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Interview for first full-time gig

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Eddie_Vedder, Nov 28, 2007.

  1. Eddie_Vedder

    Eddie_Vedder Member

    I apologize if these questions have been answered in the past... but I searched for a while and didn't quite find the advice I was looking for.

    I'm a part-time TV sports guy right now, and have a really promising interview for a weekend sports anchor job in a city about 3 1/2 hours from where I currently am.

    So this will be my first job interview where benefits and all that other grown-up stuff comes into play.

    With it being a TV gig, I have questions about contract, top-100 outs in the contract, pay, the benefits package, etc. I'm hoping they bring this stuff up in the interview and just spell it out for me, but what if they don't? I know these are generally questions I wouldn't want to bring up in the interview, but they're important, you know? I guess, how would I go about bringing them up without turning them off to me?

    And with this being my first interview, does anyone have any advice/tips for negotiation? For example, if they offer like a 2-year contract, I'd want a Top-100 out clause after the first year. And negotiating salary/wage... tips on that? And... when does the "selling myself" part of the interview end and the "negotiating the details" part begin?

    And relocation costs... if it's only a 3 1/2 hour move, would it be ridiculous to ask them to pay for the U-Haul? How does negotiating that stuff work? I know it's not that far, but I'm the epitome of living check to check right now and sure would like to avoid the moving expenses.

    To summarize... I don't have a clue what I'm doing here and could use some direction. Thanks.

    And yeah, I know.... "I'm HIRED!!!"
  2. Lugnuts

    Lugnuts Well-Known Member

    There are only a handful of us TV folk on this site, so don't expect to get a ton of advice...

    How badly do you want the job? If the answer is bigtime bad, don't worry about contract negotiation in the interview. Concentrate on getting the job.

    If it's not a top 100, I assume you'll be shooting? Will you ever be given shooter? This ends up being a big factor because you'll want to put together a nice tape for the next move up. That's hard to do without a shooter. That said, you have to express the requisite enthusiasm for shooting in the interview. If they sense you don't like to shoot, they won't hire you.

    I'm noticing small stations are really playing hardball lately. You might have to sign a 2-year contract with no outs... or maybe you could ask for a Top 10 out. Hey -- you never know.

    I think there are some resources on the web which outline tv salaries in various markets... they might give you some clue so you don't get screwed. You could also quietly ask around. Try rtnda.org. I also seem to remember tvjobs.com had some salary parameters years ago, but you might have to be a member now. You could also post a question on tvspy.com's watercooler... "How much would a weekend sports guy expect to make in market XX-XX ?"

    Best wishes! Go get 'em!
  3. dooley_womack1

    dooley_womack1 Well-Known Member

    Just tell them they can't find a better man.

    Sorry, couldn't resist. Good luck, Eddie.
  4. spup1122

    spup1122 Guest

    Agree with Lugnuts. I'm in a market right around the 100 mark and basically have no out without paying $3,000.

    If I re-up my contract (probably won't) I have no intentions of letting that fly next time. I just wanted the job this time around.
  5. wickedwritah

    wickedwritah Guest

    spup, is that a non-compete clause or a general no-quit contract?

    I know a lot of states have banned non-competes.
  6. spup1122

    spup1122 Guest

    I have a non-compete clause and a no-quit. If I quit, I pay $3,000. If I work for a competing agency, I am fired without compensation for breaking my non-compete clause.
  7. wickedwritah

    wickedwritah Guest

    Thanks, spup. I know AFTRA has been active in a number of states in getting anti-non-compete legislation passed. Maybe they need to get working in a few others.
  8. spup1122

    spup1122 Guest

    Yeah they do. If this company terminates my contract for performance (and I doubt they will, but if they did), I can't work in this market until my contract date would expire. I also can't work in the major metro up the road because their stations come into our market, even though we technically don't compete.
  9. Elliotte Friedman

    Elliotte Friedman Moderator Staff Member

    In my experience, I don't bring up such things in the first interview -- unless it's absolutely necessary. You want to let them know how much you want to be there, not that you might want to leave in a year.

    Also, get a lawyer to negotiate for you when the time comes.
  10. BRoth

    BRoth Member

    I wouldn't expect to have to answer all those questions on a first interview. I'm sure they'd want to feel you out and vice versa. Just worry about going there, meeting people and finding out if you'd like it. Then maybe worry about contract negotiations.
  11. Cansportschick

    Cansportschick Active Member

    No offence, but I thought an agent/lawyer handles this sort of stuff. I have never heard about negotiations being talked about in an interview.

    I think the more important thing you need to do in the interview is show what you can do for the workplace you are applying for. What are you going to bring that may be different than other applicants or something like "what can you do for us?"

    The last thing you want to do is demand things when you are not even at the "you're hired" stage. yet.

    I know an anchor that works for one of the biggest networks statesside and for his first interview, no mention on his part or the employer's part was made about contract negotiations. He actually had no chance of hell of getting his first gig as a weekend anchor/reporter/producer but he had to audition and interview with them.

    About two months later, he was called back to meet with the people he interviewed with and was told that while they thought he was too young and possibly inexperienced for the position, he sold them on hiring him in the interview because he impressed them with his wealth of knowledge in the field and how to deal with situations. He showed why he is a team player and also how the newsroom could benefit from hiring him. He was enthusiastic and passionate and that was a deciding factor in the editor hiring him.

    The contract was ready in the second meeting for him to look at or get consultation. However, he has told me never in his years of interviews does contract negotiations come up. It comes up in the follow-up meeting or when the contract is presented to the employee.

    Another piece of advice for any non-sports journalists/anchors. If you are asked to anchor a situation where a car accident or plane crash has taken place, the first thing you should ask is if there is a fire. That is supposed to be the right way to tackle the live to air newscast.
  12. fishwrapper

    fishwrapper Active Member

    Wear paisley.
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