Successful journalist shares tips on interviewing

New York Times reporter Marcus Mabry spoke at St. John’s about his career and the tricks of his trade on Monday, Sept. 22 in Bent Hall.

Mabry began by speaking about his latest book, Twice as Good: Condoleezza Rice and her Path to Power, which came out six months ago, saying, “A person, not just a political being, hopefully comes through in the book.”

He then gave some background on himself, telling the audience that he grew up in a single-family home in Trenton, New Jersey.
“I was never aware of the fact that we were poor,” he said.

Mabry attended Stanford University, something that earlier on in his life he was not sure was possible for him.

“You grow up thinking there’s lots of boundaries, lots of borders, because you’re black and poor,” he said.

During his college years, Mabry held internships at a local paper The Trentonian, and eventually at The Boston Globe and Newsweek. He was offered a job at Newsweek where he worked for 19 years. During his time at Newsweek, he traveled to France, working as a correspondent covering politics, art, culture, social issues and the war in Bosnia. From there, he went to South Africa, covering the rise of Nelson Mandela.

After coming back from being abroad, Mabry became an editor of Newsweek and then Chief of Correspondence. After a year, he took his current job at the New York Times as International Business Editor.

Mabry gave tips on successful interviewing skills after he spoke about his career.

“It’s called ‘The 5 P’s of Scoring and Doing the Hard to Get Interviews’,” he said.

He explained that the 5 P’s stand for persistence, politeness, personality, prospective, and preparation.

Students enjoyed the interviewing tips that Mabry gave.

“The most important advice I got from his lecture was that he emphasized persistence,” said Caitlin Redmon, a freshman. “It was really effective and that’s how he got to be so successful in his job.”