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Tips on Q&As and interviews for a non-writer...


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Hello all,


I will be running an intensive Q&A series for a student newspaper I'm a part of(100 Q&As in one year). I'll be focusing on people related to higher education policy, politics, economics and administration.


Does anyone have a set of videos from a reputable source or school that I can view to get the interviewing 101? I can't help to think that I'm missing out on key formalities. My first interviewee was a journalism major, and I kept wondering if I was doing something wrong.


Any tips or advice would be great.


A little bit on my procedure. I don't know if it's right or wrong, effective or not, ethical or unethical..it's just what I do.


1. I send whoever an email asking for an interview if they're local or a phone interview if they're not.

2. I try to address the fact that I'm WITH a newspaper and not just a lone student.

3. I tell them I'm recording the conversation which I later transcribe verbatim and then edit(fluff, not content..the editors do that)

4. I phrase questions as "we" or "our" because I feel as though it softens the process, and makes people say what they truly feel. For example, "The university has been very involved in economic development. What your office do to bolster this?" vs "We have been very involved in economic development. Tell us about what your office does to bolster this?"

5. I usually record on my phone..not sure if I should just buy a recorder..

6. I dress like a student(khakis and decent shirt), I can't dress up for the interview because of the scheduling and volume of Q&As I have set for myself.

7. I'm good with people skills. I maintain eye contact. I try to keep quiet and not nod my head(bias). I try not to shuffle around, I'm polite. 


Full disclaimer: I'm a political science/biology major with ZERO experience in journalism of any kind. The first time I wrote an article was last week.


HELP! :( 






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  • 11 months later...

While there are as many different possible interview questions as there are interviewers, it always helps to be ready for anything. So we've prepared a list of 100 potential interview questions. Will you face them all? We pray no interviewer would be that cruel. Will you face a few? Probably. Will you be well-served by being ready even if you're not asked these exact questions? Absolutely.   



  • What was the last project you headed up, and what was its outcome? 
  • Give me an example of a time that you felt you went above and beyond the call of duty at work. 
  • Can you describe a time when your work was criticized? 
  • Have you ever been on a team where someone was not pulling their own weight? How did you handle it? 
  • Tell me about a time when you had to give someone difficult feedback. How did you handle it? 
  • What is your greatest failure, and what did you learn from it? 
  • What irritates you about other people, and how do you deal with it? 
  • If I were your supervisor and asked you to do something that you disagreed with, what would you do?
  • What was the most difficult period in your life, and how did you deal with it? 
  • Give me an example of a time you did something wrong. How did you handle it? 
  • What irritates you about other people, and how do you deal with it? 
  • Tell me about a time where you had to deal with conflict on the job. 
  • If you were at a business lunch and you ordered a rare steak and they brought it to you well done, what would you do? 
  • If you found out your company was doing something against the law, like fraud, what would you do? 
  • What assignment was too difficult for you, and how did you resolve the issue? 
  • What's the most difficult decision you've made in the last two years and how did you come to that decision?
  • Describe how you would handle a situation if you were required to finish multiple tasks by the end of the day, and there was no conceivable way that you could finish them. 
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