How To Nail An Interview As A News Reporter
As a journalism student, youve probably learned a lot of different techniques for interviewing people. Being open and friendly, putting the interviewee at ease, asking the important questions even if theyre difficultthese are all good tips. But not every technique works in every situation. Its important to learn how to quickly size up a situationand a personso you can determine the best way to proceed.
How To Do A News Interview
A successful effort on your part to interest a news organization in a story will almost always present you with the opportunity to provide someone for the reporter to interview. From the point of view of reporters and editors, your story suggestion or your news release are the starting points of the story. They advance the story by interviewing people involved, people who are experts, people who are responsible, people who benefit, or sometimes just people who have seen the events of the story as witnesses.Many interview subjects learn the hard way they should have done more to prepare themselves for the opportunity to present their point of view to the public through the news media. This interview checklist covers four aspects of the interview – things to know about an interview, things to do before you are interviewed, your rights as interview subject and things to do during an interview.
Before You Are Interviewed
During the interview
Once you are familiar with what an interview is, after you have done your homework, anticipated key questions and key answers, and once you are entering the arena of public discussion, you are ready for 19 points that can save your life during an interview.
Know Your Candidate Interview Options
The first step in ensuring you can master your interviews within your hospitality business is knowing what methods you can use to interview candidates.
Today, the face-to-face interview isnt your only option. Video interviews have increased by 67% recently due to the pandemic. We know as a hospitality recruiter, hospitality businesses are always looking for ways to streamline their processes. A video interview could speed up your interview process whilst still giving you the visual you need.
Theres also the option for simple phone interviews too.
However, each type of interview has its own challenges to consider. For instance:
- In-person interviews: Youll need to think about where youre going to host your interview, whether its a welcoming space, who will attend, and whether the candidate will present or not.
- Video interviews: Consider what kind of video meeting service youll be using, the background youll have in your video, and how you can present yourself as professionally as possible over a webcam.
- Phone interviews: Ask yourself whether you may need to record phone interviews to go back over them later. There is also the challenge of getting a good idea of what the candidate is like based on voice alone.
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True Journalism Vs 21st Century Journalism
Now do not get me wrongI do not say that true journalism is dead, or that you should not apply for this profession. I just want to say that the game has changed, so have the salaries for reporters, and the typical interview process for this position.
The difference between real reporters, and story re-tellers is huge, not only in the salary they earn , but also in the hiring process. Lets have a look at what will happen when you try to get a job with some basic online news portal.
What Is An Informational Interview
An informational interview is a chance to learn about a specific job, industry or organization. Youre not pimping your resume or asking for a job or a connection . Basically, youre sitting down over coffee and having an informal chat with someone about his or her work or industry.
The point is to gather information , so you can make well-informed decisions for your career or business. Its a great way to learn about breaking into a particular industry, growing in your current one or just looking at your options.
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When They Didnt Respond To Your First Email
Itâs fairly likely that the first message you send wonât receive a reply. This can be discouraging, but even if another week passes without a response itâs still too soon after the interview to give up. They may just need another reminder.
Hi Mr Darcy,
I wanted to follow up regarding my previous message.
I interviewed for the open Senior Merchandiser position on Thursday, Nov 25. I really appreciate the opportunity to meet with you and I am still enthusiastic about the position. When can I expect to hear back regarding the status of my interview?
Please let me know if there are any concerns regarding my application. Iâd love the opportunity to answer any questions you might have for me.
Keep It Brief And Clear
The final step for an effective business email is keeping everything brief and clear. Spend at least 10 minutes reviewing your email, checking spellings and dates, and editing with the following directions:
Replace weak verbs with active ones
Use the active voice to help improve your tone and avoid vague or ambiguous writing
Swap camouflaged nouns such as cooperation, participation and solution with verbs: cooperate, participate and solve.
Avoid confusing jargon and spell out any acronyms.
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Breaking The Ice Is A Good Idea For Other Reasons Too
Aside from granting more insight into the individuals normal body language, chitchat can have other benefits. You may not always have time to talk about the weather or your subjects favorite sports team, but if you do, its usually time well spent. Chatting about something relatively inconsequential can help put the subject at ease. It also allows you to establish rapport, and helps the subject see you as a human being rather than a scary person with a camera.
