Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Mailbag: Interview mistakes

Grape,

I have an interview coming up. I know what to do that's right, but I'm curious about things that might turn off a prospective employer.


Ah, good question. There are plenty of red flags out there, but the number one banner is the answer to the question, "Why did you want to be a reporter?" If the answer is, "I've always wanted to be on TV," well, you might as well have a 21-gun salute as the flag goes up the pole.

Other stuff: not knowing anything about current events or history, trying to blow smoke about the station ("I know you have a long history of quality..."), dressing cheap (not inexpensive clothes, but stuff you'd see on a streetwalker), having zero personality, visible tattoos and body piercings.

A few classics from my past: The woman who looked me in the eye and said, "Look, I know I'm pretty, and I'll make a good anchor," and the guy who made suggestive comments to a female manager who was part of the interview process with me.



Grape,

Just curious about your field producing activities. What sort of equipment do you guys have to do your job?



Well, just a cell phone and a notepad for me. Some field producers have things like blackberrys, but I don't know how to text (also, I have big hands and fingers, so I doubt I could do it anyway) and I find calling and talking to someone a heck of a lot faster. When you have breaking news, you can't expect someone to be checking their email or cell phone...so old fashioned phone calls are better as they are immediate.

The photogs have every imaginable piece of equipment, from different format cameras to umbrella lighting.

Sat trucks are equipped with a GPS and a portable tent for bad weather, but otherwise they're basically the same as any sat truck. And since these guys are on the road so much, they all have refrigerators.

Oh yeah, all the equipment actually works.


Grapevine,

Did you happen to catch that ABC show "Defying Gravity" where they had a one-man-band reporter in space? She held out her camera at arms length. Is this the future of TV?


I did see the show and cringed when I saw that. Obviously the NASA of the future employs television consultants.

But if you think out of the box, can you image the fabulous shots photogs could get if they were weightless?

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