Photojournalism tells a story through photographs. These images capture anything from a unique narrative to a distinct voice to an evocative scene. Interviewing a photojournalist is much like interviewing for almost any other kind of job: you want employment history, examples of work and all the typical interview necessities. However, a few subtle differences in the way you interview a photojournalist will help you decide if she's the right woman for the job.
Notify the photojournalist that you want to interview her and schedule a date. Find a time that's convenient for you to meet in person. If that's not possible, speak over the phone.
Look closely at the job for which the photojournalist is being considered. Is it full-time, part-time, contract or freelance? What kind of images will you be asking her to capture? Does she need skills outside of photojournalism?
Review the photojournalist's resume and any other submitted application materials, such as a cover letter or work samples. Look to see what qualifications stand out to you, and check for any gaps in her resume you want to address in the interview.
Acquaint yourself with the photojournalist's work by looking at her submitted portfolio or online work. Check to see which agencies have published her work, the style of photography she prefers and her work history.
Prepare a list of questions you want to ask during the interview. You want to question her about her work history, style and ethics, as well as her personality. Ask what kind of camera she uses, her shooting style and what kind of computer or editing software she uses or prefers.
Explain to the photojournalist your goals and expectations for the interview. Let her know about the photojournalism position you're hoping to fill, the responsibilities of the job and how the interview will proceed.
Ask the questions you prepared prior to the interview. Listen patiently and jot down notes. If the photojournalist's answer takes the interview in a different direction, go with the flow. Ask a few additional, impromptu questions and steer the conversation back on course.
Ask the photojournalist is she has any questions for you. Prepare to answer questions about the work environment, pay and next steps in the interview process.
Review the notes you took during the interview. Consider whether the photojournalist sufficiently answered your questions and if her responses were what you needed to hear.
Decide if this photojournalist is right for the job. Note the kind of work you'll be asking her to do and whether you think she's up to the task.
Notify the photojournalist of your decision. Whether it's good or bad news, she needs to know the outcome. If you choose to hire the applicant, schedule a time for her to come in to complete any paperwork.
Things You'll Need
- Black Star Rising: Eight Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Photographer
- PhotoShelter: How We Hire Photographers -- New York Magazine
- Feature Shoot: Interview With Photojournalist Zackary Canepari
- ePHOTOzine: Interview With Photo-Journalist Jonathan Taylor
- University of Kansas: The Community Tool Box -- Conducting Interviews
Jennifer Kimrey earned her bachelor's degree in English writing and rhetoric from St. Edward's University in Austin, Texas. She's a regular contributor to the "Houston Chronicle" and her work has appeared on Opposing Views Cultures, The Austin American-Statesman, The Red Vault, The Western Vault and various other websites and publications.