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08-01-2008
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There again, some of them have quite advanced oral communication skills, which can secure editorial positions on top glossies and newspapers.

PK

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08-01-2008
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Prosperk, believe me our tutor at London College of Fashion was brutally honest

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08-01-2008
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Can we use this thread for exchanging practical tips, too?

I did my first interview today..the interview subject is someone that has inspired me a lot in the past years and therefore I was worried about sounding too much like a fangirl..
I think I managed to avoid it quite well but it still worries me..

So any interview tips? What are some Do's and Don'ts?..

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08-01-2008
  169
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Great sites, Bette! I guess everyone who loves fashion wishes to be a fashion journalist at least for a day!

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08-01-2008
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Thanks, Regina.

Stella,

Here's a few ideas that I have about doing interviews:

Avoid most questions that only require a one or two word answer. I think that you can get the best information by asking open ended questions: questions that need to be answered by a few sentances. For exapmple, instead of saying something like "Do you get to work with a lot of celebrities in your job?" which could (apnd probably would) be answered "Yes." or "No" and does not encourage the subject to open up ... you could say "Tell me about an interesting experience that you have had, when working with a celebrity." which requires them to actually tell a story ... and you might get something very interesting.

It's always good to have a list of questions ... open ended ones... so you can keep the conversation going and steer the interview.

But don't become too focused on your notes and miss what they are actually saying. Learn to really listen. Active listening is very important ... you must hear what they are saying, hear the nuances and hesitations ... because picking up on what they really are saying and the feelings behind their statements could lead to something very important that you would not have known about.

Here's a method I use when I want to dig deeper. I have been able to get people to talk about some very serious personal subjects at the right moment when they seem concerned by something I ask them. I simply say "I hear a hesitation in your voice ......". Then, I just let it sit there and I just stay quiet for a few moments ... they usually respond with why they are hesitant ... and I get some new information. But yet, I did not ask a personal question ... they offered the information, because they thought it was their time to talk. This also works when they seem excited about a subject ... I just say "Well, that seems to excite you ....." and pause ... they will usually start to tell me more. Silence and pauses can yeild surprising results.

I'm not a journalist so I'm sure there's a lot more things to know about giving interviews ... maybe someone esle can offer a few more tips.

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Last edited by BetteT; 09-01-2008 at 02:30 PM.
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08-01-2008
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BetteT: Thank you! That was actually quite similar to what I'd been thinking. But it's difficult to know the best techniques from scratch.. I guess it takes practise. I'll keep your advice in mind next time

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08-01-2008
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^ I've been thinking of doing some interviews myself.

Thanks BetteT

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08-01-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BetteT View Post
I'm not a journalist so I'm sure there's a lot more things to know about giving interviews ... maybe someone esle can offer a few more tips.
I think your tips are very accurate and helpful, but the only thing I disagree with slightly is the notetaking bit. Having the exact quote is crucial if you plan on publishing the interview, because often times people say what they want to be printed - if it's edited even slightly, it could change their entire point.

I recommend shortening the notes, but not in a way that would later affect your memory of the quote. For example, if the person said, "We very much appreciated their efforts," you could write something like, "we v. much appr. their eff.," which hopefully is enough to ring a bell.

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11-01-2008
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Is it considered a faux pas or rude to record an interview? It seems so much easier than notetaking....

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11-01-2008
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^It's not a faux-pas, but you should always ask the interview subject if you can tape them.

Recording initially seems easier than notetaking but I think it evens out in the end. It helps an interview go faster (which can be crucial if the subject is pressed for time), but when you start writing, going back to listen to the tapes can be quite time-consuming. Plus you never know how good the recording quality is going to be.

I also find that by writing things down, it's easier to remember them later.

Recording can be important if the story is very sensitive -- if it has to do with a legal case, for instance -- and you want to be absolutely positively certain that you don't misquote anyone. Not that you ever want to misquote anyone, but obviously some mistakes are more serious than others depending on the context.

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12-01-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whambam View Post
Hey you guys!
I haven't read every comment on here but I thought I would like to give some advice to any gal who wants to be a fashion writer.
I have been writing all my life, it's been my biggest passion and it's the only thing I can see myself doing for the rest of my life. I started on a journalist course on distance, but I soon realized it was not my cup of tea. It was mostly newspaper journalist. So, instead I phoned and emailed a bunch of newspaper/magazines but I got turned down. My last hope was my local newspaper and so I emailed them and put up a suggestion of a fashion column. They were thrilled about the idea and 1 month later I got the job. The point is that you can get anywhere you want, if you only believe and stay positive.

London have a great fashion school for anyone who has a big interest in fashion. They also have a course called Fashion Journalism for those who might be aiming towards Vogue, ELLE, InStyle etc. It's worth checking out: www.fashion.arts.ac.uk

Despite all the lows and turn downs, hang in there!
Good luck!

(If you have any questions, feel free to PM or email me and I will do my best to answer.)
I am on the MA Fashion Journalism course at the London College of Fashion at the moment, trust me, don't waste your money. Get work experience and work from the bottom. Although I think it is worth getting your first degree like me first though (BA/BSC) - but an MA is probably not needed, although The Guardian and The Independent like their writers to have an MA Journalism degree. But I guess it is not the same for us 'wannabe' fashion journalists.

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13-01-2008
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Another thing about interviewing and recording the interview...

I've found you get people who are comfortable about being recorded, but some are just uncomfortable with having their interview recorded. I think they worry about slip ups or something, but it's a very good idea to have a open policy and make sure your interviewee is comfortable so you can get the best out of them.

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13-01-2008
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I've heard about interviews through online chat as well...
Then everything can be saved

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13-01-2008
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That's an interesting idea, it's better than email - and quicker

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13-01-2008
  180
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Quote:
Originally Posted by libertyjaen View Post
Is it considered a faux pas or rude to record an interview? It seems so much easier than notetaking....
Most people would feel uncomfortable during an interview if they were being recorded. As a result, they probably wouldn't give you the full answers, which could hurt you later on.

That being said, it's definitely not a faux pas. You need to ask before doing it, however. And I would recommend taking notes along with the recording, although that defeats the entire purpose of making interviewing easier.

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