How to Conduct a Perfect Interview in Written Form
How To Conduct a Perfect Interview for Publication in Print • Know More About Interview Feature in Sheeba Magazine • How to Basics of Interview Feature in Magazine Publication
Doing an interview for print or online publication does require time and hard work. What can be more complicated is that interview has to be done in writing. The interviewee writes down (or types in) replies to questions by oneself. Some people find it hard and stressful. Hence, every publisher has their own guidelines and rules on submissions that can ease the process and help the interviewee. In any event, reading guidelines before submitting to magazine is essential. Therefore we would like to review and advice on several crucial points that tend to confuse talents we publish in monthly print issues and online. Also, we hope that you will find it useful personally and truly beneficial to your future interview features in other important magazine publications.
Why interview in written form? We believe that doing an interview in writing saves everybody’s time. Parties are saved from traveling and squeezing an interview meeting in their busy schedules. The interviewee experiences less stress and avoids pressure to provide instant answers. You have much more time to rethink and redo sentences. An interview in writing does not require an immediate attention. You can work on replies at your own speed and your own convenient time, while having a cup of coffee or chilling in park for example. Also, you can edit and change the text as many times as you wish before providing a final version of your interview with best possible answer to each question. Besides, you will put yourself on a small test in your grammar, spelling and fluency skills of written English language. Maintain a positive attitude on everything you get to experience in your path of life and career. When you do an interview in writing you know exactly what will be printed eventually, because your words will not be transcribed from video or voice record. Indeed, your words are glued into full sentences and written by you, the author, and not somebody else, i.e. interviewer or magazine editor.
In this article we will review several points that we find important and relevant when doing an interview in written form. The aim of the article is to provide informative and quick guiding tips to a person who writes replies to interview questions and submits it to magazine, in particular to Sheeba magazine. Basically, we will take you thought the process of conducting an interview for magazine publication in print. Don’t be shy to read our submissions rules before proceeding with interview. There you may find a lot of information relevant to you.
Most of our interviewees are busy people and experience a lot of stress in their businesses. For some, doing an interview in written form can be a real struggle. For this reason, we came to a decision to write an article on how to conduct a perfect interview feature written form in easy and stress-free way. We hope that you will like our how-to-basics of interview feature in magazine publication.
No Stress Mode On
First, note the deadline and remember it. Check your calendar, see what days you are most busy and definitely will not have time for interview before the set deadline. Mark the days you think you may be in a mood to work on questions. Now, relax and focus your mind on a nice informative interview feature that will be published in magazine. Give yourself time to think of what would you really like to tell about “you”, how would you represent your talent to readers and what public image would you like to achieve by this interview. Worth noting, that great ideas tend to come to mind after some period of time. All new detail have to pass through our unconscious mind first in order to return as settled thoughts. In the meantime, forget a deadline for a while and simply enjoy exploring your interview questions.
Read All Questions
Go through each question reading it one by one. This way you will be able to get a better picture of interview in general. You will find some questions easier to answer some will require a bit more effort. Red more complex questions couple of times, if you can’t comprehend it initially. Some questions may sound asking the same thing in such case you should split your answer into two parts answering in coherence to each question.
Easy Questions First
The easiest and most time sufficient way to write interview replies is simply drafting answers to each question in sequence, one by one. You have already read the questionnaire and already know replies to few questions. Start by answering questions that are easiest and require less effort first. By doing so you will gain some confidence in answering more complex questions later.
Write down what comes to your mind first. It can be a word, a phrase or a part of a sentence. Later you will expand your initial thought into another two or three full sentences.
Do a-one-day-break, put aside and forget about your interview. Free your mind and do what makes you happy. After when you return back to interview, more complex questions will be easy to deal with.
Think as Self-Advertisement
Every print publication or your appearance on social media or internet in general is basically an advertisement. Every picture and every word that goes public about you represents your talent and your business. Making oneself visible online enrolls bookings, catches new customers and attracts more followers. Don’t be afraid to show your business to people! On the same note, always think of using the best images you have and pick your words wisely. You do want to look and represent yourself in the best possible way.
