How to handle your interview with a reporter at a public university
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The interview might be the most important of all, says Diane Ochsner, a professor of journalism at the University of Southern California.
But you also want to be prepared.
And the more prepared you are, the better.
“If you are prepared and confident and have a good sense of your own abilities, you’re going to do the best job,” she says.
Here’s how to get started.
First, figure out how you will handle the reporter’s questions.
You may be surprised how easy it is to get in trouble, says Ochse.
“The more you learn to respond appropriately to these questions, the more comfortable you are going to be in your interview,” she advises.
You’ll need to get used to being asked questions like: What are you doing to help people with HIV and other life-threatening illnesses?
And how do you feel about making sure you know all the people you interview?
That last question, for example, can have serious consequences for a public-health agency, especially if you’ve never spoken to a person with HIV or AIDS before.
Ochsen says you need to be ready to answer questions that will make you sound like you’re “too polite,” or you’ll sound “scary.”
“When you get to the interview, you are on your own,” she adds.
“You’re going into a room that you might not be comfortable with, you might be nervous about.
So if you’re nervous, you probably shouldn’t be there.”
So, get ready.
“It’s going to feel like you are talking to a stranger, which is not a good feeling,” Ochson says.
“And that can make the interview a lot harder than it really is.”
What you need: Your confidence and knowledge of the questions you’re about to ask.
It may seem obvious to some, but Ochsand says to be careful about how you answer the questions.
It’s important that you can answer the interviewer’s questions with confidence, she says, but it’s also important to remember that there’s no such thing as a perfect answer.
For instance, you may have to answer some of the same questions in different ways.
You might have to say something like, “I have to be honest with you.
I’m just trying to get a feel for your perspective.”
Or you might have some things to say that are off-limits, such as, “It was a tough interview.”
You’ll also want some confidence in your responses, especially when you’re talking to someone you’re not familiar with, says Dr. Elizabeth Miron, a clinical psychologist at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.
“This is the most vulnerable part of the interview,” Miron says.
You have to have that ability to respond to questions with an accurate answer.
And you can’t do that if you are afraid of upsetting the interviewer, Miron adds.
You also need to know the person you’re interviewing and what kind of questions they might ask you.
You should know how they respond to a particular question, whether you can ask a general question or give a specific one, she adds, or how they’ll respond to specific questions.
“I think that’s a really important part of what makes you comfortable,” Mironsaid.
“Just knowing what they’re going for in the interview.”
If you are nervous, take a break.
Don’t worry about making the interview any more uncomfortable than it already is, she suggests.
“That’s what happens in any interview, whether it’s in the office or at home.
The nerves get so high and they start talking,” she explains.
“So you need time to recover.”
And you also need time for your self-esteem to come back to you.
“When people have questions about you, you can use that as an opportunity to feel good about yourself,” Miro says.
And remember, you’ve got a story to tell.
So you may want to avoid answering the same question over and over again.
“Instead, use the questions to get to know each other better, and maybe to help each other,” she suggests, noting that your responses will be more accurate if you share your answers with the interviewer.
And don’t let your nerves get the best of you.
Take a break, ask for advice, and see what you can do to make the process easier.
“Be ready for the worst,” Mimes says.
It might seem obvious, but if you feel nervous, or uncomfortable, ask your questions in a calm, measured way.
“Don’t go off on tangents or just try to make things sound too easy,” she continues.
“We’re in a stressful time right now, so you don’t want to feel bad or be overly dramatic.”
And don: be prepared to answer all of the interviewer�s questions.
If you don�t have the right answers, it may not be possible to get an accurate response.
But it can be done. And it won
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