My first interview with a Football Manager.

Some of you will have probably seen my blog post on my internship for BT Sport. One of the jobs I have to do is interview the managers after the game. This is the story of how I became a bumbling mess on my first ever interview.

So picture a 19 year old kid, just started university and his journalism career with no previous experience whatsoever. He gets shoved into an interview room with one of the legends at York City FC, Gary Mills.

Now Gary Mills is a passionate bloke, he really cares about the football club and you can tell he’s furious about his team conceding a late goal. I’m unprepared and extremely nervous, this is how the interview went down:

Oh dear. Erm.. now the mistake I made was not having questions prepared before I went into the interview. I thought I’d just be able to wing it, however the nerves got the better of me and I knew he could tell.

Secondly I was so set on what I was going to ask him next that I didn’t listen to his answer, which is why he called me out and said that he’s already told me. At this point I was so embarrassed and didn’t know how to respond.

Thankfully I’m a lot better at interviews now and that has brought a lot more confidence in my ability to deal with difficult personalities.

In a way I’m glad it happened. I was always going to have to learn and Mills couldn’t be a better interviewee for practice. In the end interview technique is a key skill in media and is hard to master but I think it’s something that should be practised over and over before you get it perfect.

Published by Dan Simmonite

Aspiring sport media professional currently working with Northumberland FA. Also write for the grassroots section of the Newcastle Chronicle.

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