Interviews: Tailoring Yourself to Sources

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I’ve already said we all talk to each source differently because you have to.

With each source, you have to plan accordingly. Each relationship with each source has to be monitored, just like each interview.

The way you talk and the order of questions changes, as to who you are talking with.

I know that I talk to some sources much more often than I do others.

Without naming names, I think it’s really important to make those distinctions. Some sources have crazy senses of humor, while others are very plain.

I can’t go in making jokes with a source that is quiet. That wouldn’t be appropriate and it may set me back with them.

Now, I wouldn’t call this acting, but it’s more like tailoring yourself to each person.

Louisa and I have talked about it numerous times. Sometimes you go into a phone interview knowing the source is going to act a certain way. That’s just the way it is. You have to prepare yourself.

Preparing yourself for different sources not only helps you relax, but you are also able to get more out of the interview. Of course, it all depends on what the story is about.

For any story, you want to get as much out of the source as you can. Adapting to what that source “prefers” is a small sacrifice to getting the story you need.

I’m not saying be fake. I would never ask for that. I’m not fake with any source.

It’s not easy to remember either. Thankfully, my colleagues and myself talk to the same people on an almost daily basis. We all know and have spoken to the main sources for all of our towns.

It makes all of our lives a little bit easier.

It helps to make the effort, even though your sources won’t know.

It’s all about getting the right information for the story.

Jonathan

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