‘Tis The Season


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In the spirit of giving thanks due to the holiday season I’m going to start early and say that I’m thankful for the opportunities that I’ve had to talk to a few professionals in the public relations world.

As part of my own curiosity and school assignment I reached out to a person of interest to conduct an informational interview. Over the past couple of weeks I’ve talked to various people from various positions in the public relations world such as agency work, literary agents, and other who work in the film industry. A couple of interviewees were connections that I had made from University of Oregon and ones that I’ve made while working at my internship. Through these interviews I’ve learned a lot especially about how to interview.

From these interviews I’ve learned three things:

1. Use your time wisely: I found that you could bypass a couple of obvious questions that you’d already know by reaching out to them. Also, this may be the only time you get with this individual so ask the big important questions!

2. Have your next question ready: Sometimes I would be so nervous about getting a chance to talk I would lose track of what I wanted to ask next. Thankfully the flow of conversation would fill the void because of the third point. Have ‘em locked and loaded!

3. Let them talk: I learned at University of Oregon that when conducting an interview it’s important to keep quiet even though it’s tempting to make a comment about everything that your interviewee makes. Any moments of silence would in turn be filled with more important information by the interviewee. Don’t fear the silence!

After talking with these various interviewees I’m starting to get a sense of where I want to go after my internship. I’ve also learned how to follow up thanks to the guidelines that we’ve all learned going through the journalism program. Some of the feedback that I’ve received has proven that handwritten thank you letters are much appreciated and never go out of style.

Now that the term is winding down I hope everyone takes the time to enjoy some pie and be thankful! Happy Holidays everyone!

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About chelseafung

Hello, I'm Chelsea Fung I live in Los Angeles where I work as the Social Media Manager for HollyShorts Film Festival where I get to connect with amazing filmmakers from all over the world! Check out my blog to see my Filmmaker Spotlight Interviews, travels and more.
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7 Responses to ‘Tis The Season

  1. hailayn says:

    Great advice, Chelsea! My favorite is #3. It’s a natural reaction to fill silence with empty comments; instead, let your interviewee feel that pressure so they continue the conversation with their own thoughts and insight. And of course, I love to hear that others value thank you cards too! Best of luck with everything!

  2. Awesome post, Chelsea. I think all three points are important to keep in mind. Sometimes it’s hard to control focus and keep everything together. I think it’s great that you are checking out what options are available to you. Good luck!

  3. Informational interviews are great ways to figure out what your next move is. Thanks for the helpful tips as I conduct my own interviews

  4. pdxsx says:

    Well done, Chelsea. Good advice.

    ~J

  5. katshannon says:

    I think all your tips are spot on! In my last internship I had to conduct interviews and it’s a completely different process from being interviewed, however, it was nice to get the insight from both sides. What I learned is that the interviewee really wants you to be the right person for them and to share with them everything you need to, so when you’re being interviewed its good to remember your tips and take the time to thoroughly present yourself in the best way you can!

  6. sarahbrown90 says:

    It’s good that you are being very proactive and doing those informational interviews. Those can be so helpful for getting those important questions answered and networking purposes. Not only did you learn a lot from the interview you also made connections with people that might help you out later down the road.

  7. lizazevedo says:

    Good work, Chelsea! Like Sarah said, I applaud the fact that you are being so proactive! Asking for and conducting an informational interview takes courage and confidence,so that is impressive that you have already conducted more than one. I like your point that you should have your questions locked and loaded. I think the best way to do this is through really researching your person and their expertise. I always spend time researching my topic and person before I conduct any interview, that way, even if our conversation goes astray, I can bring it back to a questions of importance.

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