Sunday, July 29, 2012

How to interview someone

In preparation for our final project, I wanted to get some ideas and tips on how to interview someone and make it a good experience for the person being interviewed. The first video I came across was quite a disappointment--just a slide show with a handful of tips:


However, a few of the tips were helpful and made sense like having a conversation, not sticking strictly to the list of questions, and having fun.

The second video on the same topic was a little better, however, Chris Pirillo was getting off topic a lot, he was too informal, and "all over the place". It seemed to me that what took him about nine minutes to describe could be said in five.

Finally, I found exactly what I was looking for: an interview with a professional journalist with a lot of experience in interviewing people. In five minutes, Katie Couric delivered just what I was expecting: basic information on how to make interviewing a good experience for the person interviewed and get the best material for the audience.

This is what I took from the video:
  • be warm and welcoming and try to get the other person relaxed
  • don't just read the questions, have a conversation
  • be a good listener and explore additional topics if the opportunity comes up
  • do your research and learn as much as you can about the topic
  • be empathetic
  • don't use "yes" or no "questions"
  • remember who you are serving--your audience
I also looked up a few more tips about how to conduct a good interview on the web.

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