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Thursday, August 26, 2010

The Interview Conundrum

A funny thing happened today during an interview.

I'm working on a piece for the local newspaper about an anniversary celebration for an establishment. After getting "yes" and "no" answers to my thought-provoking, open-ended questions, I asked if I could speak with a media liaison. I believe I was introduced to the secretary, but I'm not sure. Our conversation went something like this:

Question #1 - How many participants for "x" event?
Answer #1 - 52.

Question #2 - Any former CEO's attending?
Answer #2 - I can't say.

Question #3 - How many guests are you anticipating?
Answer #3 - I don't know. Maybe 200.
Reply #3 - Aren't reservations required? Is a count available from that list?
Answer #3 - I can't say. Maybe. I guess I don't know.

Question #4 - What will be the highlight?
Reply#4 - Gee, I don't know. You pick or make one up.

Make one up? As a journalist, I cringed at the last reply.

Interviews are tough enough. But what's a reporter/journalist/writer to do when you aren't getting the responses you need?

Rephrase your questions.
Find another angle.
Dig deeper.
Search for another source.

But never give up.

LuAnn met her deadline and didn't let an unfortunate interview stand in the way. Read more of her work at

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