To those who are familiar with SEO we would advise to put a little bit of effort in using key words and phrases related to your business, because your interview feature will appear on magazine’s website. Good SEO helps to attract visitors to your business via live links in genuine interview text. You may contact Sheeba magazine if you have any SEO requests for your interview feature.
(Try to) Be Nice
Everybody loves open-hearted and friendly people who speak pleasant words and seem putting their heart in every sentence. You should sound honest in your interview. Everybody loves genuine and nice people who know their field and are friendly in sharing a piece of their knowledge. Everybody likes to find something out about somebody’s kitchen: what you do, why you do, how you do. Work on creating and establishing your public picture to the audience. Set your goal and stick to it. Anyway, it is always nice to be nice.
Share Your Secret
People are curious beings and always interested to know something personal about others. Think of telling a secret or some interesting or unknown fact about yourself. It does not need to be a genuine deepest secret of your life. Anyway, nobody needs to know what you did last summer. The idea is to let the reader finding out something interesting coming straight from your lips about yourself and your professional activities. Your little secret can be “I eat a pound of chocolate every night”, “I have had a mystical experience”, “I have a phobia of…“, “It took me $5000 and 500 hours to make this outfit…” and similar. Make the reader intrigued and interested in you and your business! Be cautious, your family members or old enemies may also get lucky in finding and reading your interview.
Look for Mistakes
When you finish replies to all questions go through each of them and spot small typographical and grammar mistakes. See if every sentence makes sense and you now understand what was said. Make sure your name and your brand are spelled correctly. Worth checking spelling of cities, countries, other brand names, international or special words. Search on dr. Google if you are not sure about spelling a certain word. Don’t be afraid to use MS Word Spelling and Grammar tool on MS Word file, it will speed up your proof-reading by suggesting grammatically correct options.
Check Your Social Media
You may also want to check your active links to your online portfolio, website or social media. In the future, if you change your name on social media, your previously provided links will become unreachable by readers. You loose new potential followers and lower your online visibility to global visitors. Please contact magazine in short message and provide updated links. The magazine is always happy to update old links to portfolios and websites.
You Don’t Need to Be Perfect At English
If you are not a native English speaker and feel somehow unsure about your written English we would advise you to ask a person who knows English language and would be willing to check your text for obvious grammatical mistakes, if you done any. You may also use MS Word Spelling and Grammar function to correct spelling mistakes and general English grammar mistakes. Usually dr. Google Translator is helpful in translating words to English. The problem is, if you use Google Translator to translate a long text, it usually translates into slightly illogical text that is hard to comprehend. Read the translated text in English, see if it sounds right to you and you clearly understand it. An editor of Sheeba Magazine proof-reads whole interview text before it gets printed. All spotted grammar and typographical mistakes are always corrected. Usually an editor reads your text at least two times.
Unfortunately, time keeps us under pressure as well. Receiving interview written in correct English language is always a great pleasure, eases whole publication process and helps to meet deadlines. In addition, Sheeba Magazine does not change or twist your genuine text. All your written words and sentences will be published as you have sent if they are grammatically correct.
Do You Love Reading About Yourself?
Here is the bravest but very important part. Imagine the interview you have just done is about another person or artist. Look at your interview from stranger’s eyes. Would you love reading such interview? How much do you like the interviewee? Do you find him/her interesting? Would you check their website after reading this? No need to over-judge oneself. Simply look at your finished interview as if it was not yours. After, you may feel a need to edit few sentences or even add something completely new to your replies. Try to imagine what others might think of your interview feature. How would it sound if you read it loud, for example?
Know the Requirements for Interview Image Files
Read everything you will find on the interview sheet provided by the magazine. At the bottom of the sheet you will find some information on images, image size and required quality. Check what photographs do you have in high resolution on your computer. Your interview feature and images are going to be printed, so you must provide files suitable to print on paper. In other words, images must be in high resolution. Image files should be more than in 1MB in size, at longest side the image file has to be more than 2000 pixels long. You may check every file on your computer by right-click and selecting “get info” or “file properties”. Low-resolution files will be rejected by the magazine and not included in your interview feature.
