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TIPS TO INTERVIEW & WRITE LIKE A PRO Adapted from RAY MURRAY Assistant Professor Oklahoma State University Adapted from RAY MURRAY Assistant Professor.

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Presentation on theme: "TIPS TO INTERVIEW & WRITE LIKE A PRO Adapted from RAY MURRAY Assistant Professor Oklahoma State University Adapted from RAY MURRAY Assistant Professor."— Presentation transcript:

1 TIPS TO INTERVIEW & WRITE LIKE A PRO Adapted from RAY MURRAY Assistant Professor Oklahoma State University Adapted from RAY MURRAY Assistant Professor Oklahoma State University

2 INTERVIEWING BASICS  When you’re interviewing someone, what’s your most important skill?  Listening.  Do your homework before going to an interview.  Try to make it a conversation and not a cross examination.  When you’re interviewing someone, what’s your most important skill?  Listening.  Do your homework before going to an interview.  Try to make it a conversation and not a cross examination.

3 GET MOVIN’  Ask politely for interview time. What time works best? Office? Home? Coffee shop?  You’re busy; they’re busy, so don’t put it off.  Please and thank you go a long way.  Ask politely for interview time. What time works best? Office? Home? Coffee shop?  You’re busy; they’re busy, so don’t put it off.  Please and thank you go a long way.

4 KEEP CHASING  “I ed him two weeks ago and he hasn’t me back.”  “I left a message for him and he hasn’t called me back.”  Keep digging/chasing.  It’s amazing how few students think of GOING TO MEET THE PERSON IN PERSON.  It’s allowed and encouraged.  “I ed him two weeks ago and he hasn’t me back.”  “I left a message for him and he hasn’t called me back.”  Keep digging/chasing.  It’s amazing how few students think of GOING TO MEET THE PERSON IN PERSON.  It’s allowed and encouraged.

5 LITTLE THINGS ARE BIG  Show up 10 minutes early.  Make sure you know where you’re going.  Make sure you have a notebook, plenty of WORKING pens.  Should you record it? Yes, but take notes. Check the device during the interview to see whether it’s working.  Carry extra batteries/tapes/phone charger.  Show up 10 minutes early.  Make sure you know where you’re going.  Make sure you have a notebook, plenty of WORKING pens.  Should you record it? Yes, but take notes. Check the device during the interview to see whether it’s working.  Carry extra batteries/tapes/phone charger.

6 LITTLE BIG THINGS  Put your source at ease; get him/her talking by mentioning something on the walls, or the weather, or aren’t the Cowboys great??

7 GROUND RULES  Everything is on the record.  Say it’s possible this will be submitted for publication.  Don’t agree to a list of questions.  Conduct an accuracy check on needed items.  NO anonymous sources.  Everything is on the record.  Say it’s possible this will be submitted for publication.  Don’t agree to a list of questions.  Conduct an accuracy check on needed items.  NO anonymous sources.

8 WHOM TO INTERVIEW  Highest officials possible.  Experts on an issue.  People with opposing views.  People affected.  Diverse sources.  Highest officials possible.  Experts on an issue.  People with opposing views.  People affected.  Diverse sources.

9 ONCE YOU GET GOING  Give the source an overview of what you plan to talk about.  Start with open-ended questions; listen, listen, listen.  Be prepared to change directions if the source says something that dictates it.  Observe your surroundings/take notes that help give the story flavor.  Give the source an overview of what you plan to talk about.  Start with open-ended questions; listen, listen, listen.  Be prepared to change directions if the source says something that dictates it.  Observe your surroundings/take notes that help give the story flavor.

10 FIRST THINGS FIRST  First question to ask... “May I have the correct spelling of your first and last names?”  People will like that you’re trying to be accurate.  Second question: “May I have your home/work phone number(s)/e- mail/Blackberry/what gadget you have, so I may call or text you later if I have more questions?”  First question to ask... “May I have the correct spelling of your first and last names?”  People will like that you’re trying to be accurate.  Second question: “May I have your home/work phone number(s)/e- mail/Blackberry/what gadget you have, so I may call or text you later if I have more questions?”

11 NOW WE’RE ROLLIN’  Ask the easy questions first to get the source talking.  Open-ended questions are good.  Save the tough stuff for the end.  “Did you embezzle $2 million from the bank?”  Ask the easy questions first to get the source talking.  Open-ended questions are good.  Save the tough stuff for the end.  “Did you embezzle $2 million from the bank?”

12 SILENCE IS GOLDEN  Don’t be afraid of silence. It can help the source get organized.  Keep questions short; let the source do most of the talking.  Highlight the good stuff.  Don’t be afraid of silence. It can help the source get organized.  Keep questions short; let the source do most of the talking.  Highlight the good stuff.

13 FAVORITE QUESTIONS  From Pat Stith, a retired investigative reporter for the Raleigh News and Observer:  Why?  What makes you say that?  How do you know?  How am I going to explain that to people in …?  Another I like: Explain this to me as if I’m a third-grader.  From Pat Stith, a retired investigative reporter for the Raleigh News and Observer:  Why?  What makes you say that?  How do you know?  How am I going to explain that to people in …?  Another I like: Explain this to me as if I’m a third-grader.

14 WRAP IT UP  Two questions to ask at the end of the interview:  “Is there anything else you think we need to discuss?”  “Is there anyone else I should talk to about this story?”  Let the source get the last word.  Two questions to ask at the end of the interview:  “Is there anything else you think we need to discuss?”  “Is there anyone else I should talk to about this story?”  Let the source get the last word.

15 AFTERWARD  Tell the source you will call back if you have any questions or need clarification on anything.  Review your notes quickly; don’t wait three days and then you can’t read your handwriting.  Transcribe the tape/recording soon, so the interview is fresh in your mind.  Tell the source you will call back if you have any questions or need clarification on anything.  Review your notes quickly; don’t wait three days and then you can’t read your handwriting.  Transcribe the tape/recording soon, so the interview is fresh in your mind.

16 Assignment  Interview someone in the class.  Develop your questions before you interview them. (You need five written down before the interview, and you need to write down five more during the actual interview.)  Writing topics (Choose one.): 1. What was one of the scariest moments in your life? 2. Describe a difficult decision you had to make and how you made it.  Interview someone in the class.  Develop your questions before you interview them. (You need five written down before the interview, and you need to write down five more during the actual interview.)  Writing topics (Choose one.): 1. What was one of the scariest moments in your life? 2. Describe a difficult decision you had to make and how you made it.

17 First Task  Brainstorm interview questions!  We will discuss your responses as a class.  Brainstorm interview questions!  We will discuss your responses as a class.


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