Top 7 excuses

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Top 7 excuses

  1. 1. Top 7 excuses for bad interviews
  2. 2. "He wouldn't say anything." This excuse is usually the result of nervous reporting. When people get nervous, they often talk more than they should. Nervous reporters try to fill the silence for their sources, so the source is never required to talk. Top 7 excuses for bad interviews
  3. 3. "He wouldn't say anything." • Wait a minute after asking a question before moving on, even if your source doesn’t say anything. • After a source answers a question, nod your head and wait a few seconds before asking the next question. The source will probably think of something to add if you stay quiet. • Do not cut the interview short just because it does not seem to be going anywhere. Instead, relax and have a conversation. Fix the problem by: Top 7 excuses for bad interviews
  4. 4. "I couldn't find my questions." You should be prepared for an interview when you schedule it, but sometimes things happen and you lose your preparation notes. As long as you remember to bring blank paper and a pen, all is not lost. Top 7 excuses for bad interviews
  5. 5. "I couldn't find my questions." • Remember that an interview is just a conversation. You have conversations every day without the help of a list of questions. • Think on your feet. Ask your source to verify information you already know you have. This will give you time to think of new questions. • Allow the conversation to flow naturally and new questions will come to you as you talk. Fix the problem by: Top 7 excuses for bad interviews
  6. 6. "I asked her to give me a quote, but she wouldn't." Asking a source for a quote is like sticking a microphone in someone's face and asking them to "say something." It puts them on the spot and makes you look lazy and unprofessional. Top 7 excuses for bad interviews
  7. 7. "I asked her to give me a quote, but she wouldn't." • Ask compelling questions and wait for an authentic quote. • If your source provides interesting information as the answer to a question, but the form of the information will not work as a quote, stay quiet. Most people want you to understand what they have to say; when you do not move on to the next question, your source will assume you do not understand. Usually, he will repeat the same information in an easy-to- understand, quotable sentence or two. Fix the problem by: Top 7 excuses for bad interviews
  8. 8. "She talked too fast." Some sources ramble, talk fast, have accents or are otherwise difficult to understand. The way someone talks shouldn’t determine how often they are quoted in the yearbook, so reporters must take extra steps to ensure everyone is quotable. Top 7 excuses for bad interviews
  9. 9. "She talked too fast." • Before an interview, ask other staff members if they know your interviewee. Find out if the person tends to speak quickly or has an accent. If you know what to expect, you are more likely to be prepared. • Consider using a tape recorder to supplement note taking. You can listen to the tape to verify facts and quotes. • Remember that it is OK to ask a source to repeat information. Everyone wants to be quoted accurately. Fix the problem by: Top 7 excuses for bad interviews
  10. 10. "It was a stupid topic." This problem should be addressed before the interview. If a topic truly is undeserving of space in the yearbook, do not waste your time with an interview. Chances are, though, that the interviewer was unprepared, so the interview was unsuccessful. Top 7 excuses for bad interviews
  11. 11. "It was a stupid topic." • Do sufficient research before the interview. If the topic is “stupid,” you will discover that in the pre-interview process. • Prepare thoroughly. If you have a list of questions prepared, you will feel more comfortable in the interview and be better able to see the value in the topic. Fix the problem by: Top 7 excuses for bad interviews
  12. 12. "I couldn't think of any questions." This is another preparation problem. Do not rely on off-the-cuff thinking in an interview situation. Top 7 excuses for bad interviews
  13. 13. "I couldn't think of any questions." • Write a list of at least 10 questions prior to an interview. These will help get you started. • Practice asking the questions to a friend who will pretend to be the interviewee. If you have any yes/no questions in your list, rewrite them to be more useful. Fix the problem by: Top 7 excuses for bad interviews
  14. 14. "They didn't tell me." Sometimes a reporter forgets to ask the most important questions, so a story gets published without key facts or with the wrong focus. Top 7 excuses for bad interviews
  15. 15. "They didn't tell me." Do not forget to ask the two most important questions: • “Is there anything I forgot to ask you about that you would like to tell me?” • “If I have any other questions when I am working on the story, would it be OK if I give you a call?” Fix the problem by: Top 7 excuses for bad interviews
  16. 16. These tips should help make every interview a productive fact- and quote-gathering session. If you encounter problems, remember that an interview is just a conversation. So relax and be curious.

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