If you feel you do not have 10-15 photographs in high resolution, contact few favorite photographers you have recently worked with. They may help you to have more high quality and resolution files. Later you may use these files for printed advertising material, portfolio, other magazine submissions or online. Shortly explain that you need couple of images for magazine interview being printed. Politely ask if he or she could give you few images in high resolution. Some photographers may express great interest, others may say no. If one says no, contact the other simply don’t waste your energy and time.
Provide the best images of yourself and your products as you can. Pay attention to image quality, styling, lighting and digital editing. Also, pay attention to makeup quality. Pick images that are creative and vary in composition, color and model poses. Look for editorial images that are professional, clear, sharp and catching attention. Sheeba magazine prioritizes editorial fashion photography. Furthermore, selfies or phone-quality images are never published in interview features (on Sheeba magazine). Also, avoid including poor quality images of/with other people, for example, your friends and relatives just because you want them to appear in the magazine publication. Perfect idea, but you need to provide professional and in high-resolution images.
Prepare a List of Credits
All high-res images must be accompanied by list of credits. List of credits usually consists of a list of names of professionals who worked on images, namely photographer, model, makeup artist, hair stylist, stylist, fashion designer, assistant and so on. Please open a new text document, type in the name of image file and underneath it write down all credited parties with links to their online portfolios or websites. Adding working links to their portfolios, websites or social media would be of great benefit to each person in a team. Everybody who assisted on shoot worked hard expecting to get introduced and noticed. Readers do check credits lists and press links to explore credited profiles online.
Your list of credits should be an easy to read text without any bullet points or foreign symbols. Please avoid using various brackets, unnecessary dashes and similar symbols. Later, we will need to go thought every word and weed out these symbols. We don’t publish symbols in credits, but we use “@” in front of Instagram names. Make your list of credits simple to follow and convenient to copy-paste.
List of credits must be sent as a text and not as a PDF file. We copy paste credits to avoid mistakes and typographical errors. A list of credits sent in PDF file requires manual retyping of vast number of international names/brands and may result in typographical errors in credits. No doubt, such mistakes do happen, we are all humans but for sure nobody wants their name misspelled on social media or in print publication.
Providing photo files and list of credits in correct format also saves a lot of time to submitter and magazine’s staff. This helps to meet deadlines and avoid long back-and-forward communication trying to figure out the information on images being submitted. It consumes a lot of your time and our time actually. Besides, receiving incomplete list of credits is like having a bicycle without one wheel. You have it but you cannot ride it. We have but we can’t publish. Read interview guidelines and instructions few times if you need. Plus, you are always welcome to contact Sheeba magazine with any questions you may have. Always, ask questions if you are not sure about something.
Send Finished Interview and Image Files
When you finish interview questions, pick the best high-resolution images files you have and prepare text file for credits, go towww.wetranfer.com and choose “free option”. On wetransfer.com, attach all files including interview sheet with replies, credits file, image files and send it to firstname.lastname@example.org. You may also use Dropbox.comto transfer everything you need. Create a folder, upload high res image files and text file with credits and email us a link to the folder. Please do not send image files as email attachments. You must use wetransfer.com or dropbox.com to transfer high resolution image files to Sheeba magazine. Also, please send everything at once to avoid confusion and long-haul communication.
What Happens Next?
As soon as we receive all necessary files in one bunch, we start working on your interview feature and prepare it to be printed in monthly publication. You will be notified by email when print publication with your interview and images is released. You will also receive two-page tearsheets in high-resolution on same day. Usually, monthly publications of Sheeba Magazine are released on the 1st day of the month. Feel free to use tearsheets anywhere you wish. We would welcome you to tag or credit Sheeba Magazine online in exchange for publication and exposure.
In 1-2 months after print publication, your interview feature will go live on Sheeba Magazine website. It will have a slightly different layout than in print issue before. After all, we always do our best to insert as many images as possible into interview features. Besides, live links to portfolios of credited parties will also be inserted. You will be able to share your interview with your customers, followers, friends and family online. Good luck to you with your magazine interview!