On Giving Interviews
Here at Ole Miss, community interest in the Manifold Greatness exhibition has been high, and pre-exhibit publicity included press releases to many local news outlets. When those stories appeared, we did receive many questions from the public about the details and dates for the exhibit. We also got requests for interviews.
The primary thing I learned from the interview experience is that the results will always surprise you.
When the local newspaper reporter and photographer came to meet me just after we finished setting up, I was very excited. It was my first chance to show the exhibit off and to talk about what was in it. I clearly talked too much and too quickly. The questions I answered in writing later were quoted correctly, but many of the facts and details that I had rambled about in person were jumbled in the article, and in the photo descriptions. I wished I had supplemented the hours and programs listed on our website with a “fact sheet” about the items from special collections that we were displaying. Some of these materials are featured in my previous post. Luckily my community friends didn’t know the difference and enjoyed reading about the exhibit anyway.
My second experience with an interview was later in the month with students reporting for the student-run TV station. The interview request came with no warning as I was preparing for a meeting. I went out to meet the students, unsure what to expect, and I was presented with a camera and a microphone. They asked very good, very quick questions, and their segment was very informative and interesting. Even though I felt rushed, in the end I was pleased with them and with the experience.
Christina Torbert is Head of Serials and Bibliographer for Philosophy and Religion at the J.D. Williams Library at the University of Mississippi.