Interviewing 101: Get ‘er done!

Another day in the field, my favorite place to be. Unless, of course, it’s in 100-degree weather and our job is to get interviews we have no access for.

We were paired up today for our task: one broadcast student and one print student, covering the heat wave and how it affects our assigned subjects. I’m not sure why I’m still suprised when things don’t go according to the plan; I guess I should just expect that things will go WRONG in this business, especially when more humans (ie. interview subjects) are involved. With the zoo project all I had to worry about was figuring out the mechanics of my camera and getting decent pictures and quality audio (which is quite difficult in itself); with this project, I had to deal with all the power-tripping humans even relatively involved with a situation. OK, that may be an exaggeration…it’s not like I had to go to the Dean of Students or anything. But seriously, why is it so difficult to just pull aside a few construction workers and ask them how their day is going?! I’ll tell you why: because the boss needs to know WHY we’re concerned with his territory. I can also tell you that I need to develop a thick skin for this business. If people are going to play hardball with me, I’m going to have to learn to keep one step ahead of them. I probably could’ve saved a lot of time if I had looked up the contact info for the construction company owner in the first place, rather than letting people lower in command give me their opinions as if they were fact. It also probably would’ve been better to call the athletic department ahead of time to get permission to film student athletes at practice, rather than showing up to the practice and wasting valuable time (and missing great filming opportunities) while waiting for someone from the office to come and verify what we had already told three other people. And repeating it all, when it was eventually understood we wanted interviews too, not just film. It’s like people don’t trust graduate students…like it’s in our interest to harm the school’s image in some way?

But at least I have some sort of guidance through all these trials; I just keep hearing the reminder “don’t burn any bridges.” So, I’ll just keep sucking it up and doing what I have to do to get the footage and the interview. And in the meantime, I’ll have nightmares of editing it all…

One comment

  1. You raise some really important issues, here. It’s a fine line between going through “proper channels” and not letting people control you. I wish there was a magic formula, but you just have to figure it out (with some help from others) as you go. You’re right, though. You need a thick skin for this business.

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