You dont have to stick to the weatherin fact, its best if you can talk about something the subject finds interesting. Look around the persons office or home for cluessports memorabilia, movie posters, etc. People often open up when you ask about subjects that most interest them. Once they feel comfortable with you, it will be much easier to quiz them about other topics.
Again, its important to read the situation. If your subject seems impatient, answers all your small-talk questions with one-word answers, or suggests that he or she is in a hurry, its probably best to move on to the actual interview.
Listen Closely During The Interview
Amazingly, this is one of the most common mistakes interviewers make. They are so wrapped up in planning their next question that it’s obvious that they’re not even listening to the conversation.
Here’s an example of that: The mayor says, “I have failed my city and have decided that I must resign from office. I apologize for my poor performance in office and ask all residents to forgive me.” The interviewer: “So when’s the next city council meeting?”
An interview is a conversation you just happen to have a microphone, camera, and notepad. Concentrating too much on the mechanics will prevent you from getting the most out of the discussion.
One aspect of listening is to not immediately jump in with your next question the moment the person stops talking. If you wait for a second or two, while maintaining eye contact, often the person will keep talking. That is useful if you are asking a question that is difficult to answer.
The person will sense that the pause means you’re not satisfied with what you’ve heard and are waiting for more. If you seek to get the person to admit to something, that pause can be the trick that throws the person off-balance enough to get him to say what you want.
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When You Havent Heard Back
Once the date the company said youâd hear from them has passed, you can send your email asking about interview status. The company may not have an answer yet, but itâs acceptable to remind them that youâre waiting to hear from them.
Dear Mary Bennet,
It was a pleasure to meet you last Monday. I just wanted to follow up to see if you have made a decision regarding the Customer Success Specialist position.
I really appreciated the opportunity to learn about the role and your company, and I would love to hear any updates if you have any.
Please donât hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or concerns. I look forward to hearing from you.
Thanks again for your time,Taylor Smith
Print Hard Copies Of Your Resume
Most employers ask for digital copies of your resume with the application, but they may not have easy access to it during the interview itself. Having copies to present to multiple interviewers shows that you’re prepared and organized. You should have at least three copies to provide for multiple interviewers, plus one for yourself to follow along.
During your preparation, read over your resume and rehearse explanations for any gaps that may appear or other oddities. For example, you may have taken time off work to care for a child or family member, switched careers or had other legitimate reasons for employment gaps. These can be a concern for employers, so it’s best to prepare your explanation to show them that you’re not a risk.
You may also encounter questions about your resume that are awkward. It’s important to be honest but diplomatic in addressing them. For example, you may have left a job because of your supervisor or manager, or policies that you didn’t agree with, but you don’t want to speak negatively about a former employer. Consider these possible questions and prepare your answers in advance, so you don’t accidentally say something you’ll regret.
Like the rest of the interview, it’s best to prepare for these questions by writing notes and rehearsing your answers out loud multiple times prior to the interview.
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Take Time To Consider Your Overall Appearance In Advance
Dont wait until youre on the air to see how you look on the video feed. Practice with a friend or coworker to make sure you and your surroundings look top-notch. Test both your lighting and background in advanceis your face clearly visible and well lit? Is the background neutral and without distraction? And practice looking at the camera, something that may not feel natural.
Bring Some Stories To Talk About
Good stories are at the heart of magazines and newspapers and itâs the editorial team who dream them up. In your publishing career youâll sit in weekly or monthly editorial meetings where story ideas will be bounced around, discussed, criticised and defended.
Some publishing interviewers may ask you for your own story ideas during the interview. Theyâre not looking for the next big scoop, but they do want to see that youâve developed three or four ideas that consider the publicationâs topic and target audience. Donât be afraid of being penalised for a bad idea. Hundreds of possible stories are thrown around among the editorial team in a week and only a few of those make it to publication. Whatâs important to editors is that ideas are constantly being thought up. Read through the publications and search online to see if there are any topics that havenât been covered or if there are any different angles that could be exploited on an existing story.
Youâll also be asked about your own writing so bring a portfolio of work in to discuss with your interviewer. If itâs a video interview, it might be best to send links to online publications afterwards that you have mentioned during the interview. In some cases you may have to talk a bit about the work, in which case youâre going to need to articulate points such as:
- What was the aim of the piece?
