HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - “The Job Interview” was designed as groundbreaking political television, offering Oahu voters an in-depth understanding of the top five candidates vying to be Honolulu’s next mayor and their visions for the future at a time of incredible uncertainty.
Candidates sat down with a panel from Hawaii News Now and Honolulu Civil Beat for an hour each, answering questions on a range of topics, from rail to homelessness to their approach to leadership.
HNN News Director Scott Humber said “The Job Interview” is far more impactful ― and valuable ― to voters than a traditional debate or forum and offers top mayoral contenders the opportunity to articulate their message at a time when traditional campaigning has become impossible.
“Oahu is in the midst of a pandemic and an unprecedented economic crisis. The next mayor will be charged with leading Oahu’s recovery so voters have a big decision ahead of them,” Humber said. “Our interviews with each mayor go in-depth and offer voters insight into each candidate you won’t find anywhere else.”
To help you understand how we conducted “The Job Interview,” we’ve put together this viewer’s guide.
- How were candidates selected for the special?
Hawaii News Now and Honolulu Civil Beat used recent polling to determine the top four candidates for Honolulu mayor. Those candidates ― Keith Amemiya, Rick Blangiardi, Colleen Hanabusa and Kym Marcos Pine ― were then invited to participate in the special.
Mufi Hannemann joined the race late and was added to the special because he previously served as mayor.
- Who were the “The Job Interview” panelists?
Hawaii News Now and Civil Beat provided three panelists each.
The HNN panelists were: Mahealani Richardson, anchor and reporter; Daryl Huff, managing editor and Colin Moore, political analyst and a University of Hawaii political science professor. The Civil Beat panelists were: Journalists Christina Jedra and Stewart Yerton and Politics and Opinion Editor Chad Blair.
- How did HNN and Civil Beat come up with questions for the candidates?
Rather than uniform questions for each candidate, HNN and Civil Beat developed certain topics that we agreed the candidates needed to address. Those topics included the COVID-19 pandemic and its economic fallout, homelessness, rail, leadership style, and ability to work with Gov. David Ige.
Each panelist was then tasked with asking questions around those topics.
Both news teams worked hard to make sure each candidate was fielding similar types of questions.
This format allowed candidates to address their past statements on issues, specific plans they’ve endorsed or elements of their resume that offered insight into their platforms.
- Tell me about the one-hour special that features all five candidates.
The one-hour “compilation” special is meant to give voters a taste for all five candidates in one place.
It airs Wednesday (July 8) at 9 p.m. on KGMB and across our digital platforms.
Panelists drew names at random to determine the order that candidates would appear in the special.
- Are the full interviews also available?
We’ve posted the full, one-hour interviews with each candidate across our digital platforms.
You can find them all by clicking here.
HNN is also airing the interviews in their entirety next week on K5.
The order of when those interviews will air was determined by a random draw of names.
- How did HNN follow COVID-19 safety precautions?
With each of the candidates, HNN followed key safety protocols to ensure everyone’s safety.
Each of the candidates got their temperatures taken when they entered the HNN newsroom. The candidates also wore masks during their walk from the newsroom doors to the conference room where the interviews were conducted.
Finally HNN, kept the number of people in that conference under the maximum allowed and videographers wore masks at all times.
- Did the panelists also provide commentary on each interview?
In addition to the full interviews and their transcripts with each candidate, HNN has also posted “interview reviews” in which the panel discusses what they heard or didn’t hear from each mayoral contender.
In addition to HNN’s website and app, “The Job Interview” and related coverage is available across HNN’s streaming platforms, including Apple TV, Roku and Amazon Fire.