Tips for writer interviews.

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Do you have any tips to help prepare for an upcoming writer interview?

Are there common interview questions that come up again and again?

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Mary Hastings in Denver, Colorado

79 months ago

Brush up on your subject as much as possible prior to the interview. Be able to walk in and ask intelligent, relevant questions. Experienced interviewers do not necessarily follow a prepared sheet of questions in sequence except when specific information must be obtained during the interview; however, you should have some pre-prepared questions ready to give you a jumping-off point. Being able to catch even the most minor details when listening to your subject's answers can clue you in to that individual's hot buttons. Don't be afaid to pursue a line of questioning you had not anticipated. Often times you go in with a set of expectations and come out with material for an article that sets you on an unanticipated course. Don't be afraid of going off on tangents when asking questions but don't go too far. Tangents can help you come up with fresh perspectives. Paraphrase aloud to show the subject you are listening and relating whenever it seems appropriate to break in, especially when you need subtle clarification. ("Let me see if I understand what you are saying...") This also helps the subject steer you in the right direction if you've misunderstood or misinterpreted something your subject said. My best interviews are the ones that end with the subject forgetting he/she was being interviewed because I work at setting a comfortable environment that puts us into a relaxed conversation whenever possible. Show compassion without getting emotionally involved and most importantly, even if you are bored to tears during an interview, act like this is the most important thing you will do all week. Make your subject feel that he/she has your undivided attention and they will unwittingly provide much more material for you. Don't ever hesitate to ask for clarification on the spelling of names, especially that of your subject. Misspellings can spell disaster for the writer! 'Hope this helps and good luck!

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Mary Hastings in Denver, Colorado

79 months ago

Brush up on your subject as much as possible prior to the interview. Be able to walk in and ask intelligent, relevant questions. Experienced interviewers do not necessarily follow a prepared sheet of questions in sequence except when specific information must be obtained during the interview; however, you should have some pre-prepared questions ready to give you a jumping-off point. Being able to catch even the most minor details when listening to your subject's answers can clue you in to that individual's hot buttons. Don't be afaid to pursue a line of questioning you had not anticipated. Often times you go in with a set of expectations and come out with material for an article that sets you on an unanticipated course. Don't be afraid of going off on tangents when asking questions but don't go too far. Tangents can help you come up with fresh perspectives. Paraphrase aloud to show the subject you are listening and relating whenever it seems appropriate to break in, especially when you need subtle clarification. ("Let me see if I understand what you are saying...") This also helps the subject steer you in the right direction if you've misunderstood or misinterpreted something your subject said. My best interviews are the ones that end with the subject forgetting he/she was being interviewed because I work at setting a comfortable environment that puts us into a relaxed conversation whenever possible. Show compassion without getting emotionally involved and most importantly, even if you are bored to tears during an interview, act like this is the most important thing you will do all week. Make your subject feel that he/she has your undivided attention and they will unwittingly provide much more material for you. Don't ever hesitate to ask for clarification on the spelling of names, especially that of your subject. Misspellings can spell disaster for the writer! 'Hope this helps and good luck!

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Mary Hastings in Denver, Colorado

79 months ago

Host said: Do you have any tips to help prepare for an upcoming writer interview?

Are there common interview questions that come up again and again?

I reread your question and wondered if you were going to be interviewed as a writer seeking work. If so, I would be prepared to answer questions like, "How would you handle a situation in which the subject attempts to abruptly terminate an interview?" Other questions you might anticipate:
How do you handle writer's block?
What is your strategy for obtaining firsthand information?
Have you ever been accused of plagiarizing? What did you do to overcome this?
How are you at meeting tight deadlines?
Do you work well under pressure?
What kinds of writing have you done?
How are you at adapting to different style guides?
Have you ever missed a deadline? If so, what did you do to compensate for this?
What is your philosophy about doing rewrites?
What kind of writing are you most intersted in doing?
'Sorry if my previous long-winded answer was off-track. I hope this gives you some direction.

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