Interviewing

There are millions of good interview tips out there, and Al Tompkins give us new and insightful ones we have never seen before. Last year, I went out and purchased over 300 business cards, with the idea in mind that I would give them to potential employers. A lot of times, I have been turned down by sources, but I see I their eyes that they have a story they want to tell. Giving them a business card, according to Tompkins, “Sources may not want to talk to you, and you don’t want to disturb them” so a business card is great to leave in case they change their mind. He also says to have the writing on the back prepared in advance, in case they slam the door in your face and you have to get out of there fast, or if the interviewee is trying to ignore you. I absolutely want to start doing this, and adding the topic of whatever story I am writing on the back of my card to give to them. Another great interview tip he gives is, “be better than yourself.” He says that sources can spot insincerity and a fake smile from a mile away, so don’t just be fake, be a letter version of yourself. Take your personality, and be the best you can be, without compromising who you are, or lying. I call it my, “customer service voice,” but my mom calls it being phony. I am going to work to not try to become a completely, new, happy, peppy person when I interview people, but instead just work on being a nicer version of myself. One final interview tip that I really want to work on implementing into my own reporting is thanking the sources for their time and effort. Usually when I finish up an interview, I get out of there, but next time it would be nice to truly let them know how much they helped me in my story. I think this could be done by taking interest into their products if I am interviewing someone like that, or getting food from someone who I interviewed if they make food, and send them a follow up text after I leave making sure they know how appreciative I am.

In the interview with Fire Chief Clack, Sheila Kast employs many techniques for interviewing that are interesting and effective. She asks for clarification, but in polite yet inquisitive ways. She says, “As I understand it,” when trying to really understand the issue at hand. She gets to the point with questions, but also gives lots of background information for listeners. I think that is very important, especially when they are giving news briefs, because casual listeners usually do not know the specifics of every issue.

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