- Who was the intended audience?
- How have you tailored the writing to them?
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Degree And References Are Crucialif You Dont Have Them Make Them
The first thing they will look at is what you have already done. Have you got published? Have you written something before? Have you edited the school magazine? Can any person from the industry say something good about you?
You can showcase all these things on your work portfolio. Show the interviewers that you did not wait for the school to finish, but already tried your best to dive into the news business.
Preparing For An Interview
Preparing for an interview primarily means taking time to thoughtfully consider your goals and qualifications relative to the position and employer. To accomplish this, you should perform research on the company and carefully review the job description to understand why you would be a good fit. Lets look at the steps to preparing for an interview.
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Asking The Hard Questions
Sometimes it can be intimidating to ask an interview subject, especially a powerful or well-known individual, difficult questions, especially ones that involve allegations of illegal or unethical behavior. Even if you dont feel intimidated, its important to tread carefullyyour boss will not be happy if you start making baseless accusations and ticking people off.
Here are some tips:
Learn more about the School of Broadcast Journalism at the New York Film Academy by .
No Really What Do I Say Like Exactly
Your email might look something like this:
Im a product development manager and Ive been working in this field for 10 years. At this point I’m considering leaving the corporate world to develop something of my own. Im not looking for a job or connection, but Im interested in learning more about your work, and specifically your own experience with the ______ industry. Would you be willing to connect? Coffee is on me, and of course Im happy to work around your schedule at whatever location is best for you. What do you think?
Thanks in advance,
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Ground Rules Of An Interview
Interviews with journalists happen at press conferences, media trips, one-on-one in-person meetings, or over the phone. On technically related issues, it is possible to request questions in advance. Some journalists are also open to having answers to their questions e-mailed to them.
Telephone interviews are typically set up through an organizations point of contact for journalists usually the media section of the public affairs office. Share the journalists questions or scope with the specialist best qualified to respond, and inform the journalist of the specialist they are interviewing. A communication staffer sitting in can intervene during the interview, if information is not being clearly presented, as his/her presence is for corroboration with the interview subject.
How To Ask For An Update After The Interview
Itâs important to figure out how to ask about interview status through email. The company has little incentive to reach out to you. This means that if you want information you have to ask for it, and itâs up to you to reach out in the way that will receive the best response.
With that in mind, here are some tips for asking for an interview update:
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Keys To A Successful Interview
- Establish a Rapport: When starting out, dont abruptly launch into your questions. Chitchat a little first. Compliment your source on her office, or comment on the weather. This puts your source at ease.
- Keep It Natural: An interview can be uncomfortable, so keep things natural. Instead of mechanically reading out your list of questions, weave your queries naturally into the flow of the conversation. Also, maintain eye contact as much as possible. Nothing is more unnerving to a source than a reporter who never looks up from his notebook.
- Be Open: Dont be so focused on getting through your list of questions that you miss something interesting. For instance, if youre interviewing the cardiologist and she mentions a new heart-health study thats coming out, ask about it. This may take your interview in an unexpected but newsworthy – direction.
- Maintain Control: Be open, but dont waste your time. If your source starts to ramble on about things that are of no use to you, politely but firmly steer the conversation back to the topic at hand.
- Wrapping Up: At the end of the interview, ask your source if theres anything important that you hadnt asked about. Double-check the meanings of any terms they used that youre unsure about. And always ask if there are other people they recommend that you speak with.
Conducting A Good Television Interview
A TV interview can be as simple as asking questions of people on the street, or it can be as involved as a one-on-one, sit-down discussion with the president. Getting good answers in a TV interview can make a news story come to life and build your reputation as a probing journalist. Build your skills so that you can lead the people you interview into giving you the information you want with simple TV interview tips every news media professional can use.
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Media Interviewsguidelines On The Interview Process
The press office isn’t just for the press and media. We’re here to answer any questions members have about talking to the media. We can guide you through the interview process and help you decide what to say, and what not to say.
If you are approached by the media approach you, take their details, including a deadline of when they need to speak to you and say you’ll call them back. Then call our press office on 01455 206393 or email