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 Pippa Christie

Louise Gannon’s Guide To Being A Master Interviewer

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"We are not like Ronseal, it is not what it says on the tin, it’s so many other things.”

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Lady Gaga, One Direction, Snoop Dog, Simon Cowell, Michelle Keegan, Gary Barlow, Elton John, Justin Bieber, Jessie J, JLS, Nicole Scherzinger, Ben Affleck, Ant and Dec, Taylor Swift, 50 Cent, Morgan Freeman and Naomi Campbell (breeeeeathe) to name a few, are just a handful of celebrities that journalist, Louise Gannon has had the pleasure to meet.

And the list goes on. Celebrity interviewer, Louise Gannon from Newcastle is one person who’s shoes you’d love to spend a day or maybe even forever in. Writing for Fabulous, Grazia, Elle, The Guardian, The Daily Mail and The Sun, we sure were excited to meet the professional last weekend and steal a few top tips while we were there.

Here at Fashion North we know how scary interviewing can be, so here is Louise’s guide to becoming a master interviewer.

Tip 1: “FROM THE MOMENT YOU WALK IN, BE REALLY POLITE”
“You should all know about impeccable manners. The interview does not start when I’m sat opposite the person, the interview starts as you’re walking into the door because you don’t know who’s hanging around. If you’re rude to them or you just ignore them or whatever, you don’t know who they are, they might be their dad or their security or they might be their best friend so from the moment you walk in. I’d just be really polite and really know my stuff and done all of my research. And really remember peoples’ names.”

Tip 2: “WERE IN THE BUSINESS OF COMMUNICATION”
“The most crucial thing that you can do is to really communicate with people. If you hide behind your computer and its amazing to do all of these skills like Twitter and blogging and stuff like that but it is a people industry and you really have to talk to people because they will remember if you talk to them and you have to learn to talk to people. Communication is really talking to people and really noticing people and if you do an interview by email 90% of communication is non verbal, I want to know what someone’s wearing I want to know if they’re lying when they’re talking to me. I want to know how they smell, I want to know how they treat the people around them.”

“We are not like Ronseal, it is not what it says on the tin, it’s so many other things.”

Tip 3: “MAKING THE BEST OUT OF A BAD JOB”
“A lot of our jobs seem like a dream situation; you’re going off to Australia, you’re interviewing One Direction, it’s amazing but you’re massively jet lagged. You’ve got 20 minutes, you’re photographers jet-lagged and his cameras not working and it’s cutting into all the time and Harry Styles has got really bad hay fever so his eyes are like that [squints] and he cant talk from sneezing and there are all these fans outside causing chaos. What you have to become really good at doing is making things work. You probably look at us thinking ‘oh my god these are four people who’ve really, really made it’, but we’re like four people who’ve worked really hard and are probably very, very, very good at making difficult situations work. Because what you all have to do whether you’re blogging, whether you’re on Twitter, is you have to come up with the goods. You have to really make something work.”

Tip 4: “WHAT SELLS IS GETTING A LINE”
“When you’re sitting in an interview situation, part of you is thinking ‘I’m in a really nice restaurant in LA and having lunch with Katy Perry’ but the other part of you is thinking ‘I’m talking to Katy Perry and were eating and she’s talking about other things, I need to get a line I need to get her to say something actual that I can quote and that I can use.”
“You have to think what do they want to know, what does that magazine want, you have to really make it work for that magazine and that’s always got to be in your head because first and foremost it’s your job to produce something good out of the situation that you’re in… you have to turn it into something that can work and be entertaining and can sell.”

Tip 5: “IT’S NOT YOUR STAGE SHOW”
“All of you have to be really good, charming and communicative and good at getting the results. I was in school in Newcastle and I had a job making sandwiches in Greggs with some very strange people who I wouldn’t normally meet in real life but you learn to get on with them, then you go to university and meet these really posh people and you learn to get on with them. Draw on situations you have around you. That’s what interviews can be like, awkward. Don’t be rude, wait for your moment to be introduced, it’s not your stage show.”

Have you had any good or bad experiences with interviews? Tweet us at @Fashion_North we’d love to hear about them!