Be prepared Start by knowing what specific story points you want the interview to address Do backgrounding
Recording interviews is a learned skill, so don’t be depressed if your first few outings don’t go as well as you expected, even if you’re a seasoned print reporter. It takes practice. A few tips to help: • Ask questions that require a sentence to answer. • Avoid questions that can be answered yes or no. • Avoid two-part questions – most people will forget the first and only answer the second part. • If you need background information, start with that to get interview subjects relaxed with you and the equipment. • Then, ask questions that evoke feelings, emotions and opinions. We need to understand why this story matters to people. Use narration to tell the facts of the story.
Probably the biggest interviewing tip I can give you is something that’s harder than it seems: Stop Talking. Don’t say uh-huh, or yeah, or anything encouraging. Use non-verbal feedback – lean forward, nod, but don’t talk! Let people complete their sentences. And don’t be afraid of silence. You don’t need to jump in to fill space. People often say the most revealing things when they think you’re waiting for them to finish.