What is an interview? How do you do it? It seems simple, after all it is only a matter of recording the answers and writing them down. But in reality, this type of article requires a lot of preparation. Otherwise you risk writing things of no interest.
The interview was defined as “an interview between a journalist and an interlocutor who accepted it, knowing its purpose: to make its answers public”. (Profession journalist, Sergio Lepri). Here are some tips to make a good interview.
WHAT YOU NEED
The “equipment” of the perfect interviewer is simple and essential:
- A notebook and a pair of pens Don’t forget a pencil too: always write, in any condition.
- Notes or photocopies of previous interviews with the person. They could always serve if you have doubts or if the interviewee gives you different information.
- An audio recorder or a smartphone / tablet that can do the same. NB: even if you record the interview, take notes. You never know!
- Video camera or mobile phone capable of filming. It is not always necessary to film the interview but, if you have to make videos and / or photos, make sure that the photographer and video maker have the equipment ready (batteries charged, enough memory …).
HOW TO PREPARE IT
Knowing who is going to interview first is essential. Therefore:
- Go to Google and type NAME + SURNAME of the person to be interviewed. Your social media profiles (Facebook, Linkedin, Instagram, Twitter …) and any articles about him will appear. Study everything.
- Do a research also in the library on the interviewee or on the topic of the interview.
- Talk to fans or people who are dealing with the interviewee. They will tell you useful anecdotes to make the interview more curious.
- Watch the movies, listen to the songs, read the books that can help you better understand who you are interviewing.
- The day before the meeting, check on Google the latest news on the interviewee or on the topic of the interview.
HOW TO MAKE THE INTERVIEW
Planning the questions you want to ask the interviewee is crucial. Draw up a list of questions starting with “open” questions, which serve to put the interviewee at ease (eg: “How are you?”) And let him speak.
- Begin the interview with the most general and simple questions.
- Continue with the more specific and thorny questions.
- Let us tell you anecdotes: make the story more alive and interesting.
- If during the interview, a different question comes to mind, don’t worry and do it!
- Be attentive to the gestures and expressions of the interviewee. Sometimes they say more than a thousand words.
- Remember that even a “no comment” can be an answer.
The interviewee will be more inclined to give you good information if you behave in a polite and nice way. It is always better to interview in person. If the interview is by phone or by e-mail, then say it in the article.