Learn what skills and qualities interviewers are looking for from a music journalist, what questions you can expect, and how you should go about answering them.

As a music journalist, you’ll have the opportunity to interview some of the biggest names in the music industry, attend concerts and music festivals, and review the latest albums and singles. You’ll also get to share your passion for music with the world through your writing.

If you’re interested in becoming a music journalist, you’ll need to be able to answer some tough questions in your job interview. Your potential employer will want to know if you have the skills and experience necessary to do the job, as well as whether you’re a good fit for their company.

To help you prepare, we’ve compiled a list of sample music journalist interview questions and answers.

Are you familiar with the music industry?

This question is a great way for employers to assess your knowledge of the music industry and how you can contribute to their publication. If you are interviewing with a smaller publication, it’s likely that they want someone who has experience writing about local bands or artists. If you’re applying to a larger publication, they may be looking for someone who can write about national acts. In either case, make sure to highlight any relevant experience in your answer.

Example: “I have been following the music scene in my hometown since I was a teenager. I started writing reviews on local shows when I was in high school and continued throughout college. I also interned at Rolling Stone last summer where I got to interview several major musicians.”

What are some of your favorite genres of music?

This question can help employers determine if you have a strong background in music journalism. They may also use this information to decide which publications you would be best suited for. When answering this question, it can be helpful to mention genres that are popular and relevant. You can also include genres that you enjoy writing about or researching.

Example: “I really enjoy writing about indie rock and alternative music. I find these genres to be very interesting because they often combine different styles of music into unique sounds. In my last role, I wrote several articles on up-and-coming bands within the indie rock genre. I also researched many artists who were releasing their first albums.”

How would you describe your writing style?

This question can help the interviewer get a sense of your writing style and how it might fit with their publication. Your answer should include an example or two of pieces you’ve written that showcase your writing style.

Example: “I would describe my writing style as conversational, which is helpful when I’m interviewing musicians because they often want to feel like they’re talking to a friend rather than being interviewed by a journalist. In my last position, I wrote several articles about local bands and artists, and I always made sure to ask them questions in a way that felt more like we were just chatting. This helped me build relationships with many of the musicians I covered, which led to some great interviews.”

What is your experience with interviewing musicians?

Interviewing musicians is a common task for music journalists. Employers ask this question to make sure you have experience with interviewing people in general and that you are comfortable doing so. In your answer, share an example of how you prepared for an interview and what the outcome was.

Example: “I’ve interviewed many musicians over my career as a journalist. I always prepare by reading their previous interviews and researching any questions fans might want answered. This helps me come up with unique questions that will be interesting to both myself and the musician’s audience. When I conduct the interview, I try to make it conversational rather than just asking questions. This makes the musician feel more at ease and allows them to give better answers.”

Provide an example of a time when you had to research and write a music-related article quickly.

This question can help interviewers understand your ability to work under pressure and how you prioritize tasks. In your answer, try to explain the steps you took to complete the task and what helped you succeed in a short amount of time.

Example: “In my previous role as a music journalist, I was assigned to write an article about a new album release by one of my favorite artists. The artist had just announced their new album, but it wouldn’t be available for purchase until midnight that night. I knew I would have only a few hours to research and write the article before publishing it online.

I started researching the artist’s background and listening to some of their older albums to get a better idea of what to expect from the new release. Then, I wrote the article as quickly as possible while still ensuring all of the information was accurate.”

If you had the opportunity to interview any musician, who would it be and why?

This question is a great way to show your passion for music and the musicians you admire. Interviewers ask this question to see if you have any specific musicians in mind that you would like to interview, but also to learn more about who they are and what their work means to you. When answering this question, it can be helpful to mention a musician you’ve interviewed before or one you haven’t had the opportunity to meet yet.

Example: “If I could interview any musician, I would love to speak with Ed Sheeran. His music has been such an inspiration to me over the years, and I think he’s an incredibly talented artist. I’d love to hear his thoughts on his career so far and how he got started.”

What would you do if you found out that one of the artists you were covering had done something controversial?

This question can help interviewers understand how you would handle a challenging situation in your career. In your answer, try to explain what steps you would take to report on the story while still maintaining your integrity as a journalist.

Example: “If I found out that an artist had done something controversial, I would first do my research to make sure I understood exactly what happened and who was involved. Then, I would contact the artist’s publicist or manager for their side of the story. After gathering all the facts, I would write a balanced article about the incident that included both sides of the story.”

How well do you know the lyrics to popular songs?

This question can help interviewers determine your knowledge of music and how you might use it in your work. You can answer this question by naming a few popular songs that have lyrics you know well, such as the song’s title, artist and some of the lyrics.

Example: “I’m familiar with many of the lyrics to popular songs because I’ve written about them for my blog. For example, I know all of the lyrics to Taylor Swift’s ‘Blank Space’ and Ed Sheeran’s ‘Shape of You.’ These are two of the most-covered songs on YouTube, so knowing their lyrics helps me write articles about covers.”

Do you have any experience using social media to promote music-related content?

Social media is a great way to promote music-related content, and employers may ask this question to see if you have experience using social media. If you do, share an example of how you used it in the past. If you don’t, let them know that you’re willing to learn.

Example: “I’ve been using social media for years to promote my blog posts and other articles I write about music. In fact, I started my own Instagram account where I post photos of musicians performing live or behind the scenes. It’s grown quite popular over the last few years, and I now have more than 10,000 followers.”

When writing an article, how do you decide what information to include and what to leave out?

This question can help interviewers understand how you prioritize information and make decisions about what to include in your writing. Use examples from previous work experience to explain the process you use when deciding which details to include in an article or blog post.

Example: “When I’m writing a piece, I first decide on my angle for the story. Then, I research all of the facts that support this angle. After I have enough information to write the piece, I organize it into sections based on the most important information. Finally, I edit the piece multiple times to ensure there are no mistakes and everything is clear.”

We want to improve our social media presence. How would you use social media to promote our music journalism content?

Social media is an important part of any music journalist’s job. Employers ask this question to make sure you understand how to use social media effectively and promote the content you create for their publication. In your answer, explain that you will use social media to share interesting stories with your followers. Show them that you have experience using social media to promote content in a way that gets people excited about it.

Example: “I think social media is a great tool for promoting music journalism content. I would use my personal accounts to share our articles on various platforms. This helps us reach new audiences who may not be familiar with our publication. I also plan to use hashtags to help other users find our content more easily. For example, if we published an article about rising female artists, I would include relevant hashtags like #womeninmusic or #femalemusicartists.”

Describe your process for fact-checking an article.

Music journalism requires a lot of research and fact-checking to ensure the accuracy of the information you’re presenting. Employers ask this question to make sure you have experience with this process and how you do it. In your answer, explain what steps you take when researching an article. Explain that you will also describe any tools or resources you use for fact-checking.

Example: “I always start my research by reading other articles about the same topic. I find these sources through music publications and online databases like Rolling Stone’s archive. After finding several relevant articles, I read them all thoroughly to see if there are any conflicting facts. If so, I’ll reach out to the author of the original piece to get more details on their reporting methods. I’ve found this method is very effective at ensuring I’m getting accurate information.”

What makes you qualified for this music journalist position?

Employers ask this question to learn more about your background and qualifications. They want to know what experience you have that makes you a good fit for the role. Before your interview, make a list of all your relevant skills and experiences. Think about which ones are most applicable to this position. Share these with your interviewer so they can see how you’re qualified for the job.

Example: “I’ve been writing music reviews for my college newspaper for three years now. I started out as an intern but was promoted to full-time writer after just one semester. This is because I’m always on time with my assignments and am constantly looking for new ways to improve my work. I also have a degree in music composition, which has given me valuable insight into the world of composing.”

Which music websites do you regularly read?

This question can help an interviewer determine your familiarity with the music journalism industry. It also helps them understand what type of content you prefer to read and how it aligns with their publication’s style. When answering this question, try to name a few websites that are similar to the one you’re interviewing for.

Example: “I regularly read Rolling Stone Magazine, Pitchfork and Consequence of Sound. I find these publications have some of the best coverage on new releases and artist interviews. They also provide insightful commentary on current events in the music world. I think your publication has a lot of similarities to these sites, which is why I’m excited to be here today.”

What do you think is the most important aspect of music journalism?

This question is an opportunity to show your knowledge of the field and how you can contribute to it. Your answer should include a specific skill or quality that you think is important in music journalism, such as writing ability, research skills or interviewing techniques.

Example: “I believe the most important aspect of music journalism is being able to write clearly and concisely about music. I have always been passionate about reading music reviews and articles because they help me learn more about artists and their work. As a writer myself, I know how difficult it can be to describe music in words, but I also know how rewarding it can be when you find the right words for a piece of music.”

How often do you listen to music?

This question can help interviewers understand your level of passion for music. They may also want to know how often you listen to the type of music they cover in their publication. If you are applying for a position at a local radio station, for example, it’s likely that you will be writing about and listening to pop music. In this case, you should mention that you regularly listen to pop music.

Example: “I listen to music every day. I have my favorite playlists on Spotify that I use while working out or cleaning around the house. I also love going to concerts and festivals where I get to see some of my favorite artists perform live.”

There is a new music genre that you’ve never heard of before. How would you go about researching it?

This question is a great way to test your research skills and how you would apply them in the workplace. When answering this question, it can be helpful to mention that you have never heard of the genre before so you are able to explain what it is about.

Example: “I’ve never heard of vaporwave music before, but I would start by researching its history and who created it. From there, I would look at other articles written on the subject to see if they had any new information or opinions on the genre. If not, I would reach out to some of the artists involved with the genre to get their thoughts on it.”


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