Being a journalist requires you to interview someone for just about every story you work on. At times you may interview a handful of people for one story. There are so many things that should be considered during the interview process that it’s hard to touch base on all of them. As long as you get meaningful information, you can create content that people will enjoy reading. Here are some useful interview tips that all journalists should use.
Find a Location
The typical interview is held in a coffee shop, but trying a new location can help you get more for your story. See if you can find a place related to the story’s topic, and you’ll see how it can change things. When being interviewed, people are more likely to open up when they’re comfortable or familiar with a place. Rather than actually stepping into someone’s home, you can take them somewhere that feels close to it.
Diving into an interview with no direction may work for some journalists, but not all. Be sure to be prepared with questions that you want to ask and the reasoning behind them. When you have a sense of how you want an interview to go, you will be more successful in your findings. It’s also important to be prepared so your article turnover time can be shorter than if you haven’t structured the interview beforehand.
Have a Flow
One of the hardest skills for journalists is having a flow during the interview. You want to be sure that there is a balance between finding out the information you want and having a real conversation with the interviewee. Every time they’re answering a question, you should take mental notes while thinking about what you can say next. Having a flow will make the interview feel natural and not intrusive for the interviewee.
Ask For What You Need
It’s common for interviewees to get annoyed during the interview because they aren’t sure what you want to get out of them. Take time to get to know them a little and show that you have already done some research of your own before seeing them. People want to be helpful and cooperate with an upfront journalist, and transparent about what they want to get out of the interview.