Monday, September 28, 2009

How did I land a job?

I was fortunate to get a few snippets of why The Southwest Times hired me as their newest reporter during my interview process.  I want to take the time to share it because I think it might be helpful for others in future interview process.  
  1. Enthusiasm. They said I was the most enthusiastic person they interviewed during the phone interview process.  My reaction: I was nervous for the phone interview but I was excited I had an interview.  Plus they were asking me questions about my past experience and why I wanted to be a reporter. Hello,  I got to talk about myself. That was easy.  As silly as this next part is going to sound I am going to go ahead and type it.  When I worked at Target as the store operator, I was told to smile when I answered the phone.  They said the smile would come across into my voice. Try it sometime. It actually works. 
  2. Getting the Scoop. For the phone interview process, I was given a few examples of a possible story and was then told to explain what I would do to get "the scoop".  I said I would first do research and find out what the background of the incident was.  Then I would contact all parties involved for an interview and from there have the story.  Apparently, in one example that was given to all ten phone interview candidates I was the only one that said I would begin with research and speak to all parties involved.  Everyone else just said they would only contact the main influential player.  Elon taught me that a creditable story is one with multiple sources and research.  That was such a standard answer for me and one I thought everyone else would give as well.  
  3. Question Master. They said I asked questions and good ones.  I asked not only about the newspaper but about the community and the area. Well, considering I had never heard of Liberal till about a week ago that came natural for me.  And while, I guess asking if Liberal had been effected by H1N1 or the current economic downfall of this country sounded like I wanted to know about possible news stories, I actually just was curious if I needed to bring Purell and to brace myself for what kind of status this town was in.  
Bottom line, interview process was just very natural for me.  I answered truthfully and was myself the entire time.  I didn't try to be something I wasn't or present myself in a false light. And that's the best piece of advise I can pass on.  

{Stay Tuned} 

P.S. Only one reported case of H1N1 in the county and Liberal was not effected very heavily by economic hard times.  The main industry there is meat packing (think Kansas City Beef) and well, people aren't stopping to eat beef these days